"You're ridiculous!!!!", my 14 year old daughter sneered at me. "Why are you SO over protective??"
"Hand it to me."
"NO! I don't see why I have to!!"
She is fourteen years old, she probably didn't see the reasoning behind my demand she turn over her cell phone. But it's my job to teach her.
"If you don't hand it to me, you're going to lose it for longer than two days."
"Trust me, I mean it. Give it to me."
"Fine, you've lost it for a week now."
"FINE!", she bellowed at me as she thrust the phone into my hand. "But can I have it back on Friday?? I'm gonna hang out with Emma!"
"No, you may not."
"Because that's not a week. That's only 3 days."
And with that she went through the door after me and slammed it as hard as she could.
"WHY ARE YOU SO OVER PROTECTIVE?? I DON'T UNDERSTAND!!"
It was then I used a tried and true Mom Favorite. "Go to your room and stay there."
I'd just spent a frantic time driving through our ever-darkening neighborhood searching for her and her friend. She hadn't called me when she met up with her girlfriend at the corner and she wasn't answering calls or texts. I'd made her promise before she left that she would call me. She didn't.
I'd been in the kitchen about to mix up Christmas sugar cookies. As I lay out the butter, flour and sugar, I kept calling her. No answer. Why isn't she answering her phone? Where is she?
After what seemed like an eternity as I drove through the dusk, my cell phone rang.
"I'm sorry mommy! I didn't hear my phone in my coat. We're at the school but we're coming home now."
"You are in trouble. I'll be right there."
"No, mom we can walk."
"I'm nearly there right now."
Heavy sigh. "Oh all right."
It's a small thing, right? Not keeping her promise to call me. She forgot, I get it. She's mad because she said she won't forget next time. I'm hoping the sting of losing her phone for an entire week will make an indelible impression and make sure she won't forget next time.
"You are the worst mom ever!"
Sometimes that might be true. I don't know. I don't have a Users Guide for Teenagers. I hope that one day when she has a fourteen year old, she'll remember me being 'ridiculous' and 'over protective' and finally understand that it would be much easier on me to have given in and not taken her cell phone. Then I wouldn't have to put up with her surly demeanor for a week.
Never give up, never give in.