A Pop Quiz for My Teenagers

I was ready to divorce my teenage kids this past Memorial Day weekend. I had called the Divorce attorneys on the back of the phone book and had the papers all drafted. Thankfully, my wife talked me off the cliff and I was able to save the attorney fees. She’s good that way, at talking me off the cliff. Sometimes I have to talk her off the cliff. Sometimes we both want to jump off the cliff… and maybe have sex as we plunge to our deaths because it’s the only time we’d have any privacy. Plus the guy who spoke at the Memorial Day parade said lot’s of stuff about finding peace and happiness with the people who you care about and that settled me down a bit.

My kids hadn’t really done anything wrong. I was just tired of them. I was tired of driving them places, tired of cooking them meals, tired of picking up their stuff, tired of trying to keep their lives organized. Is it okay to say you’re tired of your kids sometimes? Well, whether it’s okay or not, I’ll man up and say it… I WAS FUCKING TIRED OF THEM!

They’re actually really good kids. Well behaved most of the time, well respected by their peers and teachers, “A” students. They participate and are successful in a lot of school activities.  But sometimes… well, most of the time…. okay look… all of the time, they just don’t get it. They’re messy, they’re lazy, they roll their eyes a lot, sometimes they’re even a little… GASP… disrespectful. They’re TEENAGERS!

So I decided to take a cue from all of my teacher friends. You see, the way that teacher’s know if their students are “getting it” is they give them regular quizzes.  So, I am going to start assigning monthly quizzes to my kids.

Here is the first one… it’s multiple choice:

1. A reasonable amount of time necessary to straighten up our home before guests come over would be:

A. 1/2 hour.
B. 1-2 hours.
C. 2-4 hours.
D. 17 days.

2. The proper place to put dirty dishes when you are done using them:

A. Washed and dried and placed back into the appropriate cabinet.
B. Washed and set in the dish strainer to dry.
C. Rinsed well and set on the counter next to the sink.
D. Under the couch.

3. The appropriate time to tell your parents about something you need completed for school is:

A. As soon as you learn about the assignment deadline.
B. The day after you learn about the assignment deadline.
C. One week before the date of the assignment deadline.
D. “Dad, you need to sign this paper from my teacher so you know I missed an assignment deadline.”

4. The reason we have a strict “bed time” on Sunday nights, between 10:00 – 11:00 pm is:

A. Children who get enough sleep do better in school.
B. Monday morning is the most difficult day to wake up on time.
C. Weekends are busy and we need to give our bodies adequate rest.
D. Your parent’s haven’t had sex in three months and that’s the only night we might be able to stay awake.

5. If a pair of your dirty underwear somehow ends up lying on the kitchen floor you should:

A. Pick them up and carry them to the laundry hamper.
B. Pick them up and while you are bending down, with a damp paper towel, wipe up the entire animal full of fur that has accumulated under the cabinets.
C. Question why your dirty underwear is on the kitchen floor.
D. All of the above.

6. The proper use of lights and light switches in the house is:

A. To turn on when you are doing your homework and to turn off when you are completed.
B. To provide temporary light while you are using the bathroom and to turn off when you are completed.
C. To provide low level lighting in the evenings when it gets dark outside and to turn off before bedtime.
D. To light up our home like the sun in case there are Aliens looking for life on another planet.

7. The number of allowable pairs of shoes that each family member should have in the shoe pile by the entryway door is:

A. 1-2 pairs of shoes representing the appropriate season.
B. 3-4 pairs of shoes representing the appropriate season.
C. 26 pairs of shoes representing all four seasons, plus every sports season.
D. What’s the shoe pile by the entryway door?

8. The day after spending an entire week of vacation fun and having to re-mortgage the house to pay for it, the proper response is:

A. “Thanks Mom and Dad, that was awesome.”
B. “I love you guys, would it be okay if I cleaned the bathroom to show my appreciation!”
C. “That was so great, maybe we could do that again in a couple of years.”
D. “I’m so bored, what are we doing today?”

9. The normal and usual scent in a regularly used home bathroom should be:

A. Azaleas and other flower arrangements.
B. Bleach with a touch of lemon.
C. Fresh mountain air.
D. Boy Scout camp.

10. When Dad says things like “I can’t wait for you guys to go to college”, what I really mean is:

A. You know, there’s a nice military school down in Indiana.
B. When I was your age, I had to do my own damn laundry!
C. Seriously, I can’t wait for you guys to go to college.
D. I really do LOVE YOU, I just need a “time out!”

Do you ever get tired of your kids? Yeah, I know, stupid question…


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47 responses to “A Pop Quiz for My Teenagers

  1. I’m not yet at the teenage years (mine is 9), but I would add: When’s the best time to flush the toilet? Current answer: In a few hours, when the entire first floor smells like a sewer. How long should you wear shoes that are too small? Current answer: Until it looks like you’ve developed a blister that looks like a 6th toe.
    I see that I have a lot more to look forward to…

  2. I just wanted a baby…not once did I ask for teenagers. Feeling your pain

  3. OMG! You nailed it! Your house sounds like mine! ROFL! I love my kids. They’re great kids. But some days…
    I recently had lunch with an old college friend. He pointed out to me that, statistics show, this generation of offspring aren’t leaving home until they’re 32 yrs old. Ack! By the time I was 32, I’d lost both my parents, had two kids, a husband and a mortgage. Funny how things change.

