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Mom of Teens: Translator needed

Posted August 23, 2011

Sometimes my daughters and I have conversations that, frankly, make no sense to me. Supposedly we are both speaking English. Somehow it doesn't feel that way to me. Let me give you an example that happened recently.

“Did you do your homework?”
“Yes. But I'm not sure what it was.”
“What do you mean you don't know what it was?”
“I don't know what it was. Well, I'm not sure.”
“But you just told me you did your homework.”
“I did.”
“Did what? Your homework?”
“How did you do your homework if you weren't sure what it was? What did you do? Just some random work?”
“No. I did the homework.”
“The homework that you're not sure what it was?”

At this point I just look at her. Frustrated, I head upstairs to my usual translator, hoping for some enlightenment. At least I think that's what I want. I'm almost afraid she'll actually understand. What would that mean then? I'm living with aliens? Oh wait. That was middle school. So I peek in her room and she's actually not texting at that moment. Great!

I begin with, “Your sister just said she did her homework.”
“But she's not sure what the homework was.”
“She's not sure what the homework was. But she did it.”
“Did what? How can you do homework if you don't know what it is?”
“I was hoping you could explain it to me.”
“I got nothing. That makes no sense.”
“So you don't get it?”
“No? Why would I? That's crazy nonsense talk. “

So since my translator failed me, I must ask two questions. Is there a teenage crazy nonsense talk translator in the house? And how much do you charge? I'm hoping you are in my price range. I may need you a lot over the next few years!

Marietta Taylor is the mom of two girls ages 15 and 14 and has been married for 17 years. The family moved from Chicago to Raleigh in 2003. The first few years were a wild ride and were the inspiration for her first book, "Surviving Unemployment Devotions To Go!" Read more about Mari on her blog and website. And find her here monthly on Wednesday on Go Ask Mom.



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  • mtaylor918 Aug 25, 2011

    Wanted to add the "epilogue". She had a worksheet but wasn't sure what to do, so she did the whole thing even though only part of it was actually homework. She wasn't being disrespectful or anything like that. We did have a conversation about making sure she knows what he assignments are. I can't really "ding" her too much because we all forget and make mistakes. All that said, the conversation still makes me laugh. ~Mari Taylor

  • TeenDAD Aug 25, 2011

    I have a 14 year old and when she pulls this stuff I lock her in the basement

  • kellypratz Aug 25, 2011

    I have a 9 year old daughter and she will say something to me that makes no sense at all, I will ask her what did you just say and her response is "Mom, you just don't get me at all" enjoy it while you can.

  • chelle7900 Aug 25, 2011

    I wouldn't take the nonsense talk too seriously but would atleast ask her to show me what homework she did complete and see if I could help her make sense of what she did or didn't do. At the very least, the teen is learning communication skills and hasn't quite figured it out.

  • TheAdmiral Aug 25, 2011

    What she is saying is that she did the homework - but she was not sure as to what or how to do the homework.

    Say for instance, you have a history book and in there are chapter ending questions. Now for homework, they have to fill out the chapter ending questions without reading the chapter. Now - that is doing the homework but not being sure what it was.

    Now, if it is a poor educator, chances are they just had the assignment up on the board, and has not taught it because they are required to teach to a higher standard.

    If that is the case, then the homework is not important, it is there only for points - nothing more. No learning need take place.

    I would contact the teachers and ask them exactly what their schedules are so you can follow up with your somewhat blonde sounding daughter.

  • starletta Aug 24, 2011

    Ok. 4.13 get over yourself! I am a teacher (I teach high school) and I think this is VERY funny! It is also very true! Try to figure out what the teens are saying when you have three or four talking to you at once! But, I love my job!

  • 4.13 Aug 24, 2011

    I wouldn't accept this response. I'd ask her to show me what she's done. At any rate, make sure you have SPAN account so you can see her grades. If she can't explain her homework, she may struggle with explaining her grades as well.

  • careykeever Aug 24, 2011

    This is hilarious, mostly because I have a 14 year old and I also have no idea what she is talking about sometimes.