The first days of back to school with teenagers are really much easier than with little ones. Teens haven’t grown out of all their clothes and trashed their shoes over the summer, so maybe something a little fun for the first day and we are good. They already have backpacks and supplies that are usable, the list is much shorter and easier on your wallet, too. No one in high school has asked me for 742 glue sticks or 14 boxes of Kleenex ever. High schoolers can make their own lunch, pack up their own homework and get off to school with losing their cool over itchy tags or sock seams either.

It is actually being in school that is the problem for teenagers. Once you get littles waking up at the right time, brushing their teeth and doing all the morning bits and pieces, you are in a good place, working your routine. It takes a couple of weeks, and while after that you will still have incidents, everyone knows what to do. Teens operate in exactly the opposite way. They are good for the first couple weeks, and then it hits.

We made it 11 days this year. 11 school days until the wheels started coming off the bus. It was just enough time for everyone to settle in, get their summer stories told, figure out who was in what classes with them and wear all their new clothes. Then the drama started.

We can’t talk to Friend A because she invited NotFriend to sit with us at lunch and we can’t stand NotFriend, she’s too dramatic! We aren’t talking to Friend B because she is dating Boy T and he used to date Friend C and Friend C is soooo hurt by this! Solidarity! Friend D told OtherNotFriend that we don’t want to hang out with her at the football game and now OtherNotFriend is texting us random messages about how mean we all are! And why we don’t like OtherNotFriend is because ….she smokes pot! We know this because SeniorGuyWhoGraduatedLastYear told us! We like Boy S but we saw him flirting with RandomGirl and we are wounded, wounded I tell you! We blocked 2 people on Snap Chat today, unblocked 3 more who have redeemed themselves over the summer and screenshot each action to post on Instagram. How are we supposed to do homework with all this going on???? 

 Of course, this is where parenting comes in, but because we are talking about teenagers it is a mostly useless endeavor. Nevertheless, I try.

* Why don’t you just stay out of the drama?  OMG mom, I DO. It’s THEM. THEY are the problem.

 * If Friend and Boy are not dating, he is free to date other people.  Seriously? You totally don’t get it.

 * I’m glad you don’t want to hang around people that do drugs but you don’t need to believe every rumor either.  IT IS TRUE! Everyone knows it. Besides, like 95% of the people at school smoke pot, so why wouldn’t it be true???

 * If the boy you like is interested in someone else just move on. There are plenty of other nice boys.  BUT I LOVE HIM! Don’t you see? We were meant to be together!

 * Maybe you just need to take a break from all the Snap Chat and Instagramming for a while since it seems to cause you so much distress. There are no words to describe the depth of sighing and amount of eye-rolling caused by this suggestion.

 Day 13 and I am D.O.N.E.  As much as I looked forward to school starting, I am over it. It has barely begun and we have already suffered enough “tragedies” to render a normal person catatonic from the shock.  And the observation that “you are a big part of your problems” doesn’t win you any points.

167 days to go. I am currently accepting thoughts and prayers.




Melissa Coble is a mom living in Phoenix, Arizona just trying to survive the teenage years with a lot of laughs, an occasional rant, and copious amounts of wine. You can find her counting the days until her nest is empty on her blog An Unfit Parent and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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