The Teenage Brain

Quote of the Day, from The Kid (age (almost) 14):

No one ever showed me how to hang up clothes!

Preface that with “It’s not my fault!”

The Kid has been having difficulties putting away her clothes: the clean laundry goes from the dryer to the floor of her closet, and then presumably onto her body.  And she isn’t clever enough to close the closet doors so that Dear Old Mom won’t notice the clean laundry everywhere except on hangers or in the drawers.  Every once in a while, I give her a friendly warning: “Clean it up or I will do it for you — and you will absolutely hate the results if I do it.”  And she usually heeds the warning — except when she doesn’t. Two days ago I cleaned up her closet for her, with the assumption that clothes on the floor clearly meant she didn’t want them anymore.  One of our local charities got some nice winter clothes suitable for teenage girls, and my rag pile got replenished with bits of socks and underwear.

Soft-hearted DH let her fish the bits of socks and underwear out of the rag pile, and she cried about the rest.  Not because she loved those clothes, but because she knew that she would have to fork out her own money for the replacement wardrobe.  DH thinks I was too harsh, and that it is a battle “not worth fighting.”  And he brings up all sorts of great things about The Kid: she doesn’t drink, do drugs, or fight; she is a decent student; and, she is kind to old people and small furry critters.  All true, but I don’t know what that has to do with the expectation that she should take at least minimal care of her possessions.  DH thinks that if I wanted to pick a battle, I should pick one having to do with her academic performance.  Well, yes.  But the interesting thing is that he brings up the same points when I do get on The Kid about her academic performance (or lack thereof): she doesn’t drink, do drugs, or fight; she is a decent student; and, she is kind to old people and small furry critters.  Still all true, but what do all those things have to do with the fact that after four trips through the colonial era and the Revolutionary War, she still has no idea why the colonists rebelled?  (And don’t even get me started on her hazy understanding of decimal points, negative numbers, fractions, percentages . . . .)

There are only so many hours in the day, after all — and, well, Facebook-ing and i-Touch-ing (hey, Kid, are you reading this?) all take time, don’t they?  But I am sure DH would tell me: she doesn’t drink, do drugs, or fight; she is a decent student; and, she is kind to old people and small furry critters.  Yes, all that …  and it is enough?

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