Last weekend I wanted to do something as a family. Something fun. Something out of the routine. Something TOGETHER. So I decided that we – Jonathan, Samantha and I – would hang out in Old Montreal for the day.
And while my intentions were good, I can only remember last Saturday WITHOUT the fondness.
The day began with me trying to convince Jonathan that hanging out with his mother and younger sister, WITHOUT his computer, would be fun. The old “try it, you might like it” routine.
“We’ll get to shop and walk around,” I told him. And while I pushed him to attend this little family field trip, his enthusiasm was, um . . . what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah. MISSING.
“I hate shopping AND walking.” Meet my son. The poster boy of participation.
But since I’m the mom, the head of the family, the boss, we made the trip downtown and paid for parking ANYWAY. (“We’re going to hang out together and enjoy it, if it’s the last thing we do. Ever. Damn it!”)
While Samantha and I tried to take in the sites – the browsing crowds, jewellery stands, caricature artists, street entertainers – Jonathan was on a mission to turn our little joy trip into the excursion from hell. In fact, I’m pretty sure that everybody – as in EVERY FRICKEN PERSON WHO WAS IN OLD MONTREAL ON SATURDAY – heard me yelling at him.
At first a quiet, under my breath kind of yelling, where if you weren’t within hearing distance you may have simply noticed a mother talking to her son. And if you were far enough, you wouldn’t even have noticed the furrowed eyebrows.
“Jonathan. Stop walking up ahead. Stay with us.”
“Jonathan. Stay WITH us.”
By the time we left, everyone knew my son’s name.
“JONATHAN! CHEESE AND RICE! STAY WITH US!!!”
After about two hours of hanging out with Mr. Complainer (I swear, he complained about everything from the sun to the cobble stone sidewalks to the smell of the horses), I finally gave in and said it was time to go home. Exhausted.
As we were walking back to the lot where it cost me the price of a root canal to park my car, I heard another mother yelling at her kid. I tried to walk by them as discreetly as possible. Tried not to stare. And especially tried not to grin. I know that I’m going to go straight to hell for feeling this way and even more so for admitting it out loud but . . . I was genuinely pleased, DELIGHTED, to hear how pissed she was at her son.
PS. Did I mention that Jonathan is 14?
PPS. Being mother to a 14 year old
SUCKS is hard.