Random observations from four days of faux-parenting

I spent some time last week and today playing host to my nephew, who is 12 going on 13. Here are just some of the things I learned:

Kids like to know how long it will take to get somewhere. Setting low expectations doesn’t help.

A child can block out all other ear-splitting ambient noise and is able to hear the single Guitar Hero game they are playing in an arcade.

Children find it highly amusing when you scream.

Crazy, ranting bag ladies at bus stops bring out my protective instinct.

A 12-year-old who consumes a large Monster energy drink will spew a frenetic stream of consciousness ramble for a good half hour — just like someone who’s totally coked up.

Loud plaids over loud t-shirts is all the rage in teen fashion right now.

Children find televised track meets just as tedious and dull as the adult members of the general public do.

Kids need protein fairly often or they get woozy.

No matter what the time of day, cereal is the perfect snack.

The Coney Island Sideshow is the city’s best entertainment value. And it’s family friendly.

Preteens need sleep. A lot of it.

Preteens also think everyone else around them is aware of them and everything they are doing.

It’s fun to expand a kid’s vocabulary. Some new words covered: manifesto, satire, parkway, origin/meaning of the phrase beyond the pale, assume vs. presume.

Kids forget that not everyone has the same area code.