February 24, 2005

Remember when Peter Brady's voice changed?

Most days, this house is so filled with teenage boys that I feel like I am living in a cloud of testosterone. The strangest thing is how little boys turn into teenagers practically overnight.

Last year my son Shaggy Hair was a cute little boy who liked me to read aloud to him. He still liked hugs and sometimes even sat on my lap. A year later, and suddenly he is taller than me. He's got this new deep voice. He hasn't cut his hair since last year so I can't really see his eyes. (I think he's going for the Cool Snowboarder look, which here in the northeast is a pale version of the California Surfer Dude look.) Oh, he's still the same wonderful kid and underneath the long curls, he's got the same innocent freckled face, but he's definitely going through the separation-from-Mom stage.

Last week, I took a nap. I was wearing a long t-shirt and jeans, so I took off the jeans for the nap. Nothing unusual about that. Because I'm short, a big t-shirt covers me up just fine. Anyhow, when I woke up, I could hear Shaggy Hair calling me. He was doing his homework on the computer and wanted to ask me something. I came into the room, sat on the bed, and began answering his questions. I was thinking, "Oh, how nice. Even though he's going through this independent teenage phase, he still needs me."

Then Shaggy Hair Boy turned, tossed his head in the way that ultra cool teenage boys do when they need to actually see from beneath the locks of hair, and gave me the kind of look of horror that only a thirteen-year-old can give. After a dramatic pause to indicate the depths of his horror, he spoke up in his new deep-but-squeaky-around-the-edges voice:

"Woman! Get some pants on!"


lucyrain said...


I know it must be a sad moment--an instance of boy-mum asserted separation. But, Shaggy Hair's directive made me laugh out loud--after an excruciating day.

Thanks for sharing and your own healthy sense of humor.

~profgrrrrl~ said...

hee. that's just too funny. i love reading about your household -- sounds so warm and familyish.

Psycho Kitty said...

Oh, yeah!

What Now? said...

I also laughed out loud at this--thanks for sharing the story!

dr. m(mmm) aka The Notorious P.H.D. said...

That liminal period of teenagerdom is one of the great mysteries of the universe. The hyperawareness of coolness and style--as well as the implied participation in hegemonic masculinity coded in his addressing you as "woman"--is part of this mysterious process. But there is also an unexpected expansion of innocence during this transition, and it all becomes absurd and funny.

And, for some reason, I always find pants funny.

Dr. H said...

How bad is it that I want kids now mostly for the entertainment factor? Between your kids and PK over at Bitch, Ph.D., I think you have me convinced that being a mom would totally rock.

Lisa said...

I thought Daughter # 1 was horrified when walking in on me, while I changing, because it's like ghost of Christmas future. But maybe it's because she is a teenager. At least she doesn't say anything, she just looks away like she has seen a car wreck, or flipped to the surgery channel.

What was the song they sang? "When it's time to change, you have to re-arrange?"

PPB said...

What a hoot! Your children are better than cable.

BlackenedBoy said...

Ha ha ha ha ha. I still do the hair toss thing by the way, so I know exactly what you're talking about.

"Woman, get some clothes on!"

That's awesome.

My voice changed, smoothly and without any embarrassing cracking, the summer that I was twelve years old. Puberty was very kind to me.