Teen Alien Warp Signature Vapors
My home was visited by aliens last night. I recognized their warp signature from the last time they came to visit and abduct my sweet little girl to take her off to the planet Teen. Just like then, they left an evil imposter in her place. Although the imposters they left look like my children, they do not act like those sweet urchins that would listen to me and laugh with me and smell my hair lovingly when they were sleepy. Instead, these creatures are surly things that ignore my wardrobe advice and will occasionally talk back to me. Just like last time, the signs are there that the imposters have arrived. For Midime, she morphed from a sweet girl that wanted lime green walls and billowy curtains in her room, to one that leaves her bathroom a mess. No, scratch that, to a creature whose bathroom looks like Mogadishu after an air raid. I STILL have to deal with that.
This time, the aliens took Minime. She was my sweet baby that always took my side and would love to just be in my presence for hours, no matter what we are doing. She was the kid that always did her chores and put her stuff in the hamper rather than on her floor. In her place is a often sour girl who acts as if she can punish me by staying in her room.
I've decided to crack down on these aliens. I've tried a lot of things. They don't have a lot of chores. I know from experience that these teen aliens have an underdeveloped pre-frontal cortex, (one of them told me that was the reason she couldn't remember things. She read it in her AP Psychology book). Because of this, they can't take more than 3 directions at a time, often make bad decisions and they forget things easily. Interestingly, they think that the world is about "fairness" and often complain about the lack of it.
I do not remember going to Planet Teen myself. I think the aliens must wipe your memory before they send you back. I do remember my father walking into my room and telling me that I should study hard as I needed to be very successful. He would say that I was so messy, that I was going to have to be able to afford a housekeeper, or learn to do better. I did better eventually, because my house is not (generally)a mess, but I am also a very literal person, so I have always been able to have a housekeeper. But the alien kids, they sometimes forget and think the housekeeper that my husband and I pay for is for them. They are sorely mistaken here. I have tried docking the allowance they get when they do not complete their meager chores, and they really are meager. They have to go to school and get good grades, and then they have to take turns doing the dishes. I do not think that is a lot to ask. After all, the aliens are freeloading in my house.
I found that I had to remind them that dishes are not like dishes used to be. The house I grew up in was built in the 1930's. I didn't have a dishwasher until I was in high school. Now all they have to do is rinse the plates and throw them into state-of-the-art, high-tech machine that does all of the work for you.
The allowance thing doesn't work, but this morning, I think I discovered two new tactics which the alien imposter children respond to very well. First, when I walked into the rooms of aliens A and B, they were both in disaster zone mode. Generally, mess is okay as long as it stays contained. But one of their bathrooms was beyond beyond. I stood at the door and fumed, and then it hit me. I yelled down to the alien that lived in that room and told her that if everything wasn't up off the floor, I was not going to let the housekeeper I pay for go in there at all, and she would have to clean her own bathroom. (The woman might have demanded hazard pay for this one, and she would have been entitled to it.) You wouldn't believe that this teen alien had superpowers, but the bathroom got tidy so fast that I also believed I had hallucinated the mess that had been there ten minutes before.
The younger teen alien was on dish duty last night. We reminded her, but this morning, her dishes remained untouched. For this one, I told her that when she arrived home from school, she was to turn in everything that plugged in and it would all be returned to her the next morning. This means no phone, table, computer, television....you get it. Furthermore, this would happen every time I woke up to a dirty kitchen. I did not expect the response I received. It seems as If I discovered the kryptonite.
She writhed in pain.
Her eyes welled up with tears.
And then she said that I was not fair. (Life isn't fair.)
That she'd been doing homework and had been engrossed in dance class. (I was sure she had ten minutes to spare. Maybe it was that closet filmmaking that was taking up her time.)
She refused breakfast (Mini hunger strike?...not concerned. I'm convinced she wasn't going to starve herself).
And then--she did the thing that was the punch in the gut. She sat in the back seat (probably belonged there anyway. She's barely over the weight limit)..and she gave me the silent treatment all the way to school. I will admit that kind of hurt, but I prevailed.
I turned up the music and I sang. Nothing soothes the soul like car karaoke. Every now and then she breathed loudly. I reminded myself that I'm not their friend, I am their mother. And I sang some more, confident that I was doing the right thing. I know that one day, God willing, they will call me up and complain about their children doing the same things, or they won't remember their time spent on Planet Teen. I also have faith that one day, them alien warp signature fumes will dissipate to an almost imperceptible vapor and my sweet little girls that were spirited away will return as young women, and hopefully they will have gained the lessons necessary to make sure that their own homes are livable. Or they will have worked hard enough in school so that they can afford their own housekeeper.