We had two of 'em, left, in Chewville... Ages 13 and 18.
Having mentioned the teens, it also means we've got teenage boys... a WHOLE HERD OF 'EM.
Both girls worked us hard.
"Can we go here? Can we go there? Can so-and-so (MR.KEWL of the week) come over for a few hours and visit???"
One night, I came home from work to find a... OH, NO!... a BOY in my house, introduced by the 18-year old as BRUNO,OR SLASH, or... I don't know... he might have been one of them two letter guys that the girls talk about all the time (B.A or C.D or whatever).
Anyway, the kid REALLY impressed me the whole first 2 seconds after I met him. The first second, he stuck his hand out to shake mine...and the next second he said, "I'M REALLY A GOOD KID, DUDE."
DUDE? DUDE. He called me, "DUDE."
Not sir. Not Mr. Larcom... but DUDE. I would rather he would have said "Mr. John Deere Guy," but no.
I was, to this young guy, A DUDE.
OK, SIS, TRY HARDER!!!
This lovely young lady was the congresswoman of our bungalow. She stopped short of nothing to get what ever bill she thought she could pass on us.
A typical conversation with her went as follows:
"OK, Mom and Dad? Is it ok if ASHLEY comes and picks me up? We are gonna get pizza, then MIRANDA is going to go with us to see a movie at TAYLOR'S house (after we go and pick up KATIE, who is over at JESSICA'S house, 'cause her DAD's gotta work 'til 8, and the movie starts at 7, and before we can go see it we have to call BRIT and see if she can..." yada yada yada.
"But wait, Sissy... you said you were going to TAYLOR'S to see a movie. Why do you have to be there at 7?"
Then it started up again with a flurry of "''cause" and she, once again, went into her auctioneer's impression... and, by this time, MIA and I were ripping up the white sheet to make little flags to fly in her face to let her know, "YES, CHILD... WE GIVE UP! GOOOOOOOO!!! Be home by 11... not 11 L.A time... 11 good ol fashion EST."
Another thing we have found is that, if these two teenage TNT sticks wanted something, WATCH OUT FOR THE "-DY" on the end of the word DAD, or the "-MY" on the end of MOM... with an "I LOVE YOU" AT THE END OF EACH SENTENCE.
When they want something, you would think they made a living writing Valentine day cards for a living.
YES, they both got along very well, until one pissed the other one off.
It was these times that MIA and I used to our advantage, to see what one or the other is up to.
As long as they were getting along, it's LOCKED... But let 'em get mad at each other and they spilled their guts to us about what evil deeds the other was doing.
It worked like truth serum.
We still, with the day to day trials, LOVE 'EM TO DEATH, and we know that, all too fast... they are gone.
Oh, how true this is. Whenever one of them received an item of ANY value (be it a pack of gum or prescription eyeglasses), the eyeballs of the other one began to whir in their sockets like the symbols on an old-time slots machine. The "CHA-CHING" of a cash register dings from their lips, and the image of a dollar sign began to form above their heads.
The "non-recipient" usually started the spectacle.
"That is SO unfair. How come SHE gets $10, and I can't get $5 to go to a movie?"
"Because her old glasses are broken," I explain, "And she needs to be able to see."
"Sight is over-rated, mother. You're always saying appearances don't count (as IF), and I learned on a documentary that decreased sight ability actually IMPROVES the other senses. What, are you TRYING to deprive us of experiencing the best of life?" She stomped out of the room, dramatically.
I haven't even figured out what THIS is supposed to mean, when the non-recipient will snarl, "And I can't even get a DOLLAR extra for cleaning up YOU GUYS' MESSES. By the way, sissy... is that MILK in your room, or were you eating COTTAGE CHEESE out of mom's COFFEE CUP?"
By now, the other child has come back into the room.(Uh-oh... here it goes.)
"You little brat... You only do that cleaning stuff to kiss up to THEM." (Enter hostile glare, my direction.)
"No, I do your cleaning because that's how I earn my keep... AND to keep the Health Inspector away. I don't have some rich Disneyland parent to shower me with cash every month."
"It's called CHILD SUPPORT, you dope. And we EARN that money. With all we have to put up with, and everything we do around here... Besides, YOU get grade card money. When I was your age, I sure never got grade card money."
"That's because, when you were my age, you were as lazy as you are now! Ingenuity comes with motivation and dedication. Remember that, kid."
