How To Live With A Teenager

by Marinka on February 1, 2012

1. Receive an email from your teenager with a subject line “I’m too lazy to walk over to your room so I’m emailing you instead!!!!”

2. Rejoice that you’ve raised such an energy-efficient child.

3. Read the email and learn that your teen and her BFF want to learn a foreign language so that they can talk to each other without other people understanding what they’re saying.

4. Suppress urge to let her know that only dogs can hear what she and her BFF are squealing to each other.

5. Continue to read that they have decided to learn Mandarin as their Secret Language.

6. Call 911 to ask about procedures to reattach your recently bitten off tongue.

7. Continue to read email and learn that there’s a program that’s just $10!!!! and Please send away for it ASAP, I’ll pay you back! THANK YOU!!!

8. Awww, your teen wrote THANK YOU!!! You are the best mom ever!

9. Decide not to answer email until you can come up with a non-sarcastic response.

9. Do not answer email.

10. Ignore follow ups to email.

11. Get the “I’m going to discuss this with daddy” email notice.

12. Do not respond, but silently say goodbye to $10.

13. Overhear discussion with daddy with phrases like “you’ll never learn Mandarin, how about Italian instead?” and “but so many people speak Italian!” Die of laughter.

14. Hear daddy tap in his credit card number.

15. Hear daddy say Very Bad Word.

16. Emerge from bedroom asking whatever is the matter?

17. Learn that the $10 fee is just the sign up fee and that now every month we will be receiving more Mandarin discs at a reasonable price of $60 per shot, although we can return the Mandarin that we do not want for a full refund.

18. Go back to bedroom and close door.

19. Thank the good lord that you Kegeled throughout your pregnancies because laughing now causes absolutely no leakage.

20. Secretly plan to learn Mandarin in order to understand what Teenage Daughter is saying.

One year ago ...

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

February 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm

At least this ended up being his fault instead of yours! I especially loved #2 and #8. It’s great to find the good things in life. 🙂


Catherine Dabels
February 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm

#20 is the key.

You ARE a good mom.


Lyndsay February 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm

She can borrow the Italian tapes (tapes!) that I bought when I was 16. Or the German ones that I bought when I was 19.

I speak neither by the way. Must be a rite of passage.


joeinvegas February 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Check the library, they might have cds to borrow. Don’t worry about learning it, I’m sure after the first ten minutes they will forget the idea.


February 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Man I mist have that teenager thing still in me because I am convinced I can learn a language with CDs. Yeah right, not me. And that go to daddy thing already happens here with my 5, 3, and 2 year olds. What is wrong with our husbands?


ladyday February 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I was able to hold my LOLing in check until I got to #19. Then I leaked.

As to #20….no no no! You really don’t want to know. Trust me on this.


Megan February 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Not to worry; my friend’s daughter has taken Mandarin for four years, is good at it, was already bilingual, and on a recent trip to China couldn’t speak to anyone.


meekasmommy February 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm

she can have my learn mandarin at home CDs if she wants… they’ve taught me exactly two phrases – “hello” and “thank you” – she can be a very polite greeter! 🙂


February 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Personally, I’m moving to whatever country still believes in sending teens off to boarding school. I’m done.


Marinka February 1, 2012 at 3:47 pm

State-paid-for boarding school, yes? Like prison?


February 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm

The average caveman’s life expectancy was 16 years. I’m guessing the eye rolling alone was enough to do them in.


Awesome Dude February 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Does she know how to use chop sticks?


tracey February 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Don’t let her know that Mandarin is like, the MOST POPULAR language in the world. Just think: She may get a scholarship someday because of this random purchase!!


February 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I’m pretty sure Mandarin is like the hardest language to learn ever. Insert #15 here.


February 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Yeah, there are more people speaking Italian than Mandarin. Things we learn from our children. On a side note: can she come along with me to the nail salon when she’s done with the cds?


Danielle February 2, 2012 at 12:26 am

This one gave me a bit of a giggle because I have been totally guilty of texting my husband from upstairs. It began when our son was a newborn. He’d fall asleep on me and since he was colicky there was no way I was going to risk waking him. I wish I could say I have an excuse now for it, but I guess I’m just a teenager at heart. Which makes me about 16! WOO!

P.S. That’s some expensive Mandarin learning!


deborah l quinn
February 2, 2012 at 5:37 am

I’m curious about the “send back the discs you don’t want.” So, like, the discs with the mandarin swear words I should keep, but the discs with mandarin words for housekeeping I send back? Or maybe I’ll just keep the verbs disc (verbs, always useful) – do they have verbs in Mandarin?


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes February 2, 2012 at 7:11 am

Start messing with your daughter : greet her with ‘nie-how’ each morning. I was told that this was chinese for hello.
Should she want to learn another language tell her that Luxemburgisch is spoken by very few people, if she falls for it greet her with ‘Mo-jen’ each morning which is Luxemburgisch for ‘hello’. Teenager can be such fun!


February 2, 2012 at 8:39 am

I can teach her Pig Latin for $59 a onthmay.


February 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I hate to state the obvious but Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world. Not much for keeping secrets I would think…


Stacy @bklynstacy
February 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Just this: I love this post. And I love you. Is it too late for me to be your daughter? I mean, we’re not THAT close in age. ; )


the mama bird diaries
February 2, 2012 at 8:59 pm

I think with Rosetta, it only takes 15 minutes to learn a language. So it shouldn’t cost you much at all.


Becky Rice
February 2, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I’m just not going to let my boys become teenagers.


Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac
February 2, 2012 at 9:47 pm

It’s so satisfying when your hard work and discipline actually pays off.
(I’m talking about the Kegeling, of course.)


dusty earth mother February 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I wish I had Kegeled harder because I think I just wet myself reading this.


Kara February 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Well…(writing as one who has sickening habit of always looking on the bright side) isn’t China taking over the world? And won’t this be helpful on a future job resume?


Emily February 5, 2012 at 5:26 am

Ha! Oh, that’s hilarious! Thanks for the glimpse into my future!

Good luck with #20!


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