It’s spring break and while I am busy trying to renovate the bathroom, my tween is getting bored playing his same old video games.
“Can we go shopping for a new one?” he asks.
I want to say: Can’t you see I am busy? But it comes out: “Because when I was your age, I had to use my imagination to entertain myself. Go read a book.”
Tween rolls eyes.
“Get the laptop and look up: www.myrca.ca. It’s the Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award. Reader’s Choice. You know, like the Teen Choice Awards… the one where they give out giant surfboards?”
A spark of recognition floats into the tween’s eyes.
“Well, you choose the winner, you! Not me, not your teachers, not the librarians, YOU!”
“That’s cool. I loved The Lightning Thief.”
This is where I know I’ll lose him, but I valiantly try in spite of the drywall mud forming to a hard crust all over my hands.
“It’s a Manitoban award, the books are all Canadian. You can’t vote for The Lightning Thief because it’s not on the list.”
Tween sighs mournfully.
“You know, a lot of people read through a lot of books to pick the list, just take a look at it… See? You’ve already read all the 39 Clues; The Emperor’s Code is on there. Isn’t that the one where Dan gets lost in China and goes on tour with Justin Beiber?”
“It wasn’t Justin Bieber, he went on tour with his superstar cousin, Jonah Wizard.”
“Um, Mom, why is there water running down the stairs?”
As I run back the bathroom, I can hear the click clicking of the laptop keys.
“Hey Mom! Dear George Clooney is on the list, I’ve read that one too. Violet feeds cat poop to her baby twin sisters. It’s hilarious! Then she tries to get George Clooney to marry her Mom because she’s dating a man named Dudley Wiener!”
As he laughs hysterically, I wonder why, exactly, that is funny, but I am too busy mopping to care.
“And my teacher had us do a project on The Adventures of Jack Lime. First he read it out to us in class and then we had to make a movie trailer.”
I come back downstairs to see my tween looking up books on the library’s website. I may not be a plumber, but I think I have this parenting thing down pat.
“Can we go to the library? It says I can vote anytime during spring break.”
“I have to drive your sister to Millennium for the Hunger Games party. You can vote then.”
“Awesome. Can I call on Hunter now to see if he wants to make another movie trailer with me?”
“We can feed poop to his baby sister!”
As tween runs out the door with the video camera, I think to myself, maybe I should stick to renovations. It’s much easier.