Moms like to brag about their kids. It’s a given. It starts with how long the mother labored and how much her baby weighed. It moves on to the first tooth, earliest walker and those who potty trained before anyone else. And while many of those early stories are amazing, those are things we all do eventually.
Moms with high-school-aged children have so much more to brag about. You see, only a small percentage of people will ever manage to do what their child has accomplished. Varsity team as a freshman. Perfect score on the ACT. Accepted with a full-ride to Julliard. It is impressive stuff and these moms can’t help but share with everyone.
I am one of those parents. In fact, I have topped them all. My 17-year-old is a Junior Olympic gold medalist in Eye Rolling. Oh yeah. Take that perfect ACT score mom! And you know what? My 15-year-old got the silver medal. How lucky am I?
I bet you did not even know they had that category in the Junior Olympics. They do. In fact, with so many teenagers vying for the Eye Rolling gold medal, the competition is fierce.
My girls are truly gifted. They have been practicing the art of Eye Rolling since they were preteens. It was an average day when I noticed my oldest daughter’s talent. We were shopping for clothes and I suggested an outfit that I thought was cute. Out of nowhere, my daughter produced a perfect eye roll in answer to my suggestion. It happened so naturally that it took my breath away.
From that moment on, she practiced as often as she could. Whenever I suggested a clothing combination, sang along to a song on the radio or asked for her help, she would work on her eye roll. We were so elated when she felt comfortable sharing her gift in front of her grandparents and of course, her friends. Everyone got to see her impressive eye roll.
A few of her friends tried to copy it, but they apparently didn’t have as much support from home to produce the perfect eye roll. I guess it takes the right kind of mother to build that talent in their child.
I really saw my daughter move to the next level when she added the complaint moan. You see, if you're not looking at my daughter’s face, you might miss her eye roll. She soon discovered if she moaned in complaint along with the eye roll, she would have a much bigger audience. It’s hard to explain the beauty of it unless you are in the same room, but I will try to set the scene.
Imagine a teenager sitting on the couch with the TV on. She is not actually watching the TV, but instead engaged in something on her phone. Her mother is in the kitchen, mixing ground beef for meatballs. The dog is standing at the back door wanting to go out. The dog barks but the teenager ignores the dog’s pleas. The mother asks her daughter nicely, “Honey, the dog needs to go out and my hands are covered in raw meat. Can you let her out?”
And the mother waits. And she waits. The mother repeats the request, a little louder this time. There is no movement from the teenager. The dog barks again. This time the mother replaces the word ‘honey’ with her daughter’s first and middle names. And here it comes.
The teen throws her head back for a second before inhaling deeply and sitting up straighter. Her jaw clenches as her eye ball rolls in the direction of the voice from the other room. Without blinking, her eyes come back to center and the teen turns her head toward her mother. Angry to be interrupted while scrolling through Instagram, the teen shoots a final death glare before standing up. Just in case her mother wasn’t looking, the teen lets out a moan that is a combination of disgust and aggravation before stomping her feet as she walks to the back door.
Another perfect 10. I am so proud. I wonder if they make an Eye Roll Olympiad sticker for the back of my car.
My Life with a Teen Daughter: The Lodger
Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three teenagers. She is fluent in sarcasm, can decipher mumbled words and can halt procrastination with a single eyebrow raise.