Sunday, 20 July 2008

Parental Advisory Required

Soon, one day, I will have a horde of adolescent boys. From time to time, I get a hint of what is to come: Moodiness for no reason, LOOKING AT GIRLS and showing off! The annual fistfight. Eating a whole cow, a field full of potatoes and a gross of eggs. Being patronising toward their mother. Oh, I know the signs. I grew up with a brother and a horde of boy cousins.

Shouldn't I do a course or something? Is there a book? What about boarding school? Would they still have me?

What is it like, being mother to a horde of testosterone-oozing adolescent boys? What should I do about DAMP SHEETS! AAK! Will they suddenly start sleeping till two p.m. and glowering and grunting? Will I have to learn to speak Teenglish?

What about cellphones? Do I keep tabs on their conversations, once they have their own phone and are keeping it in their room? Will they still tell me everything? EVERYTHING? Do I really want to know?

What about Internet Porn and Violence? What about STDs? Drugs? Alcohol? Weird peircings? Tasteless music?

My first instinct is to hand responsibility over to their Dad. He was, after all, an adolescent boy, and teen, once. And the guy who was clueless with babies has become a man who has remarkable patience and instinct with his big boys.

So. Does this mean I am obsolete? Surely not! But where is my place, outside of cooking and doing laundry: two jobs that the boys can already do themselves anyway, if I drop dead tomorrow?

Will we continue to enjoy one anothers' company? Will we have holidays together, play cards and laugh together? Nothing can ruin a holiday like a morose teen, but is leaving them at Grandma's an option then?

There is so much advice online about raising kids. But adolescents? Not much. Is it that there isn't much we can do as parents once they reach that stage? I remember being dreadful: a textbook Horrible Teenaged Girl. But I don't believe that my parents could have done anything to help me; I would have met any efforts with the scorn only to be achieved by a teen. I would have ignored all instruction and done what I wanted to, but with even more sullen contempt than before.

If my boys are going to be anything like me, I will have to lay my groundwork now while I am still a person of some importance to them. But how? Am I in trouble?

Help me, Obi-Wan!




6 comments:

Tash said...

Oh you've spoken my biggest fears! I see the signs already. And I see in him only me as a teenager - I think I'll run for cover now!

LceeL said...

Just take it one day, one crisis, one thing at a time. If you set a rule - stick with it. If you hand out a punishment - don't relent unless there is a very good reason. If they sense weakness, they will EAT YOU ALIVE. Be honest and fair, and never intentionally lie. Tell them and show them you love them at every opportunity. A never let anybody else mess with them.

Islandgirl said...

I'll put the kettle on and stock up on EXTRA strong tea!!!

Nan said...

Ladies, much tea will have to be drunk to get us through this. Lceel, it sounds like you'd better stick around! We need you!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

My advice? Take up golf. And then you will always be able to golf together.

nikki said...

I have a 40 year old husband, a 13 year old stepson and a 4 year old son. My grocery bill is horrific. The 13 year old can out eat us all....and doesn't gain a pound. Something is wrong with that.