Today was a long day and I've been exhausted. That's probably what happens after getting only a few hours' sleep and eating WAY too much sugar today. I would like to sleep and sleep and sleep. Sadly, that's not really an option right now. I probably should've stayed home this evening to get some things done, but Bestie #2 invited us over for dinner, so The Teenager and I went over there for the evening. (Honey is on a business trip this week.)
The food was excellent, as usual, and this evening we had decent weather and so we were able to take the dogs on a short walk, which was also pleasant. Afterwards we decided to paint, which is how I ended up with today's creative endeavor. At least I could get the brush to cooperate a bit more than the past two nights.
As we were wrapping up the evening, I said that I needed to get home because I had to get up early for work. Apparently both My Baby and The Teenager thought that I said "we" instead of "I" and because they both like to be obnoxious they gave me grief about "always" messing up my sentences. After trying to counter that once or twice, I let it go. Or at least let it go around the two of them. They know my big complaint is that they don't listen to half of what I say. It's teenager behavior, I know, and so I am trying not to let it bother me too much.
But I was a teacher -- and an (occasional) English teacher at that! -- so getting grief about my use of language really bothers me. It's yet another practice in patience, which seems to be the virtue that one needs in abundance if one is to raise a teen. The Teenager gets passionate -- and passionately upset -- about many things, and I have learned that if something bothers him he lashes out at whatever is close. I understand that because he is basically a more extreme version of me, at least in this regard. I also know that he does not like to be teased or made to do things he doesn't want to do (what teenager does?) and he gets very cranky when tired, so it was no surprise when he lashed out at everyone in the room, saying that we all made him angry. I can kind of gauge his moods and know what to expect and, for the most part, I've learned not to take it too personally.
When we arrived home I said that I think he hurt Bestie #2's feelings and he said he would apologize but he still gets upset at the way he is treated. I asked about more specifics, to which he replied he didn't like the way he was perceived. When I said that I respected and loved him as my Teenager and as an intelligent young man, that didn't seem to satisfy him but he would not say what bothered him.
This is why I end up spending sleepless nights. I toss and turn and wonder what I need to do in order to help improve the situation. Perhaps there's not much to do. After all, I have little control over how he assumes I perceive him. And on the days when he is well rested, he has a good mood and know that I love him and treat him with respect. He is happy.
So I have no idea how much I should read into this behavior. Is he just being his normal teenage cranky self? Or do I need to change something? Or do I just let it go?
I have been working on understanding and accepting my responsibilities lately. This is a big change from my take-on-the-world-and-its-problems habit and I believe that it's a change for the better. I feel confident in my abilities in all but this one big area: raising a teenager.
I guess that's what being a parent is all about: confusion, self-doubt, marked with the occasional success or happy memory. I just have to keep reminding myself that teens do improve once they exit the sophomore stage. Hopefully we're getting close to that improvement. I could really use a break!