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Monday, March 18, 2013

Big Brother is watching you!

Granddad chasing Padraic
Since the commencement of writing my blog I've had several discussions with other parents of teenagers who have related their own hairy tales. Frankly this surprised me and at the same time reassured me that my kids’ reckless attitudes are not entirely my fault and probably not as uncommon as I suspected.

I’ve always carried the guilt of wondering if their Ned Kelly mentality is a reflection of my marriage breakdown or if I just wasn’t a strict enough mother.

“My son set off a fire extinguisher at University and incurred a two thousand dollar clean-up bill which we had to loan him and he is now paying us back.” One lawyer Mum told me about her first year medical student son. The reason I’m mentioning he is a medical student (and dux of his senior year) is to highlight the fact that intelligence has clearly nothing to do with stupid and impulsive actions.

My friend Sue told me she learnt about her sixteen year old son’s "Jackass" pranks on Youtube.

“He was putting petrol from the mower into the swimming pool and setting it alight creating a flash bomb effect. He did the same thing in my toilet, filmed it and posted it on the Internet,” she told me incredulously “and there were no marks left or anything. I had no idea.”

That scared me. What ‘things’ am I blissfully unaware of? I’ve returned from a night away and although unable to prove it, have been apprehensive about what might have been going down. Pictures on the wall askew, breakfast cereal all through the house, a (thankfully unopened) condom on my ironing board, all suggesting some type of shenanigans. Of course Hagar has held wild destructive parties at his father’s house as mentioned in… Check this post.

But Scotto and I have been left unscathed thus far. This may be something to do with the security cameras we have put up at the front and back of the house. The kids have been advised that the footage from the cameras is directed back to a security firm and any unusual circumstances will be immediately redirected to us via a text message. 

“What are you doing that for!” an outraged Padraic yelled.

“If you’re not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to worry about.” We replied sanctimoniously. They all screamed and ranted about breaches of privacy at first but appear to have accepted Big Brother now.

It’s funny that they haven’t noticed that the security cameras aren’t actually plugged in to anything.
Boys will be boys and rat-bag conduct is not a new phenomenon. I can remember one Christmas my parents were going out with their best friends to a restaurant for lunch. My fifteen year old brother Dom, was supposed to go along but at the last minute feigned illness. 

“I’ll just stay at home and rest,” he assured my parents. 

Dad was just about to tuck into his Christmas pudding when the Maître d’ approached the festive table. 

“Excuse me sir but there is a phone call at the front desk for you.” Dad returned to the table a few minutes later looking somewhat murderous. 

Dom had taken my father’s work utility out for a joyride and had crashed it into a tree. An observant spectator had recognised the company sign on the side of the truck and had somehow tracked my father down. 

Dad’s friend Alan went with him on the reconnaissance mission insisting it was imperative he accompany Dad to prevent him from committing filicide. Alan still grumbles thirty years later about missing out on his Christmas pudding because of Dom.

Dom, a respectable musician, business owner and father now, went on to wreck at least two more cars and a motorbike in his youth, driving my parents to the verge of a nervous breakdown. 

That must be why when I complain to my father with my family tales of woe he just laughs at me. “That’ll teach you to have five kids!”