Saturday 9 May 2009

Dealing with teenagers is like being part of the Goon show

My goodness, were we really that gormless and silly at that age?

Junior got a phone call this morning inviting him to an event for a few hours. We agreed that he could go. As we were on the phone to the other kid, we heard the familiar sound of a bike turning up on our doorstep - it was the usual unannounced arrival of one of Junior's mates. As soon as Junior saw who it was - and I will codename this kid "Catfish"* - he asked if Catfish could come too.

There was much chatter back and forth, all of it incredibly disorganised, but it was eventually worked out that there was room in the car for Catfish if he wanted to attend as well. He umm'd and ah'd and finally decided he would think about it.

The kids were to be collected within the hour. That much we knew. Junior was immediately put to work, ordered to clean his room and square his shit away before departure. He took to that with gusto - or what passes for gusto for a teenager. It still took him over half an hour to do what would take me about a minute. All the while, Junior and Catfish talked about whether Catfish was going or not. Catfish had money on him, so that was not an issue. We could look after his bike whilst he was gone. All we wanted to know was whether he wanted to use our phone or not to ring his parents to ask permission - no way in hell was he leaving our place without doing that first.

About five minutes before the expected pickup, a decision had still not been made. Something distracted Junior and Catfish though, and they disappeared. It turned out they had decided to go for a ride on their bikes - they'd completely forgotten about the event they were supposed to be going to!

Luckily, they had only decided to do a few laps of the block, so we caught them as they were passing by. "Oh yeah, we'd better get ready", was their reaction when we reminded them that a car would soon be arriving to collect them.

Catfish finally decided that he would not be going. Then the car arrived, and Catfish changed his mind. Suddenly, he really, really urgently had to call his mum to ask her permission. We handed him the phone. His mum told him to ask his dad. He rang dad. Dad said ok.

Through all this, J and I stood back at a distance and tried not to piss ourselves laughing. The kids eventually piled into the car, and the long suffering mum of the other friend drove them to the event.

God, we've got five more years of this. Is there any way to speed it up?

*I have used the military system for designating his codename. That is, it is randomly drawn, and means nothing. So no, Junior does not have a funny looking mate that looks like a whiskered bottom feeder.


1735099 said...

After a while you get used to this stuff - and just as you do, it begins to morph into relative organizational competence.
It takes time - between 5 and 7 years I reckon, and has nothing to do with gender. We have two of each, (gender, that is) and I speak from experience.
They've all left the nest, and now we have each others' age-induced incompetence to laugh at.

Boy on a bike said...

It was so nice to see it happening with another kid for a change. Just a reminder that yours are quite normal, even when they are addle-brained.