Saturday, 9 November 2013

an ode to a teenager

Ok, Sam is not a teenager yet, but very nearly so. He just sent us an email with a link to his Amazon wish list, in case we forget (as if, being reminded of the upcoming big day almost hourly).

I don't know what do think of adolescent boys.... in particular my own. He is like a piece of metallic sodium that spontaneously ignites when it comes in contact with air. Do you remember chemistry classes at High School? Except of course with Sam, I don't know what triggers this explosive reaction and I tread lightly around him, just in case it might be me. Which it often it is, with my unreasonable demands to put on a clean school uniform, or to pick up his fusty swimming stuff and hang it up to dry. Or by pointing out that his bedroom is a real threat to health and safety and really needs a bit of a tidy, at least to clear the path from the door to the window. At least the Lynx deodorant spray is finally empty (or forgotten) and I no longer feel nauseous each morning, reminding me of long forgotten morning sickness. He once emptied a can into his bedroom, to prevent our holiday cat sitter to enter his room!

Unfortunately, I bought him a book about the development of the teenage brain and how this affects adolescents. Of course, it is his own developing brain that is to blame for everything, not laziness or the urgent need to play MineCraft both on the computer and phone at the same time. 

Sam is of course a lovely boy (young man?), despite of all the arguments and the smelly socks. I really appreciate having him around.

How many near teenagers iron their own school shirts? How many take their 6 year old brother to swimming lessons, help him change, flush the toilet for him, wait in the changing room (doing homework) and bring him home again safely? How many help their sister with maths homework because I am really not great with the new ways of doing maths? Even if the sister is a nuisance (his view, not mine!). Sam is also routinely helping with the little one's bed time, giving them a bath, reading stories and tucking them in. He does this unasked but with a charming gruffness...

Sam is also capable of cooking a family meal, which he does rather inventively with sometimes mixed results. His principle is: why follow a recipe if there is a whole kitchen full of exiting ingredients? Sam's coconut buns are to die for, they really are.

Having said that, the mess he singlehandedly creates is not always worth it... Today for lunch we had a surprise helping of macaroni cheese with a Ryvita crumb topping. It was quite delicious and perfect for a cold day.

Sam is clever and witty and can easily keep a group of adults entertained with his insights into life. Of course his views are not yet as balanced and nuanced as they will one day be (I am sure of it) but lets be honest, there are plenty of adults that don't have a nuanced view of the world. It is good to practice from an early age.

Sam is full of mischief, although he would probably say he is just exploring the world. Recently, there was soot in the microwave and a suspicious black powder in my spice grinder... I still wonder what he incinerated and ground and what for. Sam strenuously denies all involvement (blaming his sister) but I know my boy. He did once bake bread in his room, using a jam jar, tin foil and a spot light. It did work actually, the wee loaf was a bit like soda bread but I still feel a bit shivery thinking about the heat generated in his bedroom. (Note to self: most check the house insurance policy and possibly include accidental damage to property by children). Another time he built a fully functioning poison dart blowpipe. Without the poison and the darts were my missing pins, not quite deadly but nevertheless a prohibited weapon, which was confiscated and destroyed. I have to admit though (secretly) it was a fine piece of engineering.

We just love him.

P.S. Sam was vacuum cleaning the stairs and upper landings as I wrote this. Having finished, he left the hoover on the upper landing with the cable all the way down to the bottom of the stairs, creating a simple but effective trap for everyone to fall over.... typical!


  1. Replies
    1. Sam, you are awesome indeed! Reading your mums blog?

  2. He sounds a great boy! I often wonder (especially in the midst of a tantrum ) what parenting a teenager will be like. Sometimes I think I can see glimpses of the girl and woman yet to come in my 4 year old. Fabulous and scary all at the same time!