I don't think there's anything quite as scary and frightening as a hormonal teenager. Our house is covered in eggshells already (from all the walking on them) and in 31 days I'll officially have two of them. A 13 and 16 year old girl, how did that happen? It honestly seems like yesterday that Rachel showed me the positive pregnancy test for Jade. My joy was slightly dampened as this was the 17th test she'd taken in a week so I'd had to take out a large loan to pay for them all. Once they were born, all people said was to enjoy them whilst they were young as the teenage years would be hell. "A house full of teenage female hormones, good luck with that!" I reassured everyone that our girls would be a dream and they'd be no bother at all.
I'd spent most of my life surrounded by women so had always felt prepared for this. With no dad around from the ages of 3-10, me and my younger brother were brought up by my mum. We lived with my auntie and her daughter who was permanently annoying and in a strop. My auntie had her regular moments too. I worked for two and a half years in recruitment with five woman and spent time as a Weight Watchers leader, again surrounded almost exclusively by women. I'm not suggesting they were all hormonal but I felt these experiences helped make me uniquely qualified to deal with anything my daughters and wife could throw at me. I've always been in touch with my feminine side and genuinely felt I would have a close and beautiful relationship with my daughters.
There was however one thing I hadn't taken into consideration. My state of mind had a huge bearing on how I responded and coped with everything that came my way. In a good, calm place I felt I could handle anything. In a bad place I was a lot less understanding and calm. Also, being so similar and closely connected to Rachel, I often become equally hormonal when she does. All this added together makes our home a little volatile at times. This is a typical hormonal outburst that occurs in the Banana Head household. To avoid embarrassment I won't put a name to it, I'll just label it HER.
The Morning Blame Game
HER (panic stricken) "Daddy, where's my school book, it was on the table last night."
ME (calm and friendly) "Sorry, I haven't seen it, are you sure it was there?"
HER (anger already present) "Of course it was, you must have moved it."
ME (confused) "Why would I have moved it?"
HER (voice going higher) "Just to annoy me. You have to help me find it."
ME "I'm sorry, I'm busy. It's your book, you can find it."
HER (as the tears approach) "You're so out of order. It's your fault, you should find it."
Cue ten minutes of crying, shouting and throwing stuff everywhere.
HER (in a very quiet voice) "I found it."
ME "Where was it?"
HER (sheepishly) "In my bag, I didn't see it."
This normally leads straight into:
HER (panic turning to aggressiveness) "I'm going to be late now, you have to take me to school."
ME "I'm sorry, you should have prepared everything last night as we always tell you to."
HER (stomping feet is common here) "You're so out of order, you want me to get a detention don't you."
ME (Knowing I'll sound condescending but determined to make the point anyway) "I just want you to take responsibility, that's all. You may not see it now but when you're older you'll thank me for this."
HER (in full banshee mode) "You're so horrible, I'm not talking to you."
CUE door slam and a sprint to the station to just catch the train in time.
To be fair, this person will almost always apologise afterwards for being hormonal. A lack of sleep, an incoming or already here period will get the blame for it and calmness will be restored. Both the girls have promised they'll never spout the words no parent wants to hear, "I hate you," and so far they've been true to their word. Another common outburst goes like this:
HER "My room was really tidy, why have you dumped stuff all over my bed?"
ME "I haven't dumped anything, I've neatly put all the things you left downstairs on your bed. You know, the things I've been asking you to take up for the last two days."
HER (going from calm to banshee in record time) "You're so annoying, none of it's mine."
She then proceeds to throw most of the things out of her room oblivious to where they end up. Dog starts eating the three items that have fallen down the stairs. I tell her off and she says it's my fault for dumping it in her room in the first place. Her sister then complains that none of the stuff that's just arrived on her floor is hers either. Cue 15 min argument between themselves about ownership of the pile of discarded items.
I then try and make my point that if they'd listened to me in the first place and taken their things up when I asked them too, none of this would have happened. That never goes down well and leads to another argument between the three of us or four if Rachel joins in.
Occasionally, as they're kicking off I can say in a gentle and supportive way, "Are you feeling a little bit hormonal this morning?" This is akin to playing Russian Roulette and can end in peace or get very messy. They can reply yes, I put my arms out and we have a hug. Alternatively, they can reply in a rage, "Don't patronise me," and carnage ensues. I just need to do my best to read the situation. This isn't very easy to do so success rates are low. I'd now like to present a number of scenarios where hormones have flared up and simple situations have been turned into cataclysmic end of Earth events in their minds.
1. Me eating the last chocolate biscuit / cholla roll / cracker / can of Sprite.
2. The corner of a page of homework being turned up at the end.
3. The pencil sharpener breaking the end off the pencil more than once.
4. Me eating too noisily, even though my mouth's closed. Both daughters go crazy and get so angry you'd think I'd insulted Billie Eilish or Lady Gaga.
5. Rach coming in from walking the dogs and I haven't tidied the kitchen. Her rage will go on for at least five minutes even though I've told her I'm about to do it, I've just been working.
6. Me sneezing. For some reason (apart from just having a big nose) I sneeze very loudly and often continuously for about 30 seconds. The has a strange effect on all the females in the house and results in them starting off tutting, then getting angry and finally crying and storming out. All in the space of 30 seconds, it's madness.
7. Unable to find various items of clothes that should have been prepared earlier.
All of the above and almost all other incidents are of course my fault according to the girls. Whatever it is, I've done it to be annoying.
The title of this post is how to deal with hormonal outbursts and I've realised that I haven't offered anything useful regarding this. Maybe it's because they're just too hot to handle. Being honest I do have my own hormonal outbursts but maybe that's for another time.
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