Sunday, April 17, 2011
Okay, now the Funny Part...
So, I did the whole sentimental bit, and I mean every word that I wrote in that thing - being a dad is alot like being a roll of duct tape - hell, we are not special for any one reason - we don't even get the credit for many things - but in a pinch, we are generally laying around somewhere, and can fix many things when they are broken. That pretty much sums up where we fit in until boys start to grow hair in places other than their heads, and the wives start to realize that their boys love them dearly, but really don't want to spend the morning browsing the walmart cleaning supply aisle.
So, what are the top ten things I have learned about thirteen year olds - who knows, but I will give it a shot, I figure I have a year to learn more, but these are the ones I know now...
1. Showers become the norm. Really really really long showers. I am not quite sure why, but I could venture a guess. My advice to any parent about to broach thirteen with a boy - get one of those water heaters that produces an infinite amount of hot water, make sure to paint the bathroom with some sort of water resistant coating, and remove any electronics lest the steam short out the entire house.
2. Thirteen year olds smell. They do. Going to the soccer practices or soccer matches, and getting near the team afterwards is sort of like driving by the local landfill, or following a hog truck down the highway. We buy them deodorant, we buy them body wash, we encourage them to change their socks. But they still smell.
3. Showers may be long, but convincing them to brush their teeth is more like convincing a vegan that one hot dog will not kill them. My next great invention - a toothbrush that activates the hot water in the shower. That way, their teeth will be really really clean, and the showers will be a hell of alot shorter.
4. Thirteen year olds grow at a pace unmatched by anything in the natural world. The Old Navy sale rack is your friend. Sure your kid may not like wearing the styles that they provide - but rest assured, those shorts you bought on Sunday are going into the local "teen kid" clothing exchange program on Tuesday. (If you have not already done so - start taking bags of clothes to friends houses with similar aged boys - make sure to be friends with a kid who is slightly larger than your own, and you can save a ton of cash by inheriting hand me downs).
5. Thirteen is an unlucky number for several reasons. One of them has to be because it is the most awkward year for a boy. Somewhere, these guys are stuck between liking women's body parts, playing X-Box for innumerable hours, and learning how to properly use grammar in a sentence. What a hell on earth that is.
6. Boys, and I am sure girls, these days are not quite the same as thirteen year old boys back when I was a kid (I swear to never say that again) - between charging his iPOD touch, deciding what sports to play next season, friending folks on facebook, deciding a college path and being pressured to make sure he can follow it, playing some video game with 32 other folks as they mount an insurrection on some god foresaken video game country, keeping up with text messages, and doing homework - holy shit - I am 39 and already am tired from that sentence. We had a stick, matches, and collected bottles for money. Sure, we had Atari, but after thirty minutes with the joystick, your hand would sieze up, and you went back to the stick and matches, or you just dug a hole.
7. Forget chores. Call them "inquisition like tortures" - thirteen year olds come up with more excuses to not make a bed, fold towels, clean kitchens, or vacuum floors than the US came up with reasons for invading Iraq.
8. Did I mention thirteen year olds, particularly in groups, smell?
9. Thirteen year olds know the perfect bed time. They know that they will be awesome shining productive members of society at 6:30 am when you have to tie a rope to their foot, drag their asses out of bed, force feed them a pop tart, and send them down the street to school. Still, they know that cool parents would never make them go to bed before ten.
10. Thirteen year olds are no longer gullable. In fact, they don't believe anything unless they saw it on MTV, Comedy Central, or heard it from Tosh.O. Don't try to convince them that the sky is blue, because it is not. Don't try to reassure them that one "C" on their report card will not prevent them from getting into college, leading them into a life of crime and homelessness, don't try to explain to them that textbooks actually provide the correct way to do math - just keep sending letters to Tosh.O, MTV, and Comedy Central to do a few math problems each show to explain how algebra really works.
That's it. Child rearing from my point of view -
Seriously, I love it. I like not knowing what I am going to get every morning, but knowing that every night, at bedtime, thirteen year olds are still not too old to give their Dad a hug, and to say I love you.
They say that stops at fourteen...
Until next time...