The Humor and Life, in Particular Web site
author:  Margie Culbertson

April/May 2005 Humor Writing Contest Winner
Best Short Humor!

Making the Transition from Adult to a Dolt


Lori E. Switaj

I know I am the parent of a teen and near teen children. I can see it in their eyes.

The days of sporadic "I love yous" and "You're my favorite mom" have been replaced by monosyllabic grunts, eye rolls, and blank looks.

Yes, I have made the full transition from being the "adult" in the house, to simply being "a dolt" in the house.

My brains are gone and probably won't return until my children are 22, out of college, unemployed and realizing they need a place to crash until they turn 30.

But until then, I shall carry on, brainless. Last week, with what was left of my gray matter, I summoned up a couple of brain cells to ask my son if he was planning on wearing a hat to go outside.

"Duh, it's like 40 degrees out," he responded. "Only dorks wear hats when it's this warm out."

"Well then, how about a coat?" I asked. This yielded one grunt and a pair of eye rolls.

The girl on the other hand, is only twelve, but I can sense the changes coming.

Already, her brain is twice the size of mine, and expanding at a frightening rate.

"Did you finish your homework?" I ask her. Of course. Duh. Look of total disbelief.

"Did you empty the dishwasher like I asked?" Duh, double eye roll."Feed the dog?" Triple duh. Big Blank Look.

I actually started to feel bad until I chatted with other parents of teens. We are all, it seems, a bunch of dolts. We begin to plan our exact revenges."Ask them if they've brushed their teeth – three times in a row."

"Go for the "clean underwear" line of questioning."

"Ask them if they need to use the bathroom before a car ride to the store."

On occasion, my adoltness directly collides with their entertaining of friends. I will ask the children point blank in front of their friends if they – get this – would like something to drink.

On a record day, this will generate twelve blank looks and 24 eye rolls. The best responses can still be elicited when I (ugh) act like my mother. This means displaying concern for their well–being.

"You can ride your bike to the store, but pleeaaassee be careful and don't get hit by a car'll implore with true sincerity.

This will guarantee a double eye roll, sigh of exasperation, and a possible slap on the forehead, proving that once again I am the Supreme A–dolt."I am an NOT going to get hit by a car! What do I look like, an idiot?Well, no, that would be me. Duh.

©Lori E. Switaj

Lori E. Switaj is the editor of The PRESS in Avon Lake and the managing editor of the North Ridgeville Press, both in Ohio. Her humor column, WordPlay, runs bi–weekly. She is the mother of The Boy and The Girl, who have provided years of fodder.
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©Margie Culbertson

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