After all the cutesie baby pictures, and the aww sibling and dog relationships, and the snarky comments…….. There is a sometime idea that this blog is a communication for the kids to read someday when they decide to understand what went into parenting them more. Ok fine, it’s what I hope they will read and better understand of some of our parenting decisions (and headaches). That’s why this is “For when he becomes a teenager who knows everything.” (Sorry Little Miss, I’m still figuring if I can change that thing on top without contacting the site designer and well you’ve been keeping us up nights a lot…)
The idea gets reinforced every now and again one of our (older) friends with teenaged kids flags us to the fact their child has a major decision ahead of them and hopefully our opinion is sought. While it’s usually boring stuff like college majors or professions, occasionally we get one like “totaled his Beemer and is huffy about us refusing to spend huge amounts to fix it” – true story; it still amazes us because we knew Beemer Totaler for years, we had a lot of respect for his grounded-ness as a younger teen, and then suddenly there is Beemer Totaling Emotional Blackmail going on which just goes to show how these things can happen to almost anyone. (The parenting thing, not the Beemer Totaling thing and btw what bothers me is how he was driving to total it in the first place… Money aside, I would drag my heels about fixing it for that reason.)
So anyway It Begins. “It” being what happened when we escorted Rockstar to school and one of his classmates overheard him calling me “Mommy.”
Now, the reason this is even mildly interesting is because since he was about 3, Rockstar’s called me “Mum”. He is the antithesis to the Mummy’s Boy (darn), never even having a security blanket or soft toy, the only thing he ever did was slip a matchbox car – any matchbox car from a drawerful – in his pocket to entertain himself before leaving the house. That morphed into National Geographic Weird Facts or joke books and my cellphone apps as he got older. I think he picked up “Mommy” from his friends because most of the time he only uses it when they’re around.
So anyway he “Mommy”s me and one of his friends chips in, “Awww, Rockstar called you “Mommy!” As in ‘Mommy I love you’ Mommy!” (She later says she does it all the time…)
“I wish. Usually he just calls me ‘Mum’. As in, ‘Mum-this’. ‘Mum-that’. ‘Mum-why-is-this-like-that?’ I wish he’d go “Mommy I love you!” but he never does it.” <mock eye roll> The group laughs. I sneak a glance at my very thin-skinned son, and am halfway surprised how pleased I am at his approval of my answer.
I don’t know when it went out of fashion, the bit where your parents get to embarrass you all they want when you’re a kid. I remember a primary school classmate we all kinda felt sorry for, whose mum used to interrupt class goings-on to snap at him through the open class windows to sit straight, wipe the sweat off his face with his carefully laundered cotton handkerchief (WHO does that, I can barely remember to make sure Rockstar’s got a fresh supply of flushable wipes and Mucky Pups hand sanitizer “When I want to finish my lunch (off the bus after school so he doesn’t need to come back to eat before going out to play again), I need it, Mum.”) Even then that classmate of mine was the only one, but well I can’t even imagine that being done nowadays…
This is when it finally dawned on me how much it’s going to matter to Rockstar going forward, how I respond to his friends’ comments about us. As in, that they are actually going to expect a halfway intelligent answer.
…One of his friends then tells me he’s having a birthday party over the weekend and Rockstar’s got an invite.
“Oh, thank you, is there anything in particular you’d like for your birthday? What kind of stuff do you like?”
<long, thoughtful pause>
“I like snakes, lizards. Well……. reptiles. I guess….. a snake? Yeah, yeah how about a live one?”
ps: My response to the request for a live snake pressie was to explain the Unwritten Agreement Among Mummy Friends – you generally don’t gift your friend’s child live animal pets as a surprise…