Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Our Teenager

Tonight the moment came when we had to deal with Ethan's contacts. Neither Corey nor I have had glasses, and thus we have not ever worn or bought contacts either. One of the reservations I had with contacts was what I believed would be the incurring expense of ordering them. Tonight one of his contact trial lenses ripped, thus the moment to order more was upon us. He thought we should pay for them, since it's a birthday present. No, son, we do not have room in our budget for this luxury for you. We will not be paying for these. With Corey's help we were able to come to a compromise that we'll pay for as much as we pay for glasses for the kids each year, which we said we'd round up to $100 (but this past eye glass season since we didn't go in for exams when we should have, that $100 a year was stretched to 2 years!) So we're giving him a deal by sponsoring that much for him. So we asked him to pay for the rest of it past the $100 allotment from us. He kinda was ticked at us and complained about it. I had done some research of the cost and it was about $40 for a box, and you need one box for each eye and that will last 3 months. He then proceeded to tell us what a great deal $40 a box was. Well sure, it's easy to think something is a deal when you're not the one dishing out the money. He's got to feel some of the pain that comes from parting with cash, and not just for your Wendy's fries and Frostys. "But I'm trying to save my money!" We are too... (I bet Ethan's been more successful than us) It all just disappears, we know! We understand, we get it. We mentioned buying so much food to feed everyone and then he started to complain about how we have no food and all he ever eats is Top Ramen. "We have food besides Top Ramen..." "I'm hungry all the time! We don't have any food here!" I just thought "Whatever" and didn't want to talk to him about anything anymore, but then as he stormed out of the room to get his $40 contribution for his contact lenses, he said "You don't know what it's like to be a teenager!" Corey and I looked at each other and smiled. I think this was the first time that that line was used on us. Corey then said "What he meant to say was 'You don't know what it's like to be a teenage boy...'" Ok, well that is true. I agree that I don't know what it's like to be a teenage boy.
So then I spent an hour figuring out where to order contacts. I figured out how to enter his prescription online - where to find the Power, CYL and AXIS numbers, whatever those mean... and how to enter his ophthalmologist, and we had shopping carts with lenses in them from two places - America's Best and 1-800-contacts but I bailed with both of those cause it was like a 6 month supply for $170, not the $140 we planned on. I thought we'd wait until I could ask someone who knows for some help. But one more google search led me to discountcontactlenses.com where the ACUVUE OASYS for ASTIGMATISM were only $29.99 a box! I ordered a 9 month supply for $153. And Ethan knows that after this, he's on his own, so he's got 9 months to save up his saxophone lesson money to order them for himself next time.

Most all the kids were in the kitchen area or close by and heard the exchanges taking place between us and Ethan as we discussed money and life and paying for things. They mostly felt sorry for me, as Abi, Lily, and Wesley all came up to give me a hug and let me know I'm a good mom. I think that seeing how Ethan treats us sometimes might forever innoculate them against teenage-hood, cause it's hard on all of us. Hopefully they'll remember how it felt to be on the other end and when their teenage urges and drama are ready to surface, perhaps they'll pause and think that they don't want to be the one acting like teenager Ethan acted. Melodie also came up into my room later and told me how dad once said that Ethan is the teenage daughter we never had.

I love you Ethan. but I will say you have been our first official teenager, and it's hard. Please don't let it hurt you feelings, it's nothing personal. When Owen is older I'll let him know he was my hardest baby (Daniel's been awesome) I'll tell Sophi that she was hard to potty train (Natalie was a piece of cake). When I was pregnant with Hyrum it was great, for most of you it was not. There are a lot of phases of life with each of you kids, from pregnancy through when you fly from this nest you call home and begin your own life. You are a great kid and you're gonna turn out great, I know you'll be great cause you're a little Corey, and he's the best ever. But I will still say that I'm looking forward to the day that this teenager phase will be behind us! We can make it! Love you

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