So, the old man and I were supposed to be going on a mini-break this weekend, staying at friends over-night.
We were leaving NC in charge of ‘he who will not obey’.
Kurt is nearly seventeen. Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it?
‘Pissing my pants’ is not a strong enough description for how I felt at the thought of leaving my son ‘home alone’ on a Saturday night until NC got home from work at 11pm.
In spite of trying to rationalise with Kurt, he refused to make any promises about his behaviour and his argument was that we needed to chill out, trust him but let him ‘be a teenager.’
You’ve probably realised by now that there’s no REAL secret to the age-old problem of teen parties, and that your first line of defence as a parent lies with the traditional art of blackmail?
After all, like us you’ve probably been honing your negotiation skills since the first day your toddler said ‘no’.
Well, this was our time to use those skills.
Serious negotiations began about two weeks ago.
I told Kurt the little white lie (because in parenting laws, little white lies are ok, right?) that NC’s boyfriend would be arriving at our house at 10pm to wait for NC; even though I knew that he was actually going to a Bucks night, would probably not be back until the early hours, and certainly would not be in any fit state to police my son.
I definitely mentioned that with Vivid Sydney happening close-by, the suburb would be teeming with angry police. I might have mentioned that I would probably end up driving home, anyway.
I also suggested he invite some friends over on Friday night when were at home, and to his surprise I actively encouraged as much debauchery as possible; my theory being that if he exhausted himself the night before, this might preclude him from hosting an event on Facebook.
Sure enough, his friends checked in on Friday night as is their want when free food is mentioned but they ended up watching back-to-back episodes of Puberty Blues and no amount of fizzy drink and sugar could drag them off my sofas; not even my suggestion that they hang out, delinquent-style, at the local park.
In fact they looked at me as though I’d finally lost the plot.
I promised Kurt everything I usually forbid – all those treats that when we aren’t blackmailing him, he is only allowed to fantasise about. I let him name his take-out, I promised him blue and red sugary drinks and I might have even promised to share the password to the Apple TV at one point, in desperation.
But even with a firm risk management policy in place, that innate parental fear niggled at me and killed any real possibility of sleep for nights before.
The teenage party is something most parents of teenagers fear and the old man and I have faced it many times before, and ultimately one of us always ends up giving into it and driving back at some ungodly hour.
Then Kurt sent me this Youtube video and we realised once again that we are still rookies when it comes to teenagers.