Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

Mother of a Man-Child now in print! September 17, 2017

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Book blog postSo, I finally did it!  As I promised to my men-children when they turned 18, I have indeed published the Mother of a Man-Child blog as a printed, actual, fair dinkum 448-page book – how cool is that people!!!

I am pretty pleased with myself I must say, having navigated the complexities of the Amazon self-publishing platform, and actually organised the entire thing myself, from the extraction of the blog content, the creation of a manuscript, the countless hours of editing required for a book, and also a cover design.

Many, many hours later, a few phone calls to the US along the way, several rounds of proofing (thanks Dad) and I finally have my Mother of a Man-Child book.  I have hesitantly sold some copies to friends and colleagues and so far the feedback has been fantastic!!  Which is a seriously huge thrill, and so encouraging that I have now listed the book for sale on Amazon.  Yep, that’s right, a published author on Amazon.

For people who stumble upon my blog here and want to actually purchase the book, please use this link to place an order: Mother of a Man-Child Book Order

For me, one of the highlights of publishing the book was in fact feedback from one of the men-children.  He started reading the book, and on night one I got this text message:  “Been reading your book……fascinating and quite funny. Really enjoying it. Well done!!”

And on night two, another text message followed:  “200 pages down in your book!  Most reading I’ve done all year.  It’s really cool to read about my teenage years and see things from your perspective.  Truly amazing and generations will love this book. 🙂 “

So, don’t take my word for it, take those of a 21-year-old former man-child and now wonderful adult male who I am so proud of (ditto his twin brother).  After that wonderful feedback, I am totally happy if I never sell another book (but it would be a bonus if I do).

If you do buy my book, I would love to know what you think.  And if you were kind enough to leave a review on Amazon I would be forever grateful.

Happy reading! 🙂

Mother of a Man-Child.

 

 

 

 

Driving us crazy October 18, 2013

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mini cooper, carAs the boys 18th birthday inches closer the frequency of our discussions about first cars escalates. Naturally, having twin boys, our discussions are made more complex, particularly because their current situations are so different, so we don’t even really have the option of them sharing an old bomb (god forbid!!!).

One, set to be an apprentice carpenter very soon, has his heart set on a Ute from day one, and to be honest, this seems like a practical option, as he will likely need to drive to be on-site every day, so helping him buy a car is not out of the question – especially since he will be earning money.

His twin brother on the other hand, still at school, with another year to go, also thinks he should have a car – to drive himself to school!!!!  Well, you can imagine how that conversation went down recently.  As we drove somewhere, he casually asked if I might hand over my almost 10 year old (but very good) car recently, and buy myself a new one – no reason, except so that he could have mine.  Hmmm, the conversation went something like this, quickly deteriorating:

Man-Child (MC): Can you give me this car, and buy a new one?

Mother of Man-Child (MoM): What, I don’t need a new car.  No, you’re not getting this one, it’s worth too much money for a first car.  And it’s still under lease anyway.

MC: Well, I will need a car when I turn 18.  Don’t ruin my life by not giving me one! (Insert hideous sense of entitlement by very spoiled brat).

MoM: Hmmm, so he who has NO casual job, earns no money, and lives off his parents generosity, somehow expects us to GIVE him a car, and to then PAY to fill the petrol tank each week?  Do you know how much a tank of petrol actually costs?  What about that registration sticker on the windscreen?

MC:  (Mini rant follows with various reasons why he should receive a car). You have no idea….things have changed……all my friends have cars…..I NEED a car to get to school, and home from rowing or footy……you can afford it……..I will speak to Dad.

MoM: Son, you need to understand, we are trying to teach you the value of money.  GIVING you a car teaches you nothing. We all earned money and bought our own shit heaps, not a $10-20K first car.  And we will not be giving you a car to drive to school – you can keep getting the tram next year.  Of course, you are free to drive our cars on the weekend, provided we don’t need them.

MC: Deadly silence now in car, smoke coming out his ears. Hatred for mother, who is far too pragmatic and reasonable, and tight with her money.

