"Absolutely not."

"Moooooooooooom. Everyone else is doing it!"

I sigh. Close my eyes. "If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you?"

"That doesn't make any sense! You never let me do anything cool, and now all of my friends are gonna make fun of me!"

"They don't seem like very good friends if they're going to pick on you for something like this, sweetie."

My daughter makes an indignant noise, like a disappointed hawk that had just let a mouse get away. "What do YOU know?! You and Dad are so boring, and you only hang out with each other! I can't believe you would do this to me!"

"I can't believe you would want to do this to yourself."

And I really can't. I guess this is what it was like for my mom when I wanted to dye my hair pink. Or when my husband's parents found out he'd pierced his tongue and made him take it out. Kids are always wanting to push their parents, seeing which crazy fads they'll allow and which they won't.

But, honestly. This is going too far. Maybe if she'd only wanted her ears pierced or a tattoo, now that I could see as normal teenage rebellion. Her friends were definitely not ALL doing it, that much I knew. Their parents would never allow it.

"Of COURSE you don't get it!" my daughter accuses, jabbing a finger at me. "YOU'RE old. YOUR generation's idea of fashion was ugly plastic glasses you didn't even need to wear, stupid cloth pants that were too thin, and boy haircuts!" She shook her head, hair flying wildly, and let out another shrill screech. "You're so unreasonable, I can't stand it!"

I pinched the bridge of my nose. I don't know why I did this because it doesn't help anything to pinch the bridge of your nose, but people who are running out of patience usually do it, so I did. "Sweetheart, I'm not being unreasonable. You are not getting cosmetic surgery, and that's final. Even if it was a good idea, we don't have the money to pay for something like that."

"I don't have to get it done by a doctor." Her voice dropped in pitch. She attempted to sound reasonable. "Casey and Schuyler did each other's wings, and they turned out great. They didn't even get any infections or anything."

I stare. "That's worse, not better."

Her anger instantly returns. "So what if you don't want me to? I'm almost an adult, I can make my own decisions! I'm going to have a gorgeous pair of monarch butterfly wings, and I'm going to do it without your permission! Then I'll be the most popular girl in school! HA!"

I shut my eyes. Count backwards from ten, quickly. When I open them, my daughter has the biggest shit-eating grin on her face. Like she thinks she's won. "You do that, and we're throwing out the Robot Pony we got you for your birthday this year."

I cover my ears just as she starts screaming again.