I remember when I was a very popular mom. I remember when my daughter said, "Please" and "Thank you," and actually seemed to enjoy my company.
I remember because that magical time was a mere 40 hours ago.
On Saturday, after my daughter's riding lesson, I took her to the mall. I bought her a cute bra, a pair of wedge sandals for a trip we're planning, a skirt, two pairs of shorts, a few tops, and a tall caramel Frappucino. For that one brief shining moment, we were more than mother-daughter. We were pals, girlfriends, BFFs.
Do I treasure these little excursions? Oh yes.
Am I bribing my tween to be nice to me? Abso-bloomin-lutely!
The rest of the weekend was unusually pleasant too. We went out for tex-mex Saturday night, met friends for brunch Sunday morning, after which, my daughter got to show off her new pony. We chilled at home, baked brownies with white chocolate chips and crushed Oreos on top, and caught up on an episode of Downton Abbey en famille.
Monday morning came (too quickly, as usual) and I still remembered our lovely weekend together. My daughter? Um ... not so much.
Her alarm went off and I could hear her grumbling. I should know better (I really really really should know better) but I couldn't resist peeking into her room. She was standing, looking somewhat stunned, in front of her dresser with puffy eyes and bed-head.
"Hi sweetie," I ventured, stepping down into her room. She glared at me, of course. But I am one fearless mother; I walked right up to her and kissed her on the top of her head.
"Ugh!" she uttered, "You kiss me too much."
Okay then. I retreated downstairs to the kitchen to make her breakfast, pack her lunch and tidy up some dishes that had been soaking overnight. I noticed that her phone had 12 app updates waiting, so I logged into the iTunes account on her behalf. About fifteen minutes later, she stumbled down.
Although we have a no-cell-phones-before-school rule, she is allowed to quickly check and make sure her friend is walking. She immediately noticed the updated apps.
"Why did you update my apps?" she demanded. "I didn't want you to!"
Okay then. I brought her the pizza bagel I had made. "Here you go," I said. Again, she gave me the glare, that affectionate look I know so well. I went to get a coat for her but stopped short.
"Aaaaaaaaaaagh!!!!!" she had screamed from the bathroom.
"What?" I came running.
"What about it?"
"It doesn't work!!!!!"
"Can I help?"
"NO!!!!!" She pushed past me and headed back upstairs. Apparently, her hair would "work" better in her own bathroom — and away from me.
A few minutes later, she and the hair had returned. She grabbed her jacket, her backpack and her lunch box, and muttered, "Bye."
"Wait a minute," I advised as I caught up to her by the back door. "I need a hug." She stood stiff and still as I embraced her. For good measure, I planted one more kiss on her cheek.
"Ugh," she said. "You kiss me too much!"
I just smiled which made her turn back and lecture, "Seriously, I mean it. Something has to change around here."
Okay then. I can think of many things I'd like to see change. Our morning routine, the level of civility (or lack thereof) in our home, or maybe her attitude for a start.
But, the kisses? They're not negotiable.