Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Of Cats and Teenagers

Random internet fact of the day: cats can only remember approximately 10 minutes worth of stuff.

Random MEH fact of the day: my cat and my two teenage sons have more in common then I thought.

People warned me that the teenage years were coming. When late night feedings had exhausted me, people with a knowing nod would say, “just wait until they are teenagers." During the potty training years, a.k.a. my cranky years, older parents would say, “if you think you are stressed now, just wait until the teenage years.” As my kids trotted off to elementary school and began thinking they knew it all, parents with teenagers would warn, “you think it is bad now, just wait until they are teenagers.”

I have to admit I never truly believed any of those naysayers. In fact, it irritated me that fellow parents were negating the hardships of the phase I was currently in while “warning” me of how bad it would be in the future. Was that supposed to be encouraging to me in some sick sort of way?

So here I am with two teenage sons and one preteen daughter. As an official "older parent", it isn’t bad at all.

When my kids wake up in the middle of the night hungry, they feed themselves. Not only is potty training a distant memory that now only causes me to mildly shudder, my kids actually clean the toilets for me. There is a bit of condesension in conversations with them, but usually just a raised eyebrow look from me is enough to curb the ‘tude. All in all, my teenagers are fun to hang out with and talk to and they pretty much take care of themselves.

But the memory lapse thing is a challenge for me. They can literally forget something I have just said in the excitement of whatever moment they are in. For example, I told teenage son number one to turn off the water after a couple minutes while I went on a run. When I returned to a flooded flower garden, the anwer was “oh, sorry, I just completely forgot.” He was on the computer. When I heard that teenage son number two forgot to eat breakfast and lunch, his reply was, “oh, sorry, I just forgot.” He was on xbox all morning.

It is just as well, I guess. I still like having them around and so it is nice that they need me for something, even if it is just reminding them of stuff. And when they go off to college I will always have the cat to remember them by.


Blue Skies said...

wow! Teenagers. Let me know how it goes when the daughter is there. The thought of my three at 11, 14 and 16 quite frankly scares me. Your advice and insight are welcomed very much.

spaghettipie said...

Teenagers? Already? Have we really known you that long?

Sounds like fun. I can't wait for my little one to be a teenager!