So instead, we have the Top Ten Reasons Teenagers are Great. This week's list was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend at a party a week or so ago. She has kids who are around the Tornado's age and is terrified of having teenagers. J and I are a little unusual in that we're a blended family (the true his, hers and ours kind of blended) so we have older teenagers and a preschooler. The Tornado is of course the ours, 1 of the teenagers is mine and 2 are his but we've been married forever (well 11 years) and have always been custodial so I've given up worrying on the whose kid is whose kind of thing. All of this craziness does give us an interesting perspective on the advantages of having non-4 year olds. So after lots and lots of rambling here's my:
Top Ten Reasons Teenagers are Great:
1. No more babysitters! Want to go on a date night? Go for a drive and a lunch at a new interesting sounding restaurant that no kid would want to set foot in? No need to hunt down an available and hopefully responsible teenager. You just say "See you in a few hours." and you leave! It's magic.
2. No more worrying about bedtime routines. Once they get past 14 or 15 are bedtime routine consisted of a knock on the door and "Hey, shouldn't you be trying to go to sleep?" No stalling, no stories, no arguing about brushing teeth just a simple "Go to bed"
4. No more awkward small talk with other parents when you pick them up from a friend's house. Get there in the morning to pick them up after they've spent the night. Just text them "Here" and in a few minutes they come out. It's lovely. You're also no longer obligated to stay for parties.
5. No more kids' shows! I have done my time with Lizzie McGuire, Hannah Montana and the oddly fascinating Wizards of Waverly Place. They're old enough now where I no longer need to monitor their TV which is great because they watch some really awful sounding stuff.
6. You have an idea of how you've screwed them up. With the Tornado we don't know what possible hangups he'll have because of us. With the older 3 we've got a pretty good idea. It takes a little weight off your shoulders once you see you haven't messed them up too much!
7. They have their own transportation. Once they get above 15 or 16 they start having friends that can drive or they start being able to drive. Them driving means you don't have too! Oh you have to be across town at 8AM on a Saturday? Be very quiet so as not to wake me up!
8. You don't have to stay for practices. Emma and Paul have played soccer for years. All 3 were in band at one time or another. All of those evenings stuck watching them practice whatever it is that they've got going on are over. If I have to drop them off at all it consists of a "See you in a couple of hours. Call me if it ends early."
9. Watching them become actual people is really kind of fun. They're developing the interests that will actually turn into their careers. Eleanor already has her major declared, Emma is talking law school and Paul is researching the military. It's terrifying and amazing all at the same time.
10. You get to start figuring out what to do with their rooms once they have homes of their own. The time they've got left with you is not so long anymore and it's growing shorter everyday. So you can leave their rooms as shrines to them or you can turn them into something else. I have plans for all of their rooms though I have agreed to wait until they have actual homes of their own and not just dorm rooms but they know it's a temporary lease!