Little boys grow up.
There’s just no way around it.
One day they’re giggling and driving a Cozy Coupe around the kitchen, the next they’re asking for the car keys with a voice deeper than Pavarotti’s. And as you begin to witness your little boys physically and emotionally morph into little men, you may notice a few other “behavioral changes” and situational “things” happening around your house that need some, how do we say, addressing.
Let’s call these rules for living with teen boys. Gone are the days of rules about Legos being put away, and demands for them to take a bath without flooding the house with toy boats gone awry. Nope. As your little boys go away, so do the uncomplicated house rules.
Now they’re replaced with a set of much more intimate, often hilarious, and shall we say a tad bit more awkward kind of “house rules.” Brace yourself moms with new teen boys, because if you thought toy trucks slamming into your walls was stressful, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
1. Ahem, clean up after yourselves. And yes, I do mean CLEAN. THAT. UP.
Wherever it happens and whenever it happens, I just don’t need to see any sign that it ever happened. So basically wipe down any evidence that it did happened, and stay away from my good lotion. Also, tissues do not come in an endless supply. Just sayin’.
2. If you don’t want me to see what’s in the pockets of your jeans, wash your own clothes.
Remember when I’m doing laundry, whatever I find in your pockets instantly becomes MINE, and in the future can be used for blackmail, shaming, or a variety of other embarrassments. I suggest you clean out your laundry before it gets cleaned IYKWIM.
3. Hot shower time limit.
Hot water doesn’t grow on trees, so be efficient at both washing and….uhhh….errrrr….see #1.
4. Cups, cups, and more cups.
Every single time you’re thirsty doesn’t require you take a new clean cup out of the cupboard. Going into you room and finding eight cups filled halfway with water has happened for the last time. Next thing I do is install a water hose in there.
5. Bring back the car with gas in it.
I am happy you’ve gained the confidence to drive independently, but stop returning my car to me on E, so I then have to drive on fumes, praying I make it to the nearest gas station. Also, the backseat is not a fast food garbage repository.
6. Leave no evidence of midnight snacking.
When preparing your 4th dinner of the day at 1 a.m., please leave no evidence. Like NONE. I’m tired of walking into the kitchen in the morning and it looking like a pack of raccoons held a Hunger Games rave in my pantry.
7. I’m just not your mom, I’m a human.
At your age, it’s time to start talking, respecting, and interacting with me like a fellow human being, not a mindless doormat that washes your underwear and refills the freezer with pizza pockets. Am I your mom? Yep. I am also a grown woman? YEP.
8. You give me space, and I’ll give you space.
I understand your need for privacy and space, and I’m happy to oblige. But it goes both ways, so when I’m having a “day,” you need to put on your big boy pants, step it up, and give me some space. Helping out with younger siblings when this happens+ more gas money for you.
9. Wanna be treated like an adult? Behave as one.
Do not beg, plead, or ask me to treat you as a “so called adult” when you behave in a manner equivalent to that of an 8 year old. Messy rooms, stubborn and flippant attitudes, and undone chores do little to encourage me to treat you as an equal. Do better, and you shall receive better.
Keeping teen boys in check with this menu of house rules will do well for your soul and sanity. Now for the house rules when they come home from college? That’s a whole other discussion!