Mom of Teen Daughter Seeks Advice

This week I am preparing to go to 3 Open Houses next week. 1 at the elementary school where BC II is entering the 3rd grade, or as any of you who are in the know would say, Big Kid Elementary School (Caps denote the somberness that must be applied to this statement-just ask him). No more recess 3 days a week, it’ll be 2 days but I promise that makes a difference, and honestly I wish they had recess 5 days a week all through elementary school, but no one asked me for a vote. We will go to Open House all bright eyed with the thrill of being a “big kid” firmly implanted in our brains. 1 Open House will be at the middle school as BC I is starting the 6th grade. (Have I mentioned how terrified I am of this?) I have the packets of information regarding what SPD is, reference book lists (with the mention that I own several of them and would loan them to any teacher would wanted to borrow them), his IEP, his medication list with side effects to watch for, and contact info for therapists, psychiatrists, and last year’s school councilor ready to print out. This year I am making 8 copies, since he will have 6 instead of 2 or 3 teachers. We will go to that one with me still faking enthusiasm and confidence, still building up how cool it will be to have lots of teachers, make lots of friends, and have your very own locker (he is most excited about having a place to put his stuff that no one else can even look at, much less touch), and BC I with sparkles in his eyes over finally not being in elementary school where everyone is “so immature”. See why I’m scared? On the same night I go to the Open House for the elementary school I will somehow also go to the one at the high school. (You see, the public school system, having absolute faith in my abilities as a superhero who can time travel, has double booked me that night) I hate it when this happens, and it happens all the time. Just another thing about this time of year, right? I mean, if I were planning an open house at any school in a public school system, I would make sure that the night I picked wasn’t already picked by any feeder schools nor any school that my school was a feeder school to. I mean, there are 3 high schools, for our part of the district, 4 middle schools, and about 7 elementary schools. Wouldn’t it make since to have say Monday and Tuesday nights are all elementary school open houses, Wednesday night be middle school open houses and Thursday night for the high schools? In my area, at least, you can’t have 2 kids at 2 different elem/middle/high schools in the same family, so wouldn’t this solve the issue? But I digress, that wasn’t even what I wanted to write about (sorry I did warn everyone I hate this time of year, I promise to return to sunny optimism and the like soon).

My question is, when I go to the high school Open House (time machine or no) my daughter, who is 14 will cling to my side, insisting that I stay within her sights (while she talks with her friends) and continue to call me Mommy. Right in front of anyone who happens to be around. Now, it’s not that I can’t be called Mommy ( I’m pretty well acquainted with the title at this point), my concern is that when I was going into high school as a freshman I would have actually died before I called my mom Mommy. Anywhere, in private or in public. Now, I’m from the south, we call our dads Daddy for way longer than is normal anywhere else in the country it seems (guys too, it’s not a girl thing). But Mommy? No most of us have been calling her Mom, Mama, or Mother since about the 2nd grade. In fact GC is the only one of my kids still calling me Mommy. This probably sounds like the most insane thing to be worried about, but well, I’m a Mom, I’m supposed to be worried about insane things right? And I am concerned about a pattern I am seeing.

In addition to calling me Mommy, my child (whose first phrase at the age of 1 1/2 was “get offa me” when I tried to hug her goodbye at daycare drop off, I was interfering with her getting to her friends to play with them) constantly wants to sit right next to me (you know in that share your skin way that they usually do at about age 2 to say 5ish?) something she wasn’t interested in prior to this year. She constantly wants to “hang out” with me, if I have a friend around she wants to hang out with us, getting upset when I nudge her off to do her own thing. This all seems so strange to me. When I was 14 I would have counted the ridges in the popcorn ceiling in my bedroom before I voluntarily “hung out” with my mother. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind that we spend time together, I encourage it. But it’s as though she has decided we should be friends. I am not sure where she got this idea. We do have fun together, but I have never (at least intentionally) given the impression that I was her friend. Mom, nurse, chaperone, chauffeur, costume/wardrobe designer, chef, groundskeeper, disciplinarian, teacher, yes to all of those; but friend? No. I actually went so far as to tell her a few weeks ago, that while I look forward to being friends with her when she is in her twenties, I am not desirous to be friends with any 14-year-old, no matter how much I love said 14-year-old. She acted as though I had kicked her puppy (or maybe her). I know that it’s a thing now, parents who befriend their children, but I don’t think it’s right. She should have friends her age, I should be her mom, that’s how I have always believed. I have been raising this once independent girl for 14 years, I don’t consider myself done, and suddenly she has changed (in addition to the crazy hormonal changes that I had at least steeled myself for), she still seems very sure of herself and confident, but at the same time constantly wants Mommy around, like physically right there. I wonder is this a normal part of adolescence, that I myself skipped?

