Monday, March 26, 2007

Off Topic -Teenagers

The Tarts were discussing teenagers over on The Lipstick Chronicles and it got me thinking about my own situation. I’ve had kids in my house for thirty-one years. I never planned it that way. It just happened. One failed marriage before a successful one. My oldest son was twelve when I had another baby boy, then a girl.

When the last two kids were old enough to stay home along overnight, I was already in my fifties. But I could still do the jig. Yes! I was going to have a night alone with my husband in a condo in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Three hours from the house, not too far, but not close enough for them to find us either.

No interruptions, no teenage boys showing up unexpectedly at the most…um …inconvenient times. No seventeen-year-old girls wandering into our bedroom to surprise us with plans to ‘borrow’ my stuff.

My husband and I begin by having a romantic dinner, a little wine, we go back to the condo and start filling our private Jacuzzi, light a few candles, drink more wine, dance another jig while disrobing.

Then the phone rings.

Don’t get it, my husband says.

It’s our daughter telling me she’s safely home, I reply, it’ll only be a minute.

Mom, she screams into the phone. Ohmygod! A deer ran right into the side of the car (BTW, she’s driving MY car). It was an enormous buck and it scared me and ohmygod.

Are you okay? Great. Everything’s going to be okay. Don’t cry. How much damage to the car? What do you mean, you don’t know. Compare it to fruit. Is it the size of a grape? An Orange?

No, she whimpers, more like a watermelon.

At this point, my husband turns off the water and slumps on the side of the tub. Then he just HAS to say what he’s thinking out loud. Why did you let her use your car? Like it’s my fault the deer plowed into the side of the car. The mood has definitely shifted.

Daughter calls back seven times that night, apologizing and crying and…probably just making sure we were still where we said we were. Because…

Next morning, we arrive home to find some of our things, well, in the most unusual places. Sofa pillow in the closet, plants rearranged on the window sill, floors in a surprisingly clean state.

Radar at full output, I take a little finger trip to My Space and visit my children’s pages. My son has posted a wonderful picture of a pyramid of beer cans surrounded by his glowing face and the rest of his cohorts.

THAT’S OUR WINDOW BEHIND THE CANS! My husband yells when he sees the picture.

Sure enough, the Baker’s house was partyville, all the little mice playing while the cats were away. Eleven lively teenagers had a rip roaring time. But they’ve learned responsible bad behavior. An oxymoron? Not at all, when coming from a teenage point of view. Here’s an example of responsible bad behavior.

Just so you know, my daughter says proudly, we didn’t let anybody drive home drunk. Everyone had to spend the night.

Oh that’s really reassuring, considering her boyfriend was right in there with the rest of the revelers.

It’s been weeks, but I’m still traumatized.

I’m also counting down. One year, five months left before the last one, our precious baby daughter, leaves for college.

We’re changing the locks as soon as she’s gone.


Joanna Campbell Slan said...


This is why most of us don't get pregnant during our children's teenage years. It's not lack of fertility, it's lack know.

(aka One-More-Year-Until-Her-Son's-In-College)

Lorraine Bartlett said...

I lived through this with my older brother--several times. The minute my parents would leave the country (for three weeks to visit their parents) thier home became party central. Guess who got to clean everything up?

Is it any wonder I have cats instead of children?

caryn said...

Bad news. When they leave for college it does not end. They come home-and then they go out when you are going to bed and you get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and there are strangers in the house that have come home with them and they cook odd smelling things-also in the middle of the night. Also, they keep moving back home and everytime they move out again, they take more of your stuff-like the tupperware that they have made fun of for years. We're thinking of buying a smaller house so they can't move back home anymore.

Deb Baker said...

caryn, that's so funny. I've heard that it doesn't get better. My son is eighteen and graduating in June. He seems to think he's his own man.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about this blog for a few days...last night my daughter was rear-ended (again)and I thought of you. I found myself wishing it was I party I wasn't invited to, instead.

Anonymous said...

you are all cunt lickers