Friday, September 28, 2012

Motivating almost a teenager.....

It's a bight sunny day and I look out at the yard knowing it needs a clean and and a tidy to bring it back to its inner city shoe box sized courtyard best. I grab the broom and begin sweeping, but as usual my mind wanders to other things we could be doing. I look back through the window to the boys buried deep in computers and iPods.

What I really want them to have is the motivation to get them off the couch and from behind their technology.

It seems like only yesterday that I look down at his little hand tugging at mine and his pleading cries :

"Come on Dad lets go to the park !"

"Come on Dad lets chase those bloody fat pigeons out of the yard !"

image courtesy of

Now they hide from me.  In the couch or around the house because they know I want to go out. Having pre-teenagers certainly is different from toddlers. Gone is the enthusiasm for exploring the world. Gone is insatiable appetite for destruction.

I mean who hasnt' gone into another room to do something and come back to find a kitchen cupboard completely unpacked on  to the floor by an ever smiling toddler.

I really want to keep going out and do things together.

Problem is I probably make them feel awkward, kids nowadays don't really want to be seem with their parents I guess.

And it was different when I was kid, both my parents worked full time so we were forced to do somethings by ourselves. But thanks to  random unrelated "bad things" that happened to children, the media made us terrified of letting the kids do the same stuff we did. By the time the beloved was 13 she was catching a train from Mt Waverley to Hawthorn each day by herself.

Now days you would probably get reported for letting that happen. But I'm telling you we have to get them used to doing things for themselves.

I keep banging on about we have to get the kids to make decisions every day so they don't get to their first party - get offered drugs and not know how to give the correct response with out losing face in front of their peers.

*steps off soap box*

Anyway if I can get them convinced to come out side with me, it always goes well. Once they get out and start the activity you can't wipe the smile off their faces. I still remember begging, cajoling , pleading to go for a ride with the Eldest. Finally we head off and bugger me if after not more than 30 secs of riding he is whistling and smiling like he's just discovered the greatest thing ever.

After 10 minutes he proclaims " Wow I have no idea why I didn't want to come for a ride I'm having such a great time"

I almost fell off my bike.

So I finish sweeping and firmly step inside to get everyone ready for some time in the park. The living room is deserted. It seems they can read my mind........

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Not Safe For Children

I need a filter. Maybe even a seven second delay button just like the one they use on radio. Just enough for someone to hit the dump button as I say something that whilst probably true or correct should not be spoken aloud in front of the current audience.

I'm like the Internet ask me something and I'll tell you and whilst it may not be totally accurate or quite what you expected, I'm going to tell you anyway, some times with out even pausing to think about who is standing nearby or listening.

I don't do it to be annoying or even just to see what the reaction will be. I just believe that, if you ask me I'll tell you. Especially if the little dudes ask. I don't want them subjected to the same urban legends that went around when I was a kid.

You know the ones - McDonald's thick shakes are really rendered pig fat or Mentos and Coke mixed in your stomach will kill you.

Or that kids going down water-slides used to stick pieces of razor blade to the slide with chewing gum for the next person coming down.

The best part about my two dudes is they are fanatical about MythBusters so they are pretty switched on anyway.

I can't stand the fact that people dress things up or try and soften it up for kids. They are people and deserve our respect. Plus I'd rather set 'em straight than have someone at school with an older brother or sister tell them in a Chinese whisper fashion. Within reason of course.

One of the challenges I have is that I have an opinion on everything, I love market researchers when they call. Mainly because I will take their call and discuss with them my opinion. So I tend to enjoy reading a lot and by default gather all sorts of facts and snippets and file them away for a rainy day.

The beloved even once bought a T-Shirt for me just like this.

So as you can now begin to see that it will all start out with a conversation innocently enough but some how ends up in a place we shouldn't be. I'm not trying to start trouble here but just set the boys straight.

I humbly submit the following as an example :

So the eldest is trying to be cool and throws the word porn into a sentence. So I stop and I say to him. "Don't say that"
Any way I go on " Porn is just like films, it isn't really real . They are all actors and are paid "

Now of course I should have stopped there.

Should have.

But didn't.

I went on "Yeah you know, they have make up, lighting experts, camera experts etc. Just like films. And they have to wax you know".

My brain catches up .02 milliseconds later.

The silence is deafening. He then gets look on his face that belies that blinding realisation where they wax. I yell at the youngest " Go upstairs now !" He scuttles out. The Beloveds head is buried deep in her hands. It takes another 3 minutes to extricate my self from the conversation and get it back on an even keel.

I eat the remainder of my dinner in silence.

All I was trying to do was set him straight. That what he thinks it is is actually not true. People don't behave like that in relationships.
And somehow ended up way past the point I was making.

Now I know why the saying "The road to hell is paved with good intention" is apt.