Where to start with this one?
Really, where to start?
Kid’s you love them, you do (just go with me on this one). But, by all that is holy, they try your nerves, don’t they?
Seriously, I’m pretty sure if there weren’t laws to the contrary, damned few teenagers would make it to adulthood. Robert Heinlein once said that kids should be raised in a sack, if they turn out decent you could let them out once they reach adulthood, otherwise you tie it off and put it out on the corner for the trash pickup. I’m paraphrasing, but really, that sounds like a damned fine idea to me.
(Yes, I can hear my parents laughing right now. Yes, I can. But unless they want to see a post entitled “Things that chap my ass about old people” they better keep that shit to themselves.)
Seriously here, a 12-year old boy has to be ordered to change his clothes. Ordered. I don’t know about girls, but a 12-year old boy will wear the same sweatshirt every single day until it is nothing but a sleeveless stiffened filthy rag held together by a few rotten threads. A 12-year old boy will wear the same pair of underwear and socks for a week straight – and yet still manage to end up with enough filthy clothes in the weekly laundry to equip an entire grunge concert. How is that possible? It defies comprehension.
Let’s talk hygiene, shall we? In addition to the clothing issue mentioned in the previous paragraph, a 12-year old boy has to be ordered with threats of violence to take a daily shower. A dog washes itself without being told, A cat washes itself. Hell, a rat washes itself – a 12-year old boy doesn’t even have the instinct for personal hygiene that a filthy plague carrying rodent has. Now it’s not enough to tell a kid to take a shower. Kids will obey the letter of the law, not the spirit. It’s not enough to tell him to get in the shower, you have to specifically tell him to wash too. Everything? Yes, everything. With soap? Yes, with soap. Do I have to wash my hair? Yes. Do I have to scrub my ears? Yes. And etc, all the way down to the toes. This nightly litany is, of course, a complete waste of time. Kids have a short term memory system based on the single-address FIFO buffer concept, i.e. First In, First Out. Kids only remember the last thing you told them, and sometimes not even that. By the time you get to feet, kids have completely forgotten that you told them to wash their hair. You get one or the other – which is why kids always smell funny on at least one end.
Now, for somebody who hates to wash, a 12-year old is obsessed with hair. Every morning it’s like The Fonz has taken up residence in my bathroom, Aaaaaay! Combing and wetting and combing and patting and combing and…argh! Come on, we’re going to be late! Just one more minute, I can’t get my hair to stop curling up. What are you a girl? Shutup! And then? After twenty minutes of this? Yeah, he puts on a watch cap. Every goddamned morning.
And speaking of arguments (see how I segued right into that? Smooth, huh?). You don’t speak with a teenager, you argue with one. Endlessly. How was your day at school? Why are you always me asking that?! Well, I was interested. Well, I hate it when you ask me that every day. Why? Did something bad happen? No, I had a great day. Then why didn't you just say so? Why are you yelling at me? I’m not! Every goddamned afternoon.
The daily argument follows a predictable path. Subsequent to the “how was your day” bit comes the “Sigh, there’s nothing to eat!” routine. There’s all kinds of stuff to eat, the pantry is full, the fridge is full, the counters are covered in stuff, we’ve got enough food to feed an army. Hell, I have an entire moose cut up in pieces in the freezer. We’ve got food. Have some chips. I don’t want chips. Have an apple. I don’t want fruit. Make a sandwich. I don’t want a stupid sandwich. Have one of those frozen yoghurt things you made me buy. I don’t like those. Well, you can’t be that hungry, stop standing there with the fridge door open. Fine, I’ll have some chips then, but this weekend we need to get some real food. What kind of food? I dunno, the real kind! Every goddamned afternoon.
Kids have no attention span. None. ADHD isn’t a disorder, it’s the normal state of being for a 12-year old. You know what the two most common words a kid says are? “I’m bored.” Between about ten and eighteen, a kid probably says “I’m bored” a least a million times. I’m bored. Play your playstation. I don’t have any good games. Watch TV. There’s nothing good on. Go ride your bike. Naw, there’s nobody to ride with. Go ride your skateboard. No, I don’t feel like it. How about you unload the dishwasher? I’m busy playing my playstation right now! Yeah, I thought so.
Speaking of the dishwasher, a 12-year boy can get every single dish and glass in the house dirty in less than 30 seconds. They're like little Houdinis. Now, when I wave my wand, every single glass in the house, including the beer mugs you keep in the freezer, will have a glob of crud drying in the bottom of it. Presto Chango, Viola!
There’s more, oh there is so much more. But I think I’ll go take a nap before he gets home from school.
And aspirin, I think I’ll take a couple of aspirin.
Tell me what chaps your ass about kids.