One of the most puzzling creatures on planet Earth are those who come into this world as human babies. These small creatures move about within the female as they form and have plenty of room to move around and kick. In fact, upon their first appearance on their planet, they come complete with an extension cord (I think doctors call them umbilical these days, but who are they fooling? Everybody knows that babies are still attached to their moms until they reach 35). Certainly, if the Creator had enough room for those things, He could've easily added an instruction book, couldn't he?
And it would've been nice if there'd been a chapter on how to wake up a teenager...
But there are some parents who, realizing that there's no such book, can still find ways of making that happen. As I was growing up in Pineville, N.C., I realized that my father was no exception—in fact, he was the master of wake-up calls. So, for you who read this, take notes: I'm about to share some of his strategies for forcing me and my brothers to face the morning:
- First, the teens have to be asleep. It's hard to awaken anyone who isn't asleep.
- Be sure you have the following equipment:
- A glass of ice water.
- Your dog (withhold food from him for at least 24 hours to achieve maximum effect)
- A neurotic cat.
- A stock of ribbon (AKA Chinese) firecrackers.
- Last but not least, your neighbor's German Shepherd.
These should be applied accordingly, and in sequence as necessary (not all at once. You want the child to wake up... not have a heart attack):
- Pick up glass of ice water, place in pitching position. Provide fair warning to awaken. Then s-l-o-w-l-y count to three and, if they're still in bed, pitch water on them (NOTE: not the ice. You don't want to knock them out accidentally. That would defeat your purpose...)
- Mornings later, as they begin to catch on and pull the covers over their heads, pitch dog and cat on the bed. For added effect, smear cat with bacon grease. If said dog and cat cannot be found and child has new stereo headphones and iPad, he has probably gotten advance notice of your plan and sold both pets.
- Should that not work or if you don't have a dog or cat, take ribbon firecrackers, light quickly, then throw them on the foot of his bed. Run. When firecrackers are done and smoke clears, come back into the room. Bring toilet paper with you.*
- Should all else fail—and with their permission—lead your neighbor's German Shepherd quietly into the bedroom (now, I know that sounds impossible, but go with me on this). Place dog at the head of your teen's bed, next to the pillow, with its muzzle directly pointing at the teen's face. Yell "Your girlfriend's (or "boyfriend's", depending on teen's gender) on the phone!!”—and watch the fun!
This works even better if the teen has a nasty hangover.*
*In 3 and 4, you'll possibly find your child becoming closer to God than ever before, as he asks Him to condemn you (well, not in that exact word, but—well, you get the idea). Please overlook this; it's just a reflex action that the child loses once he's old enough to ask for money or car keys.
Hey—how do you think we made it to school on time during the week??