Perfectly Princess

November 1, 2006 at 5:59 am 17 comments

Princess will be 20 in January. She’s reached that fidgety, restless period in life in which living at home is no longer tolerable (the parents keep breathing dammit!). She frequently plots and plans her escape – transfer colleges and live in the dorm, or get an apartment with friends- seem to be the prevailing themes. In the meantime, she spends two or three nights in the city at her sister’s apartment. Most of my kids reached this period right after High School graduation. She’s the baby, and stuck around because she doesn’t like to suffer, or work too hard, or be alone or be forced to pay her own internt bill.

She will tell you she’s stayed at home because she needed to take care of her parents (parents who haven’t yet reached their 50th birthdays…positively doddering), or her mother would be lonely (mother… that would be me, when exactly do I have time to be lonely?). Pap and I just shake our heads and let the Princess live her own reality. When she’s ready, she will go.

I’ll miss her when she moves out. There are certain routines around here that Pap just hasn’t caught on to, but Princess has refined to a fine art. For instance, “the wake me up in the morning” routine: The daughter will frequently say to me “if you’re awake at 7:00, be sure to get me up.” What that means: at 7:00 I turn on her light and say “It’s 7:00”. If she rolls to the left, that means she heard me. If she groans and flings her right hand into the headboard, that means “I’m sleeping another hour”, so I come back at 8:00. If she pulls the blanket over her head that is the clear signal that I’m to toddle off on my own business and she’ll get up when her alarm goes off. The routine is simple, but Pap just doesn’t get it. He follows behind me and says “did you hear your mother? It’s 7:00” and then complains because she bites his head off.

Princess knows if I put Nickelback on the CD player, we’re picking up the house, and she just does it. If I’m actually washing a dish, she knows to dry it and put it away. If we borrow each others cars, we replace the gas. No talking is required during these routines. Poor Pap, just doesn’t get it.

I won’t miss that, despite my best efforts, one is never in danger of knowing what kind of mood the little lady is in. If she’s mad about work or school, Pap and I are the dogs she kicks. If she’s happy, everybody better be happy. I won’t miss the pile of shoes on the stairs, the pile of jeans in the laundry room or the mountain of books, papers and other college clutter that gathers by the corner of the couch where she sits. I won’t miss her evil cat or the way she clutters up my computer with junk.


Entry filed under: life with kids, Uncategorized.

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17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Rev. Dr. Kate  |  November 1, 2006 at 7:41 am

    I am wondering how I am going to handle my older son heading off to college next year. I can so identify with the “wake-up” routine. Getting my Alex out of bed could become a full-time job. And as for Pap not getting it – I think its a “mom” gene – one of the one that lies dormant until you become a mother!

  • 2. Jackie  |  November 1, 2006 at 9:38 am

    Ah, Kat, I love your reality post. Brought back memories.(Sounds like you were talking about Cindra in the mornings!) There are some things that I don’t miss, but there are oh-so-many-more that I do! Three of them gone from home – the baby being 34 years old – and sometimes I STILL ache to have them

  • 3. Ordinary Janet  |  November 1, 2006 at 10:09 am

    What a great post! I guess just when you’re used to them, they want to leave. Why is her cat evil?

  • 4. Dr.John  |  November 1, 2006 at 11:10 am

    Mine all left the nest but now our daughter and us are buying a duplex together. Reading your entry reminded me of the old days.

  • 5. Kat Campbell  |  November 1, 2006 at 4:26 pm

    Dr. Kate – My son had to woken up with cannon fire when he was living at home. I worried myself sick when he left for college, sure that he’d sleep through all his classes. Once Mom was out of the picture, the boy manages to get up with an alarm clock. Go figure.

    Jackie – I’ve survived the departure of the first four, I know I’ll live through this last one. Mine never go very far, and they check in often.

    Janet – I will do an entire post on the evilness of Princess’ cat. Pure demon this one.

    Dr. John – how great that your moving so close to your daughter! Hopefully there will be room for pidgeon falls!

  • 6. Mr. Fabulous  |  November 1, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    Once she moves out, I will be happy to crash there for a while if you want…

    Wake me at 7. If you’re up.

  • 7. Sunflower Optimism  |  November 1, 2006 at 6:10 pm

    Mood swings? Nah! Well, I can’t blame PMS – my daughter has been like that since she was FIVE! Still like that at 21 – if she’s had a spat with the BF, or some such nonsense we know to stay out of the way. Like next county over, out of the way.

    They are so predictable in their unpredictableness! (Yes, I know that’s not a word, LOL)

  • 8. FRIDAY'S CHILD  |  November 1, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    She’s glad to have a mom as liberal as you. I couldn’t manage that. When my son was in his schooling age, I have set my own rules as to when he is to wake up and eat breakfast before going to school. That was my house rules and had to be followed.
    Thanks for dropping by.

  • 9. sandy  |  November 1, 2006 at 8:36 pm

    Princess sounds just like my son before he moved out. lol
    Now I’m agonizing because he’s been offered a job in Malaysia. When they move out, they move out! Kids eh!

  • 10. BobCiz  |  November 1, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    Oh, admit it, you’re going to miss the hell out of her when whe finally moves out. You won’t have anyone but Pap to put up with. How will you ever cope?

  • 11. Kat Campbell  |  November 1, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    We can work that out Mr. Fab, as long as you bring Mrs. Fab so I have someone to talk girl talk with.

    Thank you Sunflower, I was blaming bad parenting on her bad behavior, since there are two of us, it must be the KIDS.

    We were tough with the first four, Friday, we were just worn out by the time Princess came along.

    Oh Sanday, Malaysia? I’d go nuts if any of them moved that far away.

    Yes, Bob, I will miss her like crazy. These kinds of posts are mentally preparing me to lose her. Pap will have to compensate with jewelery!

  • 12. Mimi  |  November 1, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    She will miss you when she is gone! She may not realize it for awhile, but she will. I moved out at 16 and came back several times before I left for good.I love your little routines with her! If my mom was so cool as to play Nickelback, I never would have left!;-)

  • 13. Kat Campbell  |  November 2, 2006 at 12:04 am

    I’ve always liked contemporary music, it drives Princess crazy – she cleans with me so I’ll turn it off, and she can listen to country!

  • 14. Just Tom  |  November 2, 2006 at 12:24 am

    Because of the cat picture I thought Princess was a 20 year old cat. If you think about a cat and start reading the first paragraph it’s pretty funny. To think, a twenty year old cat and her parents are still breathing. Of course cats can breed when their like a year old so I guess her parents could be like 21 or something. About half way through that paragraph I realized the cat picture was just… incongruous. Or else it represents the evil cat at the end. either way a good description of life at home with a…princess.

    But I don’t get the Paps part. The girl wants up at 7:00. Then you get her up at 7! Have Paps call me for support. Peace, T

  • 15. Kat Campbell  |  November 2, 2006 at 7:02 am

    Pictures on my blog do not necessarily have to make sense Tom. I specialize in random.–>

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