Dr. Jekyll and Miss Hyde

Just the other day I was gushing about how my daughter still loved to cuddle.  She’s kind, sweet, considerate…sugar and spice and everything nice!  Oh, how soon I have forgotten.  This is not my first pass down the teenager track, but it’s been a minute and I’ve had time to recover.  

Picture this, a Saturday morning, sunny, birds chirping, my sweet children glued to their devices, lounging over the couch and chairs in the living room.  Rule one: when on the internet you must be in public view.  In walks, “the mom” groggy, thinking of laundry, dishes, mopping and cleaning and getting my hair done!  Me, “the mom” see this beautiful peaceful picture of my children enjoying their day, Saturday. Well, correction MY DAY, time to clean!  

I go into mommy mode, “Good morning my loves. Are your beds made? Did you bring down your laundry? Are your rooms clean?”  Disturbed by my intrusive questioning, and not responding.  I say it again a little louder, “Good morning my loves. Are your beds made? Did you bring down your laundry? Are your rooms clean?”  In unison, they pull out the ear plugs and mumble something that sounds to me like NO.  

“Do what I’m asking please.”  They turn the electronics off and proceed upstairs, not joyfully either. 

Once rooms are clean breakfast made, bellies full the day goes on. I do some shopping and decide we’ll have pizza tonight.  We love making our own. 

Later in the day it’s time to cook, but I’m busy handling some spill over work for next week.  I’m getting that done and really don’t have time to cook.  

Hey, they are old enough and sometimes do some cooking.  So, I tell them it’s time to cook dinner.  They nod at me as if to say, “Okay, then you’d better get started mom.”  

I say, “Tonight I have a few loose ends to tie up for next week, so guess what? You two will cook.”  They are happy at the prospective, so they jump up and holler, “PIZZA!”  

I’m working downstairs on my computer and I start giving directions. “Kids get out the ingredients, dough, cheese, toppings spoon, bowl for cheese, pizza pan. Carl, preheat the oven.  Candyce get the dough (previously done and refrigerated), roll it out.  Carl grate the cheese.”  

Everyone is bustling around the kitchen.  It looks great and I love it.  Part of me teaching my kids to cook is mise en place (meez ehhn plas) meaning put in place. Prepare all ingredients so that the assembly goes well and you don’t forget anything.  It also encompasses the not so popular, clean as you go concept.   

They hustle doing the jobs I’ve defined. They finish the prep, dishes start to go into the sink and they want to rush back to their games and such. I interrupt and say, “Hey Candyce clean your dishes.”  Ooh that does not go well.  Each time one child was trying to get back to relaxing, I said something else about cleaning the counter, drying the dishes and putting them away. If looks could kill!

Finally, the pizza was cooking in the oven and per my instruction the kitchen was also clean.  

I’m finally done with work.  Put my computer up and join them in a bite to eat.  

Once we are done and the remaining dishes have been put in the dishwasher (we’d done enough hand washing today) we talked about the internet and the things that they viewed.  

Once again, my mommyness kicked in. I got on my soapbox about grades, diligence, their future.  Carl is a 9th grader and told me It was “ON” for High School.  I pleasantly remind him that he said it was “ON” and I fully expect it to be just that. I went on to say that more time needs to be devoted to reading, since our move back north, they have slowed down considerably. 

They agreed and nodded as I went on.  

Finally, I realized it was time for bed. Yes, they still have a time to go to bed.  It’s the start of the weekend, but this is still not a free for all. 

My husband works in the evenings, so nights are generally mine.  We still pray over our kids.  So, I went to do so for my daughter who goes to bed earlier than her brother.  Age still rules.  

It was then I realized she was mad at me for making her work and clean, preventing her from looking at her beloved Minecraft You-Tubers.  

I said, “Baby, why so angry?”  Her type of angry is always very evident to me, although for some reason she thinks she doesn’t show it.  She snapped her little head my way and said, “MOM, you are putting just too much ON me!”  

Now in another time, another life, my anger would have ragged like a screaming banshee, but I’ve grown, mellowed and learned not to react, so swiftly. Also, I’ve hit 50+, my registering of what is happening takes a minute.  

I slowly ask in my “momikins” voice, “Darling, what have I put on you?”  

She stuttered, stammered, started, stopped, sighed, sucked her teeth then said, “I don’t know, I can’t think of anything, right now.” All while rolling her head around. 

Booooo YOOOW! Was what I thought in my mind.  I finally said, calm, cool and collected, “Precisely sweetie, I have only asked you to clean up after yourself as a contributing member of the family, nothing more, nothing less.”  

She rolled her big brown eyes, ever so sweetly and said with a sigh, “Okay so you can bless me now.”  

I proceeded to bless my daughter as I do nightly or my husband does. At the end of the blessing, I asked the Lord to open my daughters’ eyes to the fact that what her parents do is to help and not to hinder her as she grows.”  

As I wrapped it up, my daughter chimed in, “And Lord please tell my mother not to spit on me as she prays.”  

If I was a cartoon, I would have been the coyote in Road Runner when the anvil fell on his feet…my head was about to explode!

So, my sweet innocent 13-year-old had arrived.  She was NOW a teen in all her sassiness, sarcasm and flippant remarks.

One moment telling me, “You’re the best mom!” Then with the swing of the neck,” ’You’re a nuisance mom!” 

The hard reality set in.  I’ve been off that roller coaster for a minute.  I was gently reminded that I bought an all-day pass!


Candace Beach has been married to Ralph Beach for 15 years and they have a blended family that consists of 2 boys, Ralph Jr. (34) and Carlisle (14), as well as 2 girls named Barbara-Ann (26) and Candyce (13), YIKES! She sees motherhood as ever changing, like the gift that keeps on giving, Sometimes heartache and other times great joy!

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