I have two teenage daughters. They’re wonderful, amazing, and incredible girls. Most of the time. When they’re good, they’re very good. But, when they’re bad, I want to hide under the covers and never come out. Recently, we had one of those “bad” moments, and I gave my daughter the middle finger.
It all started when we were having a conversation. Things were going great, until they weren’t. This is how it happens with teenage girls. One minute everything is fine, and then it isn’t.
I was talking with my thirteen-year-old daughter, Avi. She didn’t like what I was saying and the conversation went from smiles and happiness to anger and grumpiness. I was trying to ignore her. I didn’t want to buy into what she was saying. I didn’t want to react.
I have to admit, I was impressed with my parenting skills. It was hard, and she was testing me, but I wasn’t taking the bait. I was a pillar of strength. A model parent.
She turned around in the middle of our conversation, and that’s when it happened. I couldn’t help myself. In a moment of weakness, when she wasn’t looking, my middle finger shot up before I knew what I had done.
I gave my daughter the middle finger.
It felt so good.
The only problem was, she turned around faster than I anticipated, and caught me in the act.
“Really, Mom,” she said, “You’re giving me the middle finger. What are you teaching me?”
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“Oops,” I said. I felt like I’d been caught by a teacher or parent and for a moment, wasn’t sure how to respond. I didn’t want to get grounded or get a detention. Then I snapped back. I remembered I was still in charge of this operation.
“So in the future, if I don’t like what you’re saying, I can just give you the middle finger?” Avi continued. She was relentless and enjoying this too much.
I didn’t want to admit it, but she had good points.
“Obviously not,” I responded, “I’m the Mom. I’m a grownup, and you have to follow my rules. If you didn’t drive me crazy and push my buttons, I wouldn’t be forced to do this.”
We both started laughing, made up, and moved on. I thought it was behind us. Forever.
That was until this past weekend, when my parents were visiting. We were having a fabulous weekend, and then at breakfast one morning, Avi turned to everyone and said these words, “Your daughter gave me the middle finger during an argument.”
My Dad didn’t really know what to say, so he didn’t. He just sat there, clearing his throat, while Avi smiled a big happy grin. She was enjoying this a little too much.
I explained that I wasn’t a Saint, that she drove me to do it, but I could hear the defensiveness in my voice.
I can’t believe she tattled on me, to my parents. Never saw that coming.
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