Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

Sister of a Man-Child: Here comes the Attitude. May 11, 2012

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OMGIt’s been a while since I wrote about Sister of a Man-Child.  She’s a darling 8-year-old most of the time, and really a very easy going, and thoughtful child.  But sometimes she can take me by surprise, and cause me to reflect on the world around her and just what impact the behaviour of the Men-Children and we as parents have on her, considering she lives in an “adult” world a lot of the time.

Of course, there are other influences in her life also – the media, her friends, her teachers.  I can only guess as to the source of influence for a recent text message I received from her whilst at work:  “I hate my life!”  I kid you not – that’s exactly what she wrote.   I rang home immediately in case she was seriously suicidal, only to find out that a small incident had occurred with her brother/father and she was basically having a sulk.  I am confident she learned to be a drama queen from the countless Foxtel/Disney teenage shows she watches – some saccharine sweet, but clearly some not quite so.  Most of them drive me insane and I regularly demand they be turned off.

I totally blame these shows (and also the Men-Children) for her latest outburst.  Upon learning we were going out for dinner and she would need a babysitter (admittedly we had an unusually busy week and I had been “out” every night at some function or meeting) she declared at the dinner table “Are you serious!”  (insert indignant tone of voice).  I was gobsmacked to say the least, and immediately angry, and said she was NOT to speak to us with that attitude again.  Cue tears – suddenly a small 8-year-old girl not a teenager with attitude!

She also recently started walking around the house, saying to me BTW, blah blah… not “By the way”, but literally “BTW”.  When I asked her why she was talking in abbreviations, she said she liked it.  Hmmm.  Just like teenagers like it.  You may have noticed that “OMG” and  “LOL” are not acronyms any longer, but “words”.   I said please talk to me in proper English and save the text language for the iPod/iPhone thanks.   I really wonder what we’re breeding some days and whether or not our children will be able to write or speak using correct English.   Was I being too mean?  Was she just experimenting with language?  Or am I right to nip this in the bud?

When it comes to her brothers, Sister of Man-Child doesn’t want much from the Men-Children – just their love and a little attention from time to time so she doesn’t feel like an only child.  It’s so rare that they are nice to her, that the other day she came running in to tell me that they had BOTH been really nice to her, and that she was SO happy.  She even asked one of them why he’d been nice to her four days in a row.  I have made a point to let them both know how she feels, so they might begin to realise what impact they have on their sister’s feelings, and how easy it is to earn her adoration and make her feel wonderful.  It takes such a small effort on their part to be nice to her, I hope they think twice about it and change their behaviour towards her.

As I say often to my daughter, just wait until you’re 15 years old.  Your 22-year-old brothers will be VERY interested in you and your girlfriends, and probably fighting to drive you everywhere and even chaperone you to parties.   Bring it on I say!

You can read more about Sister of a Man-Child here:  A Princess Tale


Mother of a Man-Child: Teenage Glossary of Terms Part III May 6, 2011

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wordsIt’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on the nuances of teenage language, so I thought it was time for a refresher on the latest lingo on the street.

Of course, it’s more than likely this language is not unique only to teenagers; no doubt there’s plenty of other Gen Y or Gen X people who know these terms, but as a mother of a man-child in her mid 40’s (it’s going to stay MID for a while I can tell you) it’s sadly passing me by.

So for those of you who do not keep up here’s the latest series of terms to help you understand your adolescent offspring in between grunting:

  • Muzza = Bogan
  • Mutlick = Mate
  • Gimp = Loser
  • Kwan (or Kwanum) = Hey you, or Mate
  • Aye Lad = True (straight from the North of England if you ask me)
  • Fresh = like “Sic”
  • Missus = Girlfriend (this one creeps me out a bit I have to say)
  • Shits & Giggs = Just for giggles and for the shit of it

The other trend one of my men-children exhibits is to talk either in “Muzza” language or like a “lad”.  God only knows why.  I can’t stand it when he does.  Thankfully nor can his “bro”!!!

As always, I do like to keep adding to the list, so those of you with men-children or the female equivalent (not sure what to call them actually – “women-children” doesn’t have quite the same ring) please drop me a line.

And for the benefit of your education, here’s the earlier lists:…-terms-part-ii/


Mother of a Man-Child: Teenage Glossary of Terms Part II December 17, 2010

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For all the parents out there who are feeling a bit “old” and trying to keep up with today’s lingo, I’ve done an update of men-children’s latest phrases, complete with English language translation.

