Moving teenagers- are you up to it?
Are you willing to stick your head inside the mouth of a Great White Shark?
Would you let a rabid dog chew on your ear for days at a time?
Are you the resilient stuff of teflon against a Jewish/Catholic mother`s parenting technique combining guilt and pasta to influence your behavior?
Do you crumble in the face of crying-? Your own or others…
A parent approaching teenagers with a move- and I`d recommend this be done with two parents even if that means borrowing one in the case of a single parent household- must at a minimum be able to fend off a constant barrage of barbs, withstand the onslaught of guilt inducing comments designed to cause you or your spouse to wither in regret, or weather endless periods of silence punctuated with brief interludes of weeping and gnashing of teeth.
For several months.
Some of you may think this is usual and customary behavior for a teenager- which it is- however announcing a move to a teenager has the same effect as pouring gas on the fire. Spouse and I are thrill seekers, addicted to adrenaline spurred on by the roar of teenaged angst, therefore we like to pull the rug out from under our kids every two years to keep them flexible. A valuable life skill.
Our intended move to Canada was greeted with the sort of enthusiasm usually exhibited by an angry mob carrying torches and wooden stakes. Not that Canada was such a bad place- Heaven would have met the same resistance. Poor Spouse was stuck between a mob and a hard place- the menacing teenagers or a snarky Ouisar- san facing the prospect of a dull life back home. The fire toting mob was more appealing.
But oh Grasshoppers, Spouse and I have been down this road before and have learned a few tricks along the way. In addition to bribery:
we have learned a new skill. A sort of slow, persistent, mind control which takes some time and patience. Indoctrination. A technique effectively used by cult leaders uniquely adapted by the Clampitts to suit our needs. Spouse and I decided a two-week driving tour through Western Canada would fit with this super soaker approach.
18 driving hours and 14 days of good quality family time learning about our new home.
Only the truly courageous would undertake this sort of trip with two brooding teens.
hypnosis trip started in Vancouver BC. My sister, the Nose, suggested some of her favorites which were dismissed immediately. She drags toddlers to the Jimmy Carter museum in Atlanta and has been known to wait outside the LBJ Library in a tent to be the first inside. Although something like that would have garnered a grand reaction from the offspring, we were looking for something a little more gut grabbing.
The Capilano Suspension bridge looked to be a great starting point. We could either throw ourselves or them over the edge if the first leg of our
indoctrination process journey wasn`t going as planned. 230 feet above and 470 feet across the Capilano river, the bridge creaks and sways, or leaps up and down if my jack ass son is trying to bounce Spouse and me off the bridge. We welcomed the help over the side.
Jumping seemed appropriate for several reasons. At the top of the list was Offspring #1`s nice, new and shiny Learner`s Permit for driving. For this reason I brought along a substantial amount of valium reserved for the adult sitting up front. Spouse and I fought over the death seat for two solid weeks- a scary location even after consuming tightly controlled prescription medications. The suspension bridge could end all that.
I knew we had reached an all time low when OS #2 complained about the scenery. In retrospect, it was truly awful.
I found myself begging , “Please make it go away. I can`t take it anymore! I want to be in a big dirty city back home! Bring me my red glitter shoes!”
The locals looked on in boredom having seen it all before.
You leave us hanging with a sense of mystery and fear…
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Well- we see if I`m still alive to finish it.
I hope the teens find out that Canada can be an exciting and friendly home. Full of new adventures, and all 4 seasons in their full Technicolor glory.
We`re just waiting for the winter sports to start up! You are so right though. It has been good so far.
It must be total culture shock for the kids though. I just watched Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown on Tokyo last night. The Japanese are so controlled in public but real freaks in private.
I am dying to see that episode! Japanase are like people in New Orleans- lots of eating- lots of drinking. And that`s when they let down the mask….
Great episode, focused on magna, a sushi master, nightlife, and a punk rock band.
We only go to Presidential Museums when we have nieces and nephews with us. We find it discourages visitors.
If cotton candy isn`t served, we usually don`t go. I`ll keep this useful tip in mind however.
To be more clear, I mean visits to presidential libraries with our nieces and nephews usually discourage said nieces and nephews from ever wanting to visit OUR HOME again. In fact, my husband is planning to take his family out on a houseboat next weekend…. In November…..In an aluminum floating trailer…….. naked to the freezing wind ……no Satellite or Wireless……. I think you see where this is going.
Glad my kids didn`t have that opportunity….
Just think, in years, to come the Rug Rats will thank you for your efforts to amuse and educate them. Also, with the aid of the medications you spoke about, you may have your own taxi service for years to come.
In years to come the Rug Rats will thank you for the effort you put into educating them and allowing them to accompany you and spouse upon your travels. With the aid of the medications you spoke about the benefits are: easier to put up with said Rug Rats and you may have a built in Taxi Service. The downside being they will want to use your car. Enjoy your holiday and remember that teenagers only last until they are about 34!
I`m feeling like they are neck biters now! Thanks for the encouraging words Paul!
I’m in the trenches here Emily, trying to work the sand and the gulf to my advantage and possibly failing miserably. I’m curious to see how your adventure turns out and what the mood Chez Clampitt is these days!
Well at this point, their lives have been ruined- again- by moving. And it is quite possible that neither will get in to college. Cry me a river.
Oh, Lordy! Sounds truly hellacious, my friend. However, that bridge would have scared the shit out of me. It might have been okay with fewer other people. I’d fear collapse.
Good luck in your new home!
Hugs from Ecuador,
I can honestly say without reservation that I would not be up to the task. I’m already getting nervous twitches and you’re still in Western Canada. You are a brave soul.
Can’t wait to see how the rest turns out.
Honestly- raising teens is quite the hair raising experience! We really did consider leaving them out there
CANADA!!! Can you believe I’ve never been to that bridge? I think I’m just about the only Western Canadian-born soul who hasn’t been there, done that. And are you really going to Edmonton? Pray tell, WHY? (I get the whole Jasper and Lake Louise trip, but… Edmonton?)
My Dad`s hometown. Ant the bridge is ok- but the zip lining was really worth it!
OK, then you’re excused. I didn’t realize you had some Canadian blood in you!
Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
you make blogging look easy. The overall look
of your website is fantastic, let alone the content!
Nice bloog post
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Thanks! Been so long now the Offspring have vacated the nest. So there’s the good news. No one was harmed (permanently)in our moving exploits