Monday, April 20, 2009

How Much Does Jessica Hate Teenagers?

I learned several important lessons today:

1. Those pull-out hampers – the ones that are part of your bathroom cabinetry, basically a huge drawer that you can fill up with a week’s worth of laundry – are not designed to hold a 14-year-old. Even if they are really good hide-and-seek hiding places.

2. When my kids were two-year-olds, and people said, “This is just practice for when they’re teens,” they weren’t merely talking about temper tantrums and defiance. They were also talking about teenagers thinking it’s somehow acceptable to leave their “used” lollipop sticks on someone’s living room floor.

3. If I leave my kids alone and the maple syrup bottle falls out of the fridge and explodes all over the kitchen floor, they are capable of cleaning it up so thoroughly that, except for finding the plastic bottle remains in the garbage, I would never have otherwise known.

4. It’s not really better with the girls here. I thought it would be easier having a couple of girls around to mitigate the testosterone and add that certain level of maturity that girls are always known for. But so far, I don’t see those benefits. I never thought I’d say this, but it’s easier with just the boys.

5. An old friend once emailed me about an incident that involved her pre-pubescent child viewing a porn tape belonging to his friend’s older brother. It was years ago, and she told the story in a way that had me doubled over in laughter. I remember she referred to a specific type of sex act that had been viewed, one that I’d never heard of, and that became the focus of our email exchange – my needing an explanation for the terminology, and then a few more emails to clarify certain details of said act. Today I was reminded how much easier it is to talk about the particulars of sex acts than to come to grips with the fact that teenagers simply don’t have good judgment most of the time. Especially when they’re in groups. And no amount of wishing they did will make it so.

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