Sunday, August 10, 2008

Teenager Management

It's been a little quiet on the mouse front around here, hasn't it? That's because mice don't make a lot of noise when they are silently decomposing in the cabinet under one's kitchen sink. And, considering my housekeeping habits, does it come as a surprise that it took a while for the smell to tip me off? I thought the foul odor was coming from some rotting potatoes under the sink, actually. Of course Mickey made sure not to pass on before taking a dump in my silverware drawer, just like his predecessors.

I hope none of you try to eat while you're blogging. Or if you do, rinse your silverware first, all right?

For those of you interested in the progress of the felting project, let's just say that I learned last night the importance of keeping the ball bands (you know, the things which list the fiber content of the yarn) with your skeins. That way you don't waste an hour or so knitting up a project to be felted, only to discover that half of it felts and half doesn't.

But as hope springs eternal, I am starting over...quitters don't knit, you know. Or is it, knitters don't win?

Never mind.

Yesterday, in case you didn't realize it, was Saturday. I don't know what free, unattached, carefree people do on Saturdays, but here's what I did (try not to be jealous, all you swinging singles):

cleaned my bathroom;

bothered Anna by speaking to her more than once;

hid in my bedroom and knit;

and neglected to entertain Uncle Matt, who is visiting for a few days. Despite the neglect, he took us out to dinner anyway. Nice guy.

Very nice guy, actually - he also took Anna to Kohl's and treated her to a little shopping spree. Ah, the way to a teenage girl's heart...

Speaking of which, I've jotted down a little list that popped into my head as Anna was glaring at me today (2 lists, actually; she glared at me a lot):



How To Annoy Teenagers
  1. Speak to them
  2. Smile at them
  3. Interact with them in any way, shape, or form
  4. Breathe near them (really, it works - try it!)
  5. Tell them you know how they feel (important safety note: be ready to take cover after implementing this technique)


But, really, why annoy your adolescents when instead you can learn...

How To Ingratiate Oneself With A Teenager

  1. Pretend you do not exist. But do not pretend the teen does not exist; this approach is generally taken as a personal affront. Actually, almost anything you do can be taken as a personal affront, so you're sort of screwed, aren't you?
  2. Pretend the world revolves around your teen. Inquire solicitously after his/her current wants (perceived by teen as needs); commiserate over the fact that he/she must live the life of a peasant.
  3. Buy your teen things. But only the items they designate as worthy of purchase. Take out loans if you have to.
  4. Reassure said teen that, as an adult, he/she will never be expected to do anything that he/she does not want to do. Only losers live like that. Losers like...hey! the parents of teenagers.
  5. Remind teen that he/she was probably switched at birth and grew up in the wrong family. This thought comforts adolescents immensely.


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46 comments:

  1. Oh the mice... I feel your pain.

    Oh the teenager... I don't. But give me time.

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  2. I have to admit I have no idea what 'felting' is and why you want to do it.

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  3. Add to your list of ways to annoy: take thier photos http://shanaob.blogspot.com/2008/08/vandalism.html
    and post them on your blog
    http://shanaob.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-erinna-spent-her-summer-vacation.html

    I am telling you, this really works!

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  4. hey, i'm one of the single population....is uncle matt free????

    franzi

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  5. Sorry about the mice. We are all about the rogue critters in this house. yuck. And am also feeling your teenage pain. The lists are great.

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  6. Oooh the smiling thing was what got me the most when I was a teenager. If I did anything that might make my mom proud or happy she'd give me this big watery, wobbly smile that made me want to drive off a cliff. So I tried very hard not to make her smile.

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  7. Oh, dear, I was like that, too. But you have no idea how painful it is at the other end.

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  8. I've only felted a few things, but I think if you have a washable wool, you're screwed, ie there is no way to "make" it felt if it's not feltable. I have a friend who knows way way way more about this than I do, so if you are still in a pickle, tell me what kind of wool you used and I'll pick her brain (she knits felted bags for a living).

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  9. They're actually pretty nice and will kiss you goodbye when they're leaving for camp for a few days. It's definitely a win-win.

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  10. Some are, some aren't. I've got one ExtremeTeen version here, one regular. The regular one can be pleasant.

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  11. My mom swore we were human and reasonable by age 15. My 14 yr old son is very helpful and so is my 12 yr old daughter. The 18 yr old hides in her room a lot.

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  12. I can't even imagine what a teenage girl would be like...

    Oh, wait, yes, I can. The same as my 24 year old stepson.

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  13. More salsa? It must be a sickness. I'm sooo not looking forward to having teenagers. I can barely manage little people.

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  14. A sage teacher advised me that teenagers do things to get a rise out of their parents. I agree. I get to practice my poker face and wry responses often with my middle one. The stark raving lunatic approach failed miserably with the oldest and he had to be outsourced to MIL 350 miles north of us.

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  15. Poor thing! I really feel your pain. Kids can really hurt your feelings can't they? I'm about to sit down with my teen-age dd (not naming names here!) and have a little heart to heart because today I suddenly got this feeling that she is turning into a monster! And that made me realize that I needed to step up and get a little proactive about the bad attitude thing. Face it head on. She might still continue to cause problems but at least I'll know I did my best.

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  16. Vermin. Teen angst. Knitting. Salsa addiction.

    Sounds like my house.

    We should start a commune just for salsa junkies and theraputic knitters with teenage vermin. What say you?