This said, she turned to me.
"I would have been here sooner, but I couldn't find the knob on my bedroom door." She said. "Mom, I can't find the table... can we get my glasses today?"
"I told you, I get paid Friday. We'll go after school."
"I can 't make it that long!!!" She wailed, clutching her heart Scarlet O'Hara style.
(Today is Thursday, BTW.)
"I think you'll make it," I said.
Defeated, she slumped to the table and dropped into a chair... well, a few inches NEAR a chair... on the floor.
Sister laughed like a hyena, and the "blind" one sets off like a wildcat whose tail's been tied to a chainsaw.
Instantly, our cozy little kitchen became a cacophony of chaos.
"SPOILED BRAT!!! I'm telling mom what you did with her toothbrush!"
"JERK!!! I'm telling her what you hid in your sock drawer that's making the room smell funny!"
"BUTTHEAD! I ought to knock you silly. And you had BETTER not even THINK about telling Mom about that phone call yesterday, or I'll..."
Debating whether to put a stop to this brutality, or grab a pen and take notes for later interrogation, I finally allowed my maternal instinct to decide.
"Which drawer is the sock drawer? Who was the call from? And WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY TOOTHBRUSH?"
As for equality?. My girls can tell you exactly how much they got for each baby tooth, the market value of their first birthday present, the cost of every item of clothing they've ever CONSIDERED wearing, and how much I ordered from their respective fundraisers and book sales.
But they can't remember where they put their hairbrushes.
All 18 of them.
They wanted the same jeans...identical cut, shade, and style... then refused to wear them because "she's always gotta copy me."
The youngest was content with hand-me-downs, which she proceeded to alter to her own style with strategically smeared mudstains and blobs of mustard. Upon seeing this, the older one would set off in another tirade, citing how much WE had spent on those clothes. We tried to explain, the clothes don't fit YOU any more. YOU didn't buy them. Chill out!
The response? "But LOOK at her. She's got a PINK shirt with RED PANTS. She looks RIDICULOUS."
The bickering got to be enough. "The bus is coming. Get your coats on, get outside."
The whole thing may seem like a nightmare, but I had other things on my mind... like buying a new toothbrush.
Speaking of toothbrushes...
We found it necessary to schedule our ability to enter the restroom in an almost-military fashion.
("COMBINE 12, this is DRIPPY HIPPY. The front zone has been secured! Repeat, you are cleared for entry!")
Sometimes, one of us woul detain the teens ("Hey, who's this young guy, pulling into the drive?") while the other hopped cross-legged through the house, barricading the bathroom door with an overflowing hamper).
We can grow wonderful things in our gardens, but we still haven't found a way to raise toilet paper. What do they DO with the stuff? Do they think that it grows on TREES? We wish.
Bushes, I understand. Chew has the benefit of using Nature's Latrine, himself. Me? Not so willing. Of course, with snow drifts five feet deep around the trailer, it isn't that appealing to HIM, either.
We tried to schedule our showers, shaving, and other "extended restroom needs" around their school schedule, but the ungrateful girls INSISTED on going to school while we were at work!
Then we selected time frames when they were "out," which seemed to be the majority of the time, those days. This didn't work, either. The minute we had unplugged all curling irons, blow driers, hair straighteners, and other devices (they left them plugged in and dangling near the sink, hoping we'd mistake one of the said items for a toothbrush, and ZAP! At least, that's my theory)... Moved three large storage tub's worth of assorted bottles and compacts, tubes and jars, creams and gels, hair accessories and nail products, loofahs and pumice stones... collected various articles of clothing from their posts in and around the shower (ever mistaken your daughter's thong for a hair scrunchie? Talk about embarassing)...and dug through the couple dozen freshly washed towels that they used this morning (why do they need to use four-six apiece, for one shower? I'm stumped. Real quote: "I can't use that to dry my hair! I dried my FACE with that!"???)...and gathered my OWN bath products (kept hidden in a spot they'd NEVER think to look- the laundry hamper!), I was finally ready for my shower...
... And there'd be NO hot water.
Now, I don't know if they used all the hot water on their personal hygiene, or if the pair of ankle socks and bikini top in the washing machine (on hot, supersized load, settings) contributed. Still, it's frustrating to head out to work with icicles in your hair BEFORE you've even stepped outside.
Revenge is rising, though.
The oldest is grown, now, and has two youngsters, herself...
Both are girls.
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