Life with a Teenager….bathroom,chores, etc…etc…etc…
Would you like to know how to get the entire world to give you one big collective sigh? Utter four simple words…..
“I have a teenager…..”
Would you like to know how to change the sigh to one big collective groan? Utter the following…..
“My daughter is now a teenager ……”
I have one of those now…..
We must not forget the son who is going thru puberty……can we say body odor and mood swings….? I’ll get to that later….
Observations that I have made concerning teenagers in general…..
* Upon reaching the age of 13, they go deaf. There is proof in this. When you call their name, they will always reply with “Uh” in question form. That is when they are standing right next to you. They may also continue to yell “What?” from the bedroom or any other room they are occupying. We only call once and do not respond to “what.” The expected response should be “coming” not “what.” Usually a simple reminder of the proper response is enough….until the next day or week. Depends on the child.
* This also includes their other senses so be forewarned. They will also go blind. This is evident in requesting a particular item from the pantry that you just put in there. You could draw a map, take a picture or walk them to the pantry and have them witness you putting said item on that particular shelf….and they cannot find it.
* Before assigning any task…..the first words out of your mouth should be …”Go to the bathroom.” Do not allow them to argue with you on this point. Even if you just saw them leave the bathroom…..make them go again. The need to go to the bathroom will arise again, either at the onset of any task they have been given or in the middle of the assigned task. If this should happen in the middle of the task, do not expect to see the teenager for at least another hour. Especially if they stop in the middle of the assigned task to fix a drink. Upon questioning them regarding leaving the designated area with drink in hand…they will reply that they are going to the bathroom. You may want to consider setting up a “TV” stand to go along with the magazine/book rack that is generally standard in most bathrooms. It gives them something to lean upon when reading and drinking in comfort. A pair of crutches may also be an added item for when they can no longer feel their legs……..
***A side note here…..I have been known to take the phone into the bathroom….I do believe there are many women who do…..But we also know how to talk and go potty at the same time. Food and Drink, however do not accompany me to the bathroom. We do not have a magazine /book rack in our bathroom.***
* Please pay special attention to this point. Their arms and legs will no longer function as per the instruction manual provided by the academy of sciences along with the prestigious medical journals. It is already proven that they are now blind and deaf….now they are incapable of using said limbs for anything other then pedaling a bicycle, skate board, walking down the street with other teen age friends or jumping up on the tailgate of their father’s truck. Do not be surprised if they do not notice that they just dumped the entire loaf of bread on the floor because they put it back with out closing the bag. It will be a shock to them to realize that the bread is on the floor. It is at this point that you can recognize the blindness….they didn’t see the bread on the kitchen floor. It is also at this critical moment the parent realizes their teenage has now entered the phase of teen limb cryo-stasis (not sure if that is right…but it sounded good). All bodily functions have ceased…there is no blood circulating in the limbs thus making them difficult to lift the arms or move the legs. It is not life threatening nor do these brief periods last long.
* Do not be alarmed when they have no clothing to wear….They are probably telling the truth. This is a direct result of the extinction of the household laundry basket/tub. Once upon a time they could be found in each room, placed there for the convenience of each person who lays claim to that particular room. The standard laundry basket has now been relegated to the status of sword keeper. It is imperative that every maiden and knight, playing in the backyard, must have something in which the swords may be kept in…or the cloaks may be placed in…..Far be it, that the castle in the back yard ,be cluttered with swords that the younger siblings have been able to talk the teenager into playing with. There is also the separate basket that allows the roller blades and ropes that double as jump ropes, impromptu swings and climbing ropes for trees may be stored. This is a good sign though. It means the teenager has not yet reached critical mass where it is wrong to be seen playing with the younger siblings. There is hope……..
* Teenagers are the inventors of their own laundry keeping system. This system may or may not include the floor of the closet, underneath the bed or in our case, behind and beside the couch that has been placed in the room under the teens loft bed. They are also equal opportunist. They do not discriminate over dirty and clean laundry. It will ALL go on the closet floor or under the bed or behind the couch. There may also be a dearth of hangers…..hence the desk chair,top of the desk and top of the dresser may become storage places for clean clothing if it is decided that the other places are full.
* Special note in regard to teenage boys. They may no longer remember that it is not a good idea to launch solid missiles in the possible form of rocks over the heads of two grown men who are attempting to put up a chain link fence at midnight. They may “forget” that the batting of rocks with a 2×4 over their father and uncle’s head is not healthy for them…..They may also not realize that paying for a broken bay window or sliding glass door is more than their yearly allowance. If you think this may be a problem for your particular son…make sure he can at least get the rock over the head of his 6’5″ adopted uncle……Have him practice on clearing heights…..It could be healthy for him also if he is a good short distance runner.
I will be adding to this list as time progresses…….I am on my first teenager. Including the other two…my calculations show that I only have 23 more years to go….That figure does not,however, take into account that at some point they will all be going thru this at the same time…….I do believe the tectonic plates will be shifting by that point.
Please don’t misunderstand me ….I love my children dearly and they are not as bad as the above examples. This list is actually a culmination of things I have observed thru out my life time and my extensive experience as a nanny in my younger days and being the oldest of 7 siblings and numerous cousins that I was farmed out to babysit. My children are showing some mild symptoms of the above, but nothing so severe as what I have observed in other children who are knocking or have knocked at the door of their teenage years.
I only poke fun at this because…..well our daughter is….how shall I put this……a closet blonde? My husbands words not mine……He thinks the world might be a little safer if we make her a blonde until she is at least 20……She has her moments…..but she is really quite intelligent and a very loving young lady with a fantastic imagination…….I couldn’t be more proud of her…..especially now that she knows not to drip ice cubes on her lava lamp light bulb to check out the scientific principals of heat/cooling and how it affects expansion of glass….at least not without adult supervision….also a prerequisite of her Father.