I have a teenager now; my son is 13. Even I cannot believe it. For the most part, I’ve spent the last 13 years trying to avoid his room — and his sister’s room, but especially his room — if at all possible. I wouldn’t describe myself as “tidy” by any stretch, and cleaning my house is not up there on my list of favorite activities. Usually, I just drop a laundry basket outside of the door and run, hoping he will figure out what to do next. But every once in a while it gets scary in there, and I have to intervene. I have to break the crime scene tape and go in, and like the cast of NCIS, I have questions.
1. What is this pungent wall of funk assaulting my nostrils?
2. Can he not smell this?
3. Did my son open a Funyuns factory in his bedroom?
4. Is this a medical problem of his, not smelling this stank?
5. Do we own nose clips? Or those onion goggles? Or a hazmat suit?
6. Who needs 2 cans of Axe body spray?
7. Does he think he can spray his funk away instead of washing it off?
8. Does Axe body spray now come in Funyun scent?
9. What’s on his sheets?
10. Why did I buy navy blue sheets for a teenage boy?
11. Is that white stuff on his sheets?
12. Could it be zit cream?
14. Should I sniff it?
15. Have I lost my damn mind?!
16. How happy am I that it is, indeed, yogurt?
17. OMG. How old is this green fuzzy yogurt container?
18. Should I clean under his bed?
19. What if he has a dirty magazine under there?
20. Wouldn’t he just Google that stuff?
21. Did I check the parental control app for his phone?
22. How many times have I told him not to leave wet towels on the floor?
23. Why does he have 12 half-full plastic cups in this room?
24. Didn’t he have a pet gecko in here somewhere?
25. Did I just step on something squishy?
26. Where is the effing gecko?
27. Wait, what is that white powder?
28. Is that cocaine?
29. Or is it jock-itch powder?
30. Did his dad buy him jock-itch powder?
31. When did my baby grow up and grow itchy testicles?
32. Aw, do I spy his wittle blankie?
33. Does my itchy-testicled teen still secretly sleep with his blankie?
34. Should I sniff the blankie?
35. Will my ovaries explode from sniffing the blankie?
36. Will I remember next time to never sniff the blankie or the towels or the sheets — anything in here — ever?
37. Why is the shirt I just bought him hanging from the ceiling fan?
38. And when did this almost empty Gatorade bottle become a science experiment?
39. Am I really going to miss all this filth and funk when he’s gone?
Yeah. I am.