1. Five minutes prior to going to his room, psych yourself up for the challenge before you.
2. One minute out, take a big swig of your second cup of coffee and find your zen before embarking on the sights and smells that are awaiting.
3. Step on some stray Legos, holding your scream in as to not wake the rest of the neighborhood.
4. Take a deep breath.
5. Slowly open the door and avert your gaze from the floor where half of the clothes you carefully folded yesterday are now in a massive wadded heap.
6. Shake your head in disgust at the waft of what smells like old socks, Axe spray and butt.
7. Be careful to look only at your sweet child’s face as being a tween boy he may be rocking the “Al Bundy hand move”.
8. Reach out and touch his arm, saying, “Honey, it’s time to wake up”- because home is the only place you can refer to him as honey, sweetie or sweetheart anymore.
9. Try to decipher the guttural, cave boy like sounds that he makes.
10. Repeat step eight.
11. Pull the covers off of him.
12. Mutter under your breath that you never thought you would be cursing a child that was sleeping in.
13. Repeat step eight.
14. Warn him that he will not have time to brush his teeth if he does not get up.
15. Remember that he does not care if he brushes his teeth.
16. Tell him to get up and that you do not have time to return to the room.
17. Go back to the kitchen, unload the dishwasher and realize he is still not up.
18. Repeat steps one through nine.
19. Answer his question of why he “has to go” for the 33rd time so far this year.
20. Tell him he will not have time to eat breakfast if he does not get up.
21. Watch him slowly move out of the bed.
22. Smile, knowing you have achieved something great and leave the room.
23. After 15 minutes of no movement from his room, repeat steps one through four.
24. Gag, having forgotten about the stench that would greet you at his door.
25. Find him still sitting on the floor looking into his closet like a pig looking at a wristwatch.
26. Beg. Beg him to just get dressed. You know he will not match, anyway.
27. Cock your head to the side, remembering the darling days of Garanimals and Gymboree.
28. Come back to the reality of dirty socks, wrinkled clothes and half brushed teeth (if you are lucky).
29. Warn him one more time.
30. Leave the room, resigned to the fact you will send him no matter what he comes to breakfast looking like.
31. Get his breakfast ready.
32. Quietly call for him, careful not to wake the younger child who you do not want up yet.
33. Repeat step 32.
34. Repeat step 32.
35. Repeat step 32.
36. Greet him as he has finally come to the kitchen.
37. Ask him five times to sit down while he eats and to please use his fork.
38. Ask him if he might like to change into a shirt that does not look like it had been stored in a sandwich bag.
39. Listen as he tells you about the 8th grade cheerleaders that “keep giving him hugs”.
40. In your head, curse the little hussies and their mothers, too.
41. Get out the broom, thinking he makes as much mess eating as he did when he sat in a booster seat.
42. Remind him he needs to brush his teeth.
43. Put the last of his books in his backpack wondering why in the world he has rocks in there. Literally, rocks.
44. Ask him if he has brushed his teeth.
45. Put the lid on the juice he poured and left on the counter.
46. Wipe up the spill he made.
47. Ask him if he brushed his teeth.
48. Quiz him on the two study guide items he got wrong last night.
49. Tell him you know he did not brush his teeth.
50. Give him a quick lecture on dental hygiene and tell him to go to the door.
51. Tell him three more times to go to the door and what to take with him.
52. Pick up two of the items you told him to take with him and head to the door.
53. Look on the bright side; he still needs you for something.
54. Pat yourself on the back. He is on the porch! He is going! The tween boy has left the building!
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