Thursday, August 7, 2014

Parenting a Teenager- Is there an app for that??

My oldest son turned 15 in June.  I blinked and he was no longer my "talk a mile a minute" 7 year old.  The kid who asked a million questions per day was no longer saying much of anything.  I was now the one asking a million questions, just trying to get an answer that involved more than one syllable.  But, through all of the moods, slammed doors, exasperated sighs (because Eric and I obviously don't understand him), I've always seen my son in there.  My funny, silly, thoughtful, loyal, kind Aidan.  That has never changed.
Aidan has always made friends easily.  When he was three he met his first best friend, Jewel, at preschool.  Jewel wouldn't talk to anyone there. Anyone, except Aidan.  At dinner every night, we heard about Jewel and how much Aidan loved her and wanted to help her "not be so shy."  They were best friends for a long time.  He could be himself with Jewel and she could be herself too. You can see that in all the pictures of them together through their growing up years.
  Over the years, Jewel came out of her shell and Aidan supported her every step of the way.  Now that they are teenagers, they aren't close like they used to be.  That's OK, because they will always remember their first best friend.

Aidan's current best friend has been his best friend for 5 years.  Their friendship even lasted through nearly two years of Aidan living in California and Noah living in Missouri.  These two boys are just the right amount of crazy and I love them.
I think the hardest part of Aidan growing up and becoming his own person is knowing when to let him handle things his own way.  Because, I am always right, you see.  I know what is best for him.  I want to tell him exactly what to do to keep his school stuff organized, what he should eat and drink (it's NOT Dr. Pepper and Sour Patch Kids, by the way), how he should handle kids who are rude or mean to him.  It's an instinct for mothers.  I know I've overstepped a couple of times and Aidan has not been happy with me for doing so.  I try to explain to him that I can't help it when Mama Bear comes out.  "You need to put Mama Bear away," he says, " I can handle it."  So, I'm trying.  I know if he needs us, he will ask.
So, I guess I don't really need an app.  I just need patience and to trust that he will know what to do and how to handle it.  When he says, "Girl, I got this,"  I need to listen to him.

Except when we are driving.  When we are driving, I get to tell him what to do.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Totalitarian Times at the Nail Salon (or BEWARE the Nail Nazis)

Ladies, if you haven't been into a nail salon recently, heed my advice and DON'T GO!  At the very least, take a buddy.  Go in with a plan and stick to it.  The women who run these salons put most used car salesmen to shame.  Their high pressure sales technique is impressive and more than a little disconcerting.  I consider myself a bit of a hard ass and even I was wheedled into more nail than I needed or wanted.

If you've ever had the gel nail polish, you know how hard it is to get that crap off your nails.  It won't chip, crack or peel for weeks (that's the plus) but then you have to turn into some sick version of Wolverine to get it off your nails.  Seriously NOT worth it.  It also peels off your real nail in the process.  The nail nazis won't tell you this though.  You can ask, "Won't this be difficult to take off?"  "You come back.  REAL easy.  You look so pretty!"  Yeah, don't even try.

Despite knowing all of this, I went ahead and got the damn gel on my nails for a wedding a few weeks ago.  My best friend Mary and I went together and got our manicure for the wedding. Two-ish weeks later we went back to get it off.  We agreed we would only get the gel off.  We would not get another manicure.  Here's the playback (condensed version):

Nail Nazi:  You need new gel manicure?
Us:  No, we would just like to get the gel taken off.
NN:  You no like the gel?
Us:  We just did it for a special occasion, a wedding.
NN:  Oh (head hanging as if we have totally ruined her whole day), well you just get plain manicure then.
Me:  No, I just want the gel off, thanks.
Mary:  Ok, I'll just do a coat of clear on there.

NOOO, Mary did not stick to the plan.  She may be my BFF but she has failed as my nail wing-man.  WTF, Mare?

Off we go to get the gel off.  Imagine sand papering your nails, then covering them in acetone soaked cotton and wrapping them in aluminum foil.  Then, you sit for 15 minutes while the poison soaks in there and softens the apocalyptic proof gel.
I give Mary the eye, because she totally caved.  The the nail nazi, sensing that she needs to get me to cave as well, starts in.

NN:  Why you no like the gel?
Me:  It messes up my real nails.
NN:  Well, you need regular manicure.  You get this kind, it's easier to take off than the gel.
Me:  I can take it off like regular polish?
NN:  Yes.
Me:  (Sighing)  Fine, I'll do a basic manicure with that polish.  (MAN DOWN!  MAN DOWN!)
NN:  You want a flower?
Me: NO!!!! (I don't want a damn flower)

My nail nazi isn't nice while she's scraping off the gel.  She keeps pushing my other fingers down as if she wishes she could just cut them the hell off and get them out of her way.  Then, she looks at me and says, "You need eyebrows done too?"  Bitch, please!  I'm still growing out my eyebrows from the last time I got them waxed (18 months ago).  "No, I'm good, thanks."  So done with this!

Mary's nail nazi actually makes her bleed.  I'll leave it at that.

When we go to leave my nail nazi  informs me that this polish cost "a little more" than the regular polish and it is another $5 b/c we had them take the gel off.  That right there is what my Grandpa Joslin would have called a racket.
Shell-shocked, Mary and I leave the nail chamber of death and head to the van and then to Target. Because we know how to have fun.  We are fun gals.  While in Target:

Me:  My nails are still all tacky and I sat there for like an extra 15 minutes.
Mare:  This isn't even a good manicure.  Look at my nails.
Me:  We suck at going to the nail place.
Mare:  I caved at the front desk.
Me: Yes, you did.  I caved in the back.  We are no longer allowed to go to the nail salon.