As I approach a new season of having two high school students in my house, I’ve made some interesting observations. I’ve tried to assess and process my thoughts in an intelligent way, but really there is no time. Honestly, I’m just trying to keep up. I’m running behind everyone, making sure that there are snacks and drinks in the house and that I understand who is going where and for what.  I thought I’d share some of my deepest learnings in quick point form because that’s how my brain works these days. This is also a collection of all the moments this summer that my kids said, “I bet mom will write a blog about that.”

Always make time

I’m always waiting up when my kids get home from a week away, a night away, a fun event. I even stay up way past my bedtime. I ask the same question that has been asked for decades – “How was your night?” (It’s just another version of “What did you learn in school today?”) I get nothing. No info. Blank stares. Looks of confusion. However, when I’m in the middle of Beach Flip or a riveting Jane Austen romcom, all of a sudden there’s a shadow at my side who’s decided it’s chat time. I give a little huff for dramatic effect. But then I stop what I’m doing. Press pause. You never turn away a chatty teenager. You always make time.

Do the laundry yourself.

Teenagers find it repulsive to have to use a towel more than once. Apparently, it’s just gross to dry off with the same towel consecutively. The germs from staying inside most of the day must be horrific. However, there is an upside. Towels are the easiest thing to fold. And I know this from experience. And don’t even get me started on the number of outfits wore in one day. I know what you’re thinking – “You STILL wash your kid’s clothes? Get them to do the laundry themselves. What kind of mother does their teen’s laundry?” I’ll tell you what kind, the kind of mother who knows how to sort colours. And who doesn’t wash plate holders. Yah, that’s right. There was a metal decorative plate holder in the dryer last week. Enough said. Clean clothes can be tricky. Foreign objects are not good for the dryer. Do the laundry yourself.

Hide your lunch

I work. And I eat.  I usually make my lunch at night before bed so my morning runs smoother. There have been numerous times recently that my lunch has disappeared during the night. Yah. My lunch. Before bed, it’s there. Ready to go. It looks like someone’s lunch, but apparently it also looks like a special midnight snack. All packed for the late night snacker. Well, it’s not. You just ate my lunch. Now I have to beg for food at work.  I’ve developed a new system that I call “Hide your Food.” Basically, you hide your food. I use the cupboard that holds napkins, and the veggie crisper in the fridge. They never look there. Leave the stuff you want eaten on the counters. Hide your lunch.

Body wash is a scam

Remember the days of soap? The little soapy bar that would stay in the shower? You’d likely get a good month of bathing out of it. So, when did we decide as a society that we’d replace that with body wash? I’m all for being clean. I like nice smelling things. But body wash is ruining civilization. How much body wash does one need to clean themselves? I don’t care if it’s better for the quadrants of your bathing routine. It’s costing me as much as groceries. I love you, but be prepared to start the bar of soap transition. Body wash is a scam. I’m giving Axe the Axe.

I know you can clean

This summer my kids affectionately started calling me “Jobby.” Yah. Here’s why. If I text a list of chores for the day, with a gentle condition attached (like, if you want to go anywhere tonight please do the following…) then the jobs get done. If I don’t, I come home to mayhem. It’s a simple choice for me, and it’s worth the new name and ridicule. BUT, can I tell you something? My kids can clean up. They pretend they don’t know how but when the stakes are high, it’s perfection. Now that I’ve seen it, no more excuses. I can tell you started the vacuum and you confessed to using Mr. Clean. There’s no turning back. Jobby is onto you. I know you can clean.

Love what they love

I’ve recently had to try to na-na, twerk (I’m sorry), do the beanboozle challenge, watch v-loggers and a strange movie about the children of fairytale villains. I listen to rap, watch crazy YouTube videos of guys who make YouTube videos of themselves playing video games, wander aisles of stores looking for lip gloss, learn about Spotify, search for the perfect skinny jean, sample unusual poutine, buy specific Irish breakfast tea, become educated about bath bombs and about a million of other things. But it’s ok. I’ve decided I will just go with it. I mean, I’m so hip I’m practically a teenager myself. There’s plenty of time to get back to the boring things I like. Love what they love.

The best part about all this?

All of this is the best part.

They are the best part.

I’ve loved every stage.

Every stage has been my favourite.

They are my favourite.

This is my favourite.