I have two hormonal kids in my house.
Well, it’s going to be four in the not-so-distant future.
The two girls, ages 18 and 13, are the first to walk down the road of acne, hormones, the opposite sex, and . . . well for them, menstruation. None of these things breeds a calm and easygoing environment in my household.
I should preface this with the fact that it’s not like I am not used to the hormonal changes in my house. My wife, God rest her soul, was one of the most insane PMS-ing women in the world. I mean . . . those cartoons where the woman during her cycle turns into the head of Godzilla with the body of a velociraptor . . . that was Andrea. I learned very early in our relationship that the one week a month was one where I was never going to make her happy and that everything was my fault.
Abbi, my oldest, is fairly even-keeled. Now, she still has her moments, but they’re more or less minor and she understands if she’s being unreasonable. Her 13-year-old sister Hannah, however, doesn’t fall into that category. Hannah inherited her mother’s hormonal . . . well, imbalance for lack of a better phrase. It’s funny, she’s built like her mother, looks like my side of the family, and has traits from both sides. She’s truly a unique mixture from the DNA commingling of our gene pools.
But I have tolerance to a degree. I was not the most pleasant of teenagers and my mother dealt with the fact that there were three boys, all with different hormones and all with different ideas of what things should be like. I don’t blame my kids for the outburst or eye roll or other things that some parents punish for without reason. However, tolerance needs to be earned, to a degree, as well. Hannah is about to take on a load more responsibility. In less than a year she’ll be watching her brothers and she has to act like she’s responsible. This after getting yet another email this evening from a teacher saying she has assignments missing.
Here’s where the hormones come in. I ask why I get the email and I get “Geez . . . I don’t know, why didn’s she say anything?!”
“Why would she, Hannah?”
“Because she complimented me on getting my grades back up.”
“Yes, but . . . it’s not her homework, Hannah, it’s yours!”
“But Daaaaadddd! Why wouldn’t she just tell me?!”
“Ummm . . . she is. By sending me an email. Not her job to look after your homework, Hannah.”
Here’s where the eye roll came in. It’s also where I informed her that if she didn’t fix it . . . the guitar goes away again. That stopped the eyerolling. It became sort of eye popping, but she realized I follow through on my punishments and smartly let it drop.
But I worry. Sam has started getting acne and he’s only almost ten. He’s the flirty, sociable, funny kid. Noah is just starting to see that changes in skin tone from soft kid-like, to growing more. So in the midst of that I see more hormones invading the home.
So I wait . . . and worry for the hormonal wasteland of pubescent angst to start hitting in full force. I used to joke that – before we found out we were having twin boys – we’d end up with four girls and they’d all have their period on a separate week of the month.
“Why do you think that?” my wife used to ask.
“Because God has a sense of humor,” I used to joke.
But the joke’s still on me. Don’t need menstrual cycles or girls with hormones . . . boys have their own issues. Now I have to think how I’m going to contend with that.
Turns out . . . I was right. Four kids, all in the house with hormones giving me constant consternation.
God does, it turns out, have a sense of humor.