Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wine in the pantry

I have had a number of “Back to the Future” moments lately that have been a bit disturbing. (If you’re too young to have heard of “Back to the Future” just shut up.)

Here’s the thing. My son is 11 – a tweenager, preteen, whatever. Basically, the big scary parenting-a-teenager years are fast approaching.

And, in some strange twist – perhaps in preparation for those years – I have found myself reverting to teenager-like behavior. After years of firm, single mom parenting, I find myself racing to my bedroom and slamming the door, begging to see inappropriate movies and, pathetically, drinking in the kitchen pantry.

Let me explain. This whole pre-teen thing has led my son and I into some pretty nonsensical arguments. How fast do Nascar cars go? What’s a more physical sport – soccer or football? I let him pull me into the argument and wind up responding like a pouty 11-year-old girl.
Cole: Uh-huh
Me: Nuh-uh
Cole: Uh-huh
Me: Nuh-uh
Cole: UH-HUH

And then I storm off to my room, slam the door and pout (because I’m mature that way).

As far as movies go, I’m careful about what my son sees. But after a summer full of movies with talking animals, farting jokes and, oh yeah, more hilarious farting jokes, I found myself begging my son to go see a PG-13 movie.
Me: Come on, let’s go see it. It has Will Ferrell in it, and you love him!
Cole: I don’t know mom. It’s PG-13.
Me: Well, that’s OK. I can cover your eyes or ears if I need to.
Cole: It says it has sexual innuendo, Mom.
Me: That’s OK! Actually, that’s good because that means you won’t understand it.

Seriously, what is wrong with me?

And finally, drinking wine in the pantry. My conservative-school-going son has been appropriately indoctrinated in the evils of drinking alcohol, and thus has decided that I am an alcoholic. The funny thing is, I rarely drink, but there are times when us moms (especially us single moms) really need a glass of red wine. The problem with being a single mom is that if you open a bottle one night, you have no one to help you drink it, so you find yourself having to drink for a few nights in a row (unless it’s been a full bottle day, and well, God help us all on those days.)

So, to combat the whole mom-is-an-alcoholic thing, I just sneak into the kitchen pantry and enjoy some quick swigs of wine while searching for that missing box of crackers. First time I tried this I was quickly busted by my nasally sensitive son who dropped his jaw and proclaimed “You’ve been drinking wine!” Next time I was in the pantry, I dug through the nearly-year-old bag of leftover Christmas candy and found a not-too-nasty-for-a-mom-who-needs-wine peppermint to chase down the wine. Pathetic, but problem solved.

I haven’t tried sneaking the car out while Cole’s asleep or sexting yet (not quite sure what that is, but I hear it’s quite scandalous teenage behavior). But God help me, I’m not sure what’s next!

Laura Johnson


  1. Love this! My oldest son actually turns 14 in exactly 1 month. He came home from school yesterday and was a different child. I immediately thought, "Oh My Gosh, He still has a month before he is a teenager!!!"

  2. I'm so glad my kids don't have to grow up in today's world, but, they have to raise their kids in it, so... But, so far so good with the 16-year-old grandson.

  3. laura - you are, and always have been, just so darn awesome! i love to read your voice - almost as much (actually not nearly as much) as i enjoy sitting across the table with you and hearing your stories and rants! you crack me up. here's wishing i could be there to help you finish off that bottle of wine! missy

  4. hahahaha! Love this!!! As a single mom, I can definitely relate!!! Maybe we should have rebelled a little more in our youth Laura!