Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

From Boys to Bogans? December 16, 2011

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rats tail hairIn what can only be described as a worrying trend, I think my men-children are showing Bogan tendencies.  The only comfort I can take in this is that they are not alone.  In fact they are joining a growing number of their school friends with body piercings and a “ratty” hairstyle which seems to be the current trend.

For those of us old enough to remember, the “ratty” style harks from the disgusting “rats tail” trend that was worn by Bogans in the 80’s.  They would cut their hair short, with the exception of a long piece of hair that was left at the nape of the neck.  It was often plaited for effect (and not any prettier trust me), and sadly was a trans-gender style worn by Bogan men and women alike!!  If I am honest I may have had a VERY SMALL ratty myself which was very tasteful of course at the height of this trend. 🙂

One of the men-children recently had his brother use the clippers to cut his hair, leaving a delightful “ratty” at the back.  Fortunately, it’s not quite as long as the original version, more a short stumpy version, but nevertheless quite ridiculous.  Apparently it’s all the rage at school, and most likely they are emulating many of the young footballers, who all sport similar styles.  Now I think of it, most of them are Bogans at heart aren’t they?

Our other man-child has recently renewed his requests (read badgering) to be allowed an eyebrow piercing.  The last time he asked, we did suggest he could have one if he chose to have his private parts pierced simultaneously.  This time, he started quoting the fact that at 16 years old he could do as he pleased in relation to body piercing (a fact I must check).  Father of a Man-Child, for reasons completely unfathomable to all of us, seems to think a tattoo is a much better idea???  Even the man-child couldn’t understand this logic, and I don’t think his father was using reverse psychology.   Let’s face it, at least you can take out the stud from your eyebrow, but the tattoo on your arm or leg is slightly more permanent!  And whilst the school should BAN all visible piercings in my view, it seems they will allow a clear stud in one’s eyebrow whilst in uniform.  We did try to encourage piercing the earlobe over the eyebrow, but he seems adamant on the latter.

I do recall my nephews now in their mid-20’s both had piercings in their eyebrows shortly after they left school, a fact that their Mother and Grandfather were both appalled by.  God only knows how that same Grandfather will respond to the almost 16 year old man-child having one when he attends the same school his Grandfather did, and where the latter currently enjoys a well-earned reputation.  Oh dear.

So it seems I have a couple of Bogan men-children.  Given the odd hair styles I have seen created by their friends at our house, I have no doubt my boys are not alone in pursuing their “individual” styles, which are really just designed to ensure they conform with all their teenage friends, and demonstrate some anti-establishment, rebellious behaviour like we all did a few decades ago.

I promise to share photos if and when the eyebrow finally gets pierced!

Read our last discussion about eyebrow piercings here.


Do The Men-Children Actually LIKE Each Other? July 15, 2011

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yin and yangAs those who know my men-children will tell you, they are extremely different.  Not just in looks but also in personality.  They have different friends, are quite opposite in their natural strengths, have diverse interests (except playing sport), have completely different fashion approaches, and like all siblings they fight a lot.

This year a couple of their individual friends moved to a different school together.  Not surprisingly new allegiances have been formed amongst these boys, thrown together in a new environment, and as a result new relationships have developed with my men-children.  One day I seemed to have one man-child talking about a mate regularly that plays in the same sports team, the next week he’s here with my other man-child and moreover now seems to be a permanent fixture with the latter.

The big surprise came when Man-Child II asked if he could stay over at a friend’s – who just happened to be the BFF (“Best Friends Forever”) of Man-Child I – go figure!  I was so taken aback I said he could stay as long as he told his brother first – I thought that was at least fair.  Man-Child I didn’t seem to mind at all.  And went so far as to lend his twin brother a jumper – yet another first in our household.  Trust me normally there’s a complete shit fight over the Bonds jocks, school shirts, footy shorts, Skins, and socks every morning – they just don’t do the sharing thing well at all.

So whilst my boys show disdain for each other often, at least at home, obviously their friends find them both good guys, and maybe not so different after all?  Or they enjoy their differences and uniqueness, just as they do with all their friends.

So is this a sign of things to come?  A new era of loving, sharing, caring men-children?  Based on the fighting going on upstairs at the moment and the charming language filtering down the stairs whilst I write this post, I very much doubt it.  But hey, mother of a man-child is always open to surprises. 🙂

Read more about the boys “play-fighting” here:  Testosterone Power Surge in Melbourne Suburb



Mother of a Man-Child: Is Cheap, Is Good! November 19, 2010

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Man-Child I recently ventured to the Spring Carnival.  This was the second year he’d attended the races, this year on his own with some mates.  Off he went looking every bit the dandy – gel in hair, pink shirt and tie and his navy pin-striped suit.   A suit that cost him $20 at the opp-shop – don’t you love it!

