It’s all in the hormones, or will an alien pop out of his chest?

I’m not a scientist, but I’ve isolated a human hormone in my very own household.  I call it “Teentosterone.”

I used to have this lovely child–blond, sweet, snuggly. He’d tuck into the crook of my elbow to hear a story, or share a bowl of popcorn over a Red Sox game. At the moment, both son and baseball team are painfully vexing. One of them I can choose not to watch. The other, not so much.

It’s finals week at the high school–his first.  I’m not sure he knows what to expect. To be honest, I don’t either. What I do know is that it counts and this school system doesn’t seem to take the easy route with anything, so I expect this won’t be any different. My son’s laid-back temperament is usually a plus, but he’s not conveying enough urgency to satisfy his nerdy parents. It’s not that we care so much about the grades. We care about him caring.

All we have to do is ask about finals and we get the death glare. His stare conveys words that would get him grounded if he said them aloud. He has the noisiest silent treatment I’ve ever heard.  Every book is snapped shut, every door closed with great intention.  Even the pencil hits the table with a hearty “thwak.”   I can hear him pacing in his room above my office.  I think he’s wearing cleats. He gets it from my mother. We knew she needed help in the kitchen not because she asked for it, but because we could hear the cabinet doors open and close from the other end of the house.

My husband gave him what I thought was a gentle lecture.  I even complimented him on handling it well before I went upstairs to practice.  The boy and I get locked into conflict from time to time.  He wants me to acquiesce, I want him to accept my no and stop glaring at me. Neither is going to happen.  Just as I was settling into a good violin hash session, the boy stomped up the stairs and into my studio (it’s a spare bedroom. I just like calling it that). He flung open the door and exclaimed–

“Tell Dad to stop micromanaging me!”

Sometimes it’s hard to keep a straight face around here.

“Your father is micromanaging you. How, exactly?”

“He tells me I’ve been on one page too long.”

“How long were you on that one page?”

Silence.

“Were you looking at the page?”

Silence + Death glare. That went well. Teentosterone strikes again.

Now that I’ve identified the culprit, I’ll start working on the cure.  I hear time does wonders and in the meantime a glass of wine and a good sense of humor doesn’t hurt.  I dread when he starts dating.  One overactive hormone is enough.

J. B. Everett

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10 comments on “It’s all in the hormones, or will an alien pop out of his chest?

  1. You outdid yourself this time, Jeannine. Anyone who’s ever had a teenage son will be nodding their head at this verbal Zits cartoon. And, dating? GACK!! What I meant to say is, “It’ll be a breeze”.

    P.S. LOVE the picture.

  2. Thank you Phyllis. When I think I’m at my wit’s end, I pull out baby pictures and remember how sweet he was. Then I pull out the bathtub photos and tell him to be nice, or I’ll post them on the web.

  3. Veronica Roth says:

    Oh I love reading your blog Jeannine. Jon is 32 now but only seems like yesterday I was in your place. Oh how we laugh now. (Don`t worry, nothing a good facelift, hair dye and therapy can`t cure) 🙂

    • Thank you Veronica! Sometimes I look in at my son when he’s napping to see the traces of little boy in his face. Then he wakes up and towers over me. I still have the upper hand, however, as he’s a sucker for baked goods.

  4. whimsygizmo says:

    You have coined a brilliant, brilliant phrase. Fantastic. And I LOVE this:
    “It’s not that we care so much about the grades. We care about him caring.”
    That’s.it.exactly.

  5. Anne Kimball says:

    Oh Jeannine, how much do I love this? As a Mom to SIX teens, I know exactly what you’re talking about. In fact, my oldest is soon to become a genius in community college. He’s a senior and HAS NOT YET APPLIED TO ONE COLLEGE! Breathe and let go, right? And drink heavily.

    Thanks so much for linking this up with the TALU, you made my day.

  6. findingninee says:

    I love, love, love this! My son is only three, so thankfully, I still get the awesome snuggle time. BUT, my husband’s daughter lived with us from the 14-18 years old. She could be the biggest horror in the world without saying a single word!
    So glad I found your blog via TALU – I’ll be back (you’re bookmarked now!)

  7. I don’t have any kids to have to go through this with, but I can definitely still hear my Mom slamming those kitchen cabinets to get our attention! Like they say, this too shall pass – at least you can (kind of) laugh at it while it’s still going on. 😉 [#TALU]

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