“M” Series Cont’d: Manic- Is it Me, My Spouse or a Middle Schooler?

The “M” Series: All of us with teenagers of a certain age are used to certain characteristics exhibited by these cretins, specifically a lack of motivation for academia, an inability to plan, and an unwillingness to accept advice from eager, over achieving parents. Imagine the manic phase spouse and I enjoyed when Offspring #1 no longer needed the simultaneous “carrot and stick” methodology of encouragement /slash/ berating usually required to complete an assignment. We felt like teenagers ourselves minus the enhancing body changes.

It started with a simple,”I need to go to the Loft and get a poster board.”

Spouse and I looked at each other.

“And what else?” I asked. Certainly he needed something he didn’t want his mother to pick up on his behalf.

“Nothing- just a poster board for a Japanese project. I’m going to work on it in Dad’s office.” Now we were utterly confused.

“I was going in to the office now- do you want me to go with you instead?” Spouse can hardly contain his enthusiasm at this point. He’ll prolong the office visit for hours if he needs to in order to encourage this spark of initiative.

“No- I’ll take the train to the Loft and then to your office.” WHAT!!! Offspring #1 has thought out a plan? He’s realized he has a due date, needs a poster board, and is going to take a train to get supplies? No mom required? It’s only 9:00 AM the day before the due date?

Spouse and I are tempted to look out the window for fire, comets in the sky- anything indicative of a world ending event.

“I’ll just get what I need and meet you at the office.”

Huh? Is drool dripping down the side of my face?

ALL BY HIMSELF? I just spent a day in Tokyo with 10 adult women, 7 of whom still can’t navigate alone on the subway. One couldn’t count Japanese coins. Of course, he did teach Offspring #2 and me how to ride the subway so he is certainly capable of doing this by himself. What else does he know that I don’t know he knows?

Later that day, after riding all over Tokyo on the subway and researching the information at Spouse’s office, he’s finalizing his masterpiece.

“Mom- how does it look?” An opinion requested? Now I’m getting out the thermometer. The rectal thermometer.

Ooh- I see a misspelled word. Mayhem. Meltdown.

“Are you sure that’s spelled right?”

“Oh- it’s not. Thanks”

WHAT!! Could it be maturity is setting in? He’s ok with a mistake pointed out by his mother at the bottom of the ninth? This usually ends up with 10 stomps toward his bedroom and one slammed door that shakes the building sending hundreds of roosting crows squawking and flying toward Kyoto.

Other experienced moms- whom I trust- informed me that this age was a miraculous one- maturation in school. Helicoptering no longer necessary. (Yes- I admit it. I did it) Could an Offspring go from oblivious to enlightened in 3 months? Apparently so.

Spouse and I are in a manic phase. Offspring #1 is in a maturation phase. Now better check to see what Offspring #2 is morphing in to….

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