Tuesday 23 January 2018

Like myself, my boy is on course to being a nightmare teenager

Justine O'Mahony

Justine O'Mahony
Justine O'Mahony

Up until recently I have found it highly amusing that I am the mother of an Almost Teenager.

Partly because I still feel like a teenager in my own head and find it difficult to believe anyone would entrust me with a child and partly because I felt a bit smug that I had actually produced a youngster who was well balanced, relatively normal and not a bit like me as a teenager.

Looking back now I realise I was an absolute nightmare. I did everything I wasn't supposed to do-smoked out my bedroom window, stole vodka from my parents drinks cabinet, necking it from a lucozade bottle in the field behind our house, snogged fellas in more fields when I was supposed to be at mass, answered back, refused to do anything at home, told them I hated them and couldn't wait to leave home.

I found my old school reports recently. They were shocking! I always thought I was a bright, enthusiastic student. Oh no! 'Justine could do better...Justine is chatty and giddy in class...Justine does not apply herself...' It went on and on.

So it seemed a bit of a fluke that I had managed to get to Almost 13 with my Eldest and he has never been in trouble once. In fact he has been so good, the teenager still lurking inside me half wished he'd do something bold every so often just for the craic!

His parent teacher meetings were always really boring. The teachers would say how clever he was, how diligent, polite, pleasant blah, blah, blah. I was kind of hoping that he might have inherited just a tiny bit of my sense of rebellion but no. He toed the line the whole way through primary school.

Until now. See, it's true what they say-be careful what you wish for! In the last three months something has changed. His voice has got deeper, his comments have got cheekier and he's developed this strange walk where he puts his hands in his pockets and sort of lurches along.

And he shrugs...all the time. When you ask him a question he shrugs. Or he gives you the death stare and doesn't answer at all. Recently he's started telling me he's going out with his friends and before I can ask where, he's gone. Disappears for hours only to return and say he 'was out.'

He's gone from a little fella who couldn't sleep unless his door was open and the hall light on, (that was only six months ago) to his bedroom door being firmly shut, a 'Do Not Enter' sign on the front. He wouldn't be seen dead with me in public. Tells me I'm embarrassing and absolutely hates when I sit down to chat with his friends.

'Don't Do That' he said the other day through gritted teeth.

'What?' I said.

'Talk to my friends. It's embarrassing.'

'I'm only being friendly,' I reply.

'They're not your friends.'

I know I know, I had this coming. It's Karma and I deserve it. I'm probably facing six years of torment and mental torture.

Wexford People

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