Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

Men-Children and Man-Colds June 22, 2012

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tissuesIt’s been a long week in the Man-Child house, with both boys suffering illnesses.  One of the boys started with a head cold and developed gastro on top of it – so yes a day off school, a no-show at rugby, and pretty crook.  Of course that didn’t stop his GF (did I mention it’s back on following the world’s shortest break-up) from coming over to infect herself with his germs – are they mad?

His twin brother was 100% sure he was going to catch something – I think he practically convinced himself he would get the gastro bug also.  Fortunately he didn’t but he did get a good dose of the man-flu, the serious variety.  Of course it started on Friday night, and when he mentioned he had a party to go to I gave him a quick talking to about the need to have an early night and get some rest so he could play school football the following morning.  In other words I said NO you can’t go out.

So you can imagine our surprise whilst out with friends when we received a text message followed by a phone call from man-child telling us he was indeed going out and would be home later.  Yep, have I mentioned before how obedient my teenage boys are?  He got an instant lecture from me by phone and a guarantee that if he chose to go out I didn’t care how sick he was the following morning, he would be fronting up to footy.  Naturally, he went out.  So I had great delight in waking him up at 6.30am the following morning to drop him at the school bus to head to Geelong for his footy game.  He was pretty sick I have to admit, and if it wasn’t for the night before I would have said he didn’t need to go, but I was determined to stick to my guns.  I picked him up in the afternoon from school, a washed out wreck who crashed and burned.  Call me mean, but sometimes they need a lesson in tough love.  He’s still sick a week later, so it really was the man-flu in his case.

Before you think I am totally lacking any sympathy, I have done several drug runs to the chemist.  I’ve also suggested he head to the doctor, just in case it’s gone to his chest and needs antibiotics.

Thankfully the rest of the household has so far been spared the man-cold, and let’s hope it stays that way.  Meanwhile both the boys will be well just for the beginning of their THREE week school holidays – lucky them.  This holiday completely caught me by surprise, as I thought they still got three weeks in September, but no they’ve moved it to July to align with many other schools.  Whoops.  No vacation plans, sorry boys.  Happy holidays at home over winter…..

Have you endured a man-cold this winter?  Are you full of sympathy, and the master of chicken soup?  Or would you have sent him to footy unwell?  I’d welcome your thoughts.

We have survived illness before – when they were babies on holidays.  It made for a good story – read about it here:  The Holiday from Hell.


Drug and Alcohol Education – the unofficial kind! August 19, 2011

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bongThis week I attended the Cannabis Education evening at the school of the men-children.  They thought it was a good idea to talk about drug use to Year 9 parents and boys, having covered off Alcohol Education last year.  We had a presentation by the local Drug Support program, and the local Youth Affairs Police Officer.  Little did they know that sitting in the audience was the mother of a man-child whom they had both had the pleasure of meeting almost one year earlier!!

Below I have published the post that I drafted a year ago, when one of the men-children decided to experiment with cannabis (for obvious reasons I couldn’t bring myself to publish it at the time).  Looking back, I am convinced we handled the situation appropriately.  To the best of my knowledge our son has not continued to experiment with cannabis, and I think he learned a lot through the process.

Original Draft Post (November 2010): 

We’ve endured some interesting events on the journey to date that is adolescence.  Parties, gatherings, girlfriends, shoplifting, meetings with the school, smoking cigarettes, sneaking out at midnight, uninvited guests at 3am, and so the list goes on.  With each new event we seem to exhale with a “well that should be the worst of it shouldn’t it”, a glimmer of hope, but a sense of the inevitable.

And so our latest hurdle.  Man-Child II arrived home on a recent Saturday afternoon after being out all day with friends.  He was happily (unusual in itself) sharing details of where he’d been, and with whom, when I noticed his words were slurred, and he could hardly keep his eyelids open.  My first instinct was of course alcohol, but I couldn’t smell it on him at all.  My second instinct was dope – and unfortunately it seems I was right.

Now both alcohol and marijuana are drugs – but one is highly illegal and one is legal (for those of adult age of course).  The use of either by my 14-year-old son scared me, but more so dope, because you don’t find kids “pushing” alcohol to fund their habit the way you do drugs do you?