  • Shoppo = Westfield Shoppingtown at Doncaster.   I don’t recall calling it that when I was a kid.
  • Munt = Vomit, Chuck, Spew.  First heard when my boys told me about the kid who “munted” all over someone’s shoes in the tram one morning on the way to school.   Poor thing!
  • Scairn = How’s it going.  Say it slowly, it’s a kind of morphed version of these words I kid you not.  It’s also the voicemail message on Man-Child I’s mobile.  Friendly isn’t it?
  • T-Hub = True.  No idea how they came up with this one.  Wonder what Telstra think of it?  To be honest they should take it as a compliment since I doubt they get many!
  • Dedubs = phonetic expression of DW, short for Don’t Worry.  Aren’t you glad I am helping you with this stuff.  🙂
  • MILF/SILF/TILF – okay, these ones are not good.  Some of you may know these terms.   I’m sorry but I can’t give you the translation on the blog they’re so revolting.  If you hear your sons or daughters using them, whack first, ask questions later is my only advice.   Or if you know me, give me a call and I’ll explain them to you personally.
  • Dubstf – a bit like “Dedubs” above.  Short for WTF.  And that’s short for What The F&%K people.
  • Sheila, biddy = girl.   Earlier version was Mint Biddy = good looker.
  • Slappa = Bad girl.  “Slut” as we called it in my day.  What I refer to now as Skanky Ho and a term my husband hates me using – but it’s oh so apt sometimes.
  • Chin-Up Cuz = Stop “arking” up, or Chill.
  • Neck-Up Mutt = As above.  Can be shortened to Neck-Up.

So there you have it, the latest glossary of terms.  Just trying to keep you in the loop so you’re up with the program Bro!

Trust me though, these terms all sound really, really daggy when they come from the mouths of anyone who is over the age of 20.  So don’t even go there.

If you have any other gems to add to the list, drop me a line.  Once I’ve collected the next lot I’ll publish Glossary of Terms III.

And if you want to further your education, here’s the earlier article:


Mother of a Man-Child: Be Alert But Not Alarmed! December 3, 2010

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Sometimes my men-children will share some random piece of information with me.  At the time, I typically think nothing of it, said information being fairly innocuous, but some days later, it’s more than likely that small but important piece of data will be linked to an event, and all the pieces will fall into place!

Here’s a recent example of the plotting and under-handedness of my men-children.  As is the practice in private schools, as we all know, the more you pay, the less time they attend.  So as we approach the end of their school term and the year, exams have been finished (that was a painful period trust me) and they are preparing for two months holiday (geez, I’ll be lucky to ever see long service leave and they get this every year).

Man-Child I casually mentioned to me the other day that his teacher had told them:  “Off the record boys, as next week is the last week of school, it doesn’t really matter if you come to school or not on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, but make sure you’re here for Monday (results day) and Friday (last day).”

My first thought – well, that’s a fabulous attitude to have in a school with fees the size of the national debt of Greece!  My second thought –  hell no, I want to reduce their school holidays, not increase them.

So my response to my son:  “You are going to school next week.  Every day.  I think that’s the wrong attitude for your teacher and the school to have.  Blah, Blah…….”  No doubt I ranted for a few minutes, as I tend to do, and no doubt Man-Child I stopped listening after the first 5 seconds.  But really, the message was pretty simple.  Go. To. School.

Hence you can imagine my surprise earlier this week when I received a call from Man-Child II.  He was at a school, but apparently his brother was not.  Upon the Head of Middle School noticing this, he asked my son where his twin brother was.  And realizing he had not attended school, simply said “Ring your Mother”.    Now for those who are wondering, the Head of Middle School happens to know us and our sons particularly well, having had several visits to his office during the year.  And clearly he knows who the boss is in our place – good call!

So I ring Father of a Man-Child first, to check what he knows about this situation.  He assures me that he told him to go to school, having found him lolling about in bed well after he should have headed to school.

Next I ring Man-Child I, who naturally doesn’t pick up the home phone or mobile.  So I text him:  “Get your arse to school.  You don’t have permission to stay home.  Call me ASAP”.  Reply:  “I’m at (Aunt’s) house, doing work for her.  I told Dad that.  And my form teacher even said it’s up to you and you parents if you come to school, ‘cause today we don’t do anything.”

So here’s the thing.  I obviously didn’t approve and had made my intentions pretty clear last week.  Father of a Man-Child didn’t approve, but clearly didn’t put his foot down quite strongly enough, and so Man-Child I takes the usual liberty and decides for himself that he now has tacit approval from said parent not to attend school.  Grrrr.

The up-shot of all this.  I eventually spoke to Man-Child I on the phone, and told him to get to school (insert very colourful language by mother at this point of the conversation).  He finished the job he was doing, and headed home only to discover himself locked out of the house.  Naturally he had left his house key and brain cells at home earlier that morning.  So he never made it to school.