  4. This is sheer perfection! Thank you!

  5. I love this! Can I use it at my house? Exams can’t be over soon enough!

    I would also add: Where is the correct place to store your retainers?
    a) On the table by the couch
    b) On the living room floor
    c) On the table while we eat (and not under a napkin)
    d) Somewhere in your room where you might actually find them and wear them like you’re supposed to!

  6. bigsheepcommunications

    You can divorce your kids? Now that’s interesting…

  7. At my house the answer would be D on every question. And I have the straight A responsible model kid too! We’re always complimented on how grown up she is. Love that teen and her friends but…No I don’t know where your phone, shoes, binder, gym clothes, permission slips are.

    Brilliant post! You made my day!

  8. Am totally giving this to my child when he gets home from school today! You know when I’m shlepping him to his fencing lesson! Arrrgggggh! Off to put away the dishes!

  9. Pingback: A Pop Quiz for My Teenagers | West Coast Review

  10. I’m still stuck on the idea that my husband and I might possibly be able to have sex if we jumped off a cliff. Hm….this might work….

    Well this was fucking hilarious and yes they do drive us up a fucking wall, don’t they? Why am I swearing? Guess my inner rage is coming out. And my kids aren’t even teens yet. But they’re close. My son has two more years. I’m clinging to every day I have left.

    Jim Gaffigan (comedian) tweeted something recently and it summed parenting up perfectly: The worst part of parenting is when I’m with my kids.

  11. Brilliant post ….. very entertaining – I suppose … very true. Don’t have any children, made that choice very early in my life … as woman. But I can get tired of others kids.

  12. My son is 29, living on his own and doing a damn fine job of it too. He keeps his place clean, cooks healthy meals, does his laundry and washes his dishes. I am very proud I raised a self sufficient male.
    BUT I want to know what the hell happens when he comes home for a week or two to visit! All of sudden he forgets how to cook, where the sink is and how to do laundry. My house becomes a disaster area that a tornado went through.
    I love him more than life itself but I prefer to love him in his own home. I bet he’d fail the exam at my house and pass with flying colours in his own.
    Good post as always.

  13. You are preaching to the choir, my friend! I love your quiz and will administer it immediately to my two messy, stubborn, backtalking little girls. And then I’ll go have sex with my husband (just to f**k with their heads). Exactly the laugh I needed this afternoon – gracias!

  14. Kim

    Wow…all I can say is a big, fat “THANKS!” This made my day and put my angry thoughts in perspective. Oh, and sorry for not jumping off the cliff with you last night 😉

  15. We are many years past those days, but they are still fresh in my memory. Now the grandkids come here, and for some reason, I have a feeling that the correct answers to the quiz will be loosened a bit for them. They are very young now, but already when they stay here we are much less stressed about the stuff that would have driven us nuts when our kids were their ages. Just something for you to look forward to in your old age.

  16. Sherry

    Mine is just about done with college and will begin grad school in the fall. I felt all these, but miss her and would take the ridiculously trashed room, rushed school assignments, etc. just to have her home for 2 days. Only 2 days though!

  17. Wow thanks for this great post. I have a 14-year-old girl, and oh boy, the eye-rolling is the worst in front of adults with her. “You are the dumbest human on this planet Earth” look. I am showing her this quiz tomorrow. Oh, that is, after the piano recital. At least the parent’s dance team meeting, piano and dance lessons, and the ortho appointments are out of the way this week already.

  18. Such an amazing post…this should be law. Really.

  19. It’s absolutely ok to say you are tired of your kids. Just as it is appropriate sometimes to refer to those same kids as little assholes. Rock on, brother.

    Pretty sure I failed that test up there. Unless all the answers are D. They’re D, right? NAILED IT.

  20. Margie

    Good quiz, Steve. I can just imagine the eye rolling when you talk about the sex bit.
    I survived three kids. The messiness thing – I pretty much solved that in about a week. Each morning when they left for school, I went through the house and put everything they had left lying around into a cardboard box. Then I hid the box. After the first day, when they begged to get their stuff back, I went and got the box and let them retrieve their things. But I warned them that the next day, it would be two days before I would give them back their stuff. On the third day, I told them it would be three days before they got their stuff back. By the fourth day, they were no longer leaving stuff lying around.
    As for cleaning – once a week we all cleaned. We’d alternate who did what job. It took about an hour and a half. It made them all cleaner in general because they knew what it was like to have to clean it up. (Their allowance was tied to this.)
    My kids called me Attila the Mom…

  21. Classic. Thank your gods that you have a sense of humour 😀

  22. Richard L Wiseman

    4 years between my teenage son and my pre teen daughter so I’m not getting a teen double dose all the time, but yeah… when did I apply for get the job as PA and butler to my teenage son? Sweet ten year old daughter is shaping up to be a dangerous female teenage explosion. As I said to my son, when she hits thirteen I’m off to hide in the office upstairs and I suggets you lock your door. Your mum and her are going to fight it out for supremacy and my money is on your sister.

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