Offspring turned 17 this year, and I now fully understand why some animals might be compelled to eat their own young.
It’s so they never have teenagers.
But, as I remind myself daily, we are almost done! This one is being prepped for ejection from the nest, because I am not one of those people who suddenly suffers pangs at the idea of having no children in the house. Frankly—and don’t get me wrong here, I love that boy with every fiber of my being—if I hadn’t had him young, I’d have discovered the freedoms of adult life and probably wouldn’t have had any children, ever.
But here we are, and I’m hard at work turning a surly teenager into a person who can feed himself even if the nearest McDonalds is closed while police investigate the apparent mass suicide.
Thankfully, the internet is full of recipes that include a video of the thing being made (because watching me do it proves nothing—I became an idiot sometime around his eleventh birthday). So Offspring is occasionally (at least one night a week) responsible for dinner. More or less.
This idea has been praised by everyone who’s never had a teenager; my friends who’ve already been there smile knowingly.
OFFSPRING: That’s two bell peppers and one jalapeno diced evenly. Done!
ME: Why not?
OFFSPRING: I’m not sure how… jalapeno juice in my eye… headache… (excuses and muttering)
ME: Fine, I’ll show you – sheesh! (quickly chops red onion)
OFFSPRING: See, I would never have been able to do it that fast and efficiently! It’s better for all of us that you did it – we’ve successfully delayed the end of the universe!
ME: How you figure?
OFFSPRING: Law of entropy. Dad was telling me about it.
ME: Uh-huh, I’ll bet he did.
So you see, sometimes he doesn’t even need to be in the room to find himself in trouble.