"Mom, can you bring home some food?" J. asks when I call home this afternoon.
"No. Put Dad on the phone." Keep your voice firm and don't invite conversation.
"Mooooooom, we need food." Let the whining begin. It will continue until your tone of voice says I-mean-business-buddy.
"We have food. Look in the fridge." You can attempt to reason with them but it's usually not successful.
"No. I mean food," say J. "Like, cookies."
"No, I'm not bringing home cookies. They're junk food and we don't need it." I usually try reasoning a couple times before giving up.
"Puhleeeeeease. We neeeeeeed cookies."
"NO. Now put your father on the phone." In my best I-mean-business-buddy voice.
"Fine." J. snaps. "But Dad's not here."
Click. Disconnected phone line. End of conversation and I'm still relatively sane. That's the goal when talking teen - making sure your sanity is intact when you come out the other end of the conversation.
I stop at the grocery store on my way home and feel guilty about not having cookies in the house for my teens. So what do I do?
I buy two packages of cookies.
Fast forward three hours. J. has just come up from the basement where he was running on the treadmill.
"Hey, do we have any healthy snacks?"
I looked at him over the top of my glasses.
"Don't buy junk snacks anymore, Mom. I want to start eating healthy."
I failed the language lesson. And I haven't even said anything.