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Surrendering to Motherhood

Jennifer Huffman's Surrendering to Motherhood: When teens pull stunts

“How’s your teenage daughter doing?” I asked a mom friend last week.

“Ohhhh,” said the mom, shaking her head. “She tried to pull a stunt the other day.”

A stunt.

I didn’t have to ask the details: I knew EXACTLY what she meant. Teenagers are always trying to pull a stunt. You know, get away with something. Pull a fast one. Throw momma under the train.

It wasn’t so long ago that we had three teenagers. And it seemed like one of them was always trying to pull some kind of stunt.

It’s hard to stay on top of the stunts. When you’re in the middle of raising teenagers, your brain is already working at maximum capacity. It’s like a game of 3-D chess and you’re playing a teenage grandmaster. And you’re blindfolded.

One Huffman daughter, then in college, accidentally left her backpack with marijuana(!) in my car. A younger Huffman daughter, still in high school, then borrowed my car and unknowingly drove all around Napa with her older sister’s DRUG STASH sitting in the passenger seat next to her.

Oooohhh, when I found out, I was spitting mad.

IF YOUR SISTER HAD GOTTEN PULLED OVER SHE WOULD HAVE ENDED UP IN JUVENILE HALL! I yelled. AND YOU WOULD BE IN EVEN BIGGER TROUBLE THAN YOU ARE RIGHT NOW!

The would-be pot smoker was then asked to leave the house for five days to reflect upon her life choices. It was the first and hopefully last time I have to kick a kid out.

One teen told us that she was having a sleepover at a girlfriend’s house. Rookie mom didn’t realize that was code for “This Is A Trick.”

Did I call the girlfriend’s mom to confirm this? Nope. I was blissfully unaware of said trickery.

Turns out said teen actually went on a road trip WITH BOYS. Oh lord. I wanted to throttle her when I found out.

One Huffman daughter ordered some, ahem, personal items on Amazon.com. Using my husband’s Amazon Prime account. Which sends him a receipt via email for every purchase.

I did not need to know THAT about my daughter, he said, wincing.

Speaking of stunts, I’m not 100% innocent in all of this. I pulled a few when I was a teenager. Like my senior year when my girls Catholic high school held the prom at the then-Christian Brothers WINERY(!).

At the prom, my then-boyfriend and I decided it would be a GREAT idea to hide from the chaperones and sneak off from the prom for our own little “party.”

In his rented tuxedo and my formal gown, we ran through the vineyards and drove away in his parent’s car. (No mom, I don’t know why my high heels are muddy and why my dress hem is so dirty!)

What did we do? Found a dark street and made out, naturally! (Grown Up Jennifer is happy to report that’s as far as it went.)

I’m sure the Huffman teenagers got away with all kinds of other stunts that I don’t know about. Girls, please do not confess now. I need to maintain the illusion that I was fully aware of all stunts and managed to thwart all of them. Don’t ruin it for me.

Just no more stunts, OK?

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Surrendering to Motherhood appears every other Monday. Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @NVRHuffman.

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.

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