Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Lemonade Stand

I langorously slept till 15 minutes before I had to take DJ and her friend to school.  I've been running around all week and had decided today would be the day I would goof off at home, tidying, puttering, and the like, before I go back to my 24 hour shift tomorrow.  I threw on a t-shirt and jeans and sauntered over to DJ's room where I could detect no sign of activity.  Did she oversleep?  No, she was having a mini-meltdown.  She had been up since 6:20 trying to decide what to wear.  She had been standing in her towel for over an hour trying to decide what to wear.

I about blew a gasket.  I summoned my most "I mean business" tone of voice and informed her she was to put something on, immediately, grab her make-up and head to the car.  She trumped me by informing me in the calmest voice that she was simply not going to school today. She was like one of those protesters who fights the cops by simply going limp.  Hands down, she won this round.  Oh, but I was going to make her pay; however, I couched it in acceptable parent-speak:  "You will suffer the consequences of your decision when I get back," because I still had to get her friend to school.

DJ has never pulled a stunt like this, except for the one time I wouldn't let her bring the toy of her choice to a friend's house when she was about 8 years old.  That time, she screamed with such fury that a "Y" shaped formation of veins stood out on her little forehead.  It was actually kind of hilarious and has become one of those family stories that never die.  But that was about 8 years ago, and I certainly didn't think I'd see the peaceful form of the same resistance after such a lull in fringe behavior.  I was stymied.

I walked (stomped) my way out of the house to get her friend to school.  The poor girl was tardy because of DJ, yet, on giving her the abbreviated version of what had taken place at our house, she could only offer sympathy for DJ, and none, I noted, for me.  Hmmmm, perhaps I was too hasty in chalking her behavior up to merely teenage angst when in fact, there was more to it.

She had subtly indicated that her wardrobe issues were a result of her having the wrong plumbing.  In my haste to get her to school on time and to have the day to myself that I had planned, I didn't pay much heed to her explanation.  Her mild surprise at my lack of understanding should have brought me back to reality, but I was still on my trajectory to the stratosphere where being on time for school and having time to myself were the priorities.  The drive to school and the chat with her best friend brought me back down to earth, thank goodness, so that I could pick up a caffe mocha for her (as well as the biggest latte that Starbucks makes for me) and use it as a peace offering on my return home.

Of course her concerns were valid.  Damn it, just when I get the notion that I shouldn't put too much emphasis on her being transgendered and just treat her like a regular teenage girl, a transgender issue peaks its little head up and trips me up completely.  I have GOT to get used to thinking on two fronts! On the other hand, she might have to get better at being more direct when she has an issue like this come up.  I know that teenagers like to keep some distance between themselves and their parents when it comes to issues regarding their bodies, but we are not in a typical situation here.  And seven months from now, after her surgery, who does she think is going to be up close and personal with her new plumbing until she can adequately care for herself again?

Fodder for another conversation I never thought I'd have with one of my kids, but I write that with a smirk on my face.  Because really, this is good stuff.  Frustrating as hell at first, rife with misunderstanding initially, but I'm getting to know my kid in a way that many parents don't, even if it is due to necessity and kind of against both our wills, at first.  You know that, "if life hands you lemons" perspective?  Yeah, well, we be makin' lots of lemonade in this house.