Mother of a Man-Child:  0.  Man-Child I:  1.  Damn, I so hate to lose.  And am now giving Father of a Man-Child lessons in how to be much a much more hard-nosed parent – problem being he’s always been a softy, so it’s a bit of a stretch.  Hence it invariably falls to me “Gina” (the hard-faced-bitch) every time.

PS.  In case you’re wondering, no that is not a picture of me in the photo – I look far younger!!!   LOL!


Mother of a man-child: The self “tattoo-ing” trend June 11, 2010

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In all societies there are cultural mores and traditions, language dialects, dress code and physical markings that can serve to distinguish one culture from another.   And within cultures, there are sub-cultures, again each often distinguishable from other groups through their physical appearances and language.

And so it is with teenagers, with a defined “look” and language marking each type of group, albeit the look is often a “uniform” they wear and so in looking different they all look the same, in order to belong.  Girls in short denim shorts, boys in skin-tight mid-butt jeans, hair just so.  In fact not much has changed from when I was a teenager wearing the same skin-tight jeans funnily enough.

There is however a disturbing trend we recently discovered that is clearly a cultural behaviour, but one that alarmed me so much I contacted the school to alert them (oh yes, you can imagine how popular that made me at home can’t you?).  The trend is a form of tatoo-ing, whereby young boys use cans of deodorant to literally burn themselves, thereby creating a scar on their inner arm.   I first noticed it on Man-Child II, who had two burns, one on his inner arm, and one on the top of his hand. Both very nasty, inflamed and scabbed.  I naturally asked what had happened, and was mortified and gob-smacked to learn a friend of his had encouraged him to do it to himself.  I quote:  “You what???  If (nameless friend) had asked you to jump off the West Gate would you?  What sort of idiot are you?  He’s not to welcome to our house again…….(mother continues ranting for at least another five minutes – you get the picture I am sure).

I have since noticed many of my sons friends that have the same markings.  Each time I make a point of letting them know I have seen the scars, so they know I am well aware of it.  I don’t expect they give two hoots about my view, but I still want them to know that I’m not blind to this behaviour.  I find this sort of self-mutilation quite disturbing amongst young boys and certainly can’t recall any similar activities amongst my peers when I was a teenager.  It makes body piercings seem banal doesn’t it?  My only hope is that this is the worst sort of tattoo they will ever have – the alternative is a lot more permanent.


Deciphering Man-Child language April 16, 2010

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We all know the language used by teenagers – normally a grunt and some incomprehensible words if you are lucky.  Oh and maybe a passing text message if they think you might like to know their whereabouts.  And a “pleeeaaaasssse” said ever so sweetly when suddenly they want something, or need a lift somewhere, or extra pocket-money, or are in trouble at school and want a note for the teacher.

I am always amused by the TV ad for Nutrigrain that features a young 14-year-old surfer, grunting so sweetly at his smiling mother whilst they translate on the screen for the audience.  I guess it’s funny, except it’s so far removed from reality for this mother of teenage children that it’s almost offensive that they’ve laced this situation with saccharine.  I guess since I worked in advertising for more than 15 years I’m the ultimate cynic and the harshest critic when it comes to a slice of reality in advertising.

Anyway, in the interests of my audience I thought it might be useful to provide you with a glossary of terms that our teenage children are currently using, so you can at least attempt to decipher some of their mutterings, and maybe, just maybe, not embarrass them with your “old-fashioned” sayings – yes something our children often comment on – talk about make you feel ancient!

Here’s the current list, which I may need to add to over time.  And credit where it’s due – this was put together with the assistance of Man-Child I and Man-Child II.

  • CBS = Can’t be stuffed
  • Tank = Buff.  (In my day “tanked” = pissed)
  • Tight = Strict.  (In my day “tight” or “tight-arse” = someone who was not generous with their money)
  • Rents = Parents.  Yep, that’s us……LOL
  • Scarn (said bogan style)  = What’s going on?  This is currently the voice mail message of Man-Child I – not very polite is it?
  • Mint Biddy = Good looking girl.  Guess it’s the opposite of old biddy – at least the biddy bit hasn’t changed!
  • Youse arkin’? = Are you arking up?  (Interpretation – messing up)
  • G-Fez = Glenferrie Road.  Sounds like a strange sort of hat if you ask me.

There are another couple of acronyms, but not appropriate on the WWW.  But trust me, if you hear your kids say or use the phrase “DMC”, whack them first, ask questions later.  🙂