Weekend Update: From a Hormonal Preteen to Pinewood Derby Cars

Well, the weekend is over. Time to kick back with a glass of wine and reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly.

It started out well enough. After school, I asked L. and K. if they had any homework. K. said no, and L. said “a little”. “Great!,” I said. Sounds like we’ll have a good weekend.K. had a playmate over after school, and they were STARVING, so I quickly fixed them a snack, which they scarfed down in 5 minutes. Then the girls cleaned out the hamster cages in the front yard (bet that’s the last time that friend will want to come over!!) They barely had time to play a game on the Wii before her mom picked her up. .

We made this pork chop recipe for dinner (a family favorite-even my pickiest eater loves it!) and played a few more Wii games before the kids went to bed. I kick ass at Wii bowling, but tennis gave me a pain in the neck that is still there 48 hours later. L. cried a little at bedtime, because it just isn’t FAIR that K. got to have a friend over after school and she didn’t. My little drama queen. .

On Saturday we attended a performance of The Princess and the Pea that a local youth theater group is putting on. L.’s very talented friend (and one of my girl scouts) was in the play. She was terrific and we were so proud of her. The entire cast did a spectacular job, and afterwards my girls got backstage passes. They had their programs signed by the actors and got to see what goes on behind the scenes (a lot of hard work). .

That night I went through the girls’ backpacks. I couldn’t believe how much homework L. had. From the looks of it, I figured it would take her about 2 hours. Even though it was late and she was tired, I asked her to spend 30 minutes on her math before getting ready for bed. She grumbled about it, but did it anyway, with headphones on (she says it helps, but I’m not so sure). 30 minutes barely put a dent in it, so I told her that before she did anything else on Sunday, she needed to get it done. .

L. started her homework around 10am. At 11am, her friend came over wanting to rollerskate. I had to say no, because L. had a Girl Scout meeting at 1pm, and a movie date with a friend at 4pm, which was not going to happen if she didn’t finish her homework. She was very upset that she couldn’t go outside and skate, but I had to put my foot down. I told her to just hurry and get it done and she might have time to skate before Girl Scouts, but she just seemed to drag her feet even more. What followed will be known forever in our family history as “The White Out Incident”. .

L. declared that her work couldn’t be finished without White Out. She was working on a final draft of a persuasive letter that’s due on Tuesday. It has to be written in pen, all in cursive, and it’s 6 pages long. Less than 2 pages were written at this point. I sent B. to the store to get it for her, and he came back with the wrong kind (although it was perfectly fine and she easily could have gotten by with it). L. got upset because he wouldn’t go back to the store. He was watching a football game and it seemed silly to go back when she could use what she had. L. through such a major fit, the likes of which haven’t been seen since age 4. She literally threw herself on her bed, screaming that nobody loves her, and how is she to be expected to do her work when she doesn’t have the right supplies? If anyone truly CARED about her, they would go back to the store. WHY can’t she be in a family where people love her? WHY won’t anyone take her needs seriously? NO ONE KNOWS what kind of stress and pressure she is under in 5th grade! SHE CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! .

Well, hmmm. What to do with this kid. I took away her iPod, which made her sob even more. “You HATE me, don’t you Mom?” she screamed, as I rolled my eyes and calmly walked out of the room. When the sobbing subsided, I told her that, once she apologized for the outburst, she could get back to work. I reminded her that there would be no movie date if she didn’t finish. There was more crying, more, “It’s not FAIR!” Finally, after wasting more than an hour, she sat and got it done, but what a whopping headache I had by that time. .

“Do you think she’s hormonal?” I asked my husband. Could she possibly be entering puberty at barely 10 years old? She’s the tiniest thing, weighing less than 60 lbs. She’s the smallest kid in her class. I really don’t think she’ll be hitting puberty for a couple more years, but damn if she doesn’t act premenstrual. Oh, I just had a pleasant thought. If she and I time it perfectly, she could be getting her period at about the same time I’ll be hitting menopause. What fun, for everyone! .

At 1pm it was time for Girl Scouts. Thankfully L. and I were both calm and relatively happy by the time the meeting started. She still had puffy eyes from crying, but her attitude was better. .

The girls and a few dads made pinewood derby cars, which they will race with the local boy scout troop. It was weird having so much testosterone at our meeting. That song from Two and a Half Men, the tv show with Charlie Sheen, kept running through my head (”Men, men, men, men, manly men, men, men”). The girls decided what shape their cars should be, drew the shape on the cars, and then the dads manned the saw, the router and the sander. I’m not sure who had more fun, dads or girls. The girls sanded their cars to smooth out rough edges and painted them. We didn’t realize how long it would all take and how much time paint takes to dry, especially when it’s globbed on (our urgings to “use thin layers of paint” fell on deaf ears) so we’ll have to have another emergency meeting before the big race to attach the wheels and weights. After Girl Scouts (by the way, for those who don’t know, COOKIE TIME starts next Saturday, 1/19, so get your orders in!) it was time for Daddy to take over with the girls so I could go to my book club. .

