A new raft of truisms cover the teen years

September 24, 1996|By Susan Reimer

LET'S PAUSE a moment and listen in on Susan and her friends. One of the women is dumping salsa into a chipped bowl while another pulls open a bag of tortilla chips.

In the background, a blender grinds noisily to life, chopping ice for frozen margaritas.

The kids are playing computer games, riding bikes and picking fights while waiting for the pizza delivery man to arrive.

It is Friday night in the neighborhood. Time to consider life's True Facts.

Life was simpler before Tupperware. We just threw stuff out.

From the moment of our children's birth, their helplessness diminishes. And ours increases.

If you think of yourself not as gaining weight but growing more sensuous, middle age will be much more bearable.

When teen-agers declare themselves to be vegetarians, it means they will eat only cheese pizza or pasta. It does not mean they will eat vegetables.

The best thing about fall is not football, or colored leaves or crisp mornings. The best think about fall is toddlers in blanket sleepers.

You can tell that you have abandoned traditional mealtime and its preparations when you start thinking you need two microwaves.

The more articulate you are, the more your words can wound your children.

When exercising, remember this, it doesn't matter what activity you choose. If you sweat, you win.

Rear-view mirrors exist so mothers can tell when their children are lying about having buckled their seat belts.

Your child's backpack weighs more than he does.

Once you have children, your heart breaks over the hardships that befall all other children.

A University of Michigan study of marital quality over the course of a lifetime shows that after the first few years, the so-called honeymoon period, marital happiness tends to go downhill for the next 20. By the time they've been married 35 years, couples report themselves to be happy. Researchers said a decline in work and parental responsibilities explains this upswing in marital satisfaction.

The age at which daughters begin to raid their mothers' rooms for accessories, earrings, pantyhose and sweaters has declined steadily during the 20th century. It is now 9.

At about the same age, boys will stop playing in the bathtub for an hour with Legos, action figures and soap bubbles. Until they start dating, they will not bathe or shower voluntarily.

After a couple has been married for a while, a husband sends his wife roses to say "I'm sorry," not to say, "I love you."

Teen-agers' sleep patterns are disrupted by growth spurts and puberty so they are more and more active at night. The result is, their parents are less and less active at night. Parents of teens learn to practice not safe sex, but silent sex.

Girls are from Venus, boys are from Mars, a pre-quel: Twins were required by their elementary school teacher to write their parents a letter expressing their hopes for the new school year. The girl twin wrote that she hoped to study hard, improve her reading and get straight A's. The boy twin wrote that he hoped someday to be able to eat a whole pizza by himself "and not barf."

When your refrigerator door is finally covered with messages to yourself, schedules and your children's artwork, there is only one solution. Buy a second fridge.

Visitors never drop in unexpectedly the day after the cleaning people have been to your home, only the day before.

The mothers who arrange car pools are better equipped than professionals for mass transit planning or service in the diplomatic corps.

Your spouse is never sick the way you would be sick.

Baseball caps were invented so boys would not have to comb their hair.

If you have more than one child, you will need a cell phone.

And the truest true fact of all: Your children are more likely to eat the dinner you have cooked if you serve it to them in old takeout containers.

Pub Date: 9/24/96

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