Saturday, April 30, 2011

I Have a Teenage Son and I Still Make Him Clean

When the girls showed up for Miles' party, Topher said, "It looks like the girls are here to babysit the boys." Yes, girls at 13 look and act a lot differently than boys at 13. How funny and awkward!
A girl made this for Miles. I almost cried, for many, many conflicting reasons. But he shared some of his candy with me and it eased my pain.
Here they are playing Just Dance 2 on a projector in the backyard. So fun. My only responsibilities that night was to provide more candy, pop, chips, and popcorn. I just kept it comin'! A lot easier than organizing pin the tail on the Lego-guy or treasure hunts. SEE, having your kids grow up (sniff) IS easier (sob sob).
Miles used to make this face as a baby and I made him do it for me at Yogurtland when I was feeling sorry for myself that he's a teenager now. "Where did my baby go!?" I yelled, and he responded by making this face and saying, "Goo-goo gah gah! Get me more food!" which I appreciated because it brought me back to reality and made me remember that babies are really demanding and Miles can make his own ham and cheese sandwiches now, which is really great.
This is Miles at his party wearing his new Angrybirds t-shirt and feeling pretty awesome about it. I know, I used to think that I would never let my kids wear video gaming/cartoon t-shirts, but now I'm an older mom and I don't care about dressing my kids to fit my style (Choose your battles, new moms! Lady insisting your baby's head scrunchie bow matches her socks and shoes and dress--I'm talking to YOU! If you need more instruction, READ THIS. CARLY KNOWS) I had a friend who told me she wanted to homeschool her kids because (and this was the number one reason she listed) she didn't want her kids to go to school with kids who wear Spongebob Squarepants t-shirts. I said, "Hmmm, interesting" and have since thought of a hundred different "zingers" I should have said, but didn't. I guess we all have regrets.

Right on cue, after less than a week of being a teenager, Miles, now 13 (ahem), asked me if he still had to do his Saturday jobs because he spent the morning helping with the neighborhood clean-up with the other youth in our church ward (congregation). I held my ground and said, "Absolutely. What, you think because you are serving others you deserve a reward? That's not much of a sacrifice. And that also means that I should do more work?" He said, "Yeah, I guess you've got a point." (I love having a logical first child!) And then he did his jobs (sweetheart). But don't feel bad for him, they only took 10 minutes and now he's playing Kirby's Epic Yarn. Life is good for that boy.

I held my breath because, really, I want to give him a reward. He deserves it. He's a really good kid and I want him to want to serve others, but on the other hand, I don't want him to expect that every time he does something nice for someone that he'll get rewarded in an expected way because that's not how life is (do I sound jaded?) And I really didn't want to do his jobs for the day. I haven't watched Parks and Rec yet. I've got a lot on my to-do list.

I did teach Hugh (6--see, still a BABY) how to wipe down all the tables and chairs today and how to really sweep the kitchen floor. That took me a long time, like 15 minutes, to stand and teach, watch, let him try it the hard way, show him an easier way, get a smaller sweeper, show him again (he's really stubborn and knows how to do everything himself, wow), and then LET HIM DO IT. It wasn't perfect (the floor, especially), but I let him feel really good about being a big helper like the older boys, because now he has 2 jobs instead of 1 on Saturday cause he's a big kid. He bought it all and loved it. BECAUSE THEY ALL WANT TO GROW UP, which is my life's burden. (pause for dramatic effect)


  1. Happy Birthday Miles! (Ben used to make that face too!)

  2. Totally love this, especially because it is so true!! They always want to grow up, and it is so hard to let them.

  3. I know nothing is more painful to you than your kids growing up, but Miles is awesome. You should be proud.

    Also, angry birds while mainstream, is also kind of hipster and ironic. I think. I am not a hipster, so maybe the hipsters reading this are rolling their eyes at me.

    Did you get to watch Parks and Rec yet? Wasn't it great? Chicky-chicky-parm-parm.

  4. Miles is so good. Parks and Rec is going to be a very tasty reward for you tonight.

    "Baby rolls?"

  5. I can't tell you how much joy it brought me to read that candybar poster. You'd better watch out for that Madi!

  6. I don't know what comment to make. I'm still in denial. About lots of things. But most especially about our kids getting big. I specifically remember telling your kids not to get big before I left. Oh well, at least I can monitor them on FB!

  7. "Oh, that explains the noise," says your cranky neighbor.

  8. That party looks like it was a smash hit. I was 13 when I had my first boy-girl party. I thought it was the biggest deal in the whole world. I still remember getting a pair of novelty socks with frogs on them from a boy. Luckily, my mother didn't care about making me not wear novelty socks or gaming/cartoon t shirts. (Thanks for linking to my blog, btw.)

  9. I feel your pain. Wish those floors could sweep themselves. I threw a similar 13 yr old party where we watched scary movies projector style outside. We went with Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein. It was the easiest party I every threw. Happy Birthday to your son (who's probably almost 13.5)