If we, or rather you, since I am beginning to entertain ideas unbecoming a mother, are to survive this time while the additional parent usually present in the home is absent, (Joe has gone to Newfoundland) then the following rules and regulations are to be observed.
1. The soup is not ready when it explodes. The soup is ready right before it explodes. While I am grateful for the time saved by having daughters old enough to make their own dinner, please be more vigilant in your microwaving habits, since time is not saved by me having to scrub disgusting little flecks of carrot soup of the interior of the thing every time one of you has a bowl.
2. I am not interested in the fight about whether or not your sandwich is “cheesed” to the same level as your sister. Cheese is not a symbol of love and affection, it is a dairy product, nothing more, nothing less. The fact that you have 1.2 grams more cheddar than your sister has nothing, I repeat NOTHING to do with my love for you, or my feelings about cheese. I can’t even begin to tell you the ways in which slices of cheese don’t freaking matter. Let it go.
3. I know we have been over this before, but clearly it bears repeating. Dishes go IN the dishwasher, not ON the dishwasher.
The only difference between the two choices is that with one, the job is done, and with the other, your disparaged mother has to either move your soup bowl (devoid of exploded soup) into the dishwasher or call you into the kitchen and start that fight again, and with the other, she (and you) can move on.
4. Do. Not. Talk to your mother until she has had at least one cup of coffee in the morning. Feel free to check my cup and divine my progress, or note that if I am ready for communication, I will speak to you.
5. Further to item 4, please note that any attempt to get money/notes for school/ clean laundry/ the cute hairband you have misplaced since last night BEFORE your mother has had that single glorious brown elixir of life will likely be met with a negative response.
If you really want money/notes/laundry/hairbands, you may increase your odds by bringing me coffee or wiping something….hell. Anything, with a damp washrag.
6. Soap dissolves in water. This is why the soap in the tub is always gone. You’re smart kids. Put it together.
7. Teenage boys want to have their way with you.
Please do not speak to me of their purity of soul and intent. I am too old and skeptical to believe any other motive. (I am willing to entertain that when they are 35 they may have another goal. Not before.)
7b. This does not mean that I think that boy is a jerk. He seems to be a very good boy, I even like him. Unfortunately, he is also teenaged and that means that even if he is the best boy alive he has suspect motivations, even if he doesn’t think so himself.
7c. I know about your motivations too.
8. I pay for the phone. If I want to make a phone call, I’m not mean, insensitive, or calloused to your needs. I am the lady with a JOB. Hand it to me, or I shall devote every single moment of time that I can wrench the phone from your hands to calling boys your age that you think are hot and telling them stories from when you were breastfed and how I made the decision to cloth diaper you. I will not leave out the part about the rash.
9. The internet does not actually supply oxygen. If the router quits again there is absolutely no need for that high pitched keening. Or for you to shriek “Fix it! Fix it! MUM! THE ROUTER!” like it was the life support system of The Starship Enterprise.
10. Since, further to that JOB part up above, I have to go and speak to the KW-Knitters Guild tonight I expect that during the time that the three of you are alone in the house you will not look for ways to make sure I need to go completely bonkers when I get home. This includes, but is not limited to –
-Dying your hair a strange colour. I actually could care less what colour your hair is, since hair colour is not related to goodness as a person. Covering the bathroom in hairdye is, however, related to goodness and how much I of it I believe you to possess.
– Drinking, between the three of you, 4 litres of milk in one evening.
-Using three towels per bath. There are three of you. Either do laundry, bath less or have a load in the washer when I get home. I’d be happy to move it to the dryer for you.
-Creating, through unknown means a “mystery smell” that I will neither be able to identify nor locate.
-Immediately tuning the tv to a banned show like “Next” “Flavor of Love” or any show that has improving women through plastic surgery as a theme, any show that is having a good day when there is a “catfight” between contestants or any show that has women competing for the attention and affection of a single male who is allowed to choose between them for his own purposes. I don’t give a crap how trendy a harem is, all the women I know (including you) are worth more than that.
Thank you for your kind attention to these matters. I will be lying on the couch with a cool cloth over my head until the parent that you say is nicer than me and actually claim to like and respect returns in a few days. (Please note that the irony that you will dump all of this crap on him ten seconds after he comes home is not lost on either of us.)
PS. Since a wise mother giving three teenagers nine hours alone provides some measure of supervision, I have arranged for a series of relatives and friends to look in on the three of you tonight. They will arrive at random intervals. I am not going to tell you when, or for how long. Look alert.