Friday, April 18, 2014

Full steam per head

Last week I shared with you the joys of having a moody teenage stepdaughter living in the house, and how, with a little perseverance, I was able to strategically coax her into telling me all about her life at the moment. I considered that a win.

But you can't win them all.

More often than not, that little teenage stepdaughter of mine is tolerable. Sure, she sighs a lot and has a perpetual bug up her ass scowl on her face. But every now and again, she does curl up those corners of her mouth into a Wednesday Addams-like grin, and the whole family celebrates with chocolate and polka dancing.

 And then? Sometimes? She does things that make ZERO sense to me.

So get this...

Last Thursday we had the two girls overnight. As per usual, I informed both of them that they would be taking showers before bed that evening. This was not an option. They moaned and groaned, but knew there was no getting out if it. The 10 year old, smart kid that she is, took her shower immediately after dinner, letting her hair air dry so she could sleep on a somewhat water-free pillowcase.

Such was not the decision for M, the 13 year old.

The child tried to outsmart me. She "did her homework" until 9:15. And when I say "homework," I mean she sat in her room texting while one of her textbooks sat open to the same page for 2 hours straight. 

At 9:45, I headed to my bathroom to begin my nightly routine of makeup removal and counting my gray hairs (which are multiplying by the second). As I passed by M's room, I stuck my head in and said, "Do you realize it's 9:30? You still have a shower to take."

OH MY GOD, stepbloggies. The fit that this kid threw. Huffing, puffing, snorting, snarling, stomping. It was better than a Lady Gaga concert. Unfortunately for M, her plan to make us "forget" about her shower didn't go over like it does at Mama Ex's. I remember things, yo. I'm like a very fashionable elephant. 

She begged us to please consider letting her skip the shower. No dice. I reminded her that the longer she stood whining about it, the later it was getting. That seemed to work.
She got in the shower.

If your teen stepdaughter or daughter is anything like mine, there is no such thing as a "quick shower." No, no. At 10:00, she was just getting out. My eyelids were drooping so I laid in bed, half-listening, half sleeping. You know, just making sure she didn't slip and hit her head on the sink.

The house was quiet. All was calm. And then I heard it. 







I looked over at Hubs who was flat on his back, eyes closed and doing a super awesome impression of a saw mill. By the 8th pssssshhhhh, I could take it anymore and dragged my very relaxed ass out of bed and down the hall to the girls' bathroom.

I'm not quite sure how to tell you what I saw next, because it's haunted me for a week. My lovely, smart, 7th grade educated stepdaughter was standing in the bathroom, in a robe, looking in the mirror as she flat ironed her


Well, actually she was burning the ever living shit out of her hair. Over and over again, she took piece after piece of wet strands, and used her $200 GHD flat iron (which gets cray cray hot), and running it over the follicles until they were straighter than...I don't know, something really straight. 

The steam coming off of the straightener as it pulled through her hair rivaled this:


I immediately grabbed the iron out of her hands and asked her what the hell she was trying to accomplish. To which she calmly replied, "Well, Ruby, you made me take a shower. I need to straighten my hair before bed or it will be wavy. So that's what I'm doing."


Sensing she didn't really understand the magnitude of the damage she was doing, I said, "M, honey. Your hair is wet. That straightener is for dry hair only. You are literally setting your hair on fire. That's what that steam is. Remember how when you microwave corn and all that steam comes out when it gets hot? That's what is happening. I mean, I have a hair dryer you can use that will make this go a lot faster."

And do you know what she had the kahunas to say?

"My friend Maddy says steam is good for your hair. So, yeah."

And then she followed that little sentiment with, "and I wouldn't have to do this if you didn't make me stay up this late to take a shower."

I don't remember a lot after that. Hubs tells me I came back to the bedroom and woke him up rambling something to myself about boarding school.

But this is parenting right? (Sorry, step parenting.) Kids know better than adults at this age. Quite frankly, I could have had an entire manual entitled, "500 Reasons NOT to Flat Iron Wet Hair" and M would have found a reason to ignore it. It's just what they do. This all falls under that category of "she'll figure it out someday."  Besides, after 18 years, I finally understand the pain and sheer disgust my mother felt the day I walked into the kitchen with both of my eyebrows plucked like this:                        

I guess Cosmetic Karma is a beeotch.


  1. Yup I have one of those two.. Only by 15 almost 16 she is down right rude and nasty. Her Dad handles her. At this age they are all about getting showers out of the way. The attitdue comes in to play when we walk in the door and she ignores us. When her father tells her thats rude she offers up a bitchy comment. As her SM, I know all she's looking for is a confrontation. I don't even give her the time of day. I'm nice and plesant and smile when she goes back to her mothers. My other SKs are much easier to deal with so guess they all can't be polite! Good luck.

  2. Ugh- I dread the 15-16 teenage years. Maybe by the time my SD is that age, there will be a pill they can take to skip over the nastiness phase??