Boys will always be boys

Boys will be boys - and so will a lot of middle-aged men
— Kim Hubbard

My son once again starred in his own classic ‘boys will be boys’ moment. Before I relate the story I need to set the scene for those who have yet to read my book. The following excerpt demonstrates beautifully my sons thoroughness (or the lack of it).


When Rog was fourteen I bought him a new school bag as the last two had each lasted barely six months. I gave him his new bag with the instructions ‘I’m tossing your old bags out as they’ve had it. Can you go through them and make sure there’s nothing in them?’

‘Yep,’ Rog said without taking his eyes from the hoard of zombies his character was busily cutting a swathe through. About thirty minutes later Rog emerged from his room and dropped the bags in front of me.

‘Checked, emptied and ready for the trash?’ I politely inquired.

‘Yep.’ My teenage boy is not verbose, which I’m sure is common.

I picked up the bags and I was about to head outside to complete the task when I stopped and turned to look closely at Rog.

‘You’ve gone through these thoroughly?’ I asked suspiciously.


‘You do know what the word thorough means, don’t you?’

‘Yes,’ Rog answered with an exaggerated smile.

‘You don’t mind if I check them?’

‘Be my guest.’ At last something resembling a sentence.

I went through the bags and when I’d finished I sat back and exclaimed ‘And what do we have here, Ali Baba?’ Rog appeared, all in one teenage look, unimpressed, confused and sheepish. From the two bags, checked and certified devoid of anything useful, I found: $7.50, a pair of clean socks, a ruler, a popup umbrella and an unpresented cheque for his school for $22. Unbelievable!

The Single Dad's Guide to the Galaxy

Rog has now entered University and I’ve told him that I will no longer 'parent' him as he is an adult. This doesn’t mean that I’m not interested, or don’t worry, but I’ve stopped doing things like:

  • Knowing when he needs to be at University thus removing the desire to get him up in the morning.
  • Making his breakfast and lunch. I still make dinner in the evenings and I expect him to let me know if he isn’t going to be around. And to be fair to Rog he has volunteered to make dinner on more than one occasion.
  • Work out where he is meant to be and when, that is entirely over to him.

Writing this blog has made me realise that there are also things I haven’t stopped doing but need to:

  • His washing but who would trust a “young man” to get that right?
  • Nagging him about getting his driver’s licence. Just because he doesn’t need it right now it has slipped below on-line gaming in his priorities.
  • Nagging him about on-line gaming!
  • I need to start charging him board so he can get an idea of what it will cost to go flatting in the future.

Back to his boys will be boy moment.

Before he started Uni, in one of my last acts as the parent of a teenage 'child', I insisted that he clean his room thoroughly and throw out things he didn’t need. He did a great job and, incredibly, found $90 in cash stuck in Christmas cards from years ago.


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