Hey Kids,

Feel free to leave your stuff wherever you want this summer. Half drunk smoothies in the family room? No problem. I got it. Socks in the hall. I’m on it. Dishes in the sink? Keep ’em coming. Legos? Everywhere? Love it. Oh, and feel free to drag your blankets all over the house and abandon them the moment you no longer want them. I’ll fold them lovingly for you and return them to your rooms.

And doors? Shutting them is optional. I’m right behind you, so, seriously, don’t worry about it. I love when the wasps get in and the air conditioning gets out. Who are we to be sequestered in our climate controlled house? Open door policy in this house. We have endless money.

And it’s totally fine to leave your wet bathing suits and towels on any surface from the floor to the banister. I love heaps, but be creative! Oh, and putting them on painted wood surfaces is the best. I’ll grab them so they don’t warp the wood. You’re busy. Stop. Get back to your Netflix. Friends is not going to binge watch itself.

And let me know when you are hungry. Don’t be encumbered by normal meal times. And please don’t coordinate with each other. The kitchen is open 24/7 and I’m happy to whip up anything you need, whenever you need it. I majored in short order cooking.

And if you make something yourself, just leave every single item exactly where you last needed it. Milk, too. If it goes bad…I’ll just buy more. Money? Please. I’ll just work more. And I got the clean-up. I will walk in your footsteps and put things away. It’s fun for me to live vicariously through your cooking. Like, wow, how did they get so much shredded cheese on the counter? Impressive.

And every time you are thirsty…get a new glass. We have tons. And a dishwasher I love to load and unload. And, as far as I know, endless electricity and water. The world is our oyster.


And if something comes up with your friends? I’m in. I’ll drive you there or back, or hell, both. I mean, I have a car and a license. I should put it to good use. And please, no need to give me any advance notice. I can easily stop whatever I’m doing, even work, to take you. I know how valuable your time is. Need some money for the movies? You got it, kiddo.

And to the little one, when you feel like it, I’ll take you to the pool. Before we go, you can complain and squirm while I put on your sunscreen. Don’t hold back. Just be you. Express how you’re feeling. It is cold, isn’t it? I love the challenge of when you inch away slowly as I’m applying it. Good stretch for my arms and back. Kind of you to think of me.

And just one thing on goggles. I’m on it. Don’t bother to keep track of yours. I’ve made it my summer mission to know where your goggles are at all times (in the car…left side…wedged in between the seats). At night, I’m sleeping with them under my pillow. We can’t be too careful. How will you swim without them?

Just a few last minute housekeeping items: Eye rolling? Yes! I love the immediate feedback of my thoughts and ideas. How else can I gauge if I’m pleasing you or not? Showering? Optional. You know what’s best. I defer to you. Wearing a hat? No way. The more sun the better. Chores? Just tell me when it’s a good time for you. The weeds and messes aren’t going anywhere.

One last thing…please always wear your headphones so that you can’t hear me when I’m talking to you. Communication is totally overrated. Little known fact about me? I love yelling things at the top of my lungs three or four times with no response. It’s very cathartic. Look it up.

Well, call me crazy, but if you guys follow all of these guidelines, I think this summer is going to be a win for all of us.

Or if you don’t understand sarcasm, you won’t make it until July. Either way…

Love you guys.

The Default Parent
Meredith Trotta

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    1. Is that wrong to video tape people?? 😉 I love that so many get it. We are not alone. We love them…but man, they make us crazy! xo

  1. This is perfect! Shredded cheese?! Mine is poppy seeds from their Everything Bagels! Thanks for this. We are not alone 🙂

  2. I am DYING to know your kids responses! Did they get it? Did they laugh? Did it inspire them to make any changes?

    Do they now think you’re cool? I DO!

    1. Ha! No way. They think I’m the lamest. I’m kind of a dork, so it’s fair. As for if they’ve changed their ways….no freakin’ way! They won’t until they have their own mess makers and then I’ll just laugh and laugh and laugh!

