I had a little stomach clenching moment today when Rhubarb said this to me. I actually felt quite wounded.
“Can you just come and chat to me while Daddy and Poss are at her parent teacher interview, my pelvis is bad, it will help to have you out here with me and the small children?” I asked him.
“I don’t want to talk to you and I don’t care.”
Well, that sums it all up really doesn’t it. In the end he agreed to stay in the room as long as I didn’t try to speak to him. The Teenage Angst and Apathy Monster has definitely taken up residence in my son’s brain. The TAAM feels the need to make a smart-arsed comment each time I speak to him or tell him something he needs to do. The TAAM is messy and a touch smelly. The TAAM has absolutely no empathy or compassion. The TAAM cares not what happens to others.
He is not yet a TAAM host all the time but he is like it more and more. We had friends over for an impromptu meal on Sunday night. Ordinarily he would hang around and play with the small children, chat to the adults, socialise. He was there and his usual pleasant, funny self during dinner but spent the rest of the time in his room or basically wherever the rest of us were not.
The TAAM is really taking over now and I don’t want it to. I have been smugly applauding my own fabulous parenting ability up to this point. Our friends and family have always commented on what great kids we have. Nice polite, funny, clever children. Even non-child friends have enjoyed spending time with our children. I have been aware that the TAAM would take over at some point but I think there was a part of me that hoped that Rhubarb would be somewhat immune to it.
I feel to my core that Poss, having traditionally been the placid, sweet-natured young girl, will be an absolute horror of a teenager. We see shades of it now and I can just feel it in my bones. I thought maybe Rhubarb would stay in this good place that we’ve finally found. He was a moody and sensitive kid early on. He took the divorce (and his subsequent neglect by FW) hard but he was five and it was only natural. The last few years he has been wonderful. We have been close. I have really liked him.
I don’t like the TAAM. He is a bastard.
Rhubarb does team rowing with the school. He trains twice a week. It is an expensive and demanding sport but I am so pleased that he is doing something. I spent my teenage years telling my PE teacher I had period cramps at every lesson, I loathed physical activity in any form (*ahem* well, not any form I guess or the whole pregnant at 17 thing might not have happened).
I am thrilled that he is sporty but I expect him to take his responsibilities to his sport seriously. He missed a team meeting at school today. He came home, told Beefcake this and then asked if he could skip training tomorrow because he wants to visit a fast-food chain with some of his mates. My automatic response was ‘no’ because I want him to honour his commitments and I don’t think he’s old enough to go hanging around who knows where in the afternoon. He’s a baby, maybe when he’s 17 or so. Beefcake says he is old enough and it doesn’t matter if he misses one training session as the year 8’s are barely getting a look-in at the moment (they don’t compete in regattas until next year).
What do you think, dear internets? It is a bit of a moot point really because I told him he couldn’t go after the TAAM was particularly rude to me this afternoon but still, I’d like to know. 13’s too little to be out on your own. right?