Monday, December 13, 2010

Babies Versus Teens (Guess who wins....)

Twenty years ago, in an attempt to deter young people from getting knocked up at a young age, our high school required teens to carry a hardboiled egg around for a week. For some reason the staff felt I may need an extra push in the right direction, therefore I was handed the responsibility of "twins." One egg I named Melchizedek Barron and the other I named something far less impressive since I have no idea to this day what it was. For a week I drove around with the eggs nestled in the cup holder of my sporty blue, two door Pontiac Grand Am, rocking out to Salt-N-Pepa's "Let's Talk About Sex."

What they should've done is made me spend every waking minute with a teenager.

Babies are cute. And cuddly. And they smell good if you wash them on a regular basis. Teenagers are moody and hormonal and either don't use enough deodorant or spend in excess of ninety-eight minutes hogging all the hot water so that when you want to bathe all you get is a shrugged shoulder and a not-so-convincing sorry, which doesn't make up for the freezing temperatures you get to enjoy in your shower. Have you ever tried shaving your legs in icy water? The good news is you don't need a lot of band-aids because the blood congeals quite rapidly.

Babies smile and giggle when you sing made up song lyrics as you're dancing in the kitchen making spaghetti for dinner. Teenagers condescendingly ask if you know how ridiculous you look and point out you don't know any of the words and oh my god? Seriously? Spaghetti for dinner? Again?

Babies hug you and snuggle up tight next to you and never want you to put them down. Teenagers visibly cringe if you get too close. And make you drop them off two blocks away from their desired destination for fear someone they possibly kinda, sorta are acquainted with (but don't really know, because they think they saw them once about seven weeks ago in line at Starbucks but can't be sure) might see the two of you together and the world will come to a screeching halt and nobody will ever be friends with them again because you are so unbelievably embarrassing as a parent.

Babies think you possess exceptional intellectual ability when you turn the kitchen faucet on and water comes out. And they still think you're a genius when you turn it off. Teenagers know everything. About everything. All the time. So you don't have to tell them - in fact, just don't speak. Ever. Because they know.

If you have a teen, or are a survivor of the teen years, you get what I'm talking about. A hard boiled egg is just not going to do it.

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