This morning, while perusing all of the blogs I subscribe to in Google reader, I came across this post by Nothing Fancy, in which she talks about how her pre-teen son managed to lose a plastic container of sliced oranges at his soccer game this weekend. I began to reply, but then it just started to get out of hand, so I decided to bring it over here, because heaven knows I’ve had enough experience with this sort of thing. I don’t understand it, but I’ve had plenty of experience with it.
Girls, for the most part, would not only have NOT lost the oranges, but would have passed them out along with the decorative party napkins they would have convinced you to purchase and pack as well (this is certainly not universally true, but after 3 teenage girls…yeah. It’s more the norm).
Boys on the other hand? Oldest Son is now 25, so I *know* they are capable of growing up to be reasonably responsible human beings – he hasn’t seemed to have misplaced his furniture or caught his kitchen on fire and he’s been on his own since he was 18 (although I understand he has a dandy beer bottle collection under the sofa). However, if his younger brother’s behavior is any indication of how he was a teenager – either menopause has really kicked in or I’ve just blocked it all out of my memory – I’m not entirely sure HOW he managed to grow up at all. Surely I would have killed him…if he didn’t walk out into traffic and take care of the task himself first.
The Young One is 13, and to say that I’m amazed he hasn’t walked out into traffic – or left his head laying around on the dining room floor – is something of an understatement. I would welcome something as simple as a lost plastic container of oranges.
We get up in the morning and I remind him to do things like dress, comb his hair, eat breakfast, go to the restroom, blink and breathe while I make his lunch. Yes, the kid is quite capable of making his own bologna sandwiches, but not while he’s blinking and breathing and since I prefer him sighted and conscious (things are just easier that way), I do it for him.
I place the sack containing his lunch next to his book bag. I then remind him, “Don’t forget your lunch.” Every day.
After he’s eaten breakfast and I remind him to brush his teeth, I tell him, “Don’t forget your lunch.” Every day.
After ascertaining he’s blinking, breathing, and wearing underwear, I tell him, “Don’t forget your lunch.” Every day.
After he’s found his shoes and jacket, often retrieved from such inexplicable places as the top of the refrigerator, under the back porch or – gasp! – the front hall closet, I tell him, “Don’t forget your lunch.” Every day.
After he’s wrestled his library books away from the dog and remembered that he had 37 forms for me to fill out and sign for school, I tell him, “Don’t forget your lunch.” Every day.
He then walks straight out the front door. And I run after him, waving a brown paper sack in the air, yelling, “YOU FORGOT YOUR LUNCH!!!”