Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

Mother of a Man-Child: Through the Eyes of their Younger Sister! December 23, 2010

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Brother & SisterMy men-children actually have a sibling – a gorgeous little sister, a veritable gift from God, who surprised us all seven years ago.  She’s definitely one of those “old souls”, someone who’s been here before, and is wise beyond her years.  Maybe that’s just what happens when you live in an “adult” house – they’ve seen and heard a lot more than just toddler speak growing up, and adjust their view of the world accordingly.

So I’m always interested to observe my daughter’s views on her brothers.  Of course there’s not much she misses out on hearing – you can’t ask her to go away every time there’s “secret men-children business”.  Although we do use a certain amount of discretion, depending on the sensitivity of the issue at hand.

Their relationship is probably typical of siblings, although I wish it were better.  Man-Child I is quite good with his sister, but has been known to yell aggressively at her on occasion, and she’s somewhat sensitive so doesn’t respond well to this of course (who does?).

Man-Child II is probably very like his sister in many ways and so they have one of those typical “middle child” relationships – both know exactly how to wind the other up, which causes constant squabbling and drives me mad.

I said to my poor daughter the other day in exasperation and anger unfortunately: “Just ignore Man-Child II.  He only does it because he knows he’ll get a reaction, every time.  If you don’t respond he’ll soon tire of it”.

Later that night, when he tried again, I was ready to rip his throat out.  She looked at me and said – “You’re right Mum.  Just ignore him.”  It made me stop and bite my tongue – now’s who’s the grown up one?

One day in the car she asked me a simple question:  “Mum, do you think I’ll be as bad as the boys?”  Naturally I said she wouldn’t, without any doubt in my mind, although to be honest who really knows the answer to that question?  Only time will tell.

I do wish the boys would be nicer to her.  I once observed some 16 and 18-year-old brothers with their 7-year-old sister at a wedding.  She was tired at the end of a long wedding ceremony and it was late at night.  They took it in turns to cuddle her on their laps whilst their parents mingled and danced.  I thought it was absolutely gorgeous.  Unfortunately I can’t even imagine my men-children doing that, although they will babysit if we pay them.

I am confident however that once my daughter is about 15 years old and has lots of nice girlfriends, the boys will have renewed interest in her.  🙂  I’m also hopeful they’ll love the idea of being the “chaperone” who will drive her to parties, pick her up late at night, and be the nice protective brothers they should be.

And on the recent subject of Christmas presents, having insisted the men-children at least buy one for their sister, she replied one thing she would like is for them to be nice to her for the day and not call her names.  Let’s see if Santa can organize that wish!


Mother of a Man-Child: Teenage Glossary of Terms Part II December 17, 2010

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For all the parents out there who are feeling a bit “old” and trying to keep up with today’s lingo, I’ve done an update of men-children’s latest phrases, complete with English language translation.

  • Shoppo = Westfield Shoppingtown at Doncaster.   I don’t recall calling it that when I was a kid.
  • Munt = Vomit, Chuck, Spew.  First heard when my boys told me about the kid who “munted” all over someone’s shoes in the tram one morning on the way to school.   Poor thing!
  • Scairn = How’s it going.  Say it slowly, it’s a kind of morphed version of these words I kid you not.  It’s also the voicemail message on Man-Child I’s mobile.  Friendly isn’t it?
  • T-Hub = True.  No idea how they came up with this one.  Wonder what Telstra think of it?  To be honest they should take it as a compliment since I doubt they get many!
  • Dedubs = phonetic expression of DW, short for Don’t Worry.  Aren’t you glad I am helping you with this stuff.  🙂
  • MILF/SILF/TILF – okay, these ones are not good.  Some of you may know these terms.   I’m sorry but I can’t give you the translation on the blog they’re so revolting.  If you hear your sons or daughters using them, whack first, ask questions later is my only advice.   Or if you know me, give me a call and I’ll explain them to you personally.
  • Dubstf – a bit like “Dedubs” above.  Short for WTF.  And that’s short for What The F&%K people.
  • Sheila, biddy = girl.   Earlier version was Mint Biddy = good looker.
  • Slappa = Bad girl.  “Slut” as we called it in my day.  What I refer to now as Skanky Ho and a term my husband hates me using – but it’s oh so apt sometimes.
  • Chin-Up Cuz = Stop “arking” up, or Chill.
  • Neck-Up Mutt = As above.  Can be shortened to Neck-Up.

So there you have it, the latest glossary of terms.  Just trying to keep you in the loop so you’re up with the program Bro!

Trust me though, these terms all sound really, really daggy when they come from the mouths of anyone who is over the age of 20.  So don’t even go there.

If you have any other gems to add to the list, drop me a line.  Once I’ve collected the next lot I’ll publish Glossary of Terms III.

And if you want to further your education, here’s the earlier article:


Mother of a Man-Child: Quality Nylon Carpet – Perfect! December 10, 2010

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As you may recall, we are in the midst of a renovation to house our men-children upstairs (yes, far, far away from the rest of the household).  Anticipation is growing as progress is made, with constant inspections by all to see how the plans are unfolding in real life.  Bedrooms have been claimed, and a spot for the flat screen TV, Foxtel and PS3 determined (very important assets of men-children).

From my point of view, there are other more important decisions to be made.  Yes we will have the extra heavy-duty insulation for sound-proofing so that their doof doof music will not be heard by us downstairs or the entire street we live in (pity our poor neighbours – I fear they may call the police one day over noise pollution).

