We are all aware of the possible big nightmares which may lay in store for us parents once our beloved offspring enter the 'Teen' phase.
For me though, it's been the little changes which have felt more like seismic shifts within my carefully crafted and harmonious household.
Here is my own personal top 20 list - featuring just some the most annoying things one can come to expect as being the new 'norm'.
1. Living with a teen is nothing like living with your child who you have meticulously raised and moulded. It is instead sometimes tantamount to living with a LODGER FROM HELL whom you can't evict.
2. The all-important 'adult' time which you once enjoyed with your partner in the evenings (once the little ones have gone to bed) has since morphed into 'adult AND really annoying teen' time. Reasonable bedtimes and quiet evenings are a thing of the past. Regrettably.
3. You receive seemingly hundreds of demands/requests/questions/incomprehensible riddles via text throughout the day whilst they are at school (Just when you thought you could enjoy a few hours of peace) If you don't respond immediately with the exact required response, then your inbox will consequently be FLOODED with single questions mark texts.
4. You find copious amounts of mouldy food in their bedrooms, including an abundance of furry fruit and a chicken sandwich which you vaguely remember preparing for their packed lunch - LAST MONTH.
5. Everything you say is utterly wrong. You fool! You know nothing. Lodger from hell knows everything (please note: this knowledge is based on layer-upon-layer of nonsense and NO knowledge or experience what-so-ever... of ANYTHING)
6. The female LFH will appear in the kitchen wearing a recognisable lip colour most mornings (yes - that is your Clinique chubby stick. And No, she didn't ask if she can use it) Also, expect to find much make-up trodden into their once beautiful bedroom carpet.
7. Life will become less disappointing if you cease to expect that any hot water may come from your own taps; in your own home (that you pay for) Give up expecting it. Ever.
8. The male LFH may appear to have lost all of his pants and socks. Every single last pair will be MIA. Its ok, just look within his bed covers or between the bed and his wall- they will all be stuffed there - ready for you to retrieve from their festering hiding place, launder, and place back IN THE CORRECT PLACE.
9. You may have spent years collecting a most excellent DVD collection. These DVD's can no longer be expected to be in the right cases, and if by some freak occurrence they are: naturally they will be scratched and/or smeared with something ultra-sinister and sticky.
10. Your special treats and chocolate consumables which are reserved for just you and your partner to enjoy at the weekends will always be eaten by LFH. If you are lucky - they will share your treats with you. It's very unlikely though.
11. You can expect to find around 200 bottles of almost empty shampoo and conditioner strewn on the shower room floor, complimented only by a basin full of spat out, entirely unused lengths of toothpaste. Toothpaste which has seemingly been squeezed aimlessly directly into the sink by a total klutz. The lid to the toothpaste - if you're lucky - will be somewhere nearby. Possibly in a different room.
12. Which reminds me - if you have a female LFH - It is normal to go to your own en-suite shower and find that your lovely Kerastase Conditioning treatment (£29 per pot) which you had stupidly treated yourself to, has been replaced with a far more economical version of itself (one-part product to ten-parts old shower water) Its ok. You didn't need it anyway.
13. Just the slightest of comments from LFH can take you from feeling like 'hero' to 'zero' in seconds. I will give you an example (please read this using your most patronising and condescending voice) 'Ahhhhh, Mum! Your exercise is really working - your tummy is much better now *tilts head* you still need to do some work on your bottom, though. Don't youuuuu?'
14. Sometimes, the conversations/arguments/battles that you find yourself having with LFH are just so horrendously tedious and pointless, that you have to really have to hold yourself back from simply saying 'SHUT-UP, AND JUST STOP BEING A TWAT' ... when this happens - Just count to 10 and say something baffling in order to confuse LFH. They will then walk away, and your own maturity will remain intact.
15. In the eyes of LFH you are the least cool person to ever walk the earth. You are NOT fashionable in the slightest. (However, if LFH could just borrow all of your clothes and never return them, that would be really great) don't pay any attention to them - You are cool, God damn it!
16. The idea of having a teenager in the house is the biggest off-put EVER when it comes to having sex. I think it's something to do with them just knowing way too much!
17. You have spent so long covering up the 'real' you to your LFH (in order to set the perfect example) that LFH has no clue that aside from being just 'Mum' or 'Dad' - you are also a pair of total party animals who could show them a thing or two. (They need never know this bit, I guess. It's a shame though!)
18. If you spend too long viewing you, through their eyes... even you would go of you. You're so bloody old and boring.
19. Unlike having your younger children's friends over - You can no longer expect play dates to end at around the 6.30pm mark anymore. It is now customary for friends and boyfriends etc. to stay much, much later than that. Your home begins to feel like a youth club with people coming and going. And to add insult to injury: all of the said youths EAT ALL OF YOUR FOOD!
20. You stupidly attempt some semblance of a conversation whilst taxiing them around, and realise that the normal 'one word' answer isn't even occurring anymore. This is because iPhone headphones are permanently lodged in place, that's why. They can't hear you and they don't care for your friendly chit-chat.
Are you parent to a Teenager? Can you think of anything that I have missed off the list?