“Okay guys, it’s time to get ready for bed! Ben, brush your teeth. Alex, go to the bathroom,” I holler from the other room, where I’ve been hiding from the Wii and it’s incessantly cheerful music. My head feels like someone stuck it in a vice and turned the crank to 11.

*Spinal Tap Interlude*

The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…

Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?


Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?

Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

I don’t know.

Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?

Put it up to eleven.

Eleven. Exactly. One louder.

Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?

[pause] These go to eleven.


That was like a guitar solo – BUT BETTER.

Anyway. My headache. It’s one larger than ten. It goes to 11.

But I’m not gonna be all Mommy Dearest about it – the kids aren’t at fault, but I’m totally itching to lay down in the dark and watch some Pawn Stars* before sacking out myself.

I can hear Alex’s padded feet tromping toward me for a quick cuddle goodnight and I open my arms for his embrace – which generally occurs at about 827 miles an hour. You gotta brace yourself for that one.

The other one, my big son, begins to wail. Not actual tears but like the typical teenage bullshit, “Oh my GOD, how DARE you, blah blah blah.” I try to ignore his outbursts, but rather than tire himself out (like I’m hoping), he just keeps on. I’ve never MET someone so good at thoroughly beating a dead horse until it’s nothing but dry bones.

He’ll go on for hours – bemoaning his horrid fate of having to brush his teeth, which, I should tell you, Pranksters, is, according to him – “the WORST thing that could ever happen to him.” He’ll argue that point too. Just like he’ll argue that the sky is, last time he checked, green and not blue, and really Mom, how could you be SUCH an IDIOT**.

I’d probably let him continue to rail on and ignore him, but he’ll follow me around like the world’s crabbiest puppy, making damn sure I’m good and aware that he is not happy with me. Nothing is immune to his attacks – chores he’s been doing for four years are still the OTHER worst thing ever besides that one worst thing that was worser.

If I ask him to vacuum, it’s like I’ve asked him to vacuum with his nose. If I ask him to put something away, it’s like he’s stepping on broken glass to perform such a deadly chore. When I tell him to brush his teeth, it’s like I’ve told him to do so with tin foil.

I’m about ready to show him footage of kids in third world countries just to drive home the point that hey, it’s not THAT bad. But he’d probably tell me he’d rather be there, living in a hut, without a Wii, away from Yours Truly.

Ah, the teenage years. So glad you’ve visited my house.

Unrelated (totally related): Anyone want a surly 10 year old? He’s sure anywhere is better than here.

*Hey, at least it’s not the Kardashians

**the Internet wonders the same thing.

18 thoughts on “It GOES To 11

  1. I feel your pain, I have a 16yr old boy. I also have four other kids, two sets of b/g twins, one set is 14, the other is 9. All of them combined don’t give me half the trouble he does! He does have his moments which is why he’s still living with us. (Though of course the moment he turns 18 he’s leaving our lame house!)

  2. I’ve got twin twelve year old boys who cannot for the life of them get along. It’s a he said he said thing. Black vs White. Ying and Ying no Yang for these two. Constantly. And it was as if I asked them to clean the streets with their tongue when I requested that all their snack wrappers get put in the trash and not all over the place. I.Feel.Your.Pain!

  3. Oh Aunt Becky,
    I know 11 so very well and it f’ing blows. And there is no way you can give away the little assholes because as soon as you arrange to have them picked up, within thirty seven seconds of them being gone THEY WILL BE RETURNED! They are not like cute puppies with darling brown eyes and sad little whimpers. They are Satan’s Spawn out to ruin your life. The only tiny thread I can give you is my two ended up with migraines in their late teenage years and I got apologies from them for their shithead behavior when I was trying to die in the dark. Yeah … too little, too late. Let me tell you, there is nothing better than knowing I have the pain killers and they don’t. Remember Seinfeld and the Soup Nazi? Uh huh … No Vicodin for you! You get Tylenol and you will like it! Hang in there AB. Vicodin chip cookies, vodka and coffee (must get those veins open, right,) and when all else fails – the weather is warming up – lock them outside with Capri Suns and fruit snack … no one is ever going to steal them … you know this to be true.

  4. I don’t have any sons but I raised four daughters. When the three youngest were all in their teens between the four of us there wasn’t a good week out of the month. One of us was ALWAYS PMSing. Sigh.

  5. I used to read/post here and haven’t been by in ages. Can I just say your post made me laugh because … has your son been watching the tv commercials, you know, “there’s nothing worse than being in line at the Post Office.” Really? Nothing!? Actually, yes there is, and it seems from your post that that something may be raising a 10-year old boy. Woe is me. I’ve been exposed to 13+ through my stepkids and now have 0-4 covered by my own guy, but the whole 5-13 thing is a mystery. Sounds like it’s not all rainbows and puppies, eh?

    Hope your head feels better.

  6. You don’t even need to go as far as a third world country. Show him pictures off the internet from the tornadoes in Branson, Missouri. Those people have it rough with their houses gone an all. Tell him to be thankful he HAS a house to vacuum. Those picture of the devastation might inspire him to help others ( like his mother).

  7. Good luck. I have boys. 9-12 is the worst age. It is like aliens have abducted the little guy you once knew and transplanted an evil, lazy, non-hygienic clone in their place. Everything is an argument. Everything “isn’t fair.” Has he started tricking you about showering yet? Good times….
    The older they get the better they become but more distant. I just wrote about my frustrations last week. Soon they act like emperors and expect everything to be done for them while they keep to themselves. Motherhood is not all fun. It rather sucks sometimes.

  8. If ANYONE knew what teenagers were like when they were setting out on their parenting odyssey, we’d be extinct. Years ago, a friend’s kid was getting ready to leave for college, I naively assumed (having a darling six year old daughter myself) that my friend was distraught over “losing her”. She promptly informed me that the teenage years were nature’s way of getting parents ready to say “So long, farewell”.

    Now, my former darling daughter is a 17 year old, ready to go off to college next year, and I have to admit (here only), I can’t wait to see her set off on her journey…without me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *