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Monday, October 11, 2010

Date Night with The Trolls -- Or, How I Learned to Love Having Less

The Monkey is going through The God Awful Puberty and is pretty much unbearable to be around most of the time. I know this is not his fault, but rather the fault of the toxic combination of pubescent hormones floating through his little body. Knowledge does not equal power, when living with a little person in the throws of adolescence.

What I wouldn't give to have a fast forward button for this part of his/my life. But since I don't have said fast forward button, I am going to do my damndest to try and use his tween rebellion to impart some life lessons -- like "You can't alpha Momma, so don't even try, but because you're going through God Awful Puberty, you will try anyway, despite my warning, so please try to learn something from this moment."

I know it's going to be a rough couple of years here, while The Monkey tries to reconcile the disparities between Who He Is Now and Who He Is Becoming. Wars will be waged, he will hate me (and I'll wish I lived some place far, far away from pubescent children, like Mars), and I will try to make peace with the monster I created.

To keep me from stowing away on the next NASA mission, I do a little recollecting back to happier times before my mother's curse -- I hope you have five just like you -- manifested itself in my life. One of those happier times is The First Date Night.

I'll spare you the dramatic intro to this story, because it ain't pretty and I don't want to relive it, but suffice it to say there were circumstances in my life that found me a single mother to a toddler and an infant, in the great cold north, with not enough money to turn the heat on, never mind afford any extras. Now there are only so many "arps and craps" (that's a Monkey-ism) projects you can do with a four-year-old boy and humanoid blob with marginal motor skills, and the four-year-old will only be entertained by The Teletubbies for so long before he goes off to grander adventures (read: finds something to break).

In the interest of sparing my pawn-ables from the curious hands of a four-year-old Monkey I came up with the bright idea of date night with The Trolls. After a long, long week working the phones in a customer service department for a candle company -- during the holidays -- I just didn't have the energy to be a "good mom" and attempt to entertain my kids for a night. I also didn't want to be bothered cooking anything remotely healthful... or make anyone brush their teeth. So, I rented a movie, made some popcorn (The Nugget got biter biscuits), and we all cuddled up under our warmest blankets, in our warmest jammies, and chilled. There was a lot of love in the living room that night -- so much that even The Nugget sat still and relished it.

It was good. No, really good. So good, in fact, that the one date night turned into a tradition that has gone on for the last six years.

It always strikes me that if I'd had enough money to turn the heat on, thus had enough money for extras, this lovely tradition of ours wouldn't have been born and, quite possibly, I wouldn't have the bond with The Trolls that makes God Awful Puberty a little less God Awful. Also knowing that I don't have many date nights left with The Trolls -- time has a curious way of flying faster than you want it to -- means Friday nights are sacrosanct for me.

On second thought -- screw the fast forward button.

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