Ahhhhhh how relaxing to be in a beautiful home, with a wonderful meal and a glass of wine, and no child in sight! Only a room full of vibrant, intelligent women who love books and love to talk about them! We discussed Summer People by Brian Groh. If you read my review, you know I didn’t love the book. I was a little worried about the meeting because we had set up an author chat with Mr Groh by speaker phone. We came up with questions for him before we called, and we made sure to start off with a compliment (because it’s poor manners to start off an author chat with “Your book sucks”). But he was great! He’s a really personable, likable guy, and he thoroughly answered all our questions. It was truly a pleasure speaking with him. I found I appreciated the book a whole lot more after our conversation. Our club also decided on our spring reading list.. after some discussion and voting we came up with The Time Traveler’s Wife for March, Eat, Pray, Love for April, and The Next Thing on My List for May. .

L. and I got home around the same time, me from book club, and she from her movie date with her “friend who’s a boy”, Michael, and his mom. They saw Alvin and the Chipmunks (two thumbs up, apparently). At bedtime, she cried that her head was pounding, her stomach hurt, and could she have a heating pad. Oh, boy. .

How was your weekend?

11 Responses

  1. The funniest part about this is that I remember actually believing that no one cared about me because they didn’t get *exactly what I wanted*. I remember being so angry with my mom at one point because she didn’t buy the right lettuce. I went up and cried on my bed, wondering what I’d done in a previous life to land in *this* family. 🙂

    Perspective. It’s a wonderful thing.

  2. It sucks when you feel like everything is more important to your parents than you. I remember my father used to yell at me to come downstairs…just..to…change…the…tv…channel. It was three feet away!

    I still get livid if I think about it.

    So, from her POV, you are willing make a quick trip to the store for something you want – but aren’ t willing to do it for her.

    I’m not taking her side, but the amount of HW they demand kids do is ridiculous and she may just be stressed the heck out and not pre-menopausal.

  3. Trish, yes, perspective is great. Isn’t it wonderful to know your parents weren’t really trying to make your life a living hell by buying the wrong lettuce?

    PI, we did make a quick trip for her. It was the 2nd trip that her dad wasn’t willing to make, because what he got on the first trip was fine and good enough. Plus a playoff game was on, and halftime was over. And she is stressed.. but if she would use class time to do her work instead of reading her book, she wouldn’t have to bring so much home. It’s a choice she makes again and again, and the consequences are more homework for her. I have spoken with her about using her class time more efficiently and reading at home, but of course, she knows better. I agree the HW level is crazy (my 3rd grader actually gets more than my 5th grader) but she does get class time to start it, and she chooses not to.

    Oh, and I do hope at 10 she is not premenopausal, LOL.

  4. Goodness! I think the Pine Wood Derby is awesome idea – beat the boys!

  5. Hey, CARE! Aren’t you supposed to be reading? Get back to your book!

  6. My daughter just turned 11 on December 13th, and she’s been having hormonal-type mood swings for about 8 to 10 months now. She just recently started developing a tiny bit on top. And she’s absolutely tiny – people think she’s 8yo. At her well-child check-up this summer, she was in the 7th percentile for her height, and the 5th for her weight. Not to freak you out or anything, but it could be the beginning of hormone fun. Hang in there!

  7. Loved this entry because it made me think “Thank goodness, it’s not just me!!”

    My daughter has been having mood swings (we call them hissy fits) but they seem to occur mostly when she’s not getting her way so, for now, I’ve chalked it up to just being a drama queen. I’m bracing myself for the teen years!

  8. […] Weekend Update: From a Hormonal Preteen to Pinewood Derby Cars […]

  9. Would you mind writing a post about your book club author chats. I know your club has done this before and I just set one up with an author for our next meeting, but am unsure the best way to approach the meeting. Any insight would be helpful!!

  10. […] fuss or complaint, woo hoo. Homework over the weekend sucks, and I do feel bad for her, but after last weekend’s white-out incident, I was preparing myself for another scene.  I guess if you take a girl’s iPod, tv […]

  11. […] Weekend Update post (in my pre-Sunday Salon days) with the highest hits: Weekend Update: From a Hormonal Preteen to Pinewood Derby Cars […]

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