Terrible 9’s – Is that a thing?

Brooke is one of the loves of my life, and I am endlessly proud of her, but sometimes I just can’t handle her! This causes me endless amounts of guilt and fear for the teen years to come.  She has such an attitude at times and she is not even in the double digits yet! How am I going to survive?


Let tell you about a major meltdown I experienced with my daughter this week.  Before I even start the story, I will tell you through the whole episode I was thinking of the cartoon show, The Animaniacs and the clip, “LIttle Lady Katie Goes Ka-Boom!”  I just wanted to make sure you all have the proper image going into this story.


Every morning starts the same, my son RIcky comes into my room at 5:20 and wakes me up.  He likes to be up, dressed, and ready to go by 6am so he can have a half hour of “relaxing time” playing his nintendo switch.  


I get up, and lay out one outfit for Ricky, and 3 options for Brooke.  She needs me to lay out 3 options so she can choose what will work the best that day.  The most irritating part of her 3 outfit options, is that she will rarely choose any of the combinations laid out in front of her.  Also, the really hard part of this, as someone who prefers both terms fashion victim and ensemble-y challenged, I have loved that about her.  I love she is her own person and has such style and cares so much about how she is put together before she walks out of the house. Please don’t misunderstand, I am not trying to raise a vain little monster, but I think we always want our children to be better than us, and maybe I am just speaking for myself here, also I we want our kids to specifically be better were we failed.  


Again, maybe that is just me and my therapist and I will have a lot to talk about next week after she reads this.


SO, on a typical morning Brooke will use my options as a jumping off point to start her ultimate runway/hallway ready outfit to dazzle her classmates with.  I run down stairs to make dinner and lunch and breakfast all in 30 minutes. After all meals are completed, breakfast is on the table, lunches are in the backpacks, and dinner is either wrapped in the fridge for Rick to heat up when he gets home or simmering away in the crockpot, I try to give myself a sniff test to see if dinner permeated my skin and if I need a shower, or deodorant, perfume, and dry shampoo will do the trick.  Typically the latter wins out, don’t stand too close friends!


This particular morning, Brooke had dance after school and needed a very elaborate bun in her hair.  I had just finished the meal prep and I was dressed, but I wanted a minute in the bathroom to do whatever I needed to do in there before getting her hair done.  Brooke was NOT having it. She started crying and having a 3 year old style meltdown. She was yelling that I didn’t love her, and she was going to look ugly for school, and she wouldn’t be able to go to dance with a messy bun.


Okay, aside from the Lady Katie clip playing in my head, I am also just thinking you little ungrateful witch with a B.  Truth be told, I think of the word Bitch, but it just feels so much harsher typing it out then when I was in the moment and I know some of you are probably judging me for all of this but I don’t know how I will handle being judged for mentally calling my daughter a bitch also… well i just did, three times….so oh well.


Anyway, I grounded her, but that only fueled the meltdown.  I tried calming breathes with her, but she had hulked out and there was no bringing her back down to reality.  It felt crippling. I put her hair in a bun that was deemed acceptable, and got the kids in the car. I told Brooke she was going to bed an hour early that night, and that I know she must be over tired to be speaking to me the way she had.  Her face was red a blotchy and she refused to get out of the car to walk up to the before school program for 10 minutes until her face lost the redness.


We walked into school together, and she gave me a big hug.  She told me she loved me and she was sorry. We had another extra long hug, and then she turned to run by her friends.


I left the school feeling spent for the day.  Now I have to get in my car and go to work??? WTF!  I want to go back to my house, go under the covers, and eat whatever ice cream, cheesecake, or brownies are in my house.  I want to daydream about the time of my life I was in college and only had to worry about myself. But no, and it is truly better that I don’t have that option.  


I love my life.  I love my kids and I need to be strong for Brooke.  I need to not bend to her crazy demands. I can be such a pushover and door mat, that I often celebrate her selfish or conceited tendency because that is where I lack so much.  I realize in these moments I am doing her a disservice. She is her own unique self, and the last thing I need is a Katie KaBoom or She Hulk fucking up the zen of my morning.


So happy Friday, and tonight I am having a glass of wine to toast myself getting through a rough week, and to toast to all my moms out there of she-hulks because we are all in this together!


Colleen Lieberstein

Colleen Lieberstein, Executive Administrative Assistant, is the heartbeat at two award winning and fastest growing companies in the Chicagoland area. She lives in New Lenox with her two energetic kids, and her supportive husband. Colleen loves to read, play with her children, and go on adventures with her family. Exploring new places and eating new foods is the best.