© 2015, Melissa Fenton for Scary Mommy.

Ever wonder what it will be like when your little boys hit puberty? Think the teen years will be exciting, challenging and fulfilling? Want someone who has ‘been there, done that’ to tell you how it really is?

Well holy Axe spray, zit cream and hairy legs, I. AM. THERE. I am treading water in the teen angst cesspool (also known as their bedroom) and desperately gasping for sanity in male-adolescent, hormone-infested waters. Waters that run deep, wide, smart-mouthed and scruffy-chinned. Where dirty boxer shorts, crumpled up and forgotten homework assignments, lost ear buds, sweaty socks and junk food wrappers are forever afloat. These waters do not come with a lifeboat. (Honestly, I don’t need a lifeboat, I need a pressure washer and a bullhorn, but we will get to that in a sec.)

Don’t get me wrong: My teenagers are great kids. They do well in school, are witty, empathetic, amusing and are actually growing into really cool adults. But there are minutes, days, sometimes weeks where I – in teen terms -like, TOTES. CAN’T. EVEN. wrap my mind around their behaviour.

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I wish someone had told me…(Click through the gallery)

1. Everything will smell

Their car. Their cupboards. Their bathroom. Their bedroom. The hallway that leads to their room. It will be a funky, sweaty, noxious, musty, foul, deodorant-and-soap-covering-perspiration, ‘I am no longer a little boy’ type of odor. No candle, plug-in, floral spray or wax melt comes close to touching it. So stop trying. When they move out, painting the room and replacing the carpet MAY help. I say MAY.

2. They will suddenly want to wash their own sheets

They will bounce down the stairs with all of their bedding wrapped up in a tiny ball, duck into the laundry room and, out of nowhere, suddenly want to start the washing machine with no help. Don’t ask. Don’t help. Don’t acknowledge. Move on, mom. This doesn’t involve you. Just a boy and his dreams.