Now before you panic, I’m not going to witter on about the joy that children bring into ones life, that goes without saying. I’m not going to bore you with stories of cuteness or amusing anecdotes. Oh no ladies not me. I’m going to share my horror stories with you in the hope you too can relate.
My children are adults, tall young men, which was a particular surprise to my husband as we are both on the ‘shorter’ side. At one stage he demanded to know ‘why are they still growing’ as they towered over him at 15 and 11.
Somewhere around this time the older one became infected with hormones and attitude, the like of which I’d never encountered. I recall my adolesent years being spent trying to find a cure (there was none) for greasy hair besides washing it daily and camouflaging my rampant acne. While listening to Janis Ian, singing Seventeen, which only made me fall into an adlosent depression. Then Joni Mitchell sang about real love. She sang of the sweet anguish of life and love, that I was sure one day I would understand. Yep that’s how old I am.
Like all parents we tried to give our boys what we never had, maybe we over did it. The one thing I gave our boys just as my grandmother gave us was the lecture about ‘the poor children’
‘What poor children’ the youngest would challenge me when he was five or six
‘I’ve never seen any poor children, bring them here and they can play with my toys and eat my vegetables’
I never did produce any poor children for him.
I traipsed around rugby and football clubs on the weekends only to banned by both of my sons. It seems it’s not very sportsman like to shout abuse at the enemy (the opposition) when they take out your son because he has the ball. Charging onto a field umbrella in hand shouting ‘Mere you ya little scut’ at a seven-year old is not the done thing.
As each birthday passed I subjected them to my Martha Stewart obsession, it lasted several years. I baked and made cards I threw parties and invited everyone from immediate family to school friends and occasionally neighbours. I would occasionally, when funds permitted, hire a clown or a magician I wanted them to remember each passing year with fondness, and I worked bloody hard at it. My home was full of Lego, plastic pirates, bikes and footballs even a skateboard, which the eldest went everywhere on.
As they got older they didn’t want any parties, or me for that matter making cakes and decorating the fence at the front of the house with giant balloons. So it was time to hand it over to them. They could tell me what they wanted and I’d try to oblige.
Yeah, sixteen rolled around for the eldest, acne had taken hold and then there was the adolescent moustache had appeared on his upper lip. His voice went up and down without warning and he was a decidedly awkward teenager.
‘Well sixteen’ I declared as he and his friend arrived home from school and stood in my kitchen, in retrospect they both looked a tad awkward sorta sheepish.
‘Well, what do you want for your birthday this year’ there I stood and waited for the ‘game for the Playstation’ or maybe ‘new phone’ possibly ‘some speakers’
‘Would a stripper be out of the question?’ he asked
‘Huh’ that’s all I could muster.
What the hell was going on here, my beautiful innocent child in his catholic school uniform asking. me, his mother, for a stripper.
‘A stripper ? A stripper ? like a Lego stripper’
‘No’ he wasn’t even embarrassed, unlike me.
‘A stripper, like a real stripper, stripper’
Ok the truth was I had no strategy for dealing with this situation. I’d no idea I’d have to deal with this at all.
‘You’re both too young to go to a strip club maybe you should wait until you’re both older’ There I’d sorted that or so I thought.
‘If money is the problem I can contribute’ his pal offered, who by the way was also in his catholic school uniform.
‘Let me understand this, cause I’m not sure I’m understanding this at all. You two, want me to hire a stripper for you. Where would this young lady ‘perform’.
‘Here’ eldest piped up
‘Here HERE in my kitchen’ I was pretty sure that Martha Stewart had never had a stripper in her kitchen.
Inside was the room the boys spent most of their time in and the floor was covered in cars and Lego. It was a kids room and now the eldest wanted to turn in into a ‘strip den’ I’d have to get a pole and a builder, even worse I couldn’t believe the thought crossed my mind.
‘Leave it with me’ sez I
They both disappeared upstairs and I stood there in my Martha Stewart apron bewildered. the two of them were probably in his room downloading porn from the internet and while smoking weed all while in their catholic school uniforms.
How did this happen how did he grow up so quickly, what had I done wrong, of course it was my fault. I didn’t notice that we were changing together, my facial hair growth matched his, my hormone imbalances were as wild as his.
So being the adult I needed to come up with a solution for the birthday dilemma that I was now faced with.
Guess what.. you won’t guess so I’ll tell you..
Lego do a Strip club. Who knew, you do now.
The Joy of Lego and children.