Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

Mum’s the Word April 5, 2013

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Easter BunnyHappy Easter to everyone!  Chocoholics rejoice.  For many, Easter this year marked the start of the school hols, and therein the end of the school lunchbox routine for a few weeks, and the start of entertaining the kids 24/7.  But it was also Easter for employees, a short break for we full-time workers that was a welcome respite from the five-day grind.  Do you think we would enjoy it so much if we didn’t work full-time?  Probably not, after all it is absence that makes the heart grow fonder.

We made the decision to head to the Gold Coast with sister of a man-child (leveraging a work trip to good effect it has to be said), leaving the men-children at home for Easter.  At 17 years old, we debated whether or not we could trust them at home, and decided the time had come that we could.  However, we also importantly decided not to tell them our plans until we were virtually walking out the door.  We all know how quickly they can organise a party these days, so why give them any further advantage?  We also ensured the car keys were hidden, lest they indulge in joy-riding again!! (You can read about that here).

Credit to sister of a man-child, as she maintained the secrecy around our holiday for a few weeks.  If truth be known, I think she actually liked having one up on her brothers for a change.  However, at the last-minute our secrecy almost back fired on us.  “The deck” (now officially christened by the boys and proving to be a successful venue for small gatherings), was planned to be the scene for “pres” for an end of season rowing party that had been in the diary for quite some time.  The idea was sprung on us at the last-minute, and we were actually very reluctant for him to hold it, especially since it was the day we left and we knew we weren’t going to be here to supervise.   So we dug in our heels with countless reasons to not host it, and finally luck delivered us the solution we needed.  The official party was cancelled, there-in ending the need for any “pres” at all.  Trust me that was close!

The following night we learned that one of the boys was invited away for Easter, leaving only one at home.  Even better – they tend to be more trustworthy alone in my view.  As it transpired we told one of them our plans late the night before we left (actually as a reward for his behaviour and attitude), and the other literally an hour we before we walked out the door (yes, he had been a right little shit and we were punishing him in our own small way).  And the response?  They were a little surprised, but didn’t have much choice did they?  One asked how long we had known and kept it to ourselves?  We nonchalantly replied “Oh, about a week” (or two). 🙂

So how did it go?  Well actually pretty well.  There were definitely a few gatherings in our absence (all made public to us not secret), and we came home to a thoroughly clean house, including a washed deck.  At least one man-child understands the need to reinstate the house to its normal order.  The biggest issue was the other man-child whose only job was to put out the rubbish bins before he went away – and yes, just like the other time, he didn’t do it – aaarrrgh!  Seriously annoying.

Our house-sitting man-child was even good enough to fill in the answers to the questions his sister had left for the Easter Bunny.  Now that’s a nice thing for a big brother to do isn’t it?

So tell me, at what age did your parents let you stay home alone?  And for how long?  Do you think we are being too trusting?

The first time we left them home alone, we were mega worried.  But the end result was actually okay.  You can read more about that here:


Mother of a Man-Child: A Princess Tale. March 4, 2011

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When I am not being Mother of a Man-Child I like to think of myself as Mother-of-a-Princess.  My seven-year-old daughter is my princess, and she is an absolute delight.  Like all good seven-year olds, she still believes in all the wonderful magic of Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny and of course the Tooth Fairy.

She is so enamored with these magical beings that at every opportunity she leaves a gorgeous, heartfelt, hand-written note full of all the sincerity and love only an innocent seven-year old can muster.

Each time she leaves a note for the tooth fairy, she asks some personal questions so she can understand a little more about their magical lives.  So the first time, she wanted to know how tooth fairies knew that children had lost their tooth (a special homing device of course).  And then she wanted to know how old the tooth fairy was (10 fairy years) and when her birthday was  (we made the executive decision that it would be January 1 in the event you want to join my conspiracy).   Most recently (see pic) she wanted to know the particular tooth fairy’s name (Daisy).  For some reason we always refer to the tooth fairy as a girl, although perhaps next time it should be a boy to ensure some equality of the tooth fairy sexes.

As we discussed the note and the fact that the fairy had cleverly found one of my daughter’s special magical Textas (amazing isn’t she), the next round of questions began.   How big do you think they are (we both imagine they are very small)?  How do they get the tooth out of the water?  I mentioned they might have scuba gear! What about their wings?  How do they fly if they get wet?  They’re waterproof of course!  Or maybe they just use a fishing rod?

No doubt she went off to school with her head buzzing with the possibilities.  I for one had hysterical visions of a miniature tooth fairy clad in said scuba gear with wings protruding from the wetsuit and goggles on looking for a pearly white at the bottom of the deep glass.

It really is such a delightful time of innocence and joy to see the absolute belief they have in all things magical and make-believe.  Fancy those naysayers who espouse it is wrong to “lie” to children at a young age and say they should not be told fictitious tales about Santa and the Easter Bunny at all.  Party poopers!

Believe it or not we actually got the men-children to 10 years old before we broke the news about Father Christmas to them.  And that was only because we were travelling in the car with the kids pre-Christmas and we had no way to hide the boxes of presents without them becoming suspicious.  Of course we swore them to secrecy as their sister was only three and threatened them with near death if they ever ruined the fun for our “Princess”.  So far so good.  I actually think the boys enjoy being part of the conspiracy.  And so the magic continues. 🙂