Category Archives: Teenboy

Am I Breaking Teenboy’s Trust?

Teenboy’s got a girlfriend – a really nice what you see is what you get one this time!

She seems to be the reason he opted not to go to Camp America for the summer – a decision I’m already regretting him making and we’re only a month into his holidays home.  At least he’s got a job albeit a sporadic and fun one that I found him, applied for for him and now discuss his job schedule with his boss via email pretending to be teenboy!!

But why am I asking if I’m breaking his trust?

Because his girlfriend has started facebook messaging me when they have an argument or when she has any worries about teenboy and I’m answering her and giving her advice.  But neither of us are telling teenboy.

I know in my heart if he knew he’s be pissed off.  I know he’d think we were conspiring behind his back.  I know, know, know that it’s not good and it won’t be good for our relationship if it ever comes out.

But it feels so good to be able to advise this girl about relationships and how to handle a manchild who believes himself to be unlovable (thanks for that teenboy’s feckless, never been there for him father, who has let him down repeatedly with promises that fail to materialise.  A man who has been distantly present yet totally and absolutely absent from his son’s life to such an extent that my child believes himself to be unlovable.  I’ve tried my best to make up for this but that ultimate rejection is the one thing that will live on in a child’s emotional psyche).

I’ve told her not to stand for his nonsense.  I’ve advised her not to chase him when he storms out.  I’ve had to explain why he is the way he is.  And I’ve tried to make her believe in herself a little bit more so she can realise that no man has the right to be emotionally cruel to her, that she deserves the best from every man who will be in her life including my son.

I’ve also had to bluntly tell her that you can’t make someone believe you love them, you have to leave them to come that conclusion on their own.

She doesn’t talk to her own mum cos she’s 19 and like most girls of that age she doesn’t feel she has that type of relationship with her mum.  While her mum is probably desperate for her to talk to her like this.

As a mum it’s an absolutely amazing feeling for me to realise a girl has fallen in love with my son and sees all the same wonderful in him that I do.  And I love to talk with her and see how much she cares for him and about him.

Everything I’ve said to her are the same things I’ll say to teengirl should she come to me for boyfriend/relationship advice.  So technically I’m not saying anything to betray teenboy.

And yet, I am fully aware that teenboy will not react well if (when) he finds out.  It will be a betrayal as far as he’s concerned, an major interference on my part.

But what else could I do when she messaged me?  Ignore her?




Are Your Teens Having Kevin and Perry Moments?

Teenboy got back from uni just over a week ago.  For the first 3 days he was back he was the perfect 19 year old son – baby boy would wake him up and he’d spend an hour playing with him and watching TV with him, then they’d both wander into the living room teenboy looking for breakfast babyboy looking for lunch.  Then teenboy would sit on the couch with me chatting telling me all about his new life at uni, all his new friends, the girl he likes.

We even had a long chat about him lacking self confidence since he moved out to uni so much so that he’s not sure if he can actually get himself to America this summer.  We discussed his health – he’s feeling a bit overweight and worn out – quite a normal occurrence for students in their first year of university.

Then on Thursday it was like overnight he’d flipped from the perfect son into hellboy incarnate.

I’d no idea what had happened.  I was aghast and appalled and had no idea what I’d done to make him ‘flip’ over to the darkside.   I also had no idea what to do to get my perfect teenboy back.

I mulled all weekend (for mulled read stewed and worried) and then it hit me at 4am this morning – he’s just doing what we all do when we have to spend too much time with our parents.

We revert back to being sulky teenagers.

So I told him my realisation this afternoon.  Our talk went a little bit like this:

“You were the perfect son for 3 days when you came home and then bam overnight you turned into both Kevin and Perry.”

Cue teenboy laughing.

“You’ve been walking around here going ‘urghh muUUuum I’m sooooo bored’ ‘you’re so stupid’ ‘why is my life so rubbish’ ‘urrghhh muUUuum you can’t tell me what to do’, all in the your best imitation of both Kevin and Perry”

Cue more laughing from teenboy.

