September 29, 2013

G 49

We played BINGO last night with Daughter 2's school--none of us won (much). Wait. Let me back up.

Yesterday, The Daughters and I went to Tulsa to get a new power cord for my MacBook. The fact that it was raining sheets of water and that we'd have to drive an hour there and back did nothing to keep me from going to get my new power cord.

If I had known exactly how rough Daughter 1 would have made the trip, however, I might have thought twice.

Daughter 1 is entering that time in her life when everything--including life itself--is pretty much stupid and it takes very little for her to tell you, and anyone else listening, just how stupid everything is.

I wondered just how stupid it would be to leave her and her tween attitude on the side of the highway in the pouring rain. Thankfully, I realized it would be stupid. Very stupid. And I took her back home with me instead. Without going into great detail, I Googled how to join a convent. I'm not Catholic. Dammit.

As a result of her less-than-desirable attitude, I threatened to take away a lot of things: her birthday, her impending class trip, her oxygen, her books, her Kindle, and, possibly most important, her night with the family at BINGO.

But, I gave her an out. I wanted to show her redemption. "If you can change your attitude and just shut your mouth, I'll think about letting you go to BINGO with us."

And she did. She changed her attitude and kept her mouth shut, and we went to BINGO.

I've spent over 20 years teaching this age group. I've heard the parental angst that comes with parenting this age group. I remember the horrific-ness (shut it, Spellcheck; it's a word) that is being an adolescent. And what I know is this: It's not an easy age for anyone involved. Parenting my anxious, smart, obsessive, beautiful, impulsive kid through this time is rough, yo.

A Tiger Mom might have locked her in her room and stuck to her guns. Hell! A Tiger Mom might have used guns. And I'm fairly certain a Tiger Mom would have never even considered going to BINGO. Drs. Spock and Dobson might have spanked me for giving her an out of her behavior and letting her go to BINGO anyway. But ...

Sometimes, I think we need a win.

And last night, we almost got it.

The grand prize game was worth a gazillion dollars and contained everything, including, maybe, a kitchen sink. And my kid almost won it.

It was a blackout game, and she needed G 49 to win. On the screen, B 6 was posted.

She held her breath. The announcer called out, "B 6," and the new number posted on the screen G 49.

The rule is you cannot call out a BINGO until the announcer says the number. She began to take shallow breaths. She needed this win. I needed her to win. Sometimes teens get so caught up in the injustices of life--like no clean underwear and an earlier bedtime than everyone else in the world including babies--that this BINGO would have been a huge booster for my girl.

And then a little voice at the table next to us said, "BINGO!" And ... G 49 was never called. It was a good BINGO.

We all exhaled and cocked our heads to the side and said words like shoot and darn it and what the--.

Daughter 1 was disappointed, obviously. We all were. But I think the message here is clear:

When we are having a rough day, I'll be dropping her off at the American Legion because those old BINGO Bitties will have met their match in Daughter 1, and she appears to be kinda lucky despite her hellacious attitude.


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