Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Things You Should Never Have to Ask Your Teen

I have recently begun to compile a List of Things You Should Never Have to Ask Your Teen. I would dearly love to never have to ask these questions, but after comparing notes with other parents, I find that most of us have asked these questions at least once:

1. Did you remember to use deoderant? Let's face it: Teens can end up smelling like Sasquatch on a hot summer day. They've just come out of a childhood when they never considered smearing deoderant in their armpits, and this is now a new and necessary part of their routine. It's easy to forget... until it's around 3 PM in the summer heat.

2. Have you done your chores? Now by the time they're teens, you would think that they would have made their chores a habit... but no. There are times that they do exactly what they should for weeks on end, and then one day you glance at the ferret cage and realize that at some point they've forgotten to put water in there, as you watch the ferret frantically scrabbling at the water bottle. Then it's up to you to make sure the ferret doesn't suffer until you can get ahold of your teen (and make him suffer a little, instead!)

3. What did you do today? Why is it that teens become so reticent at this age? I'm lucky. My own son is a wonderful communicator. However, one of my friends has a son that has spoken mainly in grunts for the last year. Discovering what he did during the day takes a Herculean effort.

4. Why in the heck do you guys choose to [insert fashion choice here]. Duh! It's, like, totally what everyone else is doing, right? Like, Brittany Spears totally wears stuff like this! And lots of girls are dying their hair blue this semester! Gawd, mom, yer such a geek!

5. What is in your pocket? Are you concealing something? I have a friend who recently saw her son furtively try to hide something he'd mistakenly taken out of his pocket. "Mike, what is that?" she demanded. He quickly told her that it was nothing. "I know better than that, Mike!" she said. But his continued denial began to cause her to panic. Finally, in agony, she said "Please tell me it's only a condom! I hope to God it's not drugs!" He sheepishly opened his hand to reveal... a condom. Although it was startling to discover that her son was sexually active, she was relieved that he was protecting himself. She was even happier to know that it wasn't drugs. Not great choices, but the condom was the lesser of two evils.

6. Are you out of your mind? ...and other unanswerable questions. The truth of the matter is that all teens are out of their minds at some point or other. It is pointless to ask them questions that they cannot, in all honesty, answer. Other such questions include "What were you thinking?!", "Do you know what you're doing?", "Do you have any idea that you're driving me crazy?!" These are all Damned if You Do/Damned if You Don't type of questions and at this point, the wise teen takes the 5th.

The teen years are a time of wonder, when boys and girls become men and women. This is the time that you can see the Magic of Hormones as a formerly happy child becomes a surly individual, muttering darkly about piercings and tatoos. That is, unless, you're an incredibly lucky parent. So far, I am counting my blessings. But in the Land of the Hormone, it is sometimes simply a matter of time.


michelle said...

Did you do your homework? Prove it.

Did you put your dirty clothes in the laundry? Well, what is behind your door then?

Did you take your plate to the kitchen? What is that under your bed?

How was school? Did you actually go? Prove it, what is your first class and who is the teacher. Keep in mind, I know the answer to these questions.

Did you just hit your brother on top of the head? Again, keep in mind I know the answer. I just saw the whole thing.

Where is the snake? Do not deny it I saw the snakes head peak out of your pocket.

The Lazy Iguana said...

One thing you can never ask your teen is this.

"Did you steal my stash"?

See, asking this implies that you have (or had) stash. And if the teen did steal it - then what? Ask for it back? Tell them they owe you replacement stash?

I plan to come up with excellent stash hiding spots. Like for example, in the ferret cage.

actonbell said...

I'm still embarrassed by "what did you do today?" It never seems like much.

Edge said...

have some standard answers to their questions. "You can do that when you get a job and pay rent."

"So if they jump off a cliff, you'll jump too?"

"You left your head on the dress, screw it on right next time."


Badoozie said...

ok, some things my teen won't want me asking

1. can i borrow your bat, someone needs a beatin

2. can i borrow your car, my subwoofer blew up

3. do you know where i put my deoderant?

4. ok this is getting creepy

Emma Sometimes said...

great list, I even ask my 3 yr old if she did her chores. Tell me it gets easier?

But hey, as long as you don't parent them like this when they are toddlers, you shouldn't be turning into an alcoholic glorified babysitter, right? ~snarky snarky~

Three Score and Ten or more said...

Good list. The scary thing is that even when your teens have reached their forties, you spend a lot of your time biting your tongue to avoid asking much the same questions. (Maybe this old coot is unique, but I don't think so.)

Saur♥Kraut said...

3 Score & 10, I'm sure my parents would agree with you. ;o)

Emma, that lady is truly mental! What she needs is a good dose of Alcoholics Anonymous!

Badoozie, :D Love the additions!

Edge, eerie! I think we may have somehow shared the same parents! ;o)

Acton Bell, You could always come up with some marvellous stories that would at least entertain everyone. Try "During lunch break, a man ran by with a suspicious package under his arm..."

Lazy Iguana, *LOL* the ferret cage? That would end up smelling, er, quite ...ripe.

Michelle, excellent additions! I especially like the second to last one. I can just see you saying it!

QUASAR9 said...

Alas the teens,
I remember them well
Parents sure I was heading for hell
or that I'd fallen under a spell
and yet half the time there was no need to yell
I tell you it was in their head I could tell
the worst scenario only they could sell or make swell

QUASAR9 said...

Wisdom is supposed to come with age
It is of the wise to know that wisdom will come to those of teenage age
Alas sometimes written across the page
one sees that wisdom did not come with age
for those who are quick to rant and rage
at the quirks and frolics of the teenage age

If it is teenlike to have tantrums
then tantrums should not be thrown at teens