The Teenage Blame Contortionist
It’s ALL Mom’s Fault
My thirteen year old, Gannan, is a blame contortionist. Lately when something isn’t right, no matter his actions, no matter his mistakes, he very adeptly twists, turns and wrings it into something that I did wrong. Take last night for instance, he was hungry. (Not an unusual occurrence. Teenage boys’ stomachs are colossal chasms.)
Gannan: What can I eat mom?
Me: Well there’s goulash left over. There’s potato salad, pasta salad, chips, strawberries….
My voice trails off as Gannan’s entire being begins to protest my food list. He begins with a gigantic eye roll. This is followed by a body wave meant to indicate his disgust. It starts at his knees. They contort into crooked angles and knock together in a haphazard way. He then bends at the waist and pitches his arms out in front of him. It ends as he stands up straight and places his hands in his long shaggy hair, tugging a little.
Gannan: UUHH! There is NEVER anything in this house to eat. Why don’t you shop better? (Mom’s fault- number one for those keeping score.)
Me: Gannan I won’t be insulted. Please go and quietly get your food or go to your room. Your choice.
I listen intently as his feet pad down the hall. I hear the clanking of jars as the refrigerator door opens. Heavy sighs permeate the silence as he makes the all important what-to-eat-decision. All of a sudden fast feet pad back down the hall.
Gannan: There are Pizza Hut bread sticks in there!
Me: Yes. What’s the matter with that?
Gannan: NOTHING! I love those. Why didn’t you TELL me we had bread sticks??? (Mom’s fault-number two. Put it on your score card.)
This time he happily rushes down the hall. Jars in the refrigerator clang louder as the door is opened with great gusto. I hear the whisper of the miniature pizza box that holds the breadsticks as it slides off of the fridge’s shelf. A pause in the sound….and then….an exasperated “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!”
Feet pound down the hall back towards me.
Gannan: Where’s the little cup of sauce?
Me: There wasn’t any left to take home.
Gannan: (Another body wave of disgust…see above, and then cue the whining.) Why does this always happen to me? Why didn’t you ask the waitress for more? (Mom’s fault-number three. Oh but there’s more!)
His feet pummel the hall floor. A plate is yanked from its comfortable spot in the cupboard and the microwave door slams. I get more comfortable in my chair, hoping that the sustenance scene has played itself out.
Losing my vigilance too soon, a hungry, ornery Gannan somehow shows up in the doorway; plate in hand, bottom lip drooping, eyes squished to slits, clearly out of his mind.
Gannan: Why did you tell me to put blue cheese on these? They’re RUINED! (Mom’s fault-number four!)
Me: (Stifling a snort.) What are you talking about Gannan? I never told you to…
Not wanting to hear what I have to say lest it proves his ranting wrong, Gannan cuts me off.
Gannan: This is just a waste of food. I’m not eating this. I’m going to my room where I’ll starve to death and THEN you’ll be sorry! (Mom’s fault-number five!)
Me: I might not be sorry Gan….
Gannan: Ha ha! Funny mom. This wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for you. It’s ALL YOUR FAULT!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Logan has lived in Glens Falls, NY all her life. By day, she is an educator with 20 years experience, a mom to Aidan and Gannan, her two teenage boys, a new mommy to a beautiful daughter, Ila, and wife to the love of her life, Jeffrey. By night, weekends and any spare time she can find, Logan writes. She loves memoir and also adores writing essays about the challenges of parenthood. This year she started a parenting blog called A Muddled Mother, an honest place where mothers aren’t afraid to speak of the complications and difficulties that we all inevitably experience. Logan has been published in various children’s and parenting magazines including Today’s Motherhood, Eye on Education, Faces, and Appleseed.