Life with Teens, Exhibit R

Teenagers are cats.

Try and chase them down. They’ll scurry off into their respective corners with a hiss.

Better to stay the course knowing that at some point, they’ll come out on their own terms. Mostly for food, but sometimes you get lucky.

Red-shirted cat #1 at left, black-socked cat #2 at right. Photo taken in the only way possible to capture teenagers on film – which is to say, without their actual faces


Today started with a heated argument over the Monty Hall problem. The boys were in fierce opposition. Let’s say you’re on the game show Let’s Make a Deal. You pick one of three closed doors, two hiding a goat and one with a car. Monty opens one door to reveal a goat and asks you to keep or switch your door. Is your chance of winning the car 50-50, or do you have a better chance if you choose a different door?

It gives me NO small satisfaction that my guys came to me to settle this for them. I deeply miss my days of being a math teacher and coach, so discussions about this kind of thing are one thousand percent up my alley. I LIVE for this stuff.

(In case you’re wondering, the intuitive answer of 50-50 is incorrect, because that assumes you’re dealing with independent, random events. But Monty Hall knows his stuff, so your second choice is neither one of those. This guy explains it better than I can.)

But I digress.

The three of us spent a solid 45 minutes going back and forth on this. And then when we finished, the guys just…kept hanging out in here.

And right now, each one of them is right by me.

Are they talkative? Yep.
Are they distracting me? Yep.
Do they keep asking me questions? Yep.
Are they preventing me from being as productive as I could be? Yep.

Am I asking them to leave? No. Way. On. Earth.

I’ll take what I can get, when I can get it.

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12 Responses to “Life with Teens, Exhibit R”

  1. Anna Maria Says:

    At the end I could almost picture you thinking “Would I trade this for the world? No.” It sounds like time well spent this morning.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Exactly! I will put aside anything, hold off on bedtime, miss a workout, not cook dinner – whatever it is – to spend more time with my teens when they decide they want to hang out and chat. The world will stop for those moments. =)

  2. arjeha Says:

    Love your analogy. Like the photo. Never had any kids but I understand form others that all photos taken must be approved by the teens before it is allowed t be posted anywhere. Time spent with family, whenever or however it occurs is always precious.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Absolutely! And if I’m taking photos with their faces, I have to get approval before posting – although it’s even harder than that to get them to agree to taking a photo in the first place!

  3. theapplesinmyorchard Says:

    Oh, I love this post! My “guys” also “live” in their respective rooms only to come out for “food.” The photo issue is the same, as well. But, when they choose to come out and hang, or question, or show you the guitar they’ve been drawing on for hours for some well earned praise, you just soak it up and hold on to it as long as you can! Enjoy!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      100%. It’s like there’s absolutely nothing for days on end, and then all of a sudden this charming young person comes out to chat for hours on end. Wish I could set my clock by it, but there is no such thing. =))

  4. Denise Krebs Says:

    Oh, what a great slice of your life today. I love the picture of your cats. Your metaphor is brilliant for the way teens live in our homes, but they sometimes come out for interaction and love. This was a lovely story today, and I got a little lost in the great explanation you linked to. Thanks for that. I’ve learned from you today, as your sons have. Carry on!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank you! Yes, the Monty Hall problem is a wonderful rabbit hole to fall down. To tell you the truth, I had long held that incorrect assumption. Explaining to my 19 year-old why he was incorrect actually helped ME understand it better!

  5. livinglife816287820 Says:

    wow, this is just so good.
    ..it takes me back to the teenage years of my family (almost two decades ago!). Boys are definitely worse than girls at communication… this is my favourite eg from my son who was at an international boarding school in India for four years. He greeted me with long lank hair when I went to visit at half term…Josh have you washed your hair yet (ie 8 to 10 weeks since he has)…No. Josh, do you think you could wash it for me please?. No!…when we met up next day….his hair was washed!! My joy was complete!
    With your description, you have us right in the room with you… love it, I can just picture your boys even without seeing their faces…!!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Yes, boys are interesting when it comes to communication. I find that it’s nothing – nothing – nothing – nothing – and then all of a sudden they feel chatty for an hour and a half.

      I love your story about your son – I think it absolutely sums up what we do, and how things go, as parents of teens. And yes, we’ve got to find joy in those small spaces, and take what we can. =)

  6. Fran Haley Says:

    Teens ARE cats! “Try and chase them down. They’ll scurry off into their respective corners with a hiss.Better to stay the course knowing that at some point, they’ll come out on their own terms. Mostly for food, but sometimes you get lucky.” – there it is. Proof! Young children, then, are puppies … love this whole lively piece and that they consulted the guru with their worthy topic. And the photo of them in their natural habitat.

    And – why do I feel so old for remembering youngish Monty Hall and those doors??!!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Yes. Young children ARE like puppies – tireless, without boundaries, constantly demanding of love and affection and food and and and.

      Ah, and those Monty Hall days. I still have memories of watching women rifle through their purses for the right shade of lipstick, or a particular shaped key…

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