They are the 50 percent. They are our children, and they only do half of what we tell them to do.
Before you dismiss them as harmless kids, please know that they are sophisticated and determined to alter the power structure. In other words, they're terrorists.
But don't go running into the streets just yet. I've studied their characteristics, and as a service to my readers, I'll share them. Read carefully. It's the only way we can defeat them.
Characteristic No. 1: They always remember what you're supposed to do.
Four years ago, my now-8-year-old son, Little Solomon, saw a piece of junk mail from Walt Disney World and became convinced that a trip was imminent. When he asked me about it, I told him that I might one day try to take him and his sister there. I haven't done so yet, because going to Walt Disney World costs roughly the same amount as purchasing a small island.
It's been four years, and the boy hasn't forgotten.
"Dad, when are we going to Disney World?" he asks at least once every quarter.
"When I get some money."
"Well, when are you going to get it?"
"As soon as you get a job."
"But I won't want to go to Disney World by then."
Characteristic No. 2: They never remember what they're supposed to do.
A week ago, my wife, LaVeta, gave Little Solomon a two-part order: Go to bed and go to sleep. He seemed to go along, but even as we were tucking him beneath the covers, he was tucking something beneath his pillow.
"Can you close the door, Mom?" he said sweetly.
Smitten by his cuteness, my wife did as he'd asked. Two hours later, when I walked into the boy's bedroom to check on him, I saw a light shining near his head.
"What are you doing?" I asked suspiciously.
"Nothing," he said.
I smiled, impressed by his cunning. But we both knew where this was going. "Give it to me," I said, and he reluctantly took his Nintendo 3DS from beneath his pillow.
In his mind, being in bed was enough. But true to his 50 percent ideology, he conveniently forgot part two - going to sleep.
Characteristic No. 3: They always have an excuse.
Like Soviet spies in Cold War America, the members of the 50 percent are trained to deal with being discovered. Here are some examples of their tactics.
"Eve, I thought I told you to get these clothes off the floor!" my wife tells our 11-year-old for the umpteenth time.
"Oh, you meant those clothes?" Eve answers with fake confusion. "I thought you meant these clothes."
"Why are these forks still in the sink?" I ask Little Solomon.
"I didn't know forks were dishes, too."
"Eve, I told you to dust!" my wife bellows. "Why does the TV stand look like it's wearing a gray wool coat?"
"The TV stand is furniture?"
OK, parents, now that you know the game, you have a chance to win. Just be careful before you engage a member of the 50 percent. It's their game, and they're always changing the rules.
Solomon Jones is the author of 10 books, including his latest novel, The Dead Man's Wife (Minotaur Books), and the humor collection Daddy's Home: A Memoir of Fatherhood and Laughter. The married father of three has been featured on NPR and CNN and has penned columns on parenting for national magazines like Essence. He created Words on the Street, a program that helps students and parents improve literacy. His column appears Tuesdays in the Daily News. More at Solomonjones.com.