Not taking anything away from the profound importance of staying the hell home in these dark times, I thought we could all use a little levity.
Let me categorize myself for you, retired post-menopausal mother of a fifteen-year-old boy with an attitude problem who is home indefinitely. Let that sink in for a minute.
What could possibly go wrong?
This is when all the mettle we have as parents is tested. We are facing endless late in the day wake-ups, mood swings, complete lack of personal hygiene, grunting responses and a fierce unwillingness to do any chores. He is currently growing a layer of mold from sitting in a chair playing his PS4. The laziness knows no bounds.
When I see all the perky Mom posts about playing board games and teaching their kids to make Spanakopita or some shit, it makes me wonder where I have gone wrong. If I suggested a rousing game of Monopoly, he would just roll his eyes and crawl back in his cave.
Getting him moving off the sofa is one thing, wrenching his gaming controller out of his sweaty mitts is quite another. The skateboard and bicycle gather dust in the garage. He is making a stand apparently.
After an early morning meeting with my husband, we have devised a plan. We decided if we can’t go out, or send our son outside, we might as well get creative and entertain ourselves at the expense of our child. (Don’t judge us if you haven’t raised a teenage boy.)
We are happy to share our list with you.
- Hook up a battery to the treadmill and run the wifi router off it. Then take two easy chairs and some popcorn to watch the fireworks. Run boy, run like your wifi depends on it.
- Drill a hundred four-inch screws into a board, hide the drill and give him a screwdriver. Tell him to take them all out if he wants his phone back. Just listening to the cursing is entertainment in itself.
- Take his bed outside and watch him from the deck as he fights with the heavy mattress to bring it back in. Do this every day.
- When he doesn’t want to get out of bed, feed the cat a bunch of catnip, shove it under the sleeping teen’s comforter and hold the sides down.
- Print a bunch of fake brochures advertising military boys school in Alaska and leave them badly hidden all over the place. Set up cameras to live-stream his reaction.
If you think about it, by the time our kids are teens, we have done plenty of parenting already, it’s our time now. Therefore, we should use this period of Covid-19 isolation to amuse ourselves and be less concerned with our children’s happiness. We certainly don’t need to worry about their entertainment.
As for us, we are reminding our errant teen that when we are given time to think about how we can mess with his head, we are pretty creative about it. He will learn that if he wants to be a lazy jerk, we will always have a list of increasingly devious schemes.
We should all teach our teens in their time of captivity, that they should appreciate their privileges, and not be such assholes. After all, the parents giveth and the parents taketh away.
You are welcome, fellow parent warriors.