Massive Preteen Meltdowns: A Preparation Guide

Feb 1 2012

This isn’t really a preparation guide. I lured you here under false pretenses. Kind of like when you buy a parenting book, desperate for a comprehensive, easy-reference handbook on raising children, and then you get, oh, forty-five minutes into the parenting gig and figure out that the “how-to” guides are all crap. And then you’re left picking up the pieces and writing your own manual, except you have to write a different one for each child because God is super funny and makes them all different. Ha ha, God. Good one.

I shall rename this post immediately.

Massive Preteen Meltdowns:
Anything you can do, I have done better.
Bring it, baby.
Bring. It.

Massive preteen meltdowns come and go. But right now, we’re in the throes of more coming and a lot less going.

In fact, when Massive Preteen Meltdowns arrived at our door several months ago, I laughed.

“Hey! I’ve seen you before,” I said. “How long do you think you’ll be staying?”

“Whatever,” said Massive Preteen Meltdowns. “I don’t answer to you.”

And that, sadly, seems to be true. Who’s laughing now? (Well, still me, but that’s only because I have a serious problem with laughing.)

I don’t know why preteens must over-react to every little thing. (I do. It’s because of the raging hormones and the utter lack of sense and experience. But I like pretending like I don’t know why. It makes exasperation easier.)

Kids these days. Sheesh! (See? Easy.)

I mean, sure; I might’ve had my own epic, toddler-style meltdown at age twelve. An hours-long crying and screaming fit while ensconced in my dark bedroom. But that was for a legitimate reason.

See, I had a science project due the next day. And I’d only had the assignment for, like, five weeks. And my dad said – and I’m not even kidding, he really did – that he couldn’t help me because I didn’t plan ahead and there wasn’t enough time to conduct six experiments AND write a paper all in one night. Which is ridiculous because my parents always told me we could do anything we put our minds to and that they’d always have my back NO MATTER WHAT, so they were two-faced meanies who hated me and wanted me to suffer and die, and if I DID die, which was very likely because I skipped ALL OF DINNER and – hello! impending 7th grade science DOOM – well, then that would show them, SO THERE! Take THAT, Mom and Dad!

But my kids are totally lucky and have extremely reasonable parents who only ask them to do logical things. So it’s important that you understand that when I’m complaining about my son’s complaining, it’s because I’m so mature and right.

Yesterday, I told my 12-year-old son that he must (yes, MUST) clean his room.

“By myself?” he asked, incredulously.

“Um, yeah.”

My son found a chair and slumped down upon it because his legs were simply unable to support him in the face of such terrible news.

And he buried his face in his hands and began to implore the Heavens,

“Why? Oh, WHY? Oh, WWWHHHHHYYYYY?!” Which also rhymes with die. Which is clearly what this child intended to communicate with his rampant why-ning.

Puh-lease, child.

You have nothing on me.

My preteen meltdowns were the impetus behind the development of the Meltdown Geiger Counter by which all modern mamas measure whether this meltdown will, in fact, liquefy mama flesh while it’s still on the mama bones.

Holding your head and rocking in room-cleaning despair? Oh, baby; you’re not even making the screen blip.

And when I said, “Oh, nuh uh. You do not get to whine because you must clean your room. Let me tell you, child, that cleaning your room is like wiping your butt. No one enjoys it, and it stinks like that sippy cup of milk we left too long in the van, but we somehow dig down deep and get it done. Which is what you will do. Right. Now.” … you actually stopped complaining and you cleaned your room.

Which just goes to show, you are a meltdown novice, son.

But hear this:

I believe in you.

And I am prepared for the day when you earn your Massive Preteen Meltdown chops. Since Massive Preteen Meltdown seems to be making himself at home, I’m betting we’re both about to get plenty of practice.

Bring it, Preteen.

Image credit: Bougart at deviantART


Bring. It.