There are so many reasons to dread your child turning into a teenager. The price of hot water. The cost of car insurance. The fact that everyone who has a teenager tells you to be worried. Oh, and the notion that taking your child to the mall will never be the same again.
My child is only on the verge of tweenhood, and yet I'm already getting a picture of what shopping is like with someone who thinks you're completely uncool and really just wants to be hiding in Claire's with her friends. Allow me, if you will, to share a little advice. This is how every shopping trip will go for at least eight years ...
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1. Upon arriving at the mall, you will get out of the car as usual and start walking to the entrance. You will realize she is still a few hundred yards behind you, trying to get out of the minivan without anyone noticing she was actually IN a minivan:
2. You walk out of a store to find her chatting with her friends, and you call out to her using a name she's suddenly forgotten.
3. You ask her to stop in at the Children's Place with you to grab something for her little sister, but you might as well have suggested she shave her eyebrows and wear the sweater Grandma knitted her for Christmas. IN PUBLIC.
4. You snag some seriously adorable shoes off the sale rack at DSW and slip them on, and she tries to hide her disgust. Really. Tries.
5. She realizes you really are not going to give her her own credit card, and that's it. The world is OVER:
6. But wait! All is not lost! There is a sale on everything that has a skull on it at Hot Topic!
7. After you've scored some My Little Pony gear "ironically" appropriate for a 16-year-old, things are really looking up. You hit Penney's for a dress for her cousin's bat mitzvah, and she even agrees to try on one of your picks. She emerges from the dressing room only to see a boy she knows, and, wait a second ... "Honey? Where are you?"
7. You head to the food court, and snag a table while she goes up to grab pizza for both of you. While you're sitting there, you spot her best friend and invite her to sit with you. At least, you thought Betsy was her best friend, until your daughter starts walking back to the table and you get this face:
8. After you survive the nuclear winter of eating between two teenage girls who used to adore one another, you hit the movie theater where you run into someone she hasn't received a text from in approximately 24 minutes. They talk about the movie while you consider cotton balls to lessen the volume of the screeches:
9. After a full day together, you return home, and she delivers the most effusive bit of thanks you've gotten in weeks.
So. Worth it.
Do you go to the mall with your teenager? What happens?
Image via D. Sharon Pruitt/Flickr