Someone asked me the other day if the men-children are getting along better now that they are spending more time apart. It was a good question, and my initial response was to say yes. But on reflection, it probably hasn’t made much difference to them.
As they are so, so different (just as my twin sister and I were) they really haven’t spent much time together in recent years, except when they both trained and rowed in the same crew last summer (ironically even sitting next to each other in the scull). The fact is they played different winter sports (footy vs rugby), they were in different sport houses and classes at school, they never travelled to school or home together, and didn’t spend time on the weekends together as they have different circles of friends.
This year of course one has left school to pursue a trade, whilst the other is doing VCE with plans to attend university, which will no doubt send them on even more diverse paths over the next few years.
Again, it is pause for reflection on my part as to how my twin sister and me were at their age. We shared a bedroom for at least 15 years (god forbid the men-children should have to do that), and I don’t ever recall asking her about her friends, or her hairdressing course, or her job. Are we all so self-absorbed as teenagers to not even care? I can only assume so based on my own behaviour and that of my sons.
On the home front, some things certainly haven’t changed between the boys. The arguments over jocks and socks, the fights over food supplies, or missing drink bottles or clothing, or the state of their shared bathroom or sitting room (one likes tidy, one comfortably lives with mess – a repeat of my sister and me ironically).
Just last night we enjoyed a raging argument between them over the TV. One wanted to watch TV, one wanted to listen to music in his bedroom. Even with closed doors, it was impossible for the music not to drown out the TV. I can vouch for that, as we regularly complain about the doof doof sound effects that come from one’s bedroom above to the family room below. Even with extra insulation put in when we built upstairs (for that exact reason), the heavy sound of the bass penetrates the floor.
We looked for a solution last night – put in earphones (“I don’t have any”) or turn down or off the music – of course not! So the argument continued between them, with shouting eventually over-taking the music and TV! Thank goodness for the door at the bottom of the stairs.
I found my own solution today – their birthday is around the corner, so I have bought wireless headphones for the TV and/or computer. That way one of them can listen to the TV or music without annoying the other one. I wonder if we’ll go back and buy a second pair at some stage to stop them fighting over the single pair of headphones, or so that we don’t have to listen to either of them being entertained?
Or will Father of a Man-Child decide that with the in-built noise reduction he is going to claim them as his own and listen to Fox Sport in bliss for the rest of his life, without the sounds of all of us in the background? Now that is a very big possibility.
Are we alone with fights over TV and music? What do you do to manage it, and who wins in your house, if anyone?