Visual Aids

Anger and annoyance are the barometer with which I measure my success, and I am not doing my job well until everyone is pissed. Popularity is not my goal. I am speaking of parenting teens, although this philosophy could easily extend to all other aspects of life. 

As a working parent, I use every tool available to me to accomplish my goal of anger and annoyance. My phone is an essential tool that I could not function without, and I find myself using it to shooting off texts throughout the day in an attempt to micromanage the lives at home. In the days before teen hormones took control of the minds and bodies that I cultivated and yielded, I would text my children straight forward questions and get straight forward answers. If I didn’t like a particular answer, we’d discuss the situation until someone (not me) relented. An example would be: 

Me: “Are you up?”

Spawn: “I’m sick.”

Me: “You’re fine. 

Spawn: “I feel sick.”

Me: “Get up before you miss the bus, because if you miss the bus you really will have a problem.”

He or she would get up, make it to the bus stop on time and be off to school. End of discussion.

Other typical text messages from me would be: “There are muffins on the microwave.” “Did you let the dog out?” “I don’t want to come home to a sink full of dishes.” “Your laundry needs to go up” etc… If I didn’t hear back I’d make a phone call to move things along, and no one wanted that. Those were the good old days.

Now that hormones have altered the minds of my spawn, I find that words are not enough to anger and annoy, so I’ve added visual aids to my repertoire and words are used sparingly. For example, if I come home from work after a long day and find a sink full of dishes, I have been known to take a picture and shoot it off to my children. I’ve taken pictures of piles of laundry, shoes, napkins, glasses, plates, etc. My photo roll is filled with these hallmark moments. If my daughter wants to go out with her friends, I might demand a photo of the kitchen, or her bedroom. Why? I have taken her word for it and can only say that either her idea of clean is vastly different than mine, or she was exaggerating the cleanliness of whichever area of the house she was responsible for. Sadly, now I need proof before permission is granted. 

This method of communication has gotten out of hand in several ways, and has come back to haunt me. Throughout my day I now get photo texts as well. When I ask if the dog has been let out, the response is a photo of the dog in the yard squatting. I often get pictures of a somewhat empty refrigerator along with the heartbreaking words “I’m hungry.” Just yesterday my son texted me a picture of his vomit along with the words “I’m sick”. I can’t argue with that, proof is proof. He is sick enough that we both stayed home today. I may be unpopular, but I’m not unreasonable. 


The Daily Post, January 5, 2016, Daily Prompt: Unpopular~ Tell us about a time when you had to choose between two options, and you picked the unpopular choice<a href=””>Unpopular</a&gt;


Daily Post, January 1, 2016, Weekly Photo Challenge: Circles~ <a href=””>Circle</a&gt;

11 thoughts on “Visual Aids

  1. As a single mom with thirteen year old twin daughters, this post amused me to no end. I am a clean freak, so when I first saw your photo, I will admit…. I cringed a little. But now I wish I could love it ten thousand times. Great submission! And I see a lot of photos like this in my phone soon…

    Liked by 1 person

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