“I understand that it’s hard to live at home and we all revert to being teenagers when we spend too much time with our parents.  You see what I’m like if I spend too much time with gran and grampa?  But now you know you do that could you please be a little bit self aware and try to curb the worst Kevin and Perry responses cos that would just make both yours and my life so much easier these holidays.”

He laughed again and said he understood and agreed to try his best to limit his Kevin and Perry moments.

I’ve spent so much time shouting at him then trying to work out how to get into his head to make him see the impact he’s having on the household, trying to work out why he’s being such a pain in the arse.

And all I had to do was make him laugh with a reference to some 90s pop culture.  And show him that I understand how hard it is to come home to live even when it’s for just 3 weeks.

I can’t guarantee that we won’t have any more run in this holiday but at least now I’ve got a handle on it I can be way more calm and understanding – he’s just having a bit of a teenager moment.

Teenagers don’t have it as easy as we are oft to believe, take ten minutes and have a look back at yours.  Then take another couple of minutes and remember the last time you spent more than a weekend with your parents, did you become Kevin and/or Perry?

kevin and perry the world's worse teenagers

Kevin and Perry the most perfect portrayal of teenagers ever. From

Camp America – Teenboy’s Heading Stateside in June

After queueing in the freezing cold for two and a half hours outside Kensington Town Hall today Teenboy got a job in states for the summer with Camp America.
Twenty one years exactly since I was a camp counsellor at a camp in Pennsylvania, my 19 year old is going to a camp in Pennsylvania for the summer.
I was a counsellor on a camp for special needs adults, he’s going to a private performing arts camp where he’ll be doing all the videoing and editing of all the performances (and there’s quite a few of these over the summer at this camp) as well as teaching the kids how to use the equipment and make great videos.
He’s so excited, it’s lovely.
I’ve just received a text from him that read: “Love you mum. Thank you for today 🙂 I’m so excited I can’t wait to go. love you xxx”
From the teenager on antidepressants and receiving counselling for PTSD at this time last year who looked like he was going to fail his a-levels and have to repeat his final year at school and was getting more depressed by the day, Teenboy, is a totally different person.
He was joy to be with today, he was so much more like the little boy he was – free, excited, happy, courageous, self confident, enthusiastic, chatty. It was so wonderful to see.
So, now he’s just got to get all the paperwork organised (might prove difficult for him as he’s not the most organised or proactive person in the world – in fact I think the word procrastination might have been created for him).
He knows what he’s got to do (including get a new passport) and I’ve got to let him get on with it and trust him to do it all within the timeframe he’s got.
But, ooooo that’s difficult to do!!
I guess it’s much like when he moved out to go to Uni and I wanted to do it all for him and I had to let go and let him fuck up (if that happened) in order for him to find his own independence.
And he did great, finding his independence has been the making of him.
I actually can’t find the words to express how happy and excited I am for him. This summer at Camp America will change his life, provide him with experienced he’ll cherish forever and bring people into his life who will be friends forever.

I have a feeling 2013 is going to be a good year – well it can’t be worse than 2012.

Camp America for Older Teenagers

I am so pleased, Teenboy has finally shown an interest in doing something for the summer other than sleep all day and hang out with his friends all night.

The problem I have with him hanging out with his friends all night is that these friends have made the choice not to go to university, not to have experiences in life, to just stay where they are doing what they’ve always done and when Teenboy comes home from Uni he reverts to being just like them.  And I want so much more for him, as all mums do for their kids.

But he has made me the happiest mum he possibly could by saying he wants to go to the Camp America Recruitment Fair in London on Saturday and he’s desperate to do Camp America!!!!!

I did Camp America in 1992 and it was there I met Teenboy’s dad and within a year I was pregnant with Teenboy.

Even if I hadn’t met Teenboy’s dad, Camp America was one of the best experiences of my life.  Twenty one years later I still remember it so vividly, I can smell it and feel it.  I often transport myself back there when I feel a little bit down or stuck in responsible adulthood.

I went alone and I was terrified but before I’d even got to Heathrow I’d made friends on the tube and I sat with them on the flight.  Once at Camp I lived, slept and worked with people who became my best friends for the time I was there.  I shared everything with these people from all over the world.  How could I ever forget it?

