After reading that there was a growth in intergenerational families, I wondered if this was yet some other infestation I had to spray my yard for. But I discovered that “intergenerational” had to do with people, not weeds.
It seems that a new generation every 20 years and a slow economy has resulted in families where all the different generations are living together. Geezers, their kids, who are the “adults,” their kids, who are the teens, and maybe even a young child or baby, are all under one roof. Hence, intergenerational families.
Why is there a new generation every 20 years? Because some clever writer likes to come up with a fresh term for the babies born that year, thus allowing Time Magazine to have at least one cover a year devoted to the newly named generation.
Anyway, with all those generations living together, there must be rules.
During dinner, geezers must keep their dentures in their mouths. Teens’ fingers must be locked down so they can’t tweet. Parents must provide the proper pizza slices for everyone’s diet – plain for seniors’ sensitive stomachs, veggie for the vegetarian daughter, meatfully loaded for the son.
If there’s a baby in the household, pureed vegetables should be clearly labeled “Grandpa” and “Baby.”
Geezers can contribute by being willing to cook a meal – without cutting the portions in half so they can put the other half into plastic containers for the next night’s dinner.
Everyone should be willing to pitch in to keep the house going. Teens should be willing to help the geezers fill their pill boxes – without slipping any of the drugs into their loosely hanging pants pockets.
If there’s a baby around, grandparents (or great-grandparents) should be willing to babysit. However, the job of the parents is to make sure the seniors have turned on their hearing aids so they can listen for baby crying.
Grandparents are also useful as chaperons for teen parties where they can sniff for weed and ration the beer.
Parents have to look out for the safety of the elders. They may want to give the grandparents’ miner’s hats so they have enough light to see as they walk around the house filled with those energy saving bulbs that leave everything so dark.
To make an intergenerational household work, TV time must be rationed properly. When the old man is watching the Golf Channel, the children can be writing on their Facebook walls. When the kids are watching the latest pregnant teen reality show, the grandfolks can be making out in the bedroom. Elders, please keep the making out confined to the bedroom because if parents or their kids catch you kissing it could impair them for life.
The parents won’t need TV time because they are probably out working themselves to the bone to support all these people.
Separate bathrooms should be available, senior citizen bladders being what they are. The young need to have their own bathroom for long, hot showers and interminable application of makeup. Parents need their own bathroom so they can get the chance to scream once in a while.
Intergenerational families should try to get out of the house for some together time. They can go to the mall. The parents can stroll around hand in hand, pretending they are living a normal life. The children can buy outrageously expensive pieces of cloth in stores where the lights are flashing and incredibly loud music is playing. Geezers can lead tours of big box retailers and regale everyone with stories of the old days when those stores had actual salespeople that waited on customers. And all can sit at the food court and enjoy their own proper slices of pizza.
Just be sure to take a head count before you leave so no one can escape.