My teenage son has a new hobby. No it’s not just girls or more sneaker collecting or God forbid, showering ten times a day. His new goal is to see how many times a day he can make my blood pressure climb and my head explode. Lately, I feel a bit like a cartoon character around him, my body turning red and practically convulsing while a bubble with an arrow floats over my head, the words ‘Boiling Point‘ written on it. In case YOUR teen is wondering how he or she can get you one of your very own cartoon bubbles, here is a step by step manual devised by my son:
11. (Because TEN is simply not enough) Have your parents shuttle you all over God’s green earth. Assume they can always give your friends rides, too, especially when your friends live on the other side of the town and completely out of the way. Never say thank you for the rides. After all, it’s their job to be at your beck and call. Also, don’t ever answer their texts or calls when you are out. Why do they have to bug you all the time with stupid questions like “When do you need to be picked up?” or “where are you?”
10. Leave your dirty socks EVERYWHERE. This includes stuffed in couch cushions, on staircases, in the bathroom and shoved under the fridge.
9. Sleep all F’ing day long. When you are woken up to join the land of the living, act rather put out and complain the entire time. Also, never sleep in your own bed. Sleep on the couch so that nobody else can sit there and you make all the cushions lumpy.
8. Make a big deal when you are asked to do chores that aren’t your “Normal chores”. Point out that your parents are being “unfair” and make sure you mention that you “want extra allowance”. If they do not meet your demands, throw a temper tantrum if possible. This will irritate your parents more than sand in a bathing suit bottom. They will then launch into a tirade of how easy you have it and when they were your age (blah, blah, freaking blah). Turn up your iPod and nod at them. They will eventually forget what they asked you to do and do it themselves. And then later when they realized you’ve screwed them over, you get to see their face turn red and explode all over again.
7. Forget to turn in assignments in school. Constantly. When questioned by your parents, accuse them of “stalking” you on the grading website and suggest they “Get a life”. In addition, procrastinate till the night before an assignment is due and fall apart because the glue has all been used up or there is no more poster paper.
6. Pick petty arguments with your younger siblings for no reason at all. Kick them under the table or pinch them when nobody is looking. Complain that “he/she did it first!” NEVER EVER take the high road. Hey, it’s not fair that you’re the only one that’s miserable, right? And your parents like him/her more than they like you anyway.
5. Do REALLY stupid $hit when your parents aren’t around, making them question your ability to function in society. Like wander around the neighborhood at 3 in the morning when you’re supposed be at a friend’s house sleeping over. Make sure you don’t tell your friend’s parents you are going out and wandering the neighborhood (because they won’t let you). When your unreasonable parents find out and take your phone away and ground you, claim you have no idea “what the big deal” is.
4. When your mother asks you to do anything (take the garbage out, take a shower, put your clothes away), make sure you tell her…”In a minute” or “Hold on“. Moms love that. Especially when they tell you fifty four thousand times and you forget each time.
3. Be sure to leave your dirty plates, cups, bowls and forks exactly where you finished eating or drinking. Half drunk water bottles are supposed to remain in the back seat of your mom’s car. Leave empty food containers, boxes, bags, etc. on the counter. Never throw it in the garbage. After all, that’s what the maid is for, right? If you are forced to throw it away because the maid is off, make sure you don’t push the trash down in the pail so that what you just threw in there falls right out and is easily accessible to the dogs. Ignore dogs when they have knocked the entire garbage over and are eating raw meat in front of you. If possible, don’t empty the container at all. Make sure you leave thimbleful of milk or five Cheerios at the bottom of the package so that you can’t be accused of not throwing out your trash.
2. Roll your eyes or sigh audibly whenever your parents speak to you unless they are giving you money or the keys to the car. They are clearly morons and nothing they say has any bearing on you whatsoever. They have no clue what it’s like to be a teenager. Ignore them whenever possible. Keeping your headphones on at all times is a surefire way to not hear anything they say to you.
1. And finally, the number one way to piss off your parents is to ask for something at the very last possible second. Like when you need to be at school at 8:00 and you need $50 for a field trip, make sure you ask your father (aka ATM) for the money at 7:55am. Or when your mother is shoveling her breakfast in her mouth while blow drying her hair and feeding the dogs and pulling your socks out of the couch cushions, that is definitely the right moment to ask for a permission slip for aforementioned field trip to be signed.
It is my son’s hope that this list has enhanced your teenager’s skills in parenting alienation and you and your teen can be at odds from ages 13-18 without any further tutoring necessary. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go remove my son’s athletic cup from the dining room table since “In a minute” was four days ago.