"There's something wrong with your son."
My son. If Hubs' tone of frustration wasn't enough to tip me off, the fact that Son had just somehow become my son and mine alone, made it very clear I'd come home to another father/son dispute.
"Well, I told him to shower and he was gone three minutes, then came back with perfectly dry hair and still smelled like he'd spent the afternoon playing field hockey with a herd of mountain goats."
"Hmm. You told him to shower with water and soap and shampoo, right? Because you have to be specific with him about that."
Hubs looked affronted. "Yes, of course. I'm not new around here, you know."
"I know, but you did you give him any further instructions?"
"Well, you know that he thinks if he actually had water coming out of the shower head, and if the soap and shampoo were physically present with him in the shower, then technically he followed instructions, right?"
"Are you serious?"
"Sadly, I am. Also, you have to remind him to stand under the water, not just near it."
"What's wrong with him?"
"Other than being twelve?"
"Oh. Right. So now what?"
"Okay here's what you say: "Stand under the water coming from the shower head. Pick up the soap. Lather it up, apply it to your body until the dirt is gone, then rinse. Also, the shampoo? It goes in your hair. You lather it up, in your hair--not just in your hands-- and then rinse it out."
"So is it that he doesn't understand the concept?"
"Oh no. He's just looking for a loophole. A technicality, as it were."
"So I didn't handle it right?"
"I wouldn't say that. In fact, hosing him down in the driveway while you washed the car is, I'm sure, a lesson he'll remember for years to come."
"Definitely. And hanging that pine tree air freshner from his collar? Inspired."
Hubs will get the hang of this eventually. I'm not too worried, though. Son is bound to discover girls any time now. When he does, I have a feeling getting him in the shower will be the least of our concerns.