      1. You are so right about this!!! Thanks for your blog and helping everyone realize that they are not the only ones!!!

  3. Awesome read. I laughed because these same experiences are happening here as well. Then I realized I should not be appreciating this humor as I am a 60 year old grammy raising two teenage grandsons! My energy level is gone with the wind and that is the difference the second time around! But, I am determined to savor every experience I can. The other day, my 14 year old grandson found two abandoned kittens under the neighbors porch. He waited all day for the mama cat to return. Finally at 11:00 at night he couldn’t take the kitties constant crying any more, so he put them in a basket and brought them inside. He researched on line what to do for them and asked if we could run to Wal-Mart to get some kitty replacement powdered milk and some bottles. So on our midnight run to Wal-mart, I was thinking how tired I felt and that at 60 yerars old, what in the world was I doing? I thought to myself that I am a product of the Sixties and this is not the midnight run that used to take place! Thank God. Then i realized that even though i felt tired, I was suddenly overcome by emotion appreciating such a time as this ~ with my grandson.

    1. What a lovely comment! Yes, we are tired…especially the grandparents…but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We can laugh at the shared experiences and appreciate how magical the kids are…when they aren’t being rotten! Love the kittens. You are so good!

  4. I never leave comments. Ever. But you just needed to know. After reading this 3 times and breaking out in hysterical laughter EVERY time, my 14 year old son wanted to know what was so funny. So I began reading your “summer” letter to him, through my own spontaneous bursts of laughter. About 3/4 of the way through I paused and said, “You obviously don’t think this is as funny as I do”, since he had yet to crack even a smile. His response? “She only sounds like the best mom ever!!” Then I read through to the end and he said, “Oh. She’s sarcastic like you.” I sent him out to mow the lawn. (Eye roll)
    Thanks for the great laugh!!

    1. Ha! I never leave comments ever and can’t believe so many people do. It’s so nice, by the way, and much appreciated. Glad to see he got the sarcasm. Thank you for taking the time to send the note!

  5. Am I the only one who just finds this post incredibly sad, and H’s letter reminiscent of a suicide note?

  6. Absolutely great…couldn’t stop laughing….same thing happening in my house with 3 kids, ages 13, 11 and 7. Proof that i am not alone…

  7. You pretty much nailed it. From a mom of three, two of which are teenagers who are currently sucking the life out of me <~~~ they are still very loved, but WOW 16 and 17 are excruciating.

    😉 Mandy

  8. I printed this out and left it on the table for my boys, ages 9 & 12. The 9 year old found it first, and understood instantly that it was sarcastic. After telling me he loved the bit about the sunscreen and the goggles (our weekly argument), the older one came in and read it and loved the headphones and the LEGO comments.

    The hardest part was convincing them that I hadn’t written it. Well done, you. This blog was hilarious to entire family because it’s truth.

    The only thing I would have added for my bunch was:
    And for mealtimes, let’s get back to our caveman selves and forego silverware except to toss it directly on the floor, because we all know that it where it will be at the end of a meal, along with paper towels and at least one crunchy bit. Cleaning up after each meal really helps me get in a few more steps and stretches. And closing mouths? What a fruitless exercise! I want to see what you’re eating and how your back teeth look for each bite. And remember to stop at least once each mealtime to disrobe and run for the loo. And while you’re there, don’t bother aiming. I like the shiny, sticky pattern urine makes as it dries on the bathroom floor. You can play a little hide and go seek by throwing the hand towel on top so that everybody can take a new one out of the linen closet. And make sure you leave the light on for the next person! You know how hard it is to keep flipping that switch up and down every few hours. I wouldn’t want my little pudding to get a callous or something, because I know how you need that finger to play Minecraft for the next hour.

    1. Great additions! I love that they didn’t believe you didn’t write it. Hey, thanks for giving me the credit! 😉 I officially hate goggles.