MoM: (As we arrive at his mate’s place and pull up behind a car with P-plates)  Is that car there the “farm-car” your friend got when he turned 18?  (Shock in voice and on face as I look at a very new looking twin cab ute and think his friend is very very lucky).

MC: Yeah, what’s wrong with that?  See, he got a good car (and of course that totally justifies why MC should also get one).

Now don’t get me wrong.  I would love to give our boys a car for their 18th birthday.  Even a car each.  But I just don’t think it will teach them much about money and how you earn it to get what you want in life.  The perfect scenario for me (not them) would be someone’s grandparent with a great old car stuck in a garage that they want $2K for, with a gazillion miles on the clock and a reliable engine.  Nothing too fancy, even better if it can’t go over 80 KMH. 🙂

So, what was the upshot of my discussions with MC you ask?  Well apparently he has spoken to Father of a Man-Child, and they have brokered a deal.  From what I can gather (having been told it’s NONE of my business), I think he’s been told he will have free access to his Father’s brand new car, thereby satisfying some of his wants and desires (and ego).  The reality is, he doesn’t need it at school, and he doesn’t need it on weekends when they are out drinking, so I’m not sure when he really will use it, but since we seem to have some peace on the car front I am not complaining.

So what are your thoughts?  Am I being a horrible parent, not buying my son/s a car when they turn 18?  Or am I right to make them understand they need to pay for it, and fund it’s running costs and maintenance?

Over the years, I have written about them driving before, including when they first got their L-Plates, and also when they decided to try joy riding!!!  Read on.

https://motherofamanchild.com/2013/02/01/joy-riding-men-children-not-happy/

https://motherofamanchild.com/2012/03/23/are-we-breeding-spoilt-teenagers/

https://motherofamanchild.com/2012/03/16/beep-beep-get-off-the-road/

 

Beep, Beep. Learner Alert! March 16, 2012

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L PlateThe boys are now 16 as you know.  Which means they can now get their L-Plates, or “Learners”, i.e. a permit to allow them to sit behind the wheel of a car and DRIVE!  Gulp.  I don’t remember being 16 when we got our L-Plates.  Help me friends – weren’t we 17?

Naturally there was enormous pressure to get their L’s on the day of their birthday – but thankfully with Rowing Nationals immediately after their birthday it was just too hard to organise and we just couldn’t get them to Vic Roads.  So it will be next week – a whole two weeks after their birthday (you would think we made them wait TWO YEARS the way one of them carried on).

As you can imagine, I am just thrilled at the prospect of being a passenger with a 16-year-old man-child driving.   One of the boys tells me his mate got his licence and drove the car home straight from Vic Roads – What!!  The same one got all excited about driving us to rowing up at Nagambie in a few weekends.  Not on your Nelly I said.  It’s a two-hour drive, with your grandfather, me and your father in the car, and your brother’s girlfriend.  I don’t think so!  Let’s get a few kms (like more than two) under your belt before we go for the long distance drive.

He rightly predicted that I will be the panic-stricken mother every time one of them drives, and that Father of a Man-Child will be as cool as a cucumber, with complete faith in their driving skills.  To be fair one has done a bit of driving on a friend’s farm – let’s hope he can still remember what he learned.

I assume the reason they now get their L’s at 16 is so they have plenty of time to clock up the mandatory hours before they can get their full probationary licence, a practice I fully endorse.  For the twins, I’ve already enquired to find out about getting their mandatory hours reduced, on the basis there are two of them, and it will take us a long time to get them the hours they require.  It’s quite legit to apply apparently, provided you can demonstrate you have made as much effort as possible to get a lot of hours logged for each of them.

Yes, I know, some of you will be saying why did you let them know about the get-out clause, what a great excuse to keep them “practising” for years!  There is upside and method in my madness – when they have their licence, we can call on them to drive us around – they get the hours now, we get a cheap taxi later.  Bring it on!