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  17. You need to make a new list of witty comebacks that defy response. So the next time when you get the death glares say something like, ‘I can see that I’m making your existence miserable beyond description, Yet, I will not be deterred from being a mother. You’ll survive dear, you may need to pay for therapy later, but you will survive.’ Then duck as they hurl something at you before they stomp out of the room.

    My sympathies on the teenager with an attitude, the mice seem mild in comparison. I think I’d rather deal with a dead mouse any day over a mental combat episode with a tall child.

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  18. I can't wait until my kids are teenagers.

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  19. Completely dreading the teenage years now.

    And it really sounds like we need to do a salsa intervention. ***please step away from the tomatoes***

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  20. My oldest turns 12 today. I'm taking notes.

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  21. Love the lists! Too funny! I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I have started down that road and it isn't fun!

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  22. Thank you for those helpful tips! I have a 9-year-old going on 15.

    And seriously...when DO you find time to blog? I do most of mine at 3:00 AM and then wander around all day with a cup of espresso in my hand.

    All right, who am I fooling: I mainline it.

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  23. SO good that you know how to alienate and appreciate your teen! All your lists make me feel better about how things go on my front.

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  24. Your teen tips are right on. I think the medieval folks were spot on with the fostering your teens out to other folks. I generally like other people's teens much better than my own, and my teens behave better for other people.

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  25. I am starting to feel your pain with the teenager as daily Jasmine gets older and the attitude grows right along with her! *sigh*

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  26. I unfortunately think I remember acting like this as a teenager - so I'm sure I'm going to get it back twice as bad when Girl 1 becomes a teen. (She can already be really bad and she's only 7!)

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  27. Really, really funny. Made me want to strap a piano to my daughter's head to keep her from growing.

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  28. The list of how to annoy teenagers... I'm printing it out and saving it. My kids are 7 and 9, so I have a couple (3? 4??) more years before all hell breaks loose, but I KNOW it will come. I remember doing that to my poor parents.

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  29. I'm totally saving this for later.

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  30. G'day from Australia. I came here from Jennifer Harvey's site - and I'm so glad I did.

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  31. Add to the "annoy" list. Look at pimple, then quickly look away, like you didn't notice it.

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  32. You are a HOOT! I too try not to breathe too loudly around the TEEN, unless I'm mad at her and really want to piss her off. Then I giggle, quietly when she stomps off to her cave, I mean room.

    My favorite line when she was younger, and I had more control...
    Teen " Mom It's no fun if we can't blah,blah,blah ( some stupid dangerous activity)"
    Me " I'm the Fun Sucker - Sucking All the Fun Out of Your Life" whereupon I made a very loud whistling sucking noise!
    I think this originated from some movie - don't want to take any false credit!

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  33. Oooh, Cheri - subtle, yet effective...

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  34. I was one of those teens, I am pretty sure. and I am also sure in a few ok several years I will see the dreaded teens...gotta remember those helpful tips. My mum really liked to go shopping at the mall with me and make life more embarrasing for me...you could add that to the annoy list....It really worked on me! great post, made me laugh pretty hard.

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  35. I'm here by way of Authorblog to say Congrats on your 'Post of the Day'!

    I'm years past annoying teenagers thank goodness, but I do have 5 grandchildren so it could all start again in a few years time. Thanks for the reminder! :(

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  36. A wonderful insight to the life of a teen. Can't wait!! My daughter is 8 so I have a little way to go although she is already showing signs of those teenage years.

    Crystal Jigsaw

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  37. Too funny yet so true! I raised four children and survived - and taught middle school so I could totally relate. I am planning my annual salsa contest - and I had better win this year. Last year I made a delicious fruit salsa and the judges (ex-friends of mine ;) didn't vote mine as the best so we'll see what they think this year when I add my new secret ingredient - tequilla! LOVE your blog and I will be back for a visit soon. Thanks for making my laugh.

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  38. I'm curious to see what Anna thinks of all of this when she's older - and has her own body snatched teen. Hmmm...I'm picturing you're "I told you so" dance to the soundtrack of "Yo Mamma Wasn't Smokin' Crack!"

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  39. Love the teenage advice, too true! I'd happily eat all the salsa you make, it's something I just can't stop eating once I start. As for the money, (I am finding out how bad it is to skip out on reading blogs, I'm catching up on like 30 posts per blog,) I totally get being sick of scrimping, and it makes sense to want to just be able to spend. It also makes sense to proceed with caution because once you get a job and have to waste time on it, you end up wasting a lot of money because of it too. You give up one freedom for another and some times you don't break even. Maybe a work at home career could make for the best of both worlds? Just some thoughts to add to the mix.

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  40. Oh, I love this post (no the mice part). I live with one teen and one preteen. Its like OMG CREEP ME OUT TTYL all freakin day long. By the way, I look and breath wrong on a daily basis!

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  41. Mine have moved out but your post is cracking me up - I almost forgot. Oh I miss them so.... Oh well, on to changing a diaper!

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  42. I agree with the "reasonable by 15." My 16 year-old daughter is quite reasonable, most of the time. Let me tell you how I annoyed my 13 year-old daughter yesterday though. I did her laundry. And I put it away. Oh, and I might have looked at her too.

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  43. I had to stop chewing my caramel corn rice cakes for a few minutes there. BLECH!!

    I'm cracking up over the teen annoyance ideas. I like to put him hands on either side of my 17yo's face when he is grouchy and "assist" him in making fish faces, etc. Um, it doesn't go over well, but it *does* make MY day go better, LOL!

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