We’re on our third teenager. We’ve mostly survived the process of raising two daughters and now our son is about to turn sixteen. One of the things we’ve learned along the way is that teens seem to have a limited assortment of comments and questions. I’ve compiled some of the things that teenagers say in real life:
We’re out of cereal again.
Where’s my wireless game controller?
Is it okay if me and my friends make a bonfire in the backyard?
Can I get my chin pierced?
I don’t get why I have to be home that early.
My PS3 won’t go online because it can’t find the IP address. What’s the default code for the router?
I need pants.
Get OUT of my ROOM.
I don’t have any homework. No, wait, I mean I finished it on the bus.
Out of all my friends, I’m the only one who’s not allowed to go.
You paid to rent this movie? I downloaded it for free last week.
Are these the only kind of chips we have?
Our computer’s a piece of junk.
Did anyone want that last doughnut?
I told you: There’s nothing going on.
There’s a video of this guy turning a squirrel inside out. It has three million views. You gotta see it.
I just remembered, I have a test today and I didn’t study. Can you write me a note?
What do you MEAN there’s school? It was supposed to snow.
There’s nothing to eat in this house.
What are you TALKING about?
It’s pathetic that you don’t trust your own child!
Can we get a trampoline?
Why do I have to go?
This is so STUPID.
To balance things out, my subconscious mind has created a fantasy world in which teenagers say other things. Soothing, cooperative, respectful things. The kinds of things that could make a parent feel hopeful and optimistic, and that it was all worth it. Here, then, are a few of the more memorable things teenagers say in my dreams:
Whatever we’re having for dinner would be fine.
It feels a little chilly today. Would it be all right if I wore my winter coat, the one with the hood?
Could you wake me up at eight? I was going to mow the lawn tomorrow and wanted to get an early start.
Dad, how was your day? What’s new, Mom?
Maybe I should get some shirts that don’t have skulls or dead rock stars on them.
It’s rude to text my friends while I’m eating dinner with my parents, and I just won’t do it.
Do we have any movies that don’t involve killing or violence of any kind?
Three people called while you were out. I wrote down their names and phone numbers.
I think I should wait an extra year before I start driving.
There’s a documentary on tonight about the Renaissance. Want to watch it with me?
I think it would be appropriate if once in a while, I let you complete a sentence.
Hi, I’m calling to let you know I’m at Brandon’s house. His parents are here. Do you want to talk to them?
What time does the library open?
I’ve had enough pizza. There are other people here and maybe they’re hungry, too.
I’m tired of this iPod. Let’s talk about something.
Let me help you with that.
This is delicious.
I see your point.
(Well, I said I was dreaming, didn’t I?)