 I do want her to talk to me, to continue to tell be about her friends, her day, boys she likes, things she is considering doing with those boys. Maybe I would feel more normal if she didn’t volunteer all of those things, if I had to ask in that pulling teeth way I have to get information from BC I. I just don’t want to be her friend; I want to listen, help her learn to make good choices, guide her when she needs it(you know, be the Mom of the teenager). What should I do to encourage the continued sharing without encouraging this my mom is my friend thing? I would welcome any advice any of you have. Thanks & I hope you are all enjoying the last few weeks of summer.


One Pot Chicken Fredo Cheat

As the name implies, this is not a recipe for Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo. It is however really easy and one uses 1 cooking pot. This is a great weeknight meal (or in our case it was Mother’s Day & Mama didn’t want to spend the day cooking) because it’s quick, fairly nutritious, easy (make & clean up), and very kid-friendly. A personal side benefit for me? This particular recipe leaves exactly 1 lunch portion for me to take with me to work later in the week & is just as good reheated. It should be noted that while I put broccoli in this dish, you can put most any frozen veggie in it, broccoli just holds up texture wise (super important to kids with SPD & it seems most kids in general). If you have anyone in your house doing the whole “I only eat things that are white” diet (if you’ve ever eaten with a 2-5 year old you probably know the faze I’m referring to) you can use frozen cauliflower & it’s still pretty good. We ate our with a side salad, just to up the veggie content, but you can eat this completely on its own.


You will need:

  • About 3 cups of medium egg noodles (you can also use Wacky Mac here if you would prefer, but this is a recipe where I do not recommend substituting wheat pasta, that whole texture thing gets messed up then)
  • 2 large boneless, skinless Chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces (don’t worry about them looking pretty , they will kinda disappear in the pasta, just get them close to uniform size for cooking more evenly)
  • 1 medium sized bag of frozen broccoli
  • 3 Tlbs of powdered garlic (no garlic press in the hotel 😦 )
  • 1 Tbls onion powder (Powder helps make this the picky texture kid friendly dish it is & then I don’t have to mince onions)
  • 2 dashes of salt
  • 2 cans reduced sodium/fat cream of chicken
  • 1/4 stick margarine
  • Skim milk (or whatever milk you keep at your house)
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Large cooking pot with a lid

    Put just enough Olive oil in pot to coat bottom. Add garlic, onion, and 1 dash of salt to oil as it heats. Before your oil starts to burn your seasoning, add chicken. Cook, stirring constantly, until chicken is white but done all the way through. Place cooked chicken on a plate for a little bit.

    In the same pot, add egg noodles and enough water to cover the egg noodles. Add the other dash of salt, and about a tablespoon of olive oil, bring to a boil. Boil until noodles are done, then drain. Reduce heat on stove to low.

    Return chicken to the pot. Add cream of chicken and margarine. Stir until margarine melts, then raise heat to medium and add milk at about 1/4  cup increments at a time until sauce looks like, well, sauce. This sauce should be a little thin and white in color at this point. (If you add too much milk, just let it cook a little longer to thicken)

    Once sauce starts to bubble add entire bag broccoli and fold it in. Place lid (vented slightly) on top, and reduce heat back to low. Let      simmer about 3 to 5 minutes, then stir. If broccoli is heated through and sauce looks slightly thicker, it’s done! Turn off the stove and serve! If not, put the lid back on and give it another 3 to 5 minutes. I have never seen this take longer than 10 minutes, but that will depend on your “eyeballing” the milk earlier.