The other important decision is paint, carpet and furnishings.  Whilst I contemplated blackboard paint for one minute (shows no dirt does it and they can graffiti all they like) I decided it was best not to encourage this type of behaviour in teenage boys, so white and more white it will be – and of course that makes the space look larger anyway.

We will have carpet throughout upstairs, again because it is better for noise absorption, and also nicer underfoot.  This will ensure that the angry stomping up and down stairs is not so noticeable (when mother of a man-child denies them their latest request), nor the tiger cubs throwing each other against walls or floors during a play fight.

So off I went to the carpet shop with a very clear brief.  I definitely want dark brown carpet – it hides a thousand sins.  But what type of carpet would they recommend for teenage boys in an upstairs retreat?

You could see the look of recognition cross his face – he knew EXACTLY what I was talking about, and why I had asked.  His reply:  “Madam I recommend a quality nylon carpet (I know, surely those two words don’t go together).  Whilst we sell a lot of quality wool carpets from this store, you will find nylon is far more forgiving for spills if you get to them quickly”.

Both he and I then fill in the blanks, thinking about food, soft drinks, alcohol and various other bodily fluids that the poor nylon carpet will probably see in its lifetime upstairs at our house.   And both knowing that I’m unlikely to ever get to the spills quickly, and that the boys will just rub whatever it is directly in to the carpet, but at least we’re making the best possible decision with the information we have.

I am delighted with his recommendation, and could almost hug him for his understanding and wisdom.  Of course I then discover that “quality” nylon costs about the same as “quality” wool – probably because of where I live, but so be it.  I don’t have time to shop around at a thousand carpet stores to find a better price.  And he also recommends a good quality, heavy-duty underlay – again, it helps the carpet survive, and is also good for noise – he SO knows what my life with men-children is like!

I have already picked some new doona covers and towels for upstairs.  Again, my only thought was colours or patterns that will hide a thousand sins.  I learnt my lesson about white towels some time ago.

Read that story here:

So quality nylon it is.  You can all thank me for this lesson in how to select a quality carpet one day when you are catering to your own men-children.  🙂


Mother of a Man-Child: Be Alert But Not Alarmed! December 3, 2010

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Sometimes my men-children will share some random piece of information with me.  At the time, I typically think nothing of it, said information being fairly innocuous, but some days later, it’s more than likely that small but important piece of data will be linked to an event, and all the pieces will fall into place!

Here’s a recent example of the plotting and under-handedness of my men-children.  As is the practice in private schools, as we all know, the more you pay, the less time they attend.  So as we approach the end of their school term and the year, exams have been finished (that was a painful period trust me) and they are preparing for two months holiday (geez, I’ll be lucky to ever see long service leave and they get this every year).

Man-Child I casually mentioned to me the other day that his teacher had told them:  “Off the record boys, as next week is the last week of school, it doesn’t really matter if you come to school or not on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, but make sure you’re here for Monday (results day) and Friday (last day).”

My first thought – well, that’s a fabulous attitude to have in a school with fees the size of the national debt of Greece!  My second thought –  hell no, I want to reduce their school holidays, not increase them.

So my response to my son:  “You are going to school next week.  Every day.  I think that’s the wrong attitude for your teacher and the school to have.  Blah, Blah…….”  No doubt I ranted for a few minutes, as I tend to do, and no doubt Man-Child I stopped listening after the first 5 seconds.  But really, the message was pretty simple.  Go. To. School.

Hence you can imagine my surprise earlier this week when I received a call from Man-Child II.  He was at a school, but apparently his brother was not.  Upon the Head of Middle School noticing this, he asked my son where his twin brother was.  And realizing he had not attended school, simply said “Ring your Mother”.    Now for those who are wondering, the Head of Middle School happens to know us and our sons particularly well, having had several visits to his office during the year.  And clearly he knows who the boss is in our place – good call!

So I ring Father of a Man-Child first, to check what he knows about this situation.  He assures me that he told him to go to school, having found him lolling about in bed well after he should have headed to school.

Next I ring Man-Child I, who naturally doesn’t pick up the home phone or mobile.  So I text him:  “Get your arse to school.  You don’t have permission to stay home.  Call me ASAP”.  Reply:  “I’m at (Aunt’s) house, doing work for her.  I told Dad that.  And my form teacher even said it’s up to you and you parents if you come to school, ‘cause today we don’t do anything.”

So here’s the thing.  I obviously didn’t approve and had made my intentions pretty clear last week.  Father of a Man-Child didn’t approve, but clearly didn’t put his foot down quite strongly enough, and so Man-Child I takes the usual liberty and decides for himself that he now has tacit approval from said parent not to attend school.  Grrrr.

The up-shot of all this.  I eventually spoke to Man-Child I on the phone, and told him to get to school (insert very colourful language by mother at this point of the conversation).  He finished the job he was doing, and headed home only to discover himself locked out of the house.  Naturally he had left his house key and brain cells at home earlier that morning.  So he never made it to school.

Mother of a Man-Child:  0.  Man-Child I:  1.  Damn, I so hate to lose.  And am now giving Father of a Man-Child lessons in how to be much a much more hard-nosed parent – problem being he’s always been a softy, so it’s a bit of a stretch.  Hence it invariably falls to me “Gina” (the hard-faced-bitch) every time.

PS.  In case you’re wondering, no that is not a picture of me in the photo – I look far younger!!!   LOL!