Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

Mother of a Man-Child: The Return of the Mullet? February 4, 2011

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In a somewhat ironic twist, it seems that being “Bogan” is somehow “in” with the very teenagers you would expect would shun this label.  Bogan-style talk and a penchant for the mullet haircut being two good examples amongst my man-child and his friends, along with skinny jeans and flannel shirts.  If they drove cars they’d have dice proudly hanging in the windscreen.

I kid you not, on more than one occasion at home Man-Child I has used language and speech that is positively Bogan – he sounds like a common gutter-mouth with no education and no manners.  His twin brother (Man-Child II) assures me that’s how he often speaks at school with his friends – wonderful!  They obviously think it’s funny and cool, although god only knows why?

Naturally in the presence of REAL Bogans (know as “muzzas” apparently), I expect all mimicking of this behaviour instantly ceases – lest they annoy the Bogans and get a good bollicking from them. 🙂

So our resident Bogan Man-Child I was on holidays recently with mates.  As one of them had hair clippers, for amusement they challenged my son to a dare.  They cut the sides of his hair short, leaving a nice tuft of hair down the middle of his head – yes a MULLET!!  As luck would have it they managed to botch it up completely, and subsequently had to give him a buzz cut to repair the poor styling.  Thank God is all I can say.  Although I would have liked to see a photo for my own amusement.

I have no problems with a buzz cut – it has many benefits including reduced risk of nits (thankfully a thing of the past for the men-children), dragging out the time between haircuts, and keeping Mother of a Man-Child’s hard earned money in her wallet longer.  In fact I’m so glad they like buzz cuts we’re giving them hair clippers for their birthday.  A wise investment so I won’t have to pay for haircuts ever again.  Akin to celebrating the time we had both of them toilet-trained and my 2-3 years of buying nappies and keeping Huggies in record profit was over.

BTW, if any of you are Bogans, my apologies if you are offended by this post.  Funnily it does make me wonder if the Bogans are getting about pretending to be uppity little private school boys with toffee voices and polos with collars standing up.  LOL.


Mother of a Man-Child: Boys will be Boys on Camp January 21, 2011

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Over the summer holidays the Men-Children attended camp for a week.  It was actually run by their school.  As surprising as this may seem during the two-month long holidays that private schools enjoy, clearly someone wiser than myself understands the need for Men-Children and their parents to have a break from each other over this extended period.

The boys had wanted to attend this camp last year (at the end of Year 7).  As the camp fell in the first week of January, right when most families have their annual summer holiday together, I was adamant they should not go.  My husband agreed.  And so they didn’t.  Clearly these were signs of a mother desperate to retain a sense of control, and to hang onto the last remnants of family holidays as they slowly dissipated before her eyes.

This year the boys ended up on camp almost by mistake.  When we initially signed the paperwork it was for the senior camp in December, which I thought was a great idea as they have the entire month to do not much in my view.  A great way to fill in time and keep them off the streets quite frankly.  I much preferred primary school when they finished four days before Christmas.

The school contacted Mother of a Man-Child to confirm their attendance and the dates – yes in the first week of January.  Right in the middle of a holiday with their cousin from interstate and their grandfather, during our last stay at the family beach house (now sold).  Whilst my immediate response was “absolutely not”, I then gave consideration to the reasons we might let them go (apart from the fact that they wanted to).  In the end, common sense prevailed.  I figured that after a week with us at the beach, complaining that “it’s BORING, why can’t we have a house at Portsea, NONE of our friends are here, blah, blah” we would be more than happy to see them head off for five days and enjoy some respite from them.  Obviously there’s no doubt the feeling was reciprocal!!!

And yes for those who are thinking what spoilt children, even having a beach house to go to during summer, when it costs most families an arm and a leg to rent a beach house from the orthodontist you’ve made rich during the year whilst paying for Man-Childs teeth to be perfect, I agree.  And certainly they don’t appreciate our little sleepy hollow, complete with dirt roads and a general store, and no pub at all to attract feral young adults or Bogans.  It’s parent heaven – but clearly not teen heaven.

So off they went to camp, with much excitement and anticipation.  My excitement at five days of peace, theirs at five days of no nagging mother, being with mates, access to every water sport imaginable, and not one scrap of hygiene to worry about during the time.  Alas no amount of reminding Man-Child II to take his toothbrush worked.  He didn’t!  As he said “Who cares if you don’t brush your teeth or shower for five days – that’s what we do on every school camp.”  I’ll tell you who cares – me, and the orthodontist, that’s who.  Gross!

The upshot – my Men-Children had a great time at camp.  They came back tanned (with the mandatory sun burnt noses), looked like they’d grown two inches whilst away and developed yet more manly muscles, and were bursting with tales of what went on.  Not surprisingly most of these they were keen to share with their father not me (yep, I am getting used to this idea, very, very slowly).

They had been water-skiing, sailing, donut-ing, surfing, swimming and everything in between.  As the camp was run by Year 12 boys, and the attending boys are heading into Year 9, it also served as an “initiation” rite of sorts, with lots of boys pranks naturally.  Man-Child I was involved in one where he and a mate had to walk through the local supermarket dressed as girls.   Man-Child II proudly showed a video on his phone of the destruction of the camp mascot (a frog), to much hilarity.   (No live animals were harmed).

For my boys, this was just the sort of boisterous, boys-to-men stuff they like.  And probably just what they needed after living with their “psycho” mother all year.   No doubt it will be a unanimous decision to attend camp again next year. 🙂