Grumptastic me

©2022 Michael Raven

My eldest is a know-it-all.

Serves me right, I suppose. I was a snot for about half of my life.

However, I earned my attitude honestly (that I’ve tried to move away from, by the way) by being born into a family where everyone was certain they were better and smarter than everyone else. My eldest doesn’t have that excuse, as I made an earnest attempt to change that attitude around the time she was born, mostly because I hated feeling like I was being treated like a drooling idiot by family and “friends” alike. Plus, I got the smack down with a heavy hand by a few kids who were way smarter than I could ever hope to be when I was working towards my chemistry degree just before she was born. I was forcibly humbled and the aftershocks still linger to this day.

So, you can probably imagine how the conversation went during the tail end of dinner when she wanted to talk about the scheme she had of dropping Phy. Ed. from her coursework because she’s gotten it into her head that she doesn’t need those credits for the rest of high school (which seems hinky, considering she’s only starting 10th grade). I said, I had zero problem if she dropped her current Phy. Ed. provided she double-checked that this was an actual fact by contacting her counselor and asking the simple questions, “Is this true? Does it apply to me?”

This is a 5-minute email effort (made three minutes longer by her need to find out who her counselor is this year). I mean, it makes sense, doesn’t it? Let’s play it safe and just verify.

But no. She heard it from the principal during an all-school assembly. She’s golden, as far as she’s concerned. “Aren’t you afraid you might not have all the details you need to make an informed decision?” Shakes her head. Supreme confidence. “I guess I really can’t say I’m okay with it unless you double-check to make sure it applies to you.” “I can’t see why this is so hard for you to understand, Dad, the Principal said…”

“And I don’t understand why it is so fricking hard for you to ask someone to verify this statement. It takes two damn minutes.” “I don’t need to, I already know.” (Gods, I hate that whine).

So now, instead of getting what she wants from me (she asked a favor before this), she’s sulking in her disaster of a room and I am trying not to go nuclear.

I’m so glad that the twins are so well-behaved and interested in cooperating and helping out. They ask for advice and at least try it 95% of the time, even when they think it’s not the answer they think it should be. They help out around the house without prompting and only occasionally fight with each other. The oldest daughter has always been the exact opposite — she manufactures conflict at times for reasons only known to her, and it’s been an ongoing thing since about the age of four. Everything is “not fair” and she feels she should reap all the benefits without the effort. And good lord, she doesn’t hide her disdain for you when she feels you are wrong. Which is most of the time.

She’s on my shit list this evening. I’m disinterested in dealing with a brat who can’t even follow through on verifying something before trying to act solely on a desire to get out of a class she hates. I hate to say it, but I often dream of the day she moves out so we don’t need to have these senseless battles about whatever has got her ire up for the day (yesterday, it was the “it’s so unfair that my generation will never get ahead because of everyone coming before us pushing up prices of housing, cars and education. What’s your generation going to do about the mess you made?”).

Gen X was known for “Whatever,” so I suppose that might be very close to my answer moving forward. Because this exhausts me.

7 thoughts on “Grumptastic me

    1. The weird thing? After I finally blew up yesterday morning? She suddenly wants to spend time with me, doing the things we like to do together, confiding to me a “friend problem” and generally trying to find common ground with me. In the end, it worked out (for the moment).

      Most days, however, I wonder if I have any business being a father…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. She’s been like this since about 4 years old when she wondered why people didn’t treat her like they treated other adults. She’s been going on 24 years old for most of her life. 😉

          Could school rocks in how to be stubborn.

          Liked by 1 person

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