For various complicated reasons that prove that 1) God has a sense of humor and 2) my karma sucks, I will be solely responsible for the care and feeding of teenaged girl for a good portion of the summer.
This is because Mother of She Who Must Be Obeyed is going into surgery and She Who Must be Obeyed is taking our youngest and heading off to Niigata to look after her. However, because Japan is run by sadists who do not understand the meaning of the phrase “summer vacation” our oldest has several club practices and will be staying home with me.
This poses a few interesting dilemmas.
First, it makes it difficult for me to recharge my batteries as I will now have people around (well, at teenager anyway). Do I simply encourage her to surf the net and text her friends via her Nintendo 3DS constantly or do I make an effort to encourage her to study constantly?
Second, this means I am required to “set an example” and “be responsible” which means my usual regression into a kind of prehistoric beast will not be possible. (Well, it’s possible, just not recommended.) Do I simply encourage her to live life one step above the garbage houses in Hoarders with the understanding that we have to clean everything before She Who Must Be Obeyed gets home or do I give her more daily chores?
Third, do I bribe her to skip club and just go to Niigata where she will be spoiled blind by the family members there? (With the understanding that she will have to be reprogrammed to her regular life of scarcity once she gets back.)
Fourth, do I pull the Bill Cosby “dad’s are the smartest people in the house because only a genius could act that dumb” card and make it appear that I plan to do things in the worse possible way imaginable so that She Who Must Be Obeyed insists our oldest go to Niigata with her? Examples: Don’t worry, dear. We’ll eat well. McDonalds is up by the station and we can always order pizza. There’s lots of good, just expired food thrown out on burnable trash day, too. If you cook it thoroughly it’s just fine. Got me through graduate school. Or: I’m going to teach our oldest how to use and sharpen knives. Or: I’m going to get my driver’s license and start driving us around everywhere.
Fifth, should I speak to her or pretend she’s not there?
Sixth, do I just have fun and try to make some positive memories? Sure. But she has club almost everyday. We’ll have to pencil in the memories. Sigh.