The Mouse Mystery: A Pointless Argument

I just had the most ridiculous argument with my 14-year old son. I had just put my daughter to bed and came downstairs to sign onto my computer. I use a laptop, but it sits on my black, faux-marbletop desk in the family room (adjacent to the kitchen). Not long ago, we got a third computer which sits on a small desk to my right. The box-part of the computer (yes, that’s the technical term), sits on the floor between our desks.

My desk chair, a hideous garage-sale find with royal blue upholstery and wheels (one which falls off at the most timid touch), had been wheeled to the other side of the kids’ desk. The wheel had fallen off.

I replaced the wheel and shoved the chair back to my desk.

Then I noticed that the computer on the floor had been pulled out from its resting spot. I said, “Hey, why is this computer sticking out?” The boys all claimed ignorance. I shoved it back, scraping my fingertips in the process.

I sat on my blue chair, pushed the button on my laptop and . . . . “HEY! WHERE IS MY MOUSE?!” I have a wireless mouse, which until this very night has never tiptoed off my desk, never wandered into the kitchen, never swan-dived onto the floor. One son said, “How would we know? We didn’t do it!”

Then my other 14-year old came in, knelt on the floor, laid on his stomach and reached far under my desk to retrieve the mouse. He claimed to have no idea how it might have migrated to the floor, under my desk.

I am relentless, a Pit Bull who just cannot unlock its jaws. I had to know what happened to my mouse. How did it fall down and under my desk? I called all three boys to me and demanded to know.

My son took this as a great insult. He informed me that I needed to learn to look around, to figure out problems on my own. “Do you think perhaps you could solve your own problems?” he said to me in that exact sarcastic tone I use with him. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to slap him, so I stood to my full height (which is an inch or two shorter than his full height) and said, “I HAVE BEEN SOLVING MY OWN PROBLEMS FOR FORTY-TWO YEARS!” and he said, “Why do you always blame us?” and I said, “I am not blaming you. I am ASKING QUESTIONS because ASKING QUESTIONS IS A GOOD WAY TO FIND INFORMATION!” (I learned that from Sesame Street, I kid you not.)

He accused me of yelling and I said, “I AM NOT YELLING!” and we went in circles, dosey-doeing our way until I was positively dizzy. I never, ever did find out how my faithful mouse of several years found itself stranded under the darkness of my desk. At last, I waved my bony finger at my son and said, “This conversation is over. We will no longer discuss it. I mean it. Go. Go now.” He left, but I could tell that he wanted to give me some more helpful tips to improve my parenting skills.

What he should do is write a parenting book now while he still knows everything.

23 thoughts on “The Mouse Mystery: A Pointless Argument

  1. It’s just amazing how dumb we become the older they get…my 14 year old behaves in much the same way – and sadly, so does my 21 year old. Her dad and I are just the most stupid pathetic things on this planet – and she is the one to have to put up with us…poor thing – how embarrassed she is of us….


  2. Oh, man. My first is 19 months (girl) and I am pregnant with my second (boy). This is what I have to look forward too! I am curious what happened, to be a mouse in the corner of the room that day would have been great!


  3. A wireless mouse you’ve had for years? How are you so lucky? I’ve tried two and both have ‘died’ within weeks or gotten so ‘sticky’ I spend more time trying to get them to MOVE than I do navigating anywhere, ha! So it’s back to the old ‘wired’ kind for me. I am a creature of comfortable habit.


  4. Just think…ONLY ten or more years and he’ll start passing out of that know-it-all stage…hehe!

    Honestly, I do feel your pain…three teen boys currently reside in the mix of our houseful of kids.

    Tammy ~@~


  5. But see now, the dosey-doeing had great purpose…it got you sidetracked so that you will never know what happened to the mouse. Clever lad, isn’t he?


  6. I started hyperventalating at that “solving your own problems” remark (I was waiting for the next sentence to say “at that point I knocked him to his knees”) and I know very well that “do I hit them or laugh” feeling!

    Ah, children. We really should be taking pointers from them, no?


  7. The future looks brighter, however. Somewhere around 22 or 23, they realize that their parents aren’t as dumb as they thought.
    P.S. I am in awe at your composure. I think mine would had some kind of mark on his body!


  8. I have to admit that I am getting better at lightening speed, take ’em out at the knees type of responses to my teenage sons. It’s a finely tuned skill I have developed from years of practice. However, the lightening fast mind only operates when it is juiced up on the adrenaline rush that follows a sarcastic smart a– answer. Aside from that I’m trying to remember what I ate for breakfast and where I put my car keys.

    That being said, I have had to think awhile about how I would have responded to my belligerent second born ( who is also 14) if he had said the same thing to me…. which he probably has.

    Here goes: ” Well son, that is an interesting thought. You’re right. I should solve my own problems. And as of right now, of course, I consider you and your sarcastic comment as my #1 problem. So in light of your wise advice I will SOLVE my problem by ________________ (fill in the blank with appropriate consequence for sassy boy comment)

    Your “asking questions to get information” angle was brilliant. I will have to tuck that one away. ; )


  9. Amen. Honestly Mel, you scare me so much sometimes. I don’t have the nerve to say I want to slap my child for fear of DFS breaking down my door but I tell you… there are times I have felt the itch to do so. And it usually involves when she thinks she knows it all.

    I do have to be fair. My daughter is sweet as can be. It is just sometimes she gets a itch that needs scratched and it usually means trying to tell mom how to mother my children. Grrrrr. I hate that! As I tell her, she is now older than I was when I had her and I have been doing this far longer than she thinks (I helped care for my brother) so whatever pea brained idea she has for raising children doesn’t need to be expressed in the midst of my nervous breakdown!

    Geesh, you would think they would have figured this all out since they know so much:-)


  10. When talking to your kids, your taller then you kids, have them sit down or stand across the room from them. That way you are not “looking up” to them.
    I am bad, if they mess up my tv (for instance) I take their’s away till I get an answer or get tired of them begging for it back.
    Have I mentioned I was mean?
    Nah not really just making a point of teaching them to be responsible for their own actions and re-actions.
    Remember have them look up to you not the other way around.
    thank goodness these are my last 2 teenagers cause I’m getting too old for this


  11. Even those of us who get paid to find things out often do so by asking questions. (I’m a librarian.) Tell your son it is a professional skill ;o)

    Don’t ya just hate the “know-it-all” stage? Actually, this continues for a number of years. Our college students still think they know everything. I can usually see a change in this about the time they graduate at 22. I wish you much patience.


  12. Oh Mel, I feel your pain. I have a 14yr old son and a 15yr old daughter. Yes, we too have had conversations just like that. Sigh…
    My friends that have older children keep praying that I retain some kind of patience until they pass through this stage. I will pass that on to you. Misery loves company! LOL


  13. Sesame Street wisdom….I love it!

    And I sure do understand about a 14 year old who knows it all. You were exactly right at the beginning when you called the argument a pointless one. I think they all are.

    You may not recognize my email address or link, but maybe you will recognize my dots….:) My new blog is under construction…come over sometime…


  14. The advantage of course to the old-fashioned wired mouse is they do not wander off in search of cheese. The new wireless ones are a lot like T.V. remotes, though.


  15. It sounds to me like your mouse DID wander off in search of cheese! I hope you don’t need to put out a trap to keep it from running, now that it’s tasted freedom.


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