Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Ten Reasons Teenagers are great
1. They can make you coffee - this is an important milestone for any teen, the love and gratitude that pours out from Mum when they bring a lovely steaming mug of coffee is comparable to the elation you felt the first time your small child successfully wiped their own butt. Extra points for a couple of pieces of peanut butter toast.
2. They can organise their own playdates. Even better, at those playdates you no longer feel that slightly wary "oh god, please don't hit little Johnny over the head with the Tonka Truck this time" feeling. Teenagers know how to share with their friends, to take turns and to not cry if they don't get the cupcake with the most sprinkles.
3. They sleep in !
I repeat - They sleep in !
4. They take care of their own personal hygiene. They shower themselves. Your back no longer aches from bending over the bath tub, no tears and tantrums on hair-washing night. You no longer have any information about the consistency of anyone's poo. You don't have to wipe anything . I know ! Winning!
5. They get your jokes and can hold a real conversation that doesn't involve Barbie or Thomas the Tank Engine. Real genuine discussions with actual multi-syllable words.
6. They can sit through an entire movie without needing a toilet break.
7. They can help out. Teenagers are capable of washing a sink of dishes and they can finally reach the clothes line. I'm not saying bribery isn't needed to get them to help out, but it sure is nice to be able to share the workload a little and if it helps, think of it as 'preparing them for when they leave home'.
8. The angst of finding a suitable babysitter with National working with Children certificate and at least three references is no longer needed. Yes my friends, teenagers babysit themselves !! It has been years since I worried if a day carer was secretly a deviant, or felt the need to place hidden cameras in a stuffed teddy bear.
9. You can start to reclaim some of the space from the acres of Lego, matchbox cars and Barbie dolls. I'm not saying teenagers don't have stuff - my girls have enough makeup and hair product to put on a broadway show of Priscilla Queen of the Desert- but it isn't taking up every centimetre of the floor and cupboard space in the family room. I can now sit on the couch without the unexpected surprise of a stiff Barbie leg venturing where it wasn't invited. A walk to the bathroom can be made without turning on lights and checking for Lego landmines.
10. Teenagers are a photograph coming into focus. All your hard work, all the worry and fuss. Every time you guided them through saying 'please' and 'thankyou', each time you sat them on the naughty chair, every parent teacher interview at school, every exhausted phone call to your best friend asking for ideas. This is where you finally start to see the results. It's not perfect yet, there are glitches and stumbling blocks. But ever so slowly, through the teen years, the picture comes into focus and you see the grownup person you have been nurturing.
It's a beautiful thing.