the juxtaposition of babies and teenagers

last night, sean ditched me to go see the melvins, so it was me and the kids on a solo run. I picked bella up at daycare and she promptly decided she hated the carseat. the "bing!" of the gas light in my car had just gone on and I seriously considered pumping gas while holding bella, which probably is bad because of the fumes. so I left her crying in the car instead. ever notice how goddamn slow the pumps are? then, because we had used the last of the pediacare decongestant drops the night before, and knowing that the night would be even longer if I had to wipe her nose every 5 seconds and sleep with her sitting up, we stopped at the drugstore to get more. we got both the regular decongestant drops and the ones with the cough suppressant, as she had coughed only a few times - but I still wanted it on hand.

after wrestling bella back into the carseat and enduring the screams, we got home. I expected trent to be lounging on the couch watching TV (brett had picked him up from soccer and dropped him at our house) which he's totally not supposed to do before 7pm on a weeknight, but he was downstairs diligently working on his spanish project. I couldn't believe it. he came up and fed the pets while I wrangled a very cranky bella and made "dinner". I had figured I'd just make spaghetti because that's easy, but after I started cooking the wheat pasta, I noticed we had no gravy. we did have half a jar of cheddar sauce and a small jar of ragu pizza quick. so we had cheezy pizza macaroni. it was actually pretty good. I may make it again on purpose.

at dinner, which bella loved too by the way, trent informed me that a few days before, when he had his friend matt over (!!!), they installed AIM on trent's profile. let me explain. I make my living from the internet and at one point fairly recently, I was working exclusively from home using our computer. I am very acutely aware of spyware and adware and how they can ruin a computer. therefore, to keep my work things in order and since we only have one computer, I had sectored areas for me, sean, and trent. I was the only administrator. for my work, I was required to use AIM (yeah, believe it?) and the computer already had it installed, though it was not viewable on trent's profile. so as soon as he told me he installed AIM with his friend matt, I was like, how? he said he made himself an administrator. wha??? the thing with trent is, he is extremely permissive with his friends. he knows better, but doesn't say anything in part because I think he's just so thrilled that he's being socially accepted that he doesn't want to ruin it. which makes me so sad I can't even explain it. but still. he can't be fucking around with the computer.

so then it hit me why he'd been so diligently working on the computer for this long - he's been instant messaging people this whole time. and immediately after dinner, he was back down there again, working on his project and doing his homework. theoretically. he was down there for more than 4 hours, right up until bedtime. at least he got his homework and project done.

so while my almost-teenager was downstairs IMing friends and girls, my little baby was playing with me in the tent. she started playing this game where she goes in the tent, and sticks out her little hand. I have to grab her hand and then reach in and tickle her. we played this for seriously a half hour. we took a break to have crackers (which she picked out by pointing to the box, and then did the sign for more when she wanted more) but we went right back to the tent game afterwards. she was laughing so hard.

I had one child who was testing my boundaries and opening his fledgling wings out of my eyesight, and one child who wanted all of my attention for a silly game of grab-my-hand. I am blessed to have these kids, who by their very differences make me appreciate each stage of their development.

9 validations:

NME said...

Nicely done! I too enjoy the juxtaposition. The tent game sounds adorable. IMing GIRLS! Goodness gracious. God how time marches on.

Missuz J said...

Such a sweet post.

I keep waiting for Janz to show some interest in girls, but so far, not even a inkling. You're such a good mom to play tent games with Bella.

lonna said...

I am totally buying into the fear of teenagers on the computer, even though I should know better. I guess that positive view is how great is that Trent has friends who want to talk for hours at night. I hardly ever spoke to my friends outside of school when I was in junior high.

Girls? Wow!

We need to get Dermot a tent. I think that he would love it, but I don't think that we have any more room for any more of his shit:)

amandak said...

I am so scared of my kids becoming teenagers. I think I'm doing pretty good with the early childhood thing, but am pretty sure I'm going to fall apart completely as soon as Madeline turns 13. She has found this new internet site she's currently obsessed with, Virtual Magic Kingdom. It's Disney, and usually their stuff is pretty kid friendly, but this one has an interactive feature where you can communicate with other players, and they're not always nice. I've told her she's not allowed in those features, but it still scares me. And she's only 6!!

M.Thom said...

Bill's kids are SO into IM. Actually, one is more into it than the other because he is all about girls. But it is sort of scary to think about what they could be spending such time talking about because I remember not too long ago using IM to chat with men about things that I SO don't want them to be chatting about! And I am going to the stepmom of teenagers...what am I getting myself into?

Glad to hear that Bella regained her sunny disposition after you tortured her by making her ride in a carseat!

patrice said...

I do know about the dangers of wanton IMing and trent knows that I know how to recall all of his conversations and all the places he visits. I don't think it's occurred to him yet to talk that way with a girl, but I am keeping my eye on him. just so that no one worries that he's going to be on the news soon or something.

KATIEmagic said...

Crying now. That was so sweet!

TD said...

I love this post.

It's so wonderul that you take the time to reflect on things like this. I feel like I have more to say, but I don't know how to say it.


Steph said...

oh geeze, I love reading your blog... I love the details and the fact that it *means* something. Your stories are so dear.

Phoo... Good luck with the IM thing. Maybe you could put Trillian on there for Trent instead of AIM? That way he can still IM his AIM friends while your computer is more virtually "safe" than with AIM.

Also, thanks for your thoughts about health stuff and internet earlier. I know I'm the sort who could easily freak myself out by reaserching random diseases and being convinced that I have everything under the sun. Sooo... I'm slowly and doggedly researching the one particular issue I'm preeetty sure I'm dealing with, (polycycstic ovarian syndrome) though none of my doctors have bothered to raise it.
As weird as it seems, I almost *hope* that that's what it is, just so I have a reason for all the random and weird symptoms I've had all these years. Like you said, it will be good to go to the doctor armed with this information (even if it is just to be proven wrong).