obnoxious teenIt began with “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. The book that introduced me to the word “leukorrhea” (thin vaginal discharge,) guided me through the trials of breastfeeding and mastitis, and the book I consulted when my husband begged for sex just a few weeks after childbirth. (Who says you can’t get pregnant when you nurse!)

Then came, “What to Expect: The First Year”, when my child rolled over at 2 months, finding herself in the “might even be able to category”, a baby genius in the making! The books abruptly ended with “What to Expect the Toddler Years”.

I never read that one because I was in over my head. I’m guessing the author, Heidi Murkoff, and her sister & Mom, were content living on the hog from the book and movie royalties. Or more succinctly they didn’t know what the f$%k to expect anymore.

Hey Heidi, what about “What to expect when your child says, ‘Your food tastes like shit and you’re the worst Mom ever!'” or “What to expect when your genius is rejected from an Ivy League” or “What to Expect When your college grad comes home to live with her boyfriend?” So I decided to pick up where Heidi left off–to help parents fill in the blanks with, “Expect The Unexpected: A guide to navigating your Teen through college and preparing yourself for self-medication.”

Chapter 1: What to Expect: Pre-Teen Years

What Your Pre-Teen Should be able to do…. Clean their room, make their beds with hospital corners, be respectful, enjoy spending time with family, make Ms. Manners proud and bathe daily

Will probably be able to: ignore chores, forget about homework, tune you out, and focus only on electronic media

May possibly be able to..create an inappropriate My Space Account, take a sip of alcohol, watch R rated movies

May even be able to….navigate porn sites, obsess over members of the opposite sex, and get away with you ever finding out


Chapter 2: What to Expect: High School Years

What your High School Student Should Be Able to do… treat parents, siblings and teachers with respect, have a conversation without attitude, tackle chores in a timely fashion, ace the SAT’s, graduate with top honors, live according to your expectations

Will Probably Be Able to: drive a car, drive you crazy, tell you they can live on their own, spend as little time as possible in your home, ask you for money

May possibly be able to….go to a party and drink without you knowing, threaten tattoos and piercings and have sexual relations….without you knowing

May even be able to….get into Harvard if they focus on the “should be able to do”


Chapter 3: What to Expect: College Years

What your College Student should be Able to do….Speak to you live (texts and social media don’t count), do their own laundry, finish college, and make you proud

Will probably be able to…Drink at a party responsibly, have safe sex, and actually call you

May possibly be able to….think independently, give unsolicited hugs and decide on a major that doesn’t involve more tuition payments

May even be able to do…get a job, live on their own and lend you money.





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