Yes, they are four perfectly wonderful, perfectly frustrating unique individuals. Nope, easy they are not, and neither is their love for us unconditional, as ours is for them.
Well, now, in the recesses, the very dark back corner of the furthest recesses of their teenage hearts, they probably do have unconditional love for their parents. Like, they probably wouldn't jump in front of a bus to save us from being run over by said bus, but they might, if their arm reached long enough without too much exertion, grab us by the arm and pull us back to safety if they saw us walking toward on oncoming bus. That is the kind of unconditional love you get from a teen. Everything else comes with a caveat.
They think we're dumb too. Have anyone one of you, parents of a teenager, seen a teen clean anything without an ulterior motive? In their young and feeble minds, however, they think they have pulled one over on us when we praise the good work and offer to take them to the movie, or buy them a video game, or whatever prompted the idea for the cleaning frenzy in the first place. Meh, the house is clean, why not give them what they want, (within reason) right?
Want to clear the room of teens? Stand in the middle of the room and say-- I have a project... Neither Roadrunner, nor Speedy Gonzales could beat them out of the room.
Want to know where the missing, glue, scissors, nail polish, tape, stapler...or just about any missing item in the house? Go in their bedroom, if you dare, and I'll lay you some good odds you'll find exactly what you were looking for, PLUS, a bunch of stuff you weren't like-- five dirty plates, four Coke can, three potato chip bags, two granola bar wrappers and probably that darn partridge from that pear tree. Yep you'll find it. You may have to dig deeply, but you'll find what you need. But, whoa be unto the one person who TOOK THEIR PENCIL BAG. Did you check under your bed, sweetheart? dear....no....way back there, yep, there it is!. Teen looks at errant pencil bag he mutters - hrumph, I wonder who put it THERE?
Another great thing about teens is laundry. First of all, using a towel more than once? Mom are you KIDDING, eewww. However, same said child will sleep on a bare mattress because he's too lazy to put a sheet on it. The sheet I washed for him, along with all the clothes on the floor of the laundry room, because once they are on the floor, I can't tell clean from dirty and I am not sniffing the socks or underwear to find out. I may be green, and all about water and energy conservation, but a girl has to draw the line somewhere. If there is the slightest chance the article of clothing is dirty, it will be washed. Oh! Another oddity about teenager's and their laundry. The dirty clothes usually don't make it to the hamper (because they're on the laundry room floor, DUH!), but that blue shirt, the one with the stain on the collar, that fits no one in the house, the one you know good and well no one has worn in over a year, unless belly shirts for boys are in style, keeps showing up in that hamper week after week.
Don't get me started on drinking glasses. With six people in the family, one would expect to wash six drinking glasses a day, and a couple of coffee mugs us old folks dirtied up. Oh, no, no, no, no! You see, there is a system, and unwritten code--- a teen cannot drink from a glass unless he/she can be absolutely certain that it's his/hers, because there may be deadly Ebola virus lurking in the mouth of one of their siblings, and they really can't take the chance of catching that, so a new glass, a clean glass, must be obtained. Mind you, they don't put into the sink the glass they think-might-be-theirs-but-also-might-be-the-sibling-contaminated one. No, that's against the code. That glass must not be touched. It might be infected, remember? So by the end of the evening mom can count on rounding up two to four cups per child. That's times four in this house. You do the math, I'm too tired of rounding up dishes to figure out multiplication.
Here's another good one. It is pretty much a guarantee that THE BALL GAME is getting ready to start and someone hasn't finished 'this episode' yet. It doesn't matter that the episode is on the DVR, or that the episode has been seen 25 quadbillion times before, the end must be seen before the TV can be turned over to the next sibling in line! Sheesh.
It's shear madness, I tell you. What the HELL were we thinking! If we wanted unconditional love, and a fairly clean and quiet house, except on trash day, we should have just had dogs.