Sunday, October 21, 2012

Teenage Daughter Chronicles, Part VI

Looking at the past postings (trying saying that 3 times fast with blood alcohol level of .08), and it's been a while since I have filed a report. I know what you're thinking..."No news is good news, right?"

Well, no news is no news.

After the past few months, I am ready to suggest a dance to Dancing with the Stars, the "Teenage Daughter Cha-Cha-Cha". It's a simple dance, just two steps forward, followed by a step back. For every good thing we catch her doing, every time she is on time, taking responsibility, acting with respect to her parents, she follows it up with a shouting match, a late arrival, deliberate disobedience.

I am pretty sure I have substantially more grey hair than I did 6 months ago.

The hard part of this dance is the fact that she is, fundamentally, a good kid. She wants to do the right thing. The thing that gets in her way is (like most of us) herself. Her failing is pride (again, like most of us), and so she is so committed to being  right that the thought of being contradicted gets her angry, and she then acts stupidly in what I call "the red mist". Afterwards, she can talk about it, but the idea that she was wrong is still something that she fights against, vehemently. Consequently, she finds herself trying to defend a bad position, which is embarrassing to her, which causes more anger. It's a fun cycle.

On the good days, however, she is fun to be around. Just the other day she even attempted an awkward hug. I was surprised. It was almost affectionate.

At this point, we seemed to have settled into a rhythm, with occasional bumps here and there. I find myself repeating the mantra "it's just a phase, it's just a phase, it's just a phase..." looking to the time when she will be human again. I expect this will only take another 20 some years.

But when she has children, she's better watch out. That parent's curse is a killer.