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Poke the Bear

Most days as a mom, there’s at least one moment when I have to fight every natural instinct in my being. When I pause and think to myself for that instant, “oh yeah, well I’ll give you something to cry about,” or “gimme the name of this punk-ass kid and me and my girl posse will have a chat with him,” or “here, let me correct these few little mistakes on your work.” But then I snap out of the daydream and carry on in reality. 

I just had one of those moments. Tonight, my daughter came home quite upset about something that happened at school. (That’s another story.) I proceeded to try and talk to her about it, but she stormed out of the room, yelling at me as she slammed her bedroom door. She mumbled something like, “I don’t want to talk to you about it, you won’t understand and will just make me angry.” This behaviour isn’t uncharacteristic of my daughter, but it certainly is rare. Traditionally, she comes to me within a couple of hours and talks it through but I have a bad feeling about this one. Is this the moment when my child turns into a pubescent nightmare? 

I keep waiting for my daughter to give me some kind of enormous grief as a parent. I can’t come out of  parenthood unscathed. She was such a good baby, slept like a champ, and I can still count on two hands how many rough nights we had. She’s always so caring, cuddly, and chatty. 

But the hammer is coming. I can feel it. Lady Karma is hiding behind the corner waiting to jump out at me. Payback! 

I remember storming out of the room when my mom was talking to me, yelling at her that “she doesn’t understand,” and mumbling some sort of “why does everything have to happen to me,” statement under my breath as I slammed my bedroom door. My mom usually respected my space in those situations, and I think I turned out pretty well, so I’m going to follow her lead. Wow, it’s taking all of my strength to not go in there and poke the bear!


Janet Smith is a proud single-mom of one daughter and a marketing professional who is grateful for her rural roots in the London area. She is a big believer in connecting with people through laughter and honesty.


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