Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Elusive AND Reclusive

There is a phenomena that no one warned me of when I had children. Upon giving birth, I quickly realized that I would likely, never, ever, ever be alone again. I got comfortable with that. No one told me that one day my children would become ninja-like: not to be seen by day, roaming the house by night.

One day, our oldest daughter turned twelve, and she disappeared to her room. She was stealthy, too.  The girl would be standing in front of me, sulking over something, and I would look down to brush food off of my shirt, when I'd look up and she was gone. Just gone. We were always looking for her, and our house wasn't huge.

Where was she?  She was in her room.

Doing what?  Who knows?

We have two daughters, the youngest just now entering teen territory, and she, too, has begun disappearing. She wears clothes that match her bedspread so that she blends in. I am certain this is why teenagers leave their clothes piled on the floor: they hear their parents' footsteps and immediately drop to the floor in order to be camouflaged. Also, the girls leave cups of water all over their bedroom so that if I do venture beyond the doorway to their room, and begin looking in earnest, I am sure to knock over a glass of water. They know this will distract me from my original task. It is all part of their plan to not be seen.

Even when they are in plain view, it becomes difficult to see them. They squeeze themselves into the folds of the couch, going so far as to put couch cushions over themselves, to 'keep warm' those girls tell me, not to hide. The teenager's natural habitat seems to be the bottom of piles, I'm telling you. Their dad asked them to rake the leaves. A few minutes later he took a bag out to them, only to find their rakes propped against a tree. He came to ask me where they were, and I told him to go out and kick the small leaf pile. Sure enough, he found them.

I ask them to fold laundry, I come to check on them 15 minutes later, and find them MIA. I search high and low, I call their name, I send in their three-year old brother, to no avail. I mention chocolate and the laundry pile shudders and heaves, and out pops two teenage girls from the depths of socks and underwear.  The sisters say they were searching for the mate to a sock. They have been trained by other teenage ninjas to never cave to interrogation.

Not only do they disappear from sight, but they disappear from responsibility. The profess to hear no door bells chime, no phones ring. They look completely dumbfounded when I flip my lid, finally gaining access to the house after knocking for 30 minutes. No, they say, they had no idea I took the trash out.  No, they say, they don't know who could have locked the door. They had their headphones in, they are completely innocent.

Ha! I'm onto them, though.

I stumbled on a way to ferret them out of their hidey-holes.

We had been looking for our oldest daughter one morning, and could not find her. The hubby and I have been exercising and eating better, with excellent results. I was telling him about interval walking, where you walk at a brisk pace for two minutes, and then as fast as you can for one minute. The point is that you are extremely out of breath, unable to speak.

I thought we were alone, so I coyly said, "You know, out of breath, like when we are having...."

At that point our 15 year old daughter began screaming, and we had honed in on her location.

Simply talk about sex with your spouse. Soon, the screaming will commence and you will know EXACTLY where your hidden teen is.

Parents can be ninja-like, too.


  1. Greatest. Post. Ever. I will do my best to remind Kiley of this at every turn. Please remind me of this when my kids are older.

  2. Ah, the generation gap still exists! As teenagers, we should have been smart enough to write down what was going on so that we would be one up on our children. Chores, laundry: Hmm, not my house, not my job; Laundry: your the one that thinks I should wear clean clothes. No Thanks for the reminder, though! Now I am mad all over again about something many years ago.

  3. Kara, thanks for the laughs! We kind of have the opposite problem, though. The only time our house is quiet is when our daughter is *not* in it.