I'm beginning to realize that a toddler's temper tantrum is much easier to deal with than an upset teenage girl. When kids are little, it's very uplifting to imagine the "easy" life you will have when they are older. They can feed themselves, dress themselves, go to the bathroom by themselves, communicate well and are generally relatively self-sufficient. The thing is, once they become teenagers, I think this all kind of regresses. Yes, they can feed and dress themselves, but often choose to do so in completely inappropriate ways. Sure, they can go to the bathroom by themselves, but often choose to do so with their friends in order to gossip. Sure, they can communicate well, but often choose not to communicate at all--especially with their parents. And the self-sufficiency kind of fades away...
Tonight Sophie is upset because she wanted to talk to her dad on the phone, but her dad was "mad" at Harry (something about college essays) so she didn't get undivided attention. Tears were shed, Harry tried to console her, I stealthily e-mailed her mom's Blackberry and asked her mom to call her dad. Her mom then called her. More sobbing. Sophie is now mad at me, her mom, her dad and her brother. And, really, I would consider Sophie one of the easiest teenagers I know. So I can't imagine what I'm in for in the future.
In the meantime, I will do my best to step over my screaming child when she throws herself on the kitchen floor and enjoy the times when she loves mommy and wants to "wrap up" and cuddle and read books and "play, play, play" (yes, she always says this one three times). For the record, some of her favorite things to play are: pretend with her Little People (she has named them Dora, Aunt Michelle, clown, Ed, and the others have names that change and have been known to be Dora (again), Uncle Eric and Ava), puzzles (she has always liked to take them apart and is just now able to put them back together), her Kangaroo Climber and anything outside--especially the swings or anything any other older child happens to be doing at the park.
Today we had a playdate with Nathan and tomorrow we will have one with Madison while Lance gets a dreaded root canal. Then Lance will watch Rowan while I have a routine dental appointment, then hopefully she will nap well and Lance and I will try to make a few important decisions about our move (when we'll move, where we'll go, etc.) And maybe I'll actually get a chance to call a few friends I haven't talked to in ages.
I'm off to attempt to console a crying teenage girl. Wish me luck. I'm sure there will be many more years of this to come.