Friday, February 4, 2011

Speaking 'Teen'

  I seriously think that teenagers speak a different language.  I mean, I know that Elizabeth is actually still a preteen, but she will be 13 in April, and she was always an early one to do things.  She walked at 10 mos, potty trained at 18 mos, was swimming and diving a 2 yrs, reading fluently at 3 yrs...the list goes on.  So, I think that she has taken the leap into her teen years a bit early.  I think that the dictionary for 'teen' would include few entries, at least in the section that applies to talking to your parents.

Those words would be:

OK! - meaning that it is definitely NOT OK

FINE! - meaning that she does not agree with what you are saying, but she wants you to stop talking about it

The Sigh - meaning 'how long do I have to stand here and listen

*and various rollings of the eyes and other annoying body language.*

Take yesteryday, for example.  Elizabeth has decided that she wants to be a vegetarian.  The reason for this decision is because she was supposed to be debating with her class in blog form about whether it is OK or not to breed animals to harvest their organs to for transplanting into humans.  Elizabeth is against this.  I always like to play the opposite side+ in these things just to get her thinking and to see what her train of thought is.  So, I asked her what the difference between farming animals to eat and farming animals for their organs.  She said that when we eat the animals, it is to give us energy to live so I countered with harvesting their organs also allows people to live.  So, she says, and I quote, "That's why I want to be a vegetarian!"


I didn't know.

She said it as if she had been telling me for a long time and I had not been listening, but I promise, she hasn't, and I have been least most of the time.  Ok, so she had mentioned it when she was in 3rd grade or so, but that was just because her friend is one, and she thought it was cool.

So, I say, "Um...Ok."  And I ask her if she's serious and tell her that we will have to work at it a bit to make it fit with the rest of the family's menu.  I mean, we rarely eat red meat, but chicken finds its way to our table at least a few times a week, if not more.  She says she definitely IS serious and will start eating a lot of beans and more salads.

This Sunday is the first Sunday of the month, so it is our family meeting Sunday where we go out to eat and have our family meeting.  So, Jimmy tells her that it is fine if she wants to be a vegetarian and when we go for our family meeting she can just pick a salad or bean soup off the menu.  Sounds reasonable, right? 

Apparently not.

Elizabeth's response, and again, I quote "FINE!  You don't want me to be a vegetarian!  You never let me do anything!"  Footsteps stomping off into the bathroom, (although she knows better than to slam a door.)

Once again, my head is spinning just a tad.  Who said she can't be a vegetarian?  Let me re-read this because I don't think that neither Jimmy nor I said anything of the sort.  Nope.  Don't see it.  Not there.

Oh, that's right!  We're not speaking 'Teen'!  How silly of us!

 FINE! OK!  *Sigh!* 

Liz, honey, if this is really important to you, we are willing to work with you to try it out, but you have to be a bit flexible at first.

"No.  It's fine.  Whatever.  You don't like it."

Elizabeth, it is not that we don't like it, it is just that this is a little sudden.  Let's think about it and talk about it later. 


We went to pick Elizabeth up at school late today because she was practicing for a band concert.  Since we usually eat really early, everyone was starving and we really just had to grab something to eat quickly.  So, we stopped at an Arby's, (I know, horrible, but quick.)  So she decided that perhaps she will be a vegetarian that eats chicken and ordered a chicken sandwich.  Jimmy got some cheddar beef thing and guess who took a big bite of it...

She said maybe she will be vegetarian only a few days a week.

I think that means that she will chose to be vegetarian only when she doesn't like what I cook for dinner.

I have a feeling that I need to review my 'teen' dictionary and we need to talk.


  1. wouldn't it be so much easier if you could just say, "honey, you don't know what you want to be and won't for some time"?

  2. That would be so much easier. But I am already accused almost daily of not ever listening, so I try to listen and respond in a positive, respectful way whenever feasibly possible. Some of her stuff is really off the wall, though, so it's all I can do to contain myself to not say...Really! Did that honestly juse come out of your mouth? Like the time I asked her to be sure that she locked the door when she was last out of the car. This was a huge inconvenience for her, however, and she said "Why do I always have to do it? Every day it's lock lock lock.''s a little button. Push it and be done with it, for Pete's sake! Ahhh...teens! I'm glad I was never one! :P