  9. Meredith , You are killing me! I so deserve the burst of laughter from this because God knows with 3 boys I have no time to go to a Comedy Club. I live in Napa so I do have plenty of wine to drink, thank God. Helps me survive the entire 14 year old baseball team in my swimming pool untill midnight.

    Now one thing you need to replace movie and TV time to the addiction of the X-Box. I swear it is like a Cocaine addiction, though I don’t know what that is like. Only the wine addiction. My kids love the X-Box NBA 2k and this Call of Duty which somehow yells obscenities out at me children or me as I wash the dishes. Seriously, when I leave the home I take the X-Box with me and throw it in my trunk. You ask why I don’t get rid of it , it has the highest negotiating ante of any for my 3 boys. The X-Box drives me crazy. You really need to Blog about it. Even though my kids do 3 sports in High School and the youngest tons of sports they still manage time to kill people on this thing. My son actually wanted a TV and X-Box in his bedroom. If I let him have that I would have truly lost it.

    Anyway, You are too funny and my new best friend along with my besties here that make me laugh out loud.

    You have a gift of writing girlfirend.. I will have you over to help my oldest write the best Essay possible for his college applications!

    Cheers and thanks for the laughs, from Napa

    Mom to 3 boys

    1. We are totally weird cyber friends. Thanks for the nice comments on my writing. Hope you are following me on Facebook so that when I’m in Napa, I can shout out and come by for some wine and laughs!! xo

    2. We are totally weird cyber friends. Thanks for the nice comments on my writing. Hope you are following me on Facebook so that when I’m in Napa, I can shout out and come by for some wine and laughs!! xo

  10. Totally laughed out loud and I have had that conversation about the goggles more than once this summer. My husband asked my son to throw out the wrapper from his granola bar after eating it and he asked him to throw it out because he was closer (even though he was trying to put together the china cabinet). My husband told him that he was busy and my son ate the granola and should throw it out. He declared that we were treating him like a slave. I was in the kitchen baking three loaves of banana bread, emptying the dishwasher, filling the dishwasher, washing dishes, and cleaning the kitchen when he came in grudgingly to throw the wrapper away. It took everything I had not to laugh!! Tough life these kids have 🙂

  11. Very best regards from Turkey with love..
    As a being father of my all, i and my family support you.

  12. Maybe you don’t have girls or did you just forget the bobbie pins? Bobbie pins All.Over.The.House The vacuum loves to eat them (not!)

    1. Ha! Lots of them. From my kids…indignation that I would ever write such a thing about them. As I told them, “What? The truth?” Hey, be better, I’ll write better stuff ;-). I also get lots of angry parents who think I’m a horrible mother because they don’t understand sarcasm, have no sense of humor, and are basically smug, judgy trolls! But mostly just lots of laughs and grateful parents for telling their blanket dragging, smoothie hardening summer struggles. Like I said in my interview with Sunrise in Australia…who wants a bunch of kids who act like 40 year olds and rinse their cups? They’re learning and someday they will tack this letter up for their kids to read! xo

  13. All I can say is, my mother lived with us while my children were teens. And one time when I was losing my mind because my kids were being adolescents, she grinned and said, “I am so glad I lived long enough to see this.”

    I told her to go back to her room because she wasn’t helping. 😉

  14. So true and put it in a very simple way! I lived some of the comments too! I am from Lebanon and trust me kids are the same all over the world! Thanks for sharing this. Makes me feel I am not alone! Hahaha! Loved the shower bit too! Optional especially in the summer time! Mother of two- 9years old and 6 years old.

  15. It doesn’t get better with age. 18 year old I need black pants, tie, white shirt at 10 in the evening.. wait for it.. tomorrow morning. No problem..

    22 year old going through file cabinet, points for being practive, where are my immunization records, I need them to complete my paper work due.. you guessed it.. tomorrow morning…

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