Naturally Man-Child II initially denied all usage to my face, but claimed he had been with others smoking dope and therefore he smelt of it and was mildly affected – yeah, right!  Seriously, do they really think any parent with a brain bigger than a goldfish would believe that?

He wasn’t in much of a state to talk (yes what you call totally “stoned”), and for obvious reasons wasn’t forthcoming with any associates names, so off to bed he went.  We actually called the police to check what we should do (we were more than happy to haul him down to the local station for a good talking to on the spot).  They were very interested to know his age, and school – no doubt looking for patterns in usage and known users.  They asked us to bring him down to the station at a later date for a meeting, and also advised us they offer a counselling service where they work with young teens to try to encourage them not to use drugs so they would be referring our son to them.  Perfect!

In the meantime, there was instant punishment dealt out (“you can forget the long-planned Halloween party”) and we had to endure 24 hours of pleading, begging, cajoling, crying, tantrums and text messages to try to make us relent.  But we held our ground and he didn’t attend the party – a minor victory for the parents.

I also had a conversation with Man-Child II to actually ask if he knew what effects drug use had (for irregular and regular users).  He was a little vague so I set him straight.  And I also explained how the classic pyramid selling worked, and why people he didn’t know well were more than happy to give him free drugs with a view to recruiting him longer term.   That seemed to make him think.

I am hoping that the meeting will involve the police scaring the absolute crap out of him (a la Man-Child I’s run in with the law over shoplifting) so he’ll be put off for another few years at least, and that the counselling session will have the desired educational effect.  And if I find out who exactly was kind enough to share the drugs with my son, they should be more worried about me finding them than the police.

Post-Script (August 2011): 

Our man-child did meet with the local police officer, and did attend the drug counselling program as instructed by the police.  He was told if he didn’t attend the program there would be serious consequences for him.  To his credit he took himself off for several appointments as required.  He didn’t share what went on at the sessions, and nor did he need to – it was between our son and the counsellor and we were pretty sure he was in good hands.

When I arrived home last night from the school I mentioned the name of the local policeman and the counsellor who had attended the evening.  Man-Child II nearly died of fright when he realized it was one and the same, as he is obviously known to them.  The fact is he has nothing to fear.  He has learned his lesson, and I hope is actually one step ahead of some of his peers, who haven’t yet been given the skills or life lessons to equip them with the ability to make the right choices when exposed to drugs.

You can read about Man-Child I’s brush with the law here: “An Arresting Story”.


Mother of a Man-Child: Young Teens Running Wild November 12, 2010

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I was interested, but alas not surprised, to read a story on this week about a particular suburb in Western Sydney.  The story made headlines because one weekend police had set about rounding up all the roaming kids one Saturday night and subsequently sent no less than 55 young teenagers home to their parents.

What was most alarming for the police was the fact that most of the teens’ parents had no idea where they were – believing them to be somewhere else.  Some of the kids were found to be consuming alcohol, and a few using drugs.   The police rightly despair for these kids, and what other trouble they may find themselves in.  They are also rightly annoyed with the parents, for not taking more responsibility for their sons and/or daughters.

Trust me, you don’t need to look far to find similar behaviour going on, and it’s not contained to the Western suburbs of Sydney.  The nice Eastern suburbs of Melbourne will do just fine.   We have ourselves been the recipient of four female guests (aged just 14 years old) at 3am one morning – they had been out all night roaming the streets of Melbourne, and their parents were completely unaware.   And I know for a fact that several of them have repeated this behaviour.   I’ve also attended a teenage girls party where the parents were letting anyone in, along with their alcohol and cigarettes (and god knows what else) – and the parents are supposed to be the responsible ones!   Don’t worry I quickly turned into the door bitch and promptly turned the undesirables away.

I have to say I agree with the Sydney police – it’s time parents had a reality check and took more responsibility for their children, ensuring they are safe from harm.  As my readers know, we’ve had our share of trouble, but that’s with us being the “world’s strictest parents” and always checking up on our men-children.  Imagine what they’d get up to if we didn’t check on them?

Apparently “Operation Enough” is set to be rolled out across NSW.  Maybe I should lead the charge for Victoria – I know a leafy suburb they could start in!!!

To read the full story: