Monday, June 11, 2012

BBBS 55: The Joy, Un-Joy, Joy of a Teenager

Well it is about that time in my relationship with Ms. Little when the teenager emerges. So far we have avoided much of the dreaded teenage crazy behaviour that I have heard about in teenage-legend, however over the past week I have been dealing with the oh so scary, oh so emotional, oh so traumatic, oh so mysterious (at least to me) teenage girl.

For not having kids I am pretty happy with my knowledge of children. I would like to stress that my knowledge is primarily baby related, because that is what I have been exposed too and that is what I have been interested in. When I first started hanging out with Ms. Little it was slightly rocky, after all she is much older than a baby, she was a child. Over the four years we have been matched I feel like I really got the child part figured out, at least enough to be with her and have fun with her. However that all changed when she overnight transformed into a teenager and entered an area I have had no experience in.

The short version of the story goes like this:
Ms. Little turned fourteen a couple days ago and I was trying to make plans with her via texting about taking her to Disneyland (what we have done every year for her birthday for the past four birthdays). Disneyland apparently is too babyish and she wanted to go to Knott’s instead. Fine.

She wanted to bring her twin sister; she has also joined us for the past four years. Fine.

She wanted to bring her brother. Well it is her birthday and it is family. So I said fine.

But then her brother didn’t want to go, and she wanted to bring her friend. This is where I said ”No” . her friend wasn’t family, and I wasn’t taking a ton of kids to Knott’s when the point of BBBS is one on one quality time with a Big and her Little. The ‘no’ I found is when the teenager emerges.

Now her sister doesn’t want to go if the friend can’t come. ”Ok fine, the sister doesn’t have to come.” I said.

But then if the friend and the sister aren’t going then Ms. Little doesn’t want to go. ”I am so sorry you don’t want to go, but ok fine we won’t go” I said.

I left it at that figuring after a few days she would calm down and come around. That is until I got on Facebook the next day. Seems like during this entire four hour of texting with Ms. Little she was posting to her friends asking who wanted to come to Knott’s with her ‘playa’ sister. SIGH... teenagers.... hello I can see what you are saying on Facebook.

In the end I stood my ground. I didn’t take them that weekend to Knott’s. She was disappointed but I felt like it was important to stand my ground from the beginning. Don’t worry, after a while she apologized and I agreed to take Ms. Little and her twin to Knott’s the next weekend.

Of course this is just the short version but all of this showed me that I need to get a grip on what is going on in the teenage brain. Ms. Ivey is a teacher and has a ton of experience with teenagers, she helped me identify what Ms. Little was thinking and then she encouraged me to get a book on teenagers. A book was a great idea. I asked my therapist if there was something she could recommend and she had the perfect suggestion, ‘Get out of my life, but first could you drive me & Cheryl to the mall’.


I ordered it today on Amazon. Hopefully it will get here and I can read it before the next teenage monster emerges.


Jennifer Arens said...

I think that is just adolescence in general :) It never really ends I don't think, just how to handle it is the experience and not easy part.

paul peggy zeus said...

LOVE it. she really thought she had you. good for you for standing your ground.

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