My 10 and 11 year old children have entered a new phase of life. I guess people call it Tween. I call it infuriating. Nothing is right anymore, especially not me.

I am wrong.

I don’t know what kind of party a friend is holding.
“It’s NOT a pool party, mom.”
“Well it says right here on the invite to bring a bathing suit.”

I don’t know that spray sunscreen is easier.
“Why did you buy this kind? It’s awful to put on.”
“I heard spray sunscreen is bad for you and it doesn’t last as long.”
“That’s stupid.”

I for sure don’t know what time things are open.
“We’ll leave at 1pm.”
“Why?! The pool opens at 9am.”
“No it doesn’t.”
“Yes it does.”
“No, actually it doesn’t”
“I’m googling it…Oh it opens at 1:15, so let’s go later.”
“…”

I am mean.
“Can I buy ?”
“Do you have the money?”
“Are you kidding me? You never get me

So it isn’t any wonder that just yesterday as I pulled in the driveway while one of them was berating me on my stupidity, that I stopped the car and started banging my hands on the steering wheel and screaming “Stop it! Stop it! I really really can’t stand it anymore. You never stop telling me how dumb I am and you never stop asking me to buy you things you absolutely don’t need.”

There was silence and then one said, “sorry.” and other cried those silent tears that make me feel indescribably sad. I’d scared them. So I said, “sorry” too. But I wasn’t that sorry. I just wanted it to end and being calm, cool, and collected wasn’t working.

I wanted to be that kind of parent my dad was when he would reach behind him as he was driving down the highway towards the ferry that took us to Shelter Island slapping madly at our knees.

I wanted to be the kind of parent my mom was when she would tell us to stop it through clenched teeth and we knew she meant it.

But I’ve chosen to be the parent that helps them see why it doesn’t make sense and isn’t very kind to put down the woman who loves you dearly and does everything in her power to be respectful regardless of a person’s age.