I am in Bickering Hell.
My two teenage boys (fifteen and eighteen) should be well past the little kid stage of incessant bickering over insanely stupid things—like whose sneakers smell worse, who has to let the cat in, or who got more soda at dinner. Yet some days, they’re in each other’s faces within seconds of waking up, arguing over—well, everything. In a typical day, my teens deliver more verbal jabs to each other than Donald Trump spews during a political debate.
No, I didn’t.
Yes, you did.
No, I didn’t!
Well, you started it.
You’re a dorkwad.
Yeah, well, you’re an idiot.
Please, just make it stop.
Can you imagine if parents spent the entire day relentlessly squabbling over Seinfeld-esque trivialities? We would bicker over:
- Who should go out in their pajamas to get the newspaper;
- Who gets to read the Entertainment section first;
- Who started the sexy tickle fight meant to heat things up but resulted in someone accidentally getting elbowed in the eye;
- Whose turn it is to shower first;
- Whose short and curly is stuck to the bar of soap, defying the unwritten rule of leaving no trace behind;
- Who misplaced the Powerball ticket with four matching numbers on it;
- Who has to run to Lowe’s to pick up drywall screws for the bathroom remodeling project;
- Who gets to ride shotgun while we run errands together;
- Whether we should listen to classic 80s rock or NPR on the car radio;
- Who forgot to bring the coupon for “One Free Taco” to lunch at Tijuana Flats;
- What time the neighbors should come over for a swim;
- Who should get out of the pool to grab more chips and salsa;
- What time the neighbors should leave so we don’t have to feed them dinner;
- How to fold the pool towels the “right” way;
- Who ate the last square of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt;
- Who had the harder major in college;
- Whether Van Halen was better with or without David Lee Roth;
- Whether we should bag the grass clippings or let them lay on the lawn;
- Which route to Costco is faster;
- Who has to cook dinner;
- Who gets the bigger glass of wine;
- Who gets to drink out of the only frosted mug left in the freezer;
- Who forgot to record Shark Tank;
- Whether Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel is funnier;
- Who gets to lay on the bigger couch when we watch TV;
- Who should get up and turn the fan on;
- Who was sicker the last time we all had the flu;
- Who coughs the loudest;
- Who has to run back out at 10 p.m. to pick up milk for tomorrow’s breakfast; and
- Who has to get up at 3 a.m. to investigate that loud bump we just heard downstairs.
The insanity of hearing two adults engaged in non-stop petty fights is enough to drive…wait a minute. I’ve just had a light-bulb moment. Maybe if we play it right, our parent version of Family Feud might just drive our teens out of the house for the day, ensuring at least eight to ten hours of quiet bliss. Hmmm, methinks a solution is at hand.
This original piece by Lisa Beach was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Featured image © gosphotodesign via depositphotos.com.