Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

Being Older Brothers September 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mother of a Man-Child @ 5:00 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

brother and sister gingerbreadIf there is one thing I don’t regret in life, it is having a sibling for my men-children.  Apart from a natural longing for more children following our twin boys, somehow it just felt right to have more than the perfect “two-some” in our family.  No doubt the fact that both Father of a Man-Child and I were both from families with four children contributed to that, a desire for the chaos and joy that goes with more kids.

Of course it did take us 7 years to come around to the idea before we welcomed Sister of a Man-Child into the world, but we wouldn’t replace her for anything. As 7-year-olds, the boys adored their baby sister.  Funnily enough at about 4 years old they had both placed an order for a baby sister, so how lucky they were.  She was completely doted on by them as a baby – they spent enormous amounts of time looking after her, helping her, playing with her, competing for her attention, and importantly realising they were no longer the centre of the universe.  Although to be fair, as there were already two of them from birth, I think they had already had to learn that lesson from day one!

As they approached their teenage years, and the adolescent attitude reigned, I think they have been less than kind older brothers.  Not because they don’t like their sister, but because they become so self-absorbed at that age, that everyone else except peers is irrelevant to them.  Of course the boys’ girlfriends all adore our daughter – is it the female nurturing nature that brings that out in them?

Like all families, the dynamic between the kids varies substantially.  One is generally nicer to his sister than the other.  And one is more prone to teasing his sister – I suspect because they are very alike they tend to bring the worst out in each other.  Just as the boys do the same to each other.  But it has to be said, as they all get a bit older, I am starting to see the dynamic change again, for the better.

During the recent spontaneous but highly unusual clean up of one Man-Child’s bedroom, he kindly offered his prized Carlton football jumper to his younger sister, also a fan.  He also recently helped his sister with a school project (with a fair bit of coaxing from his mother).  As I pointed out to him, you can either be an arsehole or her hero – you pick!

Sister of a Man-Child also made her First Eucharist recently (that’s First Communion for anyone my age).  Both boys found the Holy Crosses that they were given to mark their own First Communion, all the way from Rome if memory serves me, to show their sister.  I was pleased to see they still had them and delighted to see them all on common ground as our daughter passes the same milestones during her primary school life as her brothers.

So it seems that they are edging slowly out of the teenage abyss, becoming nicer sons to their parents and nicer brothers to their sister.  I hope they all have good relationships with each other as they get older, that are as healthy as mine with my siblings.  Did you have older brothers?  Were they nice to you or nasty when you were growing up?  What is your relationship like with them now?

 

Mother of a Man-Child: Don’t they learn? Part II August 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mother of a Man-Child @ 4:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

As you will recall, last week Mother of a Man-Child II had yet again performed his Houdini trick, disappearing at midnight for a late night visit with friends.  I discovered this at 3am in the morning when I found his bed looking rather empty.  You would also know it was 4.45am before his father arrived home with him, having picked him up from a train station some distance away!!!

The first thing I actually did when he walked in the door was asked for his mobile phone.  Two things surprised me initially:

  • One, his mobile had no pin code on it – I thought Mother of a Man-Child II was smarter than that – to protect it in case stolen and to stop prying mothers looking at the phone.
  • Two, much to my disappointment, there were no text messages on his phone.  When I enquired why, he said he always automatically deletes them (the opposite behaviour of most people I’m sure).

Momentarily deflated by this, I decided to check the call log on his phone.  Bingo!

Not only could I see all the recently received calls (including some stalker called his mother) but I could also see all the recently placed calls.  The best thing about call logs of course is that it includes times, numbers or names (when in the address book) and dates.  The detective now had exactly the evidence required.  And yes, I was particularly smug about this fact, and did think myself extremely clever.  I will enjoy it whilst it lasts, because it’s unlikely I’ll ever be able to repeat this feat – my son isn’t that stupid!  Score:  Parents 1, Kids 0.

So now armed with clear evidence of who had been involved in the late night escapade (and yes a girl was at the top of the list), we retired to bed for a few pathetic hours more sleep.  What astounds me is that Mother of a Man-Child II thought it was perfectly acceptable to be out from midnight to 5am and then have a 2 hour rugby training session and play an AFL game the following day.   The fact that he managed to play so well as to get Best on Ground left me further gob-smacked – freak child.

So Sunday morning came around.  My first call was to the home of his school friend to find out if he had been out the night prior.  Well, it transpires that this particular friend had actually been caught at the front door by his parents trying to leave home, and made up some bull-dust story about hearing noises at midnight.  When his parents found a backpack with clothing and shoes outside the front of the house, they quickly wised up.  When I told them about Mother of a Man-Child II’s travels, they knew they had foiled a clever plan.  Score:  Parents 2, Kids 0.

Then it was onto the offending female, who had called my son from her mobile and her home, thereby providing me with a landline number and direct access to her parents.   Glee – until I received a recorded message.  I was reluctant to leave a message lest the daughter erased it, or wised up to my calls but eventually I did.  When the father called me back he was naturally very interested to learn about his daughter’s activities the prior night.  Score:  Parents 3, Kids 0.

There were also some phone numbers that had no name, so naturally I called them.  One was a parents phone that the child had obviously used, the other interestingly was the phone of one of the 14-year-old female visitors to my house a few weeks ago – hmmm, seems she hadn’t quite learned her lesson, and was still roaming the streets late at night.

So now I have a dilemma.  The only way to let this girl’s parents know what she’s doing on a regular basis is to contact her school.  I am still thinking about whether or not this is the right thing to do, as it involves more than just her parents.  Advice welcome!

In terms of Man-Child II, I have told him that when we extend upstairs I will be having a zoned alarm complete with trip wire put at the base of the stairs, thereby ensuring he cannot leave our house without my knowledge.  And trust me the upstairs window won’t be an option – even for Houdini.  🙂