So, anyone up for offering them driving lessons? 🙂

The boys started talking about getting their licence six months ago.  Read more here: Men-Children in motor cars – yikes!

 

Understanding Women – Tips for Men-Children February 10, 2012

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A (male) colleague sent me some information the other day that I thought was incredibly accurate.  It was called “Nine words women use” and described perfectly nine phrases often used by women and the real meaning behind each phrase (kindly translated for men).  Naturally I sent it to Father of a Man-Child and also several girlfriends.  It wasn’t until my blogging friend Mother Who Works suggested I share this wisdom with the Men-Children that I thought to publish it for the benefit of an even wider group.

So here you are, a rare but useful insight into women, the words they use, and what they really mean!

NINE WORDS WOMEN USE

  1. Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
  2. Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means half an hour.  Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
  3. Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.
  4. Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don’t Do It!
  5. Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)
  6. That’s Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That’s okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
  7. Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you’re welcome. (I want to add in a clause here – This is true, unless she says ‘Thanks a lot’ – that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say ‘you’re welcome’. That will bring on a ‘whatever’).
  8. Whatever: Is a woman’s way of saying F– YOU!
  9. Don’t worry about it, I’ll do it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing herself. This will later result in a man asking ‘What’s wrong?’ For the woman’s response refer to # 3.

If you find this rings true, feel free to share this wisdom with men and/or men-children you know, to warn them about arguments they can avoid if they remember the terminology.  More than likely they won’t remember it, but like Pavlov’s salivating dogs, they will learn over time what each phrase actually means.

Of course you can also share it with your female friends, who will enjoy a knowing smile, because they recognise just a little bit of themselves in it. 🙂

 

Mother of a Man-Child’s Top 10 Posts December 23, 2011

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As I post this week, I am celebrating a small milestone – 100 posts by Mother of a Man-Child.  Every Friday, for almost two years now, I have shared a little story about our life with the Men-Children (and not to be forgotten Sister of a Man-Child).

It all began with this story (All In Good Taste), which was really the inspiration for my blog in the first place.  I was so outraged at the behaviour of my teenage son, and no doubt the lack of control that I was facing, that it suddenly occurred to me to write about my experience, in order to vent my frustration, and for my own amusement.

I have had almost 6,000 views of my blog in that time, from a small but growing audience.  I have rarely been short of material, thanks solely to the Men-Children who are a constant source of inspiration for my writing.  I have also thoroughly enjoyed the comments from you, my readers, and the regular feedback.  It’s always nice to know people enjoy reading my stories. 🙂

To celebrate my little milestone, here’s 10 of my favourite posts.  The ones that caught my eye as I recalled what we’ve endured and/or survived over the last two years.  As it’s Christmas and we’re off on another Griswald Family Holiday, I’ll be having a short break from Mother of a Man-Child, but I’ll return early in 2012, no doubt with some more news of the Men-Children’s adventures from our next holiday!  Enjoy.

  1. Argue this logic (boys are NOT on the same wave-length as their Mother)
  2. Uninvited guests after midnight (what happens when you find four strange girls in your home at 3am)
  3. An arresting story (a close call for a shop-lifting man-child)
  4. The self-tattooing trend (sometimes teenagers are idiots)
  5. New Years Eve at Portsea (like Mother like Son, the attraction remains)
  6. A Princess Tale (a story about Sister of a Man-Child, in sharp contrast to the Men-Children)
  7. Sleeping over at a GIRL’S house (at 14 not my ideal scenario)
  8. Freezing on Cadet camp (a lesson learned for our stubborn man-child)
  9. Plains, Trains and Automobiles (what happens when your man-child is stuck in Adelaide for a week)
  10. Drug and Alcohol Education (our first experience with a dope-smoking son)

As always, feel free to share my posts with friends or relatives (or a publisher if you know one!).

Wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas and a wonderful start to 2012.

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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:

https://motherofamanchild.com/2010/12/17/mother-of-a-ma…-terms-part-ii/ 

https://motherofamanchild.com/2010/04/16/deciphering-man-child-language/