Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

The Stunted Mullet – A short tale November 2, 2012

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As the men-children get older, it becomes increasingly challenging to have them abide by our rules.  Threats coupled with parental anger are typically the winning combination, and this occasion proved to be no different.

I arrived home the other night and was immediately prompted to notice the new haircut of my son (Man-Child II).  He was sporting a very short haircut, one I call the skin-head/army reserve look, not that concerning really, as he always likes his hair short, and it does grow back pretty quickly. His twin brother (Man-Child I) then prompted me to take a closer look at the back of his head, to see the rest of the haircut.  Yes, causing trouble for his twin brother, naturally.

My first thought was that he had shaved something into his head.  I asked him if it was a swastika – since he didn’t even know what that was, unlikely that’s what I was about to see.  Instead, what I saw is this – which I quickly dubbed the “stunted mullet”.

mullet hairstyleThere is no point asking why they want a haircut like this – they’re teenagers, it’s what they do.  Setting new trends (?), looking like their peers (yes his mate has one too), not looking like their parents – it’s natural.  However, that doesn’t mean that our son should keep it!

Our immediate response was that he would have to shave it off that night, before attending school the next day.  Apart from us thinking he looked like a complete “bogan”, we didn’t think it was an appropriate haircut for school.  Naturally, there were two arguments that ran in tandem that night, that went something like this:


  • There are far more outrageous haircuts sported by other boys at school. (I am sure their parents are very proud).
  • What does it matter – it’s not hurting anyone. (Except your parents and twin-brother).
  • It’s better than a tattoo or eyebrow piercing.  (Yes it is for the moment).
  • It will grow back.  (Logic fail, as the mullet will just grow too).


  • It’s disrespectful towards the school.
  • It’s disrespectful towards your parents.
  • It’s disrespectful towards your grandfather who attended the same school and would be mortified to see you with this haircut.
  • Whilst you live in our house, under this roof, you will abide by our rules.
  • You look like a complete Bogan.

In the end, the final threat was that we would contact the school tomorrow and have them march him off the grounds to get a haircut if he didn’t remove it.  Whilst this might sound extreme, the school have been known to do that before with boys who have particularly inappropriate haircuts.  One of them being Man-Child II’s mate sometime last year.  They cut his hair at our home one afternoon, much to the amusement of Sister of a Man-Child and her friends.  It was basically shaved down one side, and left long on the other – NICE!  Clearly his mother had no luck convincing him to cut it, but the school certainly did the next day. 🙂

The last appeal to him was a text message (they can be effective sometimes, as they give them something to think about and don’t involve yelling), which went like this:

“Please remove that mullet tonight.  Don’t make us involve the school.  “What does it matter?” applies equally in reverse BTW.  If it’s such a small think but important to us that it goes, then you will remove it.  If you choose not to then the same lack of respect you choose to extend to us will be returned ten-fold to you.”  Thankfully he agreed to do it, the next day!

So off he went to school, sporting the stunted mullet for the day, returning home that evening to shave it off.  I must ask what his friends thought of it, or if any teachers noticed.

So a minor victory to the parents – this time.  Once he leaves school at the end of the year, we are clearly in trouble.  I fear the stunted mullet will be right at home at TAFE – oh well, I suppose I can live with it, if it means the eyebrow piercing and tattoo are delayed for a while longer.

We have endured the joys of teenage hairstyles before.  They seemed to have a liking for rats tails for a short period!!  Read more here.


From Boys to Bogans? December 16, 2011

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rats tail hairIn what can only be described as a worrying trend, I think my men-children are showing Bogan tendencies.  The only comfort I can take in this is that they are not alone.  In fact they are joining a growing number of their school friends with body piercings and a “ratty” hairstyle which seems to be the current trend.

For those of us old enough to remember, the “ratty” style harks from the disgusting “rats tail” trend that was worn by Bogans in the 80’s.  They would cut their hair short, with the exception of a long piece of hair that was left at the nape of the neck.  It was often plaited for effect (and not any prettier trust me), and sadly was a trans-gender style worn by Bogan men and women alike!!  If I am honest I may have had a VERY SMALL ratty myself which was very tasteful of course at the height of this trend. 🙂

One of the men-children recently had his brother use the clippers to cut his hair, leaving a delightful “ratty” at the back.  Fortunately, it’s not quite as long as the original version, more a short stumpy version, but nevertheless quite ridiculous.  Apparently it’s all the rage at school, and most likely they are emulating many of the young footballers, who all sport similar styles.  Now I think of it, most of them are Bogans at heart aren’t they?

Our other man-child has recently renewed his requests (read badgering) to be allowed an eyebrow piercing.  The last time he asked, we did suggest he could have one if he chose to have his private parts pierced simultaneously.  This time, he started quoting the fact that at 16 years old he could do as he pleased in relation to body piercing (a fact I must check).  Father of a Man-Child, for reasons completely unfathomable to all of us, seems to think a tattoo is a much better idea???  Even the man-child couldn’t understand this logic, and I don’t think his father was using reverse psychology.   Let’s face it, at least you can take out the stud from your eyebrow, but the tattoo on your arm or leg is slightly more permanent!  And whilst the school should BAN all visible piercings in my view, it seems they will allow a clear stud in one’s eyebrow whilst in uniform.  We did try to encourage piercing the earlobe over the eyebrow, but he seems adamant on the latter.

I do recall my nephews now in their mid-20’s both had piercings in their eyebrows shortly after they left school, a fact that their Mother and Grandfather were both appalled by.  God only knows how that same Grandfather will respond to the almost 16 year old man-child having one when he attends the same school his Grandfather did, and where the latter currently enjoys a well-earned reputation.  Oh dear.

So it seems I have a couple of Bogan men-children.  Given the odd hair styles I have seen created by their friends at our house, I have no doubt my boys are not alone in pursuing their “individual” styles, which are really just designed to ensure they conform with all their teenage friends, and demonstrate some anti-establishment, rebellious behaviour like we all did a few decades ago.

I promise to share photos if and when the eyebrow finally gets pierced!

Read our last discussion about eyebrow piercings here.