Saturday, April 25, 2015

Signs You Have Teenagers

10) Your taste in music is curiously updated but you can't acknowledge it publicly.

9) You have an Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr feed.  You only use them to see what's going on with your children. You don't think they know.

8) You worry there is some new equivalent of Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook that only teens known about. If they know you teen-cyberstalk.

7) On occasion, the teen will suggest, you borrow from her wardrobe or that you need to go shopping.

6) If they have lots of friends, you worry who are they and why do they like my child?  If they don't have lots of friends, you worry, why not? Why don't they like my child? What's wrong with them?  

5) When the teen texts you asking for a run to Starbucks. You bring an ice coffee even though you don't drink Starbucks.  On occasion, when the teen says I could use a protein shake, you bring a protein shake, and when you stop for gas and lament "We're out of diet coke."  Someone runs into the station, and with their own money, brings you back a diet coke.

4) Your experience as a teen, as an adult, your educational background, your years as a parent, your knowledge base, all count for squat.  

3) The surest root to silence is an attempt to have a conversation.

2) The surest root to a conversation is to plan for silence. (like reading a book, planning to take a bath or a nap).

1) On Twitter you find a "Thanks Mom."  with a photo of the ice coffee.  They know.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Why Are the Lights On?

Some days I worry what my children take from the day in day out example I provide.  Will they remember me reading them stories, making cinnamon brown sugar swirl pancakes and introducing them to Pinky and the Brain, Black Beauty, Pente, and Broadway show tunes?  Or will they remember me declaring Mommy martial law because it's past ten o'clock and the lights keep coming on?

There's a rule in parenting, never ask something you don't want answered. Because no matter who you ask, the answer won't be what you expected, and probably not what you wanted either.  

"Did you do your homework?"   The answer is always no.  Even if the answer from the child is yes, apply President Reagan foreign policy to the matter.  Trust but verify.   Usually, the answer is sort of, or not all, or not yet.

"Did you brush your teeth?"  Four out of five dentist recommend touching the tooth brushes to see if they have any residual moisture indicating they've been put under the sink lately, but a better indicator of proper oral hygiene is the sink itself.  If there are gobs of blue paste everywhere, they brushed.

"Why are the lights on?"  REAL EXAMPLES

with son, age ten.

"I was looking for his dinosaur egg."
"But it's after nine o'clock."
"But it's missing."
"Where'd you see it?"
"In the bathroom in the cup."
"But you're looking in your bedroom."
"I know and I haven't found it."

with daughter, age 7

"Why are the lights on?"
"I just wanted to finish this chapter."
(She's got me torn, because she knows I love to see a reading kid).
"What book are you reading?"
Coming up stairs, I find her engaged in staging a tea party with stuffed ponies.

With daughter, age 4

"Why are the lights on?"

"I was thinking."

With son, age 15.

"Why are the lights on?"
He likes to play with my mind and will tell me to my face,
"They're not on."

So when my husband comes home and finds the place shut into total darkness and asks,
"Why are the lights off?"

"I tripped the power line so they couldn't turn them back on. It was the only way to get them to bed."

"Why are the lights still off?"

"I don't know how to fix it and I can't see."

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!