July 19, 2005

Life with Teenagers: part two

It was another hot humid morning. I had just finished cleaning the kitchen when Boy in Black came down the stairs. He stopped on his way to the refrigerator.

"Hey," he said, "You cleaned the kitchen. Even the pots and pans."

He looked around the room, taking in the clean, empty counters. "Thanks, Mom."

I thought for a minute I had stepped into some other reality. My seventeen-year-old son was not only noticing the clean kitchen but THANKING me for cleaning it?

Surely, there was some explanation for this. Perhaps all my complaints about how the kids take me for granted had finally sunk in. Maybe my whining had paid off! Perhaps he was suddenly going to start appreciating his mother.

Or maybe aliens had sneaked in during the night and switched my son with some kind of imposter.

I was leaning towards the alien kidnapping theory when it occurred to me to look at the kitchen table, where my husband leaves a list of chores for the kids each morning before he leaves for work. And there I found the explanation for Boy in Black's gratitude. I had just done his chore.

14 comments:

Running2Ks said...

Hey, that's really cool. And now you have preserved it on your blog forever!

Songbird said...

That's very funny.
Now where can I get a husband who will write a chore list for the kids?

KathyR said...

Hilarious.

And, yeah, that's the best argument I've heard so far for having another kid. More workers!

RussianViolets said...

I'm still in awe of the actual thanking part. Isn't this the boy child who usually grunts or calls you boring? Good to see that he's appreciating you.

dr. m(mmm) aka The Notorious P.H.D. said...

Maybe he's been reading your blog and that's why it's finally sinking in.

Scrivener said...

The moral of this story is that you either need to check the chores list ahead of time or you need to come up with a plan or what you get to ask Boy in Black to do in return for fulfilling his duties.

Yankee T said...

This is such a scream. So often when you write about your teenagers, I sit, nodding, at my computer.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

LOL! Hilarious! ROTFL!

Would you believe that before I became Graham's mother, he had NO CHORES? I am working hard to slowly institute some chores, but it's like swimming against the tide! I think it's extremely important!

jo(e) said...

Yeah, I think it's important for kids to do chores so that they understand that they are supposed to contribute something to the household. Sometimes with my youngest child, enforcing this can be frustrating -- often it would be easier for me to just do the chore myself.

My kids have friends who don't do any chores -- they have Moms who do all the work (I'm rolling my eyes here) -- and yeah, my kids sometimes bring that kind of thing up. Well, not any more unless they want a lecture on how I don't want them acting like privileged brats.

Friday Mom said...

I think Scrivener is on to something....You did his chore; he does something for you. It's only fair if you ask me.

jo(e) said...

Oh, I ended up bringing Boy in Black over to my parents' house to help them clear away a tree that came down in a storm. He's the strongest person in the family so his muscles are in demand when it comes to heavy lifting and such. So he does end up doing his fair share of chores.

purple_kangaroo said...

LOL . . . that was funny!

academic coach said...

Sorry to inform you jo(e), but it is clear that your son was indeed captured by aliens.

If it was really B.O.B. he would have snuck out the door hoping that you'd never notice husband's list.

The question is, if you get a polite, thankful alien will you still miss B.O.B.?

David said...

This is a great story. I think that there is an important lesson to be learned here.

What I took from this story is that giving your kids more and more of a taste of reality outside the nest makes them appreciate what you do for them (and you by extension) more while they are still in the nest.

(This can backfire though if/when they want to come back to the nest early after flying around on their own for a while.)