I don’t want to scare anyone yet to reach this wonderful phase of childhood or rein doom and gloom on the world of being the proud owner of a teenager, but I think that it’s time there was some honesty between us, we’re friends right?
Ok some of you I’ve ever met and the odds are that we never will, but just by the sheer notion that you’re reading this, I’m rewarding you by sharing a little known secret that other parents of teenagers have been keeping from you.
If you’ve already passed this intrepid journey into adult hood with your nearest and dearest, then its a gentle reminder of what you survived. Feel free to toast yourself that these years have passed, you survived albeit a little battle scared, and spare a thought for others still paddling through.
Doors will be slammed, things will be broken your kitchen work tops will never be clean. Teenagers suddenly become incredibly clumsy, simple tasks that they’d mastered throughout childhood become difficult again. Their limbs take on a life of their own which prevents them from shutting cupboard doors, picking up dirty clothes and putting things in the dishwasher. Some male teenagers never get those skills back.
You’ll have 1 room in the house where the door is always shut on the off-chance you have visitors. The teenager’s bedroom. They are blind to anything below waist height, meaning the sea of clothes, wet towels and school work strewn across the floor, are completely and utterly beyond their sight line. As nagging no longer works, they build up an immunity to it you see, the only thing you have left to do is to shut the door and pretend everything’s ok.
You have to learn a new language if you want to know what they did at school/where their going/who they’re going with. It’s not easy though as this new language is incomprehensible to anyone else who is not a teenager. Moving their lips becomes hard work so they evolve into a mumble dialect. Hearing is also a problem so the safest and easiest way to let them know dinner’s ready is to text.
You’ll have to up your ‘family days out’ agendas as it’s now optional as to whether they join you, and always throw in the offer of a Maccy D’s to be on the safe side(that’s teen speak for McDonalds, I think, or it was last week anyway). Spending time with their parents is physically painful and any request for their company is met with fright, anger, disgust or treated as just plain weird.
The kitchen cupboards will empty within hours of being refilled. These guys have an insatiable hunger that only crisps, cereal and their brother’s / sisters favourite snack will quench.Fruit is no longer an acceptable option, along with bread sticks, diluted fruit juice and homemade fairy cakes.
They grow in foot high spurts. In the blink of an eye every pair of trousers they own will hang around their shins. You’ll sometimes wonder if you’ve accidentally slept for a month as you’re sure that yesterday everything fitted.
You will no longer be the fountain of all knowledge. In fact, you’re so unknowing and out of date that they will stop asking you any questions and will disagree with almost everything you say, with 1 exception (see below)
Despite you now being the household dunce (in their eyes, you’re not don’t worry, one day they’ll even admit this to you) you are expected to know the where abouts of their school bus pass/mobile phone/homework.
you’ll get no sympathy from your parents when you need to moan about them. It’s considered payback and they’ve been waiting a very long time for you to get your comeuppance. Revenge is a dish best served cold and as your own parents knew more than you, back when you were a teenager, they knew these days would come.
You will take on a second job as personal chauffeur with a zero hour contract, no pay and no holiday allowance but you’ll do it for the pleasure of knowing they’re safe and because you love them and know that one day they’ll look back and remember all the nice things you did for them.
And because it’s a sight lot bloody cheaper than paying a taxi fare.
For my mum & dad who always knew more than me. Sorry x