Friday, January 13, 2012

Puberty Q & A

I don't want to hear it.  I'm fully aware of how little I've posted in the past few months, but life is busy and my lack of inspiration crippling.  Plus I'm old, started a new job, have a new routine and barely have enough time to eat lunch.  It's tough being important.

Or so I hear.

However, I have decided to simply pass along random thoughts as they occur rather than trying to make coherent, 4000 word entries.  Not that anyone would accuse me of being coherent.  Life is too short, but I also don't want to disappoint my loyal readers even if I find the terms 'disappoint' and 'loyal' amusing when referring to this space. 

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays.  A few random stories for your consideration. 

-  My eleven year old (fuckin' A....11!!!) has been experiencing growing pains with his childhood friends.  He's been clashing with a boy he basically grew up with and he's told me that they are no longer friends.  It's tough explaining that you don't stay with friends forever.  As you grow up, people change.  Happens to all of us. 

What makes it especially difficult with kids today are the easily accessible cell phones everyone owns.  The friction started with this kid because he would text my son trying to provoke some sort of trouble.  He accused him of flirting with his girlfriend (more on this in a second) and that someone told him that my son is 'always staring at her'. 

I finally told him to just not respond.  'Don't reply, don't say anything negative to your other friends about him and don't provide him any more ammo to use against you.'.  Wifey even got into it with the friend's mother and now THEY aren't talking to each other.  Way to lead by example!

Son has learned the simple lesson of 'if you don't like being around someone, then don't be around them'.  It's a remarkably simple tactic too few of us use.  He's still in classes with the other boy, but they've come to some sort of truce.

-  Onto the 'girlfriend' part. 

The other day eleven year old asks 'Dad, how old were you when you had your first girlfriend?'

Not an easy question to answer.  Not because I wanted to skirt the issue (pun intended), but because the term 'girlfriend' doesn't apply to a lot of my so called relationships.  Do I start with the girl I lost my virginity to?  Nope, we never even went on a date.  Do I figure out if my neighbor's grand daughter would count because we fooled around in the field behind my other neighbor's house?  And, yes, we were the same age.  Get your mind out of the pedophilia gutter. 

Should I pinpoint my first real relationship?  That opens up another can of worms just by trying to define 'relationship' as I wasn't very committed (not just to our relationship but ANY relationship).  Frankly, I didn't have a straight answer.

And how do you answer a question to which you don't have an answer?  Why you turn it around on the asker, of course. 

I ask 'Why are you asking?  Is there a girl you like?'

He answers is a round about, sorta, kinda way.  He's just wondering, he claims. 

'Well, let's work this out.  If you do ask a girl out what happens next?  You can't actually take her anywhere.  You have no money.  So what would you do?'

'No, it would be like that.  We would just...you know...well....it's complicated...'

Welcome the first lesson of women, my son (I do NOT say, but try hard to send him telepathically) 

I say instead 'Well, let me make this easy for you: You are way too young to have a girlfriend.  When you get to 8th grade or so we can discuss this again.'

'Well, how old were you?' he insists.

'I was in high school', which seems to satisfy him.  To get him back I ask: 'So, if you don't take these girls out, what do you do?  Do you kissy kissy behind the school?'

'No,' he answers nonchalantly, 'That stuff happens at the dances'. 

Today's distraction:  My required reading for the next few years.  Can't wait until he's a least old enough to drive himself around. 

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