It's been a hell of a week. It was already a hell of a week by Tuesday, actually. We've had some of the parenting scenarios lately that really feel like there isn't a right answer. Not because we disagree, between my husband and I, about what's best for the kids. We typically think through issues very differently, but arrive at the same conclusion.

This is just a lot of "we've never been parents to teenagers before" stuff, so we can't rely on the things we know about parenting anymore. I think there's always a decent amount of learning to do, with each stage your child goes through; we're no strangers to seeking a professional opinion on things. But teenagers, man-- that's a whole new ballgame.

Until they hit that age of 12 or 13, it seems like they're eons away from leaving the nest. You know theoretically that they're getting older, but it doesn't really sink in, until that age, that you're running out of time.

Currently freaking out about/Googling/reading books on the following:

•How much sleep should these kids actually be getting in order to function, and at 16 hours, am I allowed to turn on their lights and blow an air horn?

•If your child won't get out of bed after, like, three reminders, is he sick? Or are they all just like this? Wtf is that about and when does that stop, exactly? Why do kids not understand alarm clocks? Like, do they need it to ring on a different frequency?

•What is "sex positive parenting," and how do I do that without having to whisper the word "penis?" Are there meetings I can go to and practice confidently labeling reproductive organs correctly? Is there a hotline I can call to get an understudy or pinch hitter or something, in case I get in over my head? Like, who do I call when I need to tap out because my kid asked me what stores sell condoms, and I need to excuse myself to have a panic attack? Also, where do they teach you the part about not giggling?

•If your child is suffering from depression, the therapists believe it's best to lock up any objects that could be used in a dangerous way, so...How far do we wanna go with this? Like, you could probably fuck up your shit with a can of Redi Whip, and you can make a shiv out of a toothbrush... Should we assume that a shiv is probably unlikely? Or are depression toothbrush shivs actually a thing, and if a kid is depressed, we need to monitor their dental accoutrements? What kind of sad necessitates toothbrush shiv safety planning?

•Okay, but actually how much privacy does a kid need? Because apparently we're supposed to encourage kids to form social relationship and get together with friends, but like... What if that kid from your daughter's math class brings an air rifle over to shoot squirrels? What if he also looks a lot like that kid that knocked over the 7-11 and no one found the perp yet? Do they really need friends with mustaches? Why are they all taller than me?

Basically we know absolutely nothing about teenagers yet, and we're just going to roll with this while we figure out what smarter people have to say about how to handle these situations. But seriously, if anyone has any advice on toothbrush shivs, I'd appreciate it.