Monday, April 09, 2007

Are you really ready?

Sweet Baboo and I have lots of friends who are thinking about becoming parents. It's quite interesting to us, since I began the whole parenting thing at age 19, we find outselves, at the beginning of our 40's facing the empty nest. Even as our friends are having babies, or getting pregnant. So I just wanto to ask you,

Are you ready?

Are you REALLY ready?

Oh, sure, you think - I'm ready. I'm ready to be a parent.

If you've already taken the plunge and had your children, look away now, because it's too late for you.

The rest of you, see other people's children and smile. You imagine what it will be like. Oh, yes - you've got the parenthood itch. You maybe even babysat once or twice, bless your heart. What's a little throw up, you ask. They're only babies for such a short time.

You can't wait, to have something like this

that will grow into something like this:

But the truth is, probabalistically speaking, you are just as likely to have something like this:
that grows into this:
(Not that I'm saing she isn't perfectly delightful,

but, I'm just asking you,

Are you ready?

Are you ready...for a teenager?

To answer this question, you'll need a partner to help you with a little experiment.
So here's how it works. Your partner should be someone (usually it's your mate/partner) who has about a week to devote to this project.

First, your partner is in charge of making sure that anything you truly adore, whether it be fritos, blueberry poptarts, crangrape juice, or a can of cream cheese frosting (hypothetically speaking) disappears. But they can't tell you about you in advance. They should also remove all of the cordless phones and leave them in places around the house where you woudn't expect a phone to be, like in a laundry basket, linen closest, spare bathroom, and under a rug. Some food, perhaps sandwitches or a piece of pie, should be placed under cushions of the couch or other sitting areas.
Finally, they should make sure they leave at least one door exterior door open at all times. At all of these times, they should insist that they did not do these things, and scream, "WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS BLAMING ME??"

Now, to start. As soon as you come in the door from work, your partner should immediately jump right in front of you and start repeating the following, "I'M HUNGRY. I WANT. I NEED. I NEED. WHY CAN'T I? YOU NEVER LET ME DO ANYTHING! YOU ALWAYS GET STUFF FOR YOURSELF AND I NEVER GET ANYTHING NEW! WHY CAN'T I DYE MY HAIR BLUE? I WANT TO GET MY LIP PIERCED!"

Then they should snarl and walk away, mumbling things about you under their breath that you can't quite hear.

Next, your partner should stand outside the door of any room that you're in and knock, saying over and over again: "Mom. Mom? Mom! MOM!! Mom. Mom? Mom! MOM!! Mom. Mom? Mom! MOM!! "
Your partner is also in charge of the following:

  • Waking you up at 5 am to get something signed; something that will cause them to fail a class or cost a lot of money if it doesn't get signed.
  • Stopping you as you're going out the door to work, telling you that they have to have a check for $35 or, again, they'll fail a class or they'll get kicked off the team, or something else horrible will happen.
  • Call you on your cell phone when you're halfway to work and tell you that they missed the bus, and they don't have a ride, and if they're tardy again, they'll have detention on Friday, which will require a ride home from school, except that is the day you need to leave early to go out of town.
  • Announce to you on Sunday night that they're out of deoderant, shampoo, and toothpaste and need markers and glue sticks for the project that's due tomorrow morning.
  • Snarl when you're in a good mood, and make random mumbings under their breath, such as, "I have to do EVERYTHING around here."
  • How can I say this delicately...even as teenagers, boys still haven't quite always perfected their aim some of the time?
  • Drag home a denizen of the local homeless shelter and announce this is their new best friend, and can't s/he spend the night at their house? WHAT? YOU NEVER LET ME DO ANYTHING!!

--Sweet Baboo adds the following:

  • Have your partner strap on a chipper/shredder and throw food into it as you run arouNd the house, so that it sprays food onto the walls, floors, and ceilings (and stays there until YOU clean it up)
  • Make random chunks of money disppear from your wallet/checkbook (unexpected things like team uniforms, pictures, dances, and having outgrown all their shoes and the entire suite of clothes you just bought them last month, fillings, glasses, braces)
  • Have the partner run two or three baths every day in order to double the water bill, and leave their windows open in the winter (or the summer) thus doubling your heating/cooling bill.

There you have it. The truth test of readiness.

Not that he isn't perfectly delightful.

He graduates from high school in 2 years and 1 month.



  1. my favourite teenager can be viewed here

    (maybe it's too much local humour?)

    The homeless shelter? Bwahahahahaha!

    2 years 1 month and how many hours?

  2. Wow, that reality check was definitely a bit brutal. As an empty nester I do remember some good times. Of course I remember experiencing most if not all of your examples as well.

  3. As the father of the three beauties in my profile picture we have some really good times.

    THEN...there are the reasons to bike 10,000 miles a year.....

  4. Hummm, you forgot the bit about changing 5 times during the day and always putting the worn but still clean clothes "near" the hamper.

  5. Awesome! More, more, more! Keep the examples coming. PLEASE!!!!!! of course, how about the, "would you like to replace your shiny new Mini Convertable for a Mini-Van?" That should do the trick. Thanks for your help.

  6. OMG, I have tears streaming down my cheeks. I think they're from laughter but they might actually be the reality of truth in your words. You have described to perfection my lovely 14 year old. I'm sure I'll miss her when she's gone, in the meantime she hit upon about five of your listed attributes, at that was just this afternoon!

  7. Oh boy. LMAO...I'm pregnant with my first and due October 8! Of course, I am also a high school teacher so I at least have a little teensy peak into teenagers...but NOTHING about what they are like at home. I only get them for 54 minutes a day.

    Thanks for making me laugh!

  8. I don't know how many hours and minutes before he grduates; the school board determines that the year of (2009). When I do know it, I'm putting a countdown on my blog.
    Not that he isn't perfectly delightful.
    Where DOES the empty nest syndome come from, anyway?

  9. Since I'm unable to come up with a single way to put this delicately, it will have to be not-so-delicately put.

    There wasn't a single mention of steam cleaning carpets on a monthly (weekly, sometimes daily?) basis to remove the various stains that seem to become a constant when you have a baby. Food, juice, milk bottles left behind the couch, not to mention kids getting sick in one form or another. We actually bought a steam cleaner because it was cheaper.

  10. Well, when they're teenagers sometimes they get a bottle of bleach out to try to get out the coolaid stain that resulted from drinking coolaid where they weren't supposed to be drinking it. Then they let the bleach sit overnight, hoping it will do a good job, on the brand new carpeting...

  11. Laughing so very hard!
    At my house, when asked about his stellar 1.6 GPA on his report card, my son tried to explain to me that the educational system is inherently flawed.......... So I ask you - if he knows how to use the word inherently in a sentence, why is he failing English, the langauge he speaks for Gods sake???

  12. This is exactly why I have no children. Apparently, I've been thinking ahead. :)


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