My twelve year old daughter is an amazing person. She is a gifted athlete and a straight A student. Everyone thinks she’s wonderful. They don’t live with her.
We were driving down the road the other day and I lifted my arm to scratch my back. She looked at me and said quietly “MO’ ther”. I wish I could capture the tone in print; it’s a combination of pity, disdain and horror. My other two children call me mommy, but to her I am “MO’ther”, a sad, embarrassing, pathetic specimen of humanity, someone who should never be allowed out into public.
“What?” I asked defensively.
“You need to shave,” she said coldly.
Ever since those first three hairs appeared in her precious little armpit, she has been obssessed with shaving. She shaves daily, sometimes twice if the moon is full. I guess maybe I was like that once, but I certainly am not like that now.
I wanted to look at her and say “listen up sister, I’m MARRIED!! I don’t have to do anything to impress your daddy. I have him. If he wants someone clean shaven, that’s fine, but it’s gonna cost him half of everything to do it! And frankly, I could have ten inches of hair growing out of my nose, but he would STILL be trying to jump me three times a day. So why should I shave???”
I said none of these things. I just smiled at her and kept driving. She continued to moan and complain and suddenly she said “Just Shut Up and Drive.”
A haze of red descended over my vision and I imagined bludgeoning her with my cell phone charger and then driving to the landfill.
“WHAT DID YOU SAY?” I growled.
She looked at me innocently, a tiny smile playing about her mouth and said “Shut Up and Drive.”
“How Dare You Say That to Me????” I said thunderously and I was about to really lay into her when she said “Mom, it’s the name of the song.”
Yeah right, I’m so stupid. Hairy and stupid, that’s me. I punched the button on the radio and sure enough, it was Rihanna’s latest hit. I hate smart ass twelve year olds.
I had to laugh though. She knew exactly what would happen when she said it. I hate to admit it, but she’s sharp.
Fortunately for both of us, I am incredibly thick-skinned. When she turns her head and looks the other way if I acknowledge her in public, I’m ok with it. When she forbids me to walk outside when the bus comes because she doesn’t want any of her friends to know she has a stinky, hairy mother, I’m good. Because at the end of the day, she won’t go to sleep until I come upstairs and kiss her goodnight. I might be hairy, but I still have my uses!