It wasn’t my fault. I swear. It didn’t matter what it was, or if anyone had even scolded me about it by that point, I was in defensive mode. Because, sooner or later, everything would come back to me in some way, shape, or form, and I had to be ready. Not that being ready did me any good. My mom was still always at least 3 steps ahead of me when it came to everything I ever did, or was going to do.
I still have no clue how she did it.
The life of a 13-year-old is tough. They go through so many changes, both physically and emotionally. Their brains are processing information at a frantic rate, so no wonder we see them as paranoid bundles of energy. I never quite understood this until Lexi turned 13 this year, and boy, am I understanding it now! Funny how things do come full circle. My mom told me this about 3 steps ago, and I am just catching up now.
I hate when she’s right.
A few days ago I tried to wake Lexi up, to get the day going. It was the weekend, which is prime sleep time for any self-respecting 13-year-old (“Like, seriously, Dad!”), but after 10 am all bets are off. In my book anyway. Apparently, not in the Book of Lexi.
Me: Time to wakey, wakey!
Lexi: [unintelligible grumble]
Me: [doing my best Bill Cosby impression] Time. To. Get. Movin!
Lexi: Daaaaad. Don’t do the Bill Cosby.
Me: I’ll stop if you get up.
Lexi: I’ve heard that before.
Me: Once you’re up, I need you to strip your bed. It’s laundry day!
Lexi: Don’t say that like it’s exciting.
Me: But it IS exciting.
Lexi: Uh, maybe for you.
Me: You can find the excitement in it too if you wash all the clothes and hang them on the line.
Lexi: Don’t do the decree.
Me: [standing at attention] I decree… [sigh from Lexi] that Alexa does all the laundry for the kingdom, henceforth!
Lexi: [ducks under the covers, moaning]
Me: I decree that clothes will henceforth be the domain of the 13-year old.
Lexi: [re-emerging] So when I turn 14 I won’t have to do it anymore?
Me: [after a pause] Just get up and get those sheets stripped.
Lexi: Okay. Okay. But if I shrink your clothes you’re gonna regret it.
Me: I’m GOING TO regret it.
Lexi: Yeah. Exactly.
Me: [sighing] You’re killing me, Smalls.
Lexi: You’re killing ME with all this work, Dad.
Me: When I was your age…
Lexi: NO, no, no. Don’t start doing the whole, “When I was your age,” thing, like it was the stone age or something.
Me: When I was your age…
Lexi: Daaaaaad. I’m up already, okay.
Me: When I was your age, your grandmother made me get up at 8 on the weekends.
Lexi: Well, kids need more sleep these days.
Me: Thanks, Sister Encyclopedia.
Lexi: You’re welcome.
Me: Seriously, though, get up and at ’em.
Lexi: I’m uuuuuup. At ’em can wait.
Me: Not by my clock it can’t.
Lexi: Then let’s go by my clock.
Me: Don’t be a smart Alec…za. Ha ha. Get it?
Lexi: Yeah yeah, Dad. Not funny, but I get it.
Me: [opening the blinds wide] Now you’re just wasting daylight.
Lexi: Daylight is already a big waste.
Me: Just get to the laundry. It’s waiting on you.
Lexi: Then it can just keep on waiting.
Luckily for me, she’s all talk when it comes to those morning conversations. She dutifully stripped her sheets and did the laundry. Of course it came along with grumbling, but I’ll take it as a compromise. That’s another thing you’ll learn quickly when you have a 13-year-old: Compromise is king when you can get it. I’m still working on my next decree. She is not concerned.