Friday, July 20, 2018


I have lost my mind.

I was quite confident I had it, knew where it was, used it on a regular basis. But at this juncture in my life, our household consensus is comprised of three teenage girls. Majority rules -- whoever made up that saying obviously lost their mind as well --  and therefore this mama's brainpower is worth diddly squat.

I don't know how to choose appropriate clothing  anymore, because anything I suggest on Target shopping trips is OH-MY-GOSH-THE-UGLIEST-THING-EVER. Bathing suits, shorts, tops, dresses. Doesn't matter. I can't pick 'em like I used to, I guess. 

My ability to maneuver a grocery store is also shot. We NEVER have anything in the house to eat. I could even drag them with me, bribing them with a trip to the Starbucks counter at Kroger. They get to pick out what they want from every section, just so I'll be sure I didn't miss something on the list. No matter. The next day as lunch time comes around, I hear the haunting phrase, "we have NOTHING to eat in this house." Wow, I must have forgotten to lock the doors as well, because obviously the homeless people down the street have found their way in and raided our pantry. Hate that.

With my remaining brain power -- remember, I am dumb as a door knob -- I'm going to form a support group called TMI, which will stand for Teen Moms Incompetent. We'll meet once a week to share stories of how our teen sons and daughters are pointing out our deficiencies with brutal honesty -- what we often call tough love. Others who have survived temporary mind loss will be there to show us the way and remind us that in most cases, teen mom brains find their way home.

Here's how I envision a meeting going.
TMI member 1: Yesterday I picked up my daughter from cheer and she hugged everyone on the sidewalk before getting in my car. They all waved and smiled. One even made eye contact and said bye to me personally!
Other moms: Awwww!
TMI member 1: Right? So I'm thinking, yay! She had a great day and she's going to tell me all about it in the car. This is going to be such a happy moment! Then she gets in the car, straps on her seatbelt, and I said, "So looks like you had a great day!" Immediately, her face contorts and she asks me if I'm kidding. Didn't I see  how Amy (not her real name) gave her a dirty look and Morgan didn't wave goodbye, she just stood there? It was a horrible day. So I asked her what happened and she says, "Nothing." She gets on her phone and starts typing away about something. But it was nothing.
TMI member 2: Hi my name is Janice and I'm a TMI survivor.
TMI group: Hi Janice.
TMI member 2: Ma'am, I understand your plight. Unfortunately, teenagers have a type of x-ray vision that allows them to see, or appear to see, things that adults cannot conceive. The best thing to do is to practice nodding and saying, "Oh, that's too bad." Don't ever make the mistake of saying, "I understand," because that will set off a series of triggers in the teenage brain that could cause a lengthy argument.

At this point the group practices nodding and saying, "Oh, that's too bad." Practice as a group, then with a partner.

TMI member 3: Hi I'm Pam.
TMI group: Hi Pam.
TMI member 3: I'd just like to share something about my daughter that's been happening recently. She and I have a show we watch together every night after our family dinner. She helps me clean up and then before I know it, she's calling me to the living room and saves a seat for me on the couch. I just love this time together!
Me: How old is your dear angel?
TMI member 3: She's 10.
TMI group groans, giggles, whispers.
Me: Hon, you're looking for the Tween Moms group. They're at the church across the street.
TMI member 3 apologizes, quickly gathers her purse and scurries for the door. One mom hollers, "We'll see you in a few years!"

TMI alumni member: Ladies, remember that in most cases your mind WILL return to normal. Your teenagers will not be teenagers forever and they will eventually regain their memories of the things we do for them. In many cases, they will start to call you every day, ask you to visit them as adults and even come back to live in our hometown so they can be close to you. Until then, you should decrease all verbal reasoning tactics with your teens and  increase your wine intake.

Thank God for my alumni members who share these nuggets of survival. Yesterday a friend was in the office with her grown daughter. Her daughter confirmed what my friend said: They do come back to you, sometimes they even apologize for the way they acted, and they might even become your friend.

In the meantime, if you're the mom who hasn't yet lost her mind, who doesn't have an eye-roller, a huffer or a complainer just hold on to that little nugget of love for a while. If I hear your anecdote on the wrong day, I might request you for a group transfer.