My Middle School Child Is Making My Life A Living Hell

My Middle Schooler Is Making My Life A Living Hell

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Courtesy of Katie Smith

I have two kiddos in high school, so I’m not new to this teenage shit show, but can we talk about how stressful this is? Oh, and newsflash, it doesn’t get easier just because you have been through it before, folks. I hate to deliver bad news, but I like to keep it real. Also, I need to talk to somebody about it. Somebody. ANYBODY.

I had no idea I could be so damn offensive until I had a middle school-aged child. Apparently, everything I do these days is grounds for storming off or telling me how “cringey” I am. (When the fuck did cringey become a word, anyway)?

Courtesy of Katie Smith

This includes but is not limited to asking him if he packed his lunch, wants to go out for ice cream with me, or if he thinks he might want to attend the school dance. 

My middle school student is still holding onto qualities he had when he was three yet feels he’s big enough to be the boss of me. The two don’t mix really well and he’s making my life really hard. Also, your toddlers tantrums have nothing on a tweenager tantrum. Prepare yourself and don’t be afraid to reach out to friends asking them to bring Advil or wine. It helps.

I had no idea I could be so damn offensive I could be until I had a middle school-aged child. Apparently, everything I do these days is grounds for storming off or telling me how “cringey” I am.

He’s pretty quiet these days. By that I mean he ignores me at every turn. Except for when he wants to buy something to make his video game career top-notch. Or when he decides to tell me how annoying I am by blasting his favorite song and dancing.

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Apparently, he’s allowed to listen to it so loud the neighbors can hear the beat through his ear buds, but if I turn it on and show him my moves as a way to bond with him, I’m the most annoying creature that’s ever walked the land.

They know me by name at the grocery store because tweens can put away food, let me tell you. My son often resembles an aardvark dining on an ant feast as soon as I walk in the house with the dozen bags of groceries I bring home every week. However, he likes to point out we never have any food. I’ve reminded him a few times that it’s because he’s eaten it all before it gets put away, but he hasn’t put two and two together yet. 

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He owns about five hoodies that get worn yet never land in the laundry to get clean and apparently this is my fault too. Every morning he scurries around looking for a clean one and ignores the pile of dirty sweatshirts collecting dust behind his door. 

In order to crack into his life, I have to ask lots of questions, which is a recipe to get blown off big time. But when you are the parent of a child going through the middle school years, it’s the only way to get any information. Honestly, even then they don’t give up much except for the fact they don’t know anything.   

Me: “Did you have a good day?”

Middle schooler: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Do you have homework?” 

Courtesy of Katie Smith

Middle schooler: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Did you turn in your math project we worked on last night that I handed you right before school and reminded you to turn in?”

Middle schooler: “I don’t know.”

Me: “What do you want for dinner?”

Middle schooler: “I don’t know.”

Oh, but he does know this one. As soon as I serve his favorite meal, he lets me know he doesn’t want to eat “that garbage,” pouts for a while, and then asks if we can get fast food and is always surprised my answer in no. 

My middle school student is still holding onto qualities he had when he was three yet feels he’s big enough to be the boss of me.

And can we talk about what master manipulators middle schoolers think they are? You ask them if their chores are done as they are deep in a screen and they will lie to your face even if you are standing next to the overflowing trash they were supposed to take out. 

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They have no problem telling you they are getting up, or are coming downstairs when they have no intention of doing so. 

As soon as you lay into them about it or take away their prized iPad, they flop around, they say they are sorry (in the most smart-ass way possible), and make as many false promises as they can come up with.

Hugging, kissing, encouraging pats, and any other kind of affection (or breathing too close to them), send them running for the hills. Just when I think my son isn’t ever going to peel himself from the sofa, I reach out to rub his head and he practically gives himself whiplash moving out of the way. 

I get that middle school is hard on the kids, but let’s face it. It’s tough on the parents. I vote we start a support group for all of us called, “Let’s get through this middle school shit together.” I’m thinking we should all get matching hoodies too. Who’s in?