“Nik, get down here!” my mom yelled. “Where is here?” I yelled back. I love being a smartass to my parents. “The bathroom! And don’t get smart with me!” My mom demanded that the tiles around the porcelain throne be clean enough to lick. I had flashbacks of the last time I peed on the bathroom floor. I dropped my head and prepared for ass ripping number 638. In the bathroom, disappointment contorted her face. I wondered why she was pointing her finger and squinting at me this time. Why was she so upset, she was the one who raised me, right? “There are pee drops all around the toilet,” she said.  “How do you do this every day? The evidence was all around the bowl. She forced me to bleach the urine off the floor. “Nik,” my mom said, “if you want to live here, you need to stop peeing on the floor.”

Maximizing climbing time is about your money-to-work ratio. Living with my parents increased this ratio significantly for me. Unfortunately, there’s baggage that comes along with such a situation, and there are times when you just need to bite your tongue. Here are some pointers in case you are inspired to move into your old room full of soccer trophies and swimming ribbons:

  • Keep the door to your bedroom closed at all times. Parents don’t want you in their house and they certainly don’t want to see how big of a mess you are making of it. The less they see the mess, the longer and happier your stay will be. Use the bedroom as a “happy place,” an escape from parental domination.
  • Clean up after yourself. The key is to wait until they see you cleaning. What is the point of wiping off the counters if your parents don’t even know you did it?

  • Get out of the house as much as possible. Parents hate unproductive children. Watching movies, playing video games, and surfing the Internet for the newest V14 at the climbing gym just infuriates them. Go. Climbing.

  • Run errands for your parents. Buy groceries or pick up random items they need. Adding value as a household member will secure your stay. Let your parental unit know where you are going and ask if they need anything from that destination. For example, when I head to Hueco, I always ask my parents if they need any Prozac from Juarez.

  • Stay motivated in all parts of your life. Talk about working your way into a high-paying job and the slow-but-steady steps to achieving your goals. Aspire to something so your parents will know you’ll leave the house before you turn 50.

  • Go on extended climbing trips. This does wonders for your psyche and your parents’ sanity. Long trips provide necessary breaks and relieve an amazing amount of tension in the house.

  • Spread your part-time work hours over as many days as possible. It sounds better when you are working every day, even if it is only for three hours.

  • Leave your $316 paycheck on the kitchen counter so your parents will see how poor you are. Poverty will bring the pity out of them. They will never kick you out on such grim funds.

When your parents go out of town, stay in town. This is your time to have free rein and feel like the bachelor/bachelorette that you are. Enjoy every minute of their absence. Pee around the toilet. Have a dozen dirtbags stay on the couch. Drink way too much beer. However, before your parents return, clean the house. Your mom finding an empty 30 rack of PBR and Fred Beckey on the sofa will guarantee your eviction.

Nothing in life is free. Even living with your parents requires sacrifices. As a 26-year veteran of parent leeching, I have found that nothing will maximize your climbing time more than living with your parents.

One last tip: To keep from peeing on the bathroom floor, go somewhere else. Potted house plants are ideal urinal substitutes.

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