I was finishing up my four hour slacker shift at work today when I overheard that my sister's school was closed today because of a power outage. I get home to find Katie, in her pajamas, texting her friends. Keep in mind that it is 8:20 A.M., Eastern Time.
I let it go, because I know that sometimes I am not the best cell phone role model, between Twitter and friends who have drastically different sleeping schedules than I do.
The day wears on, I work on some articles, I make some phone calls, and Katie has moved from texting while sitting on the couch to texting in her bedroom. Around two in the afternoon, I'm proofreading an article and I notice that the kitchen sink has an awful lot of dirty dishes in it. Since Katie was just chilling out watching "Handy Manny" (which, I should add, is meant for 4-6 year olds - that's less than half of Katie's age) I peaked my head out and said something along the lines of how Mom would sure appreciate it if the dishes were loaded into the dishwasher.
Commence screaming. Not from me, but from my 13 year old sister. What the heck?
"You guys always ask me to do stuff when I want to do something else. I've been waiting for this show to come on for weeks and no one lets me watch it." And she keeps screaming at me, and then finally tells me that I should do the dishes because, despite doing something that I am under contract and getting paid for, whatever I'm doing isn't nearly as important as "Handy Manny's Family Reunion."
Just for reference, Katie found out about this special a week ago. She watched it last night. Katie doesn't get to watch the show because it's on during the school day; rightfully so, because it's meant for children who don't have to go to school during the day because they're five years old.
Maybe it's just me being older and wiser, but at age thirteen I believe that she should be able to do some kind of chores. After all, at thirteen I was required to rearrange my social schedule on the weekends in order to cook dinner on Saturday nights - hot dogs and mac and cheese were off limits, as was anything that came from a box. Try explaining to your friends when you're in seventh grade that you're not allowed to spend the night Saturday because you have to cook dinner. Not even kidding.
Maybe it's the fact that she's hitting puberty and is being all hormonal without her knowledge. Maybe it's my over independence that's kicking in. Maybe it's the generation gap, however slight it may be, between us. When I was thirteen, we didn't even dream of having a cell phone. We didn't know what texting was, and when we were at a friend's house and needed to contact our families - like Katie was last night - we actually picked up a land line phone, dialed a number (all 12 digits) and talked to our parents. Katie texted me last night with a message for Mom, which I proceeded to tell her was just flat out lazy and rude. She didn't speak to me for the rest of the night.
Whatever it is, maybe I need to be more understanding. Maybe this is why I didn't major in middle grades education. By the time one of my parents got home today, I was about ready to pull my hair out. Thirteen must be the new age of slacking, not your early twenties.