Of course when the idea of the races was initially raised, it was first of all about securing a ticket.  And not just any ticket, of course it had to be one that got you into the member’s section, and all the right car parks.  Fortunately, my father is a member and so was able to purchase one for him – so step one of the plan was achieved.

Second step of the plan was what to wear – no questions here.  Every 14-year-old boy in the members is decked out in a suit – and Man-Child I had similar intentions.  Unfortunately for me, the suit he’d worn two years ago was just a little too tight owing to a massive, but natural growth spurt (even Warwick Capper wouldn’t have worn it).

This first suit I actually picked up at an opp shop for $20, when Man-Child I needed it for a Year 6 school play.  I couldn’t believe when I found it, because it literally was a boy’s suit, rather than a man’s suit.  It fitted him like a glove – if I’d told someone it was tailor-made they would have believed me.  In Year 6, you can imagine all his mates thought his suit was awesome, and therefore all started visiting opp shops to find their own suits – alas to no avail.

Wind the clock forward, we’re now at a nice private school, with some moneyed friends, and the opp-shop option, or god forbid “borrowing” one is now apparently out of the question!!!   Grrrr.  My case was not helped by Father of a Man-Child telling him of course he could hire a suit so he looked like the stud he is and could pick up chics at the races.  Fabulous!  That’s male bonding for you.  Of course neither of them remembered it cost $80 for the privilege.

So off goes Man-Child I with a mate to hire said suit after I reluctantly agreed.  Naturally I receive the call about five minutes later from the store.  He doesn’t want the $80 plain black suit, he wants the $130 pin-stripe suit – I just HATE being fleeced.  Again, I reluctantly agree, recalling myself how important it is to look good and fit in when you’re 14.  He proudly shows me at home what he’s hired.  His mate is fortunate that his parents have agreed to buy him one as he had a few functions he can wear it to in coming months.

However, to Man-Child I’s absolute credit, and my delight, he tells me a day later he’s found a suit he thinks will fit – at an opp-shop.  I am thrilled – not just at saving money, but that he actually considered this was an option and got off his butt to look.  I asked if his friend was with him at the time, he admitted no, but was not at all too proud to tell him of his great find.  So he’s both smart and humble – now we’re getting somewhere people!!

Father of a Man-Child was able to check it out the next day and it turns out it was a pretty decent suit for $20.  So he bought it on the spot.  Now I must admit, by the time we paid for it to be dry-cleaned, and have the pants taken up and in at the waist a little, it set us back about $80 all up.  But for $80 Man-Child I now has a suit that will do him (or Man-Child II for that matter) for the next two years.  You don’t have to be Einstein to know we’re way ahead already.  And just quietly, I’m pretty miffed that common sense prevailed at the end of the day.  Just one of many lessons to be learned.

PS.  Post a long Saturday at the races, and a rather social Sunday for Man-Child I, he complained he was tired on Sunday evening and couldn’t possibly attend school rowing training on Monday morning with a 6am start.   He learned another quick lesson from me – your choice to have a busy social life does not mean you can elect to avoid any other responsibilities, especially school!  Who lets’ their kids get away with this stuff?




Welcome to my blog January 22, 2010

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For those who are wondering what this blog is about, I am the mother of twin teenage boys, who are almost 14 years old, as well as a 6 year old (heaven-sent) daughter. Following yet another discussion (or as he would say lecture) with my “man-child” it occurred to me that if this was happening to someone else it would actually be funny.

So I was inspired to start this blog, with a view to sharing some funny anecdotes with my friends, welcoming feedback and comments, other stories and experiences that might actually make me feel a little normal – because more often than not I feel like an impostor standing in my mothers shoes delivering home truths to teenage boys who look at me with such contempt sometimes I feel like shriveling up and dying.

To be fair, I seem to have one “man-child” currently (I do think he is actually 13 going on 23) and one quite normal teenager, who seems content to do normal teenage things.

Maybe it’s because I am a twin myself, now observing my very different twin boys, that it seems such an interesting study in human nature and the role of nurture versus nature.

Anyway, here goes my blog. It’s definitely not twitter (honestly for me a complete “twat”) but an opportunity for me to vent occassionally and hopefully amuse some of my friends. That said, this blog is designed to be largely anonymous, in the interests of protecting my sons from the embarassment of their clearly disturbed mother.

I hope you enjoy my stories and occasional rants. I for one am hoping it will prove to be largely cathartic. 🙂