Have You Eaten?

If I have to endure the teenage years when he’s actually only in first grade then I get to skip them when he gets there proper… right?

I came home from work later than usual yesterday. I had told my husband to tell the boys that I would fix them dinner when I got home. So the first thing I did when I got home was ask the two boys, sprawled each on a different couch, if they had eaten.

“I have,” said Daryl, who actually is going through puberty but is typically (not always) even keeled. “But Hal hasn’t.”

“Oh, yeah, Bubba?!” Hal exploded from his couch. “I did too eat! I had a yogurt! What is that, huh? That’s food! I ate!”

“Hal,” I said gently. “Eating some yogurt is not eating dinner. I didn’t ask if you’d had a snack. I asked if you’d eaten dinner.”

“Fine!” He slammed his tablet down on the couch and pushed himself angrily to standing. He began stomping into the kitchen.

“Hal? What are you doing?”

He turned around and did his fish-out-of-water routine. Too frustrated to speak, he flapped his arms at his side and opened and closed his mouth repeatedly.

“Hal, come sit back down.”

“Fine! Then I won’t fix myself some dinner!” And with that, he stomped back to the couch, flung himself upon it, and curled up into a ball, burying his face into the corner.

“Hal,” I said calmly (barely), “I didn’t tell you you needed to go fix yourself something to eat. I merely asked if people had eaten. I asked that so that I could fix you some dinner. You need to drop the attitude and quit exploding.”

“Well!” he said as he kicked his legs out and flailed about.

“No. You need to settle down. Do you need a nap?”

And there’s the rub. A real teenager would have taken me up on that. This fake one just exhausts me constantly instead of blowing up in short little bursts and then sleeping the rest of the day away.

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