Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Spoonful of Sugar

As I have told you all before, I am a ray of sunshine.  With that in mind, and given our last two days discussing teenagers and the woe that ensues, I thought I would tell all of you parents of younger children what good things you have to look forward to when your kids are teens. 

In every job that must be
done, there is an element
of fun.  So too with teens.

These are the things that are great about having teenagers.

1.  There is someone besides you who can carry in groceries and put them away.  They are too old to pretend that the bags are too heavy or they don't know where stuff goes.

2.  You can say stuff to them that you couldn't when they were little, because it would have seemed mean or inappropriate.  Things like "I don't know why you're so bad" or "I am finding you extremely annoying right now."  You don't want to say things like that all the time, but when you do, your child will hardly flinch at all and you will feel slightly less annoyed once you've said it.

3.  They can be in on the joke.  When kids are little and you are at the mall or the playground you don't have anyone you can point out the freaks to.  A 4-year-old isn't going to share a raised-eyebrow look with you upon spying another mom who had to wax just to wear jeans that low.  Your 8-year-old will not join you in judging the parents of the kid wearing a bathing suit outside to play in February.

4.  You don't have to do homework anymore.  They know you can't help them.  Even for things you could help with, they don't want to give you the satisfaction.  Fine by me. 

5.  There is a chance your child will have clothes and shoes that you can fit into and want to wear.  They pretty much have to share, but you are not obligated to return the favor.

6.  If they want take-out for lunch or dinner, you can get them to call and order it.  If it's wrong when it gets to the house, no one can blame you.

7.  No more babysitters!  There are some glitches in regard to your kids having friends over if you want to go out, but for the most part, you can go do what you need to/want to do and be relatively certain that when you return your kids will be there and the house won't be on fire.

8.  You can drop your teens at the mall or movies and return to get them when they are done.  You will no longer have to sit through movies you don't want to see or spend 25 minutes in Claire's (which is a 3 minute store).

9.  They can arrange their own carpools/rides.  I can tell my kids that I will drive either way and let them work out the details.  Even if I am driving both ways, I don't have to call 10 moms to see who is where and what time they want to go.

10.  It is now less unseemly to have your kids making you drinks.  Yes, I know it's not ideal, but it's like cooking or laundry, they have to learn sometime and why shouldn't you benefit from their practice?  You could probably start kids earlier than their teens on this task, but 1st graders tend to be heavy pourers and they will totally go through your pockets if given the opportunity.  Don't worry how I know this.


  1. I'm a little worried. Do I have to call in Child Services?
    Okay, so Brother did the wash in his footie pajamas. That's not really so bad. The sorting and figuring out cycles was good problem solving.

    What you don't realize is that what you dislike doing now for your own children, you will adore doing with/for your grandchildren (especially babysitting and bad movies). Mark my words.
    Love, Mom

  2. Uh... I already tell my kid when he is being annoying. He's 3.

  3. #8 - my favorite. if i go into claire's one more time, i may scream. why do i keep going there and leaving with a bag of junk? bc

  4. #3 and #5 are my favorites -- so great to have built-in sharers of snarky comments, and I adore the unlimited supply of cozy man-sized hoodies!

  5. Awesome!

    And also...when you have a headache, or are sick, or are just tired and don't feel like doing anything, they can fend for themselves. They can make their own meals, clean up, do their own laundry, etc. They may not LIKE it....but too bad!

    Plus, they are handy to have around. A teenage boy, for example, is great for killing critters which have managed to get inside your house.

  6. Love that I don't have to drive them anywhere anymore, they do their own laundry and that I can honestly answer "touch shit" when they start whining about how unfair I am.

  7. That would be "tough shit", touch shit would just be gross :D

  8. My offspring are 9 and 11, and they're already required to help me carry groceries in if they're home. They are also well versed in sarcasm and have heard my unvarnished opinions on their behavior countless times. For movies they want to see and we don't, we send them to Grandma's.

    I guess I'm a bit ahead of the game,though I will be thrilled when I no longer need a sitter and can just drop them at the mall or have them arrange their own carpools.

    Oh yes, and they do need to learn to start mixing drinks. Mama needs another Jack & Coke, Baby!

  9. My kids love to help with the groceries and always have. TRex would drag bags of groceries to the pantry as a toddler. We'd have to pre-empty them so he wouldn't hurt himself. I'm totally looking forward to 2,3,7, 8, and 9. Since I mainly drink wine, they can already fetch the bottle ;)

  10. Thank you. This is hilarious. I am so happy my children are older so that my sarcasm is not lost of them, as in the younger years. I might also add that teens and older elementary can actually make dinner sometimes and mow the yard. I love delegating.


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