The Teenage Blame Contortionist

It’s ALL Mom’s Fault

My thirteen year old, Gannan, is a blame contortionist. Lately when something isn’t right, no matter his actions, no matter his mistakes, he very adeptly twists, turns and wrings it into something that I did wrong. Take last night for instance, he was hungry. (Not an unusual occurrence. Teenage boys’ stomachs are colossal chasms.)

Gannan: What can I eat mom?

Me: Well there’s goulash left over. There’s potato salad, pasta salad, chips, strawberries….

My voice trails off as Gannan’s entire being begins to protest my food list. He begins with a gigantic eye roll. This is followed by a body wave meant to indicate his disgust. It starts at his knees. They contort into crooked angles and knock together in a haphazard way. He then bends at the waist and pitches his arms out in front of him. It ends as he stands up straight and places his hands in his long shaggy hair, tugging a little.

Gannan: UUHH! There is NEVER anything in this house to eat. Why don’t you shop better? (Mom’s fault- number one for those keeping score.)

Me: Gannan I won’t be insulted. Please go and quietly get your food or go to your room. Your choice.

I listen intently as his feet pad down the hall. I hear the clanking of jars as the refrigerator door opens. Heavy sighs permeate the silence as he makes the all important what-to-eat-decision. All of a sudden fast feet pad back down the hall.

Gannan: There are Pizza Hut bread sticks in there!

Me: Yes. What’s the matter with that?

Gannan: NOTHING! I love those. Why didn’t you TELL me we had bread sticks??? (Mom’s fault-number two. Put it on your score card.)

This time he happily rushes down the hall. Jars in the refrigerator clang louder as the door is opened with great gusto. I hear the whisper of the miniature pizza box that holds the breadsticks as it slides off of the fridge’s shelf. A pause in the sound….and then….an exasperated “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!

Feet pound down the hall back towards me.

Gannan: Where’s the little cup of sauce?

Me: There wasn’t any left to take home.

Gannan: (Another body wave of disgust…see above, and then cue the whining.) Why does this always happen to me? Why didn’t you ask the waitress for more? (Mom’s fault-number three. Oh but there’s more!)

His feet pummel the hall floor. A plate is yanked from its comfortable spot in the cupboard and the microwave door slams. I get more comfortable in my chair, hoping that the sustenance scene has played itself out.

Losing my vigilance too soon, a hungry, ornery Gannan somehow shows up in the doorway; plate in hand, bottom lip drooping, eyes squished to slits, clearly out of his mind.

Gannan: Why did you tell me to put blue cheese on these? They’re RUINED! (Mom’s fault-number four!)

Me: (Stifling a snort.) What are you talking about Gannan? I never told you to…

Not wanting to hear what I have to say lest it proves his ranting wrong, Gannan cuts me off.

Gannan: This is just a waste of food. I’m not eating this. I’m going to my room where I’ll starve to death and THEN you’ll be sorry! (Mom’s fault-number five!)

Me: I might not be sorry Gan….

Gannan: Ha ha! Funny mom. This wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for you. It’s ALL YOUR FAULT!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Logan Fisher

Logan has lived in Glens Falls, NY all her life. By day, she is an educator with 20 years experience, a mom to Aidan and Gannan, her two teenage boys, a new mommy to a beautiful daughter, Ila, and wife to the love of her life, Jeffrey. By night, weekends and any spare time she can find, Logan writes. She loves memoir and also adores writing essays about the challenges of parenthood. This year she started a parenting blog called A Muddled Mother, an honest place where mothers aren’t afraid to speak of the complications and difficulties that we all inevitably experience. Logan has been published in various children’s and parenting magazines including Today’s Motherhood, Eye on Education, Faces, and Appleseed.

11 Comments

  1. Destiny Lawyer said,

    July 27, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Oh, boy! So this is what I have to look forward to! I already see glimpses of this behavior-when my seven year old can’t find something that, “It’s your fault because if you wouldn’t have cleaned it up, I’d know where it is” or, “It IS your fault because you’re the one who told me to do it and THEN look what happened” when he does not like the end result of something. To echo Lanni’s sentiments, by far the times when I hear this the most is my students refusing to accept responsibility for their own actions. Usually it is in regards to grades that are my fault. (Don’t worry, because I have a plethora of comebacks!) I am sorry that I find so much entertainment in reading this column. I am sure I won’t be laughing in a few years when I am the one experiencing this!

  2. meg walsh-vogel said,

    July 26, 2010 at 12:25 am

    And “they” say teenage girls are drama queens?
    Gannan is not the first…I know a 25 year old drama king …in fact I know of quite a few drama kings aka hetrosexual males…I thought guys were supposed to outgrow this sort of behavior.
    Drama best belongs in the theatre or in a book.

  3. mindy lavine said,

    July 21, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Great article! Gannon cracks me up!!! Similar conversations occur in my home too Logan!

  4. Jennifer Randall said,

    July 20, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    FUNNY. CAN’T WAIT FOR JACK TO DO THIS STUFF……..OH WAIT HE DOES LOL

  5. Jill said,

    July 20, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Great story Logan!! Everytime I read one of your columns I know that I have only a few short years until I experience what you go through. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Sherry Lorrain said,

    July 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    This is so typical @ my house!! Oh Logan I could really tell you some good ones! You just waite till your little Ila is a teen! Right now I am experiencing both boy 14, Girl 17 what an adventure!

  7. Logan said,

    July 20, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Jodi, Welcome to the world of commenting!! So glad you are all chuckling..at least SOMETHING good comes out of Gannan’s behavior!

  8. Jodi said,

    July 20, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Funny! Funny Funny! Not just you but Gannon too! I’m so glad I’ve figured out how to comment now! Ha Ha!

  9. Jenee Kinne said,

    July 20, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Great story Logan! I was smiling to myself while reading the entire story. I can completely understand and relate to Gannan’s reactions. Everything seems to be mom’s fault in my house…including my inability to get the “right” food at the grocery store.

  10. joanne hurlburt said,

    July 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    This is so Gannan and so funny! If you have ever met him you could picture the entire scene in your head! Although Logan, he could use a little meat on those bones!! Feed the poor child! Made me laugh

  11. Lanni West said,

    July 20, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    HUGE FAN! By far one of my favorite stories yet. I might not have kids of my own, but I have many many students in my class who do the exact same thing to me. No homework…some how it is MY fault! When do kids learn to take responsibility for their own actions?


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