Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Winter of discontent

I don't know exactly what it is, or why, but everything and everyone seems more than a little out of sorts. Maybe it's still the final food hangovers from Christmas and New Year's (with only a little while before the celebrated Feast of the Super Bowl), or that the aforementioned Christmas bills are trickling in, or that the weather is cold and crappy, with the occasional good weather day that only serves to make us anxious, awaiting the next cold and crappy period.

But everyone seems more irritated these days. As EB approaches her 13th birthday, her mood swings are coming far more frequently, a phenomenon, I'm told, also seen in some of her friends.

Now is the winter of everyone's discontent.

EB has started to become more reticent of many things familiar. I saw it when she gave up piano, but I had promised myself I wouldn't make her stick with an activity if she was truly unhappy. She hasn't looked back either, much to my chagrin. She does practice her trumpet, but her skills at the piano have already diminished. When I asked her to play a tune she used to be able to whip off without a thought, she struggled and couldn't read the music as well. Now I understand why my niece, who took piano for 10 years, can't just sit down and play at will. If you don't use it, you lose it. And very quickly it seems.

EB made the honor roll again, and we're proud. But one A went to a B and one B went to an A, so she ended up in pretty much the same place. She says her New Year's resolution is to make straight As, but I still think she sits in front of the television at night way too much instead of studying. I know she needs some down time, but mindless television just isn't going to improve her grades. So I'm discontented too.

She's frustrated with slights, real or imagined, from friends, upset anytime she doesn't get her way and makes a federal case out of it, is more mouthy and fresh than usual, and then doesn't see why when she turns around and asks for a favor, a sarcastic "well, soo-oorry," doesn't cut the mustard.

Now she's decided she doesn't want to go to church choir anymore. That would be fine, except she asked to join. She didn't want to do Sunday School any more and with fewer children her age coming to church, I could understand that. We both joined the choir. One of her friends joined too, so at least they could sit together. But circumstances changed, her friend's parents got divorced, so she's only there half the time, if that. Now EB says it's only old ladies, and what she begged for she no longer wants.

This was the same with the trumpet and I made her stick with that. She'll want something and then when it gets boring, she's ready to move on without regard to the commitment she made. I realize it's part of the age, but really? Who wrote the rule that children should be entertained 24/7?

The only thing EB really loves unconditionally is dance. But that still causes her discontent. The next big dance she wants to go to is next month, but she's already full of angst over which friend she will ask to go with her. The friend she went with the last time annoyed her and caused unnecessary drama, saying first she couldn't go and then saying she could. EB wants to take someone else. And she's discontented about a schoolmate from her previous school, who's still trying to manipulate her despite the fact they no longer are classmates. EB can't just decide to ignore this nonsense. She doesn't have to interact with her at all, yet still gets involved with the drama. Which just annoys me. But when I express my distaste for this particular girl, EB gets out of sorts. She doesn't like her, but doesn't want me to not like her, just in case they decide to do something together.

It's adolescence. In winter. With drama. Every day seems an uphill battle. Hurry springtime.

No comments:

Post a Comment