It’s another one of those life changing experiences that I think every teenager should have.

And now Teenboy’s hoping to do it!!!!

I don’t want him to do it because I did it, I want him to do it for the experience, for the memories.  And for the changes it brings to a teenager on the cusp of adulthood and responsibilities.  It’s an opportunity to see another country, meet people from all over the world, to play, teach, learn and live in the sunshine for 8-10 weeks with other like minded teenagers.

And then you get some time off at the end to travel the States.

What could be better than that for Teenboy, who wants to be a filmmaker and therefore for him experiences will help shape his movie creating.

I have, however, told him not to do what I did and end up with a Camp America baby!!!

We’re not the sum of our material possessions, we’re the sum of our experiences.  Being 18 and 19 is the best time to start having those experiences.

camp america memories that'll last a lifetime

Camp America – memories that’ll last your lifetime

Back to University after Christmas Break

Thank God Teenboy has gone back to university!!
I was so pleased when he came home for Christmas but the pleasure at having him here lasted about two days.
I really thought 4 months at Uni would’ve matured him, made him at least slightly more considerate and a lot easier to live with.

Within two days he’d rocked up drunk both nights, the second night he raided the fridge ripping open a packet of naice ham like a wild racoon. Took a couple of slices then just left it in the fridge like that.
By the time I found it the next lunchtime (when I was looking forward to a sandwich with said naice ham) it was hard and curled and went straight in the bin.
Of course, as is Teenboy’s way, he lied about it. Wasn’t him, didn’t know what I was talking about, blah, blah, bloody blah.
From there he went onto Facebook, apparently home hasn’t changed a bit. So I told him, via the medium of Facebook, that if he didn’t like it here he could go back to Southampton. I’d even drive him.
I love, love, love that his FB friends took my side and put him in his place quite firmly!
By day 3 I had laid down the rules and he was only staying here provided he abided by them.
Which he managed to do as long as they didn’t require effort or need him to be out of bed before 2pm or in the house before 2am or sober between the hours of 7pm and 2am.
And so we rubbed along okay-ish, until this weekend when he needed to get organised to go back to Uni.
As is Teenboy’s way, there was no organisation. I tried to get him organised (I know I said I’d let him fuck up on his own but this was things that’ll impact upon me) but he refused by just not being here.
And now I’m left with a car (not sure if it’s clean and tidy yet) that I need to find somewhere off the road to store, I need to SORN it and I need to sell it. Because he did none of these things.
I’m bloody tempted to just give it away, cos he obviously doesn’t need the money desperately or he’d have got his finger out his arse and got it on eBay.

Saturday night saw Teenboy stumble into the house rocking and rolling full of Jagerbombs and beer with the occasional whiskey.
Shortly after he could be heard violently puking in the bathroom followed by much loud crashing about as he tried to find his way into bed and then falling back out!
“I can’t believe he’s got into such a state,” I said to myself as I was only other person awake, “To be so drunk that he’s throwing up. And he’d better not think I’m cleaning that toilet up. Bloody ridiculous, how dare he?!!!”
And then I had a wee word with myself followed by a wee giggle.
At 19 and even 29 I was the exact same. I have no idea how many times I crashed around my mum’s house in the middle of the night or threw up in and down the side of the loo. And I never once cleaned it up, not even on the night I fell asleep with my head on the sicky toilet bowl.
He’s me, he’s exactly me.
He’s selfish and lazy and thoughtless. But he’s kind and caring and hardworking when he likes what he’s doing. He’s oblivious to anybody else’s feelings, yet worries what people think of him. He lets people down at the drop of a hat, but feels disappointment like a knife to his heart. And he’s a show off (hence the amount of alcohol drunk these past two weeks).
He’s a drunken, wild, party animal who knows how to really let loose and party hard but he’ll be there for anybody who needs him no matter how drunk he is.
And that was me at 19 (and for far too many years after).

He’s a good boy really, he’s just not so good with doing stuff that interferes with having fun.

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