I thought I’d heard it all when it came to reasons for missing school.
Injuries, illness, bad hair days, break-ups, boyfriends. Really, really, bad PMS.
But this was a new one.
I was attending a conference when my cell phone started to jiggle and buzz urgently and repeatedly. Note: This is the sort of thing that makes your heart stop for an instant when you are far from home.
Daughter: Help! Emergency!!!
Me: Is everything ok?
Daughter: No. I have a huge problem!!!!
Me: Okay… what is is?
Daughter: I look like Snooki!!!!!!
Up on stage, renowned speaker Brene Brown was opining about girlhood, confidence and shame. Up until the buzzing began, I’d been nodding my head, entranced. So hard to be a teen today. So much pressure.
Daughter: I’m an oompa loompa! Call me in sick! People will think I spray tanned!!!
I took a moment to think about it. I’ve warned my daughter repeatedly that less is more when it comes to the self tanner. So she did the sensible thing. Waited till I left home to test out that theory. Probably with MY very expensive self tanner.
Me: Yeah. Sorry about that. But I’m not calling you in Snooki, honey. Get some salt scrub and a loofa.
Daughter: Hey I know… Maybe daddy can take off from work and get me some more self tanner, like for my face? So I match?
I picture my husband calling in to his boss to explain this dire situation, “Yeah guys, I know the demo is in two days, but my daughter’s face doesn’t match her thighs. And she’s wearing really short shorts.”
Me: Daddy can buy you the loofa. Tonight.
Daughter: Okayyyyy. Fine……… 🙁 🙁 🙁
Me: Text me some pictures, would you? My friends kinda want to see how much you look like Snooki…
I’m not sharing the pics. They were not all that bad actually, and the Oompa Loompas really drive the point home better. Self tanner has a steep learning curve. Less is more. I’ve done the Snooki and the zebra myself.
Sometimes having a teenager is a little like having a toddler. It’s back to “natural consequences” and all that. So while I did not call her in Snooki, I also did not nag her about the towels she was about to stain. I figured worse came to worse, we could bleach the consequences right out of them.