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Ride Along With a Teenager

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The following is an actual conversation I had this morning while driving my fifteen year old son to school. This is a prime example of what life is like living with a teen ager. Those of us with high school kids are sympathetic to what parents of younger kids are going through. We've been there, but we now know that in the grand scheme of parenting, three AM feedings, diaper explosions and temper tantrums are about a "two" on the "Parental Patience and Sanity" scale. This morning, like every morning, I left my house before dawn so that my son could get a lift to school. Public transportation is readily available to him, but he would prefer a ride from me. The following exchange took place about ten minutes into that ride:

"Mom. Mom! What are you looking at?"

"Just those people over there."


"It's not even seven in the morning yet, and they are outside lining the garbage cans in the Superdawg parking lot."

"So? So what? Why do you even care? "

"I don't particularly care. I was just wondering why they need to be at work so early. I wouldn't have thought Superdawg employees started work at this time of the day."

"You think about the dumbest things."

"Excuse me?"

"Sorry. Sorry Mom. It's just that you talk about things that seriously, no one else cares about."

"I was keeping my thoughts to myself until you asked me what I was looking at."

"Okay! You seriously think about the weirdest things. Whatever. I just don't like talking in the morning. Okay? Can we just stop talking?"

"Sure, but for the record, you started the conversation. I was happy driving in silence."

"No! You started it! You were the one staring out the window at those guys!"

"Looking. Not talking."

"Ok! Fine! Can we just drop this? Can we just stop talking? I don't like talking in the morning!"

"You asked me a question. I was simply answering you."

"Aagh! Stop! Okay! Just stop talking to me! I hate talking in the morning! Can we just stop talking! Please!"

"Gladly. But in the future, if you don't want to engage in a conversation, don't ask a question."

"Fine. Okay. Fine. I get it . I won't. I hate talking in the morning. Just stop talking."

(Brief silence.)

"Mom, where do you think those kids waiting for the bus go to school?"