From smashing pottery to group sex to devil worship in 2 minutes, but that’s pre-teens for you.

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Apologies. This is supposed to look like a can of Lynx deodorant but looks more like a one-eyed robot stood beside a massive plum.

It is Thursday evening and I am watching my wife cook the tea; the tea I had promised to cook. It was a tense situation. I felt compelled to stay near her, so she knew I wasn’t off enjoying myself, but this was irritating her. The tension was momentarily suspended by my twelve-year-old son who shuffled in sheepishly and delved into the fridge. He looked submissive, like he’d done something bad and wanted to get the verbal roasting out of the way. The same look I was giving my wife.

Is something wrong?” I asked him.

Daaaad…” he said slowly and cautiously. I mentally ran through a list of ornaments I thought he’d broken, and put them in an ascending order of importance so that my reaction was proportionate.

I sort of accidentally…went to the woods with four girls. I was the only boy there.”

My wife swung round alarmingly fast and said to me: “I told you not to buy him that Lynx deodorant.” We all laughed nervously.

Over the past few weeks my son has been pestering me to buy him some Lynx deodorant. Male grooming is now the natural rite of passage for most boys, and I hear that even some remote Amazonian tribes have dispensed with circumcision rituals to mark the onset of manhood, and are now giving each other ‘Instinct by David Beckham’.

Watching a twelve-year-old boy apply deodorant is a real eye-opener. They have no concept of what is an appropriate amount to wear on a trip to the corner shop to buy fizzy dummies. I timed him yesterday and he held down the nozzle in the spray position for a jaw-dropping 14 seconds. As a result, my house smells like the Lynx testing facility and looks like a foggy London scene from an early Sherlock Holmes’ film.

My wife cautiously side-stepped me and positioned herself so that she could more easily waterboard my son to find out all about his ‘trip to the woods’.

What happened?” she asked in a cool mum voice. The kind of voice that would make a kid think it’s OK to describe how he had sex in the woods with four girls.

It was awful.” he replied. Not what I wanted to hear, but at least the ornaments were still in one piece.

It’s OK,” comforted my wife. “What happened?”

One of them started doing black magic. They were trying to summon up this spirit to move a pencil….and it did. The pencil moved!”

Emotionally, I was completely drained. I had gone from smashing pottery to group sex to devil worship in two minutes; but that’s pre-teens for you. It soon got worse. My wife appointed herself chief councillor and ushered him off to a separate room, which meant that I had to finish the tea.

Later that night I tucked myself into bed, turned off my wife’s Ipad, which was blasting a white light into her sleeping face, and then rolled over. Ten minutes later there was an apologetic knock at the door, followed by a strong waft of Lynx. A sheepish voice broke the fragile silence, “I’m scared,” it said. “Can I sleep in here with you tonight?” 

I woke up my wife, which startled her and she started screeching like a possessed witch. Trust me here, a startled wife is not something a boy needs to witness when he is looking for reassurance that demonic spirits don’t exist. Eventually, we both agreed that he could sleep at the foot of the bed in a sleeping bag.

My son zipped himself in tightly, as though someone had told him that spirits from the fourth dimension struggle to undo zips. I spent a long time trying to reassure him, so much time in fact that I was starting to get annoyed. Eventually, I sensed that he was only half-reassured, so I took this as an opportunity to turn off the light. Darkness wrapped its ominous cloak around us.

A few moments later he piped up: “Dad, how do you know ghosts aren’t real and they won’t get me?”

Because they’re all allergic to Lynx. Now go to sleep!”

I have since found out that my son was referring to this, the latest internet Mexican demon summoning craze….http://dailym.ai/1duC96r

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16 thoughts on “From smashing pottery to group sex to devil worship in 2 minutes, but that’s pre-teens for you.

    • haha, poor dog. I was walking round with a pie yesterday and I accidentally walked into his spray zone and it went all over my pie. Tasted awful

  1. Top post, Julian. Yep, Lynx for my youngest as well – no doubting when he’s coming downstairs… But Beloved Daughter was much worse – remember when she discovered perfume. Bedroom was like a chemical warfare experiment. But far better Lynx and perfume than Smelly Teenager Syndrome.
    And best of luck with the group sex. What is that by the way?

    • Thanks Mark. Group sex, not sure what it is but I overheard my missus talking about how much she likes it so I’ll have to ask her.

  2. Brilliant. I can completely relate. I have a 13-year old with currently…get this…..7 cannisters of Lynx on his bedside table. All of varying choking flavours!!

  3. Oh god I’ve always wanted to protect my daughter, but as my son grows up and I see how completely in charge the girls are on the playground I fear for him. Lynx is going to be the least of his problems!

    • Totally agree. The girls in my son’s class were always several steps ahead and ran rings round the boys. They all had instagram accounts a good year before the boys, and then the boys posted loads of ‘daring’ instagram shots to impress the girls. Found one pic of my son standing on the neighbour’s roof extension. I recognised the roof because I replaced the guttering for them.

  4. Oh god, I’m probably going to panic too if my daughter tells me that she “accidentally” went to the woods with her friends and that there was also a boy involved. Thank goodness she’s only 4, and hopefully it won’t ever happen 😉 Congratulations for winning the Best Writer category (BiB 2015 Awards). Just found you through them and I’m glad I did 🙂 Look forward to reading more of your posts!

    • Hi, thanks for the lovely comment. Yes it shocked me too, his visit to the woods to perform black magic came only two weeks after I’d allowed him to go to the corner shop on his own for the first time, he’s a fast worker

  5. First of your posts i have come across and read . Potentially serious topic but wittily (not sure thats a word but i know what i mean) wrote. Off to read more. I hope your sons over his fright.

    • Thanks, yes it could have gone either way. Thankfully he ran off before they could summon the Mexican spirit.

  6. Pingback: Podcast #9: Northern Dad | Slouching towards Thatcham

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