Sometimes I wonder about my men-children, and whether or not their brains have completely departed their bodies temporarily. The say that the effect of the raging hormones in teenagers bodies can have certain physiological impacts, such as partial deafness (actually I think that’s a long-term male condition called “selective hearing”), or that gangly awkwardness you see in boys whose limbs are growing faster than they should, and they develop an uncoordinated gait.
But in recent days, Man-Child I and II have shown apparent signs of complete dumbness that astounded me, and then reminded me that for all their claims of being a grown man they’re still children after all, growing up in a different era to me. I will amuse you with two such instances.
On a recent holiday, Man-Child I and II were thrilled to discover our very luxurious holiday rental was complete with flat screen TV’s, Bose surround sound systems, and their own home theatre room in the basement – complete joy for all as the boys had their own space (quickly dubbed “the hole”) and they could play as much music and watch as much TV as their hearts desired without nagging parents interfering. The system was even better due to the ability to plug-in an iPod or iPhone and enjoy their music on tap.
When we returned home and I unpacked the beach towels from Man-Child II’s bags (in the event they would otherwise remain there wet for the next 2 months turning mouldy), I found some A/V plugs that didn’t look familiar at all. I innocently asked where they might have come from and received the first response “I don’t know”, and following a look that said “do you think I’m stupid” he admitted he’d taken it from the rental property, because “it was right at the back of the cupboard and no-one would even know it was missing and I wanted to connect my iPod at home”. Naturally, I explained that was theft, and that he could visit the post office the following day and mail it back to the agent with a short note about it’s accidental removal.
Whilst I’m annoyed and disappointed about the theft, I had to chuckle when I told him to take it to the post office and mail it. Man-Child II (yes he who would have you believe he should be allowed to go anywhere and everywhere because he’s so grown up) asked how he should post it! He literally had no idea what to do. I explained that you buy a stamp with your money to cover the cost of mailing the item to QLD, and place it in the letterbox. So it got me thinking – is it really because he’s stupid, or completely non-observant, or is it that most 14 year olds don’t ever use that form of communication, being the millennial generation, so he has had virtually no experience posting letters – that old-fashioned form of staying connected? In hindsight, the latter is probably true. So I took it to the post office and spent the $1.20 for mail (I wish it had been more to teach him a good lesson)!
It seems Man-Child I isn’t much better. Having asked me to arrange a doctor’s appointment for an earache recently, I explained I could do that but we’d both be at work, so he’d be on his own (it being school holidays). So I left a note on the bench before work with details of the appointment, rang my husband to ensure he had seen the note before he left for work, then rang home later and told Man-Child I what time the doctor was, and to wake up his brother in time for the appointment, and even sent Man-Child I a text message – in short covered every conceivable base. So guess what happened? He missed the appointment!!!
It seems Man-Child II apparently did tell him to get up, but Man-Child I being half asleep didn’t even listen, so slept on. Man-Child I then rang me 2 hours after the allotted time to ask when I was coming home to pick him up and take him to the doctor, because that’s what I always do!!! Good grief! Suddenly they don’t seem so independent do they? I then had to beg for another appointment as naturally they were booked out by then, and I told Man-Child I to get on the tram himself or ride his bike to the doctor. And not to worry about paying as I’d fix them up later. Clearly we have a way to go to educate our boys to be independent, and capable of operating in the adult world.
So when they tell me yet again that they’re grown up and “nearly 15” and should be allowed to do anything they want, obviously we share a very different perspective don’t we?