Sunday, November 6, 2011

On Teenagers and Hermit Crabs

MLyons came home from the beach this August with hermit crabs and astoundingly they had been doing fairly well.  Occasionally someone would remember to be sure that their sponges had enough water and someone might remember to feed them and often enough it was MLyons.  At some point the cage got moved out of the kitchen and into MLyon's room.  I didn't move it.  I don't know if MLyons did, or if Tim did or if Tim's personal assistant (who spends two days at our house) did it.  I noticed the move, and was worried but I remember to check on them once in a while and they seemed okay.  About 2 weeks ago I noticed the cage was missing.  I meant to ask but the kids were at school.  This evening K asked me to proof read a paper for her and it probably wasn't the best night, I'm fighting a cold, I'm PMSing, it is bed time.  I asked where the hermit crabs were.  In the hallway, they kept waking her up.
me: How long?
K: I don't know.
me: Great - so you stuck them out there to starve to death?

Yes I said that.

I checked on said hermit crabs.  One had crawled completely out of its shell and dried up, a little petrified hermit crab.  The other hadn't left the shell.  Both are dead.

I stormed into my daughter's room.  She was in the bathroom so I stormed in there.  I meet attitude.  This pushes me in the wrong direction.

"I am livid.  I am livid that you - because of  your selfishness - something that was living is dead.  Yes, inconsequential as a hermit crab may be, they were alive and now they are dead."

Yes.  I said that.

To the girl who 45 minutes ago was so angry with her 5 year old sister for clogging up a dime store perfume bottle with a starburst.

And O.M.G.  Did I really just do that?  That was so me, acting like my mom.  I know my daughter and I know that she is a sweet and sensitive girl who is most likely upset about the situation - and yes it is her fault but I just had a full blown bitch session because she didn't give me the emotional reaction that I thought the situation warranted.  So because she isn't wracked with guilt I've got to *make her feel guilty*?

I remember that from my own teenager years, that when forced into a corner I had an amazing ability to feign indifference because sure I was upset, but not because my mother tried to make me upset, but because I was a normal human being with normal emotions.  But now that my mom had made it about her, no way in hell was I going to admit that I was upset.

So back into my daughter's room I go.

Me; I am sorry.  I am upset that you didn't put them back in the kitchen or someplace where we could have taken care of them.  But I remember being a teenager and even if I was upset once my mother decided to act the way I just acted it became important not to show my emotions.  I know you are a decent kid and you probably feel badly about the situation.  I know that once I freaked out on you that you couldn't show that you felt bad because then it became about my freak out session not about the hermit crabs.  So I'm sorry.

K: Your remember that from being a teenager?

Me: yeah.

I need a drink.

1 comment:

FoxyMoron said...

You handled that really well. I'm sorry the crabs are dead.