Wednesday, 18 July 2012

I've become a stereotype.


I've become a stereotype
20 March 2012
I can honestly say that all my life, I wanted to be a Mommy.  I have always had a passion and deep love for children.  My highest ambition was always to be a mommy to as many children as possible.  My mom also concurs that I’ve always loved children and often speaks of how I helped with my brother and sister when they were little, as well as various cousins in my large and extended family.  As a teenager, babysitting was a natural progression for me as a source of income and a sort of training ground for later in life when I was a mommy.  I had very high expectations, yet I was not disappointed when I became a mom.   One simply can’t comprehend the level and depth of love that you are capable of until you have a child.  It is the most humbling experience when another helpless little person is completely and utterly reliant on you.  And for the first few years small children absolutely worship their mommies and truly think that their mommies can cure any ail and surely is able to walk on water.  As a mommy you get to do lots of fun things – blow bubbles, sing nursery rhymes, read stories to eager young minds, skip, make faces on sandwiches, lie on your back and look up at the clouds pondering on what they look like, experience so many things through the eyes of a child, the wonder of nature, the joy of cuddles and sticky hugs and kisses, tent houses, kiddie shows, Saturday morning cartoons, picnics, etc. etc. etc.

But now I’ve found myself crossing over into a twilight zone – I’ve become a…….PARENT (dreaded, hushed, horror-filled silence).  That most awful of things.  And it seems that I’ve reached the pinnacle of parenthood, namely parenting a…….TEENAGER (You know that horrible sound when someone scrapes their nails across a blackboard?  Well multiply by one hundred and you get the general gist of things.).  I have turned into a stereotype overnight.

I find myself saying phrases like “Who do you think you are?”, “Don’t speak to me like that!”, “Stop mumbling”, “Do your homework”, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.  It is utterly tedious, but at the same time I am revelling in it.  My fourteen year old little Luke is just so predictably miserable.  I comfort myself with the fact that he has also turned into a stereotype, continually saying phrases like “It’s so unfair”, “You’re always picking on me”, “I’m always the only one that’s in trouble”, etc. etc. etc.  He slouches around, shoulders hunched, dragging his feet, sighing.  He mumbles, eats us out of house and home, complains about the boring food we eat, how strict we are, how he’s always THE ONLY ONE who doesn’t have……, how EVERYONE always has….., how he needs more branded clothing, a bigger bike, new shoes, a haircut, no, he actually doesn’t like his hair being cut, money, new computer games, a bigger room, a proper swimming pool, he wants to live in Somerset West, blah, blah, blah. 

He is a ridiculously soft target for my merciless teasing and I must be honest – I find it very hard to resist.  When he goes into a whinge about something pathetic I always encourage him with uplifting words like “come on, put some effort into it, you’re still looking far too happy”, “careful, you might look happy by accident”, “at least do a miserable face with feeling”, “you’re not putting enough effort into”, “slouch, boy, slouch”.  He finds it extremely annoying.  He normally lets his mask slip when this happens, giving a faint smile, but I’ve warned him, that he shouldn’t get into the habit.  They might revoke his teenage licence, after all.  Can you imagine the effort it takes to put on this nonchalant façade all the time?

He absolutely lives for his friends, sport and the fun they have at school.  I don’t  think that he’s joined the dots yet and knows that school is actually about getting an education.  At the moment it’s all about seeing his mates, annoying teachers, causing chaos and having fun.  We’re in the first term of high school and Luke has already had detention and has had loads of writing out to do in punishment.  I think that secretly he loves the notoriety that comes with being naughty.  It’s “cool” to be “bad”.  Everyone is a “faggot” according to him.  This in no way reflects on a person’s sexual proclivity, but more on them being an idiot or loser in his mind.  At a guestimate, I’d say that there’s probably about fifty cool people (him and his buddies – the anointed few) and the rest of the known universe is filled with faggots.

The other day he sent me a message after school to ask me to fetch him early as he’d been sent home from cricket practice.  When I asked him why he got sent home from practice, this was his response:  “That Mr Muller is such a faggot.  He sent me home from cricket practice, because I didn’t have my cricket kit with me.” .  Uh, duh!!!  How unreasonable of Mr Muller to not allow Luke to follow the rules, thereby allowing him to do cricket practice in his grey shorts, white button collared shirt, long grey socks, school blazer and grasshopper shoes.  What manner of beast is he?  The injustice of it all.

I also find the complete self-absorption delightful.  It’s all about Luke.  His life, his stomach, his friends, his sport, his clothing, his lack of money, …….  It completely blows his mind that we are so extremely thick and dense.  What is wrong with us that we don’t like driving him around all the time, giving him more money, getting him cooler stuff, letting him go to bed late, allowing him to leave a project to the last minute?  Parents truly are the pits.  If it wasn’t for the “okay” food and the roof over his head, he certainly wouldn’t be here with us. 

His dream is to get rid of his bunk bed and have a double mattress on the floor in his room.  I’ve told him it’s a marvellous idea.  It will be so much fun for him and his buddy Timothy to spoon together when Tim sleeps over.  His room is too light and his duvet is too small.  His sports bag is too big, his wishes he had the smaller one.  He needs a new costume now, when we’re going into winter as well as a few pairs of shorts.  This morning he whinged because I never bought him a cricket uniform this season.  The reason I never bought him a cricket uniform, which would have set me back about R500, is because he played shockingly at cricket trials in the beginning of the year and only made it to the C-team.  All the C-team did this term was have half-hearted practice sessions.  They never played a single match.  Not even against the B-team.  However this morning, Luke had a long whinge about how I should have bought him the cricket uniform as they’re doing the sports photo’s at school today and he needs to wear a cricket uniform for the photo.  I would like to point out again that they only practiced this term, had no matches and that practices finished two weeks ago already.  My response was that he should put some real effort into looking miserable and unjust and borrow a uniform from a friend in the A or B team for the photo.  You know the photo that he would not like to own because he’s only in the C-team.  Go figure!

Maybe I can wind him up a bit this afternoon by calling him Lukie, or playing the music loudly when I pick him up at school, wave at him in front of his friends, blow kisses, hug him, open the door for him and carry his bag, ask him if he’s got a girlfriend, enquire about his day, …..  The possibilities are endless.

Come to think of it, at the moment I’ve got the best of both worlds.  I’m still very much Amber and Cole’s mommy, so I get to indulge in my softer side.  Cole thinks I’m the most beautiful woman around and the best mommy in the whole world and he continually tells me.  He thanks me for dropping him off at sport and for staying and watching him play.  Amber wants me to cuddle with her and for us to watch chick-flicks together and go dawdling at the shops.  She thinks I’m the best chef in the world, and so does Cole.  They also both think that I’m extremely clever and know absolutely everything – aaahhh, the honeymoon phase.  And then there’s my Lukie-Poo.  The most delightful of teenagers.  He actually still tells me lots, in his own good time and when he feels like sharing.  He’s closer to me than to Grant and confides in me at times.  He enjoys the fact that he’s bigger than Amber and Cole and that we often “get” things that the little ones don’t, like jokes, etc.  In short, I wouldn’t change a thing.  It absolutely rocks to be a parent as well as a mommy.  It’s all part of the learning curve and I can only imagine the “joys” Amber will give me as she gets older.

Kids – gotta love ‘em!

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