For those who haven’t noticed or any new visitors to this space on the web, I am the father of two teenagers. My own perfect little pigeon pair whom I love most of the time. Not when they argue. And they do. It’s never life-threatening, even if their quarrels escalate into full on blow-outs. I’ve never seen blood or open wounds, unless of course you count that time when Dude broke his sister’s arm. (In his defense, they were only playing.) Now we are force to eat with spoons as I’ve hidden all the knifes from them. And we don’t own any guns.
Their arguments are always about life-changing stuff. Like who has the most likes on Instagram or why A is following B and not vise-versa or who has used the acronym LOL the most during a specific day. Or who has the cooler friends. Or who has control of the remote, which is me. I have control of the remote, if the Wife doesn’t have any specific shows she needs to watch. Actually it’s our dog. He has control of the remote.
It’s still winter down here, and that means that we are miserable and confined to our houses where we have no option other than binge watch Friends, cuddled up in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine. Wine makes everything better. The reason is that it drowns out eveything. The cold, a cold, bad feelings, sorrows, anything. It sounds picturesque only it isn’t as it also involves listening to our kids argue.
At some point during another session they had this week, I actually raised a civil, controlled, somewhat friendly voice and kindly requested them to keep it down. As we get older, white noise becomes louder and this results in us not hearing Chandler’s jokes as clearly as we did 15 years ago. My precious kids did what all kids have been doing for generations, which was to ignore me. On the contrary, I actually think their argument got louder like some automatic rebel switch that only exist in the mind of a teenager. In reaction to that switch, the dial on my volume also turned up. My voice was stripped of friendliness, replaced by irritation. This weird sound must have scared them as they cooled off a bit, until one of them quipped something to the other one and the argument exploded in a cacophony of noise of which I could only make out :He/She started it!!
I lost a little control and couldn’t stop my knee-jerk reaction of barking out the words: If you don’t stop your shit now, you can go to your room.”
Everyone went dead quiet. Wife, the two quarreliing siblings, our dog, even Monica and Rachel turn their heads to me, shocked and in awe about me speaking up. I have just tried to send both my teenage kids to their rooms for having a tiff. The humour of their surprise wasn’t lost on me, so I tried my best to keep a straight, disciplanarian’s face. I failed miserably. Seconds later we were all laughing like maniacs at me feeble attempt at being angry Dad.
Dude interrupted the laughter when he observed: “Jeez Dad, you almost sound like GrandPa.”
Later that evening, nesting underneath our goose-feather duvet, the Wife and I was still giggling at my failed parental moment. Then it struck me like a ball to a bat… Dude was right! I did sound like my Dad! OMG. I have come full circle. I’ve reached the stage in my parental life where I have run out of original things to say and I’m reverting to common phrases all Dads will inevitably use at some point. It is a law of Dadness. Simply because the job’s the same, irrespective of your language, age, country, religion, conviction, temperament, preference, personality or sexual orientation. Dads are just dads.
And here is a short list of some of the common phrases we have used or will use whilst raising kids.
- “Oh shit. This is bad.”
- “Because I said so.”
- “Go ask your Mom.”
- “You are definitely not wearing that!”
- “I don’t care what the other kids are doing.”
- “As long as you are under my roof, you’ll do what I say.”
- “When hell freezes over.”
- “You better be home by ten.”
- “I can’t believe you guys actually listen to this.”
- “His Dad could be president, I don’t care.”
- “It’s about time you start doing something around the house.”
You’re welcome. The scary reality is that this is probably only the tip of the Iceberg. There must be a million more.
PS – In the mean gime I’m getting them each a t-shirt…