One Thing You Need To Teach Your Teen Before It’s Too Late …


I’ve been watching my eldest boy grow up lately, like a growth spurt, he’s not just getting taller, his voice getting lower, his body odour getting stronger and his arm pit hair getting longer and he is getting older as in he’s “growing up”.

I swear I blink and there’s a new “thing” happening. So I thought I’d best get him prepared for when I’m not around or for when he things he doesn’t want me around as much…It’s coming. Soon!!! I’ve started making a list of things he needs to learn how to do for himself over the next few years. He needs to know how to iron a collar shirt and a pair of pants. He needs to know how to take public transport to a new destination and possibly change trains or busses. He needs to be able to go to the hair dresser himself and make a decision on the hair cut (although I did call ahead and say “NO TRACKS” lol.) He needs to have his own bank account and key card (note to self I need to get the key card sorted), he needs to know how to cook a breakfast and a dinner himself and he needs to know how to manoeuvre a fine dining experience.

restaurantThis week end we ticked off fine dining with less awkward moments than there were laughs and heaps of selfies at or near our dining destinations. I booked the restaurant in his name and we brought along his bestie and Mum for company. Our car was parked by a valet attendant an experience the boys thought was pretty cool. Both were observing other “men” enter the restaurant in appropriate or inappropriate footwear which spurred on the discussion about what can be worn and what can’t be worn at such a venue. My son told the maitre-d the booking was in his name but so quietly she responded with “pardon?” so he spoke up, twice. The last time with more assertiveness and the tone that said “I have a booking. You are expecting us.” I was a bit chuffed.

The boys ordered their entree’s (appetizers) carefully from the menu after hearing the specials. Something they had never heard of before “arancini balls” and something more familiar, pizza. In fact the friend had never had mushrooms (in the arancini balls) and neither had experienced baked artichoke (on the pizza) however, both were pleasantly surprised although it was my foodie son oohing and awing his whole way through every bite. There was a “which fork do I use” moment and a “how do I show them I’m finished again Mum?” I was glad to have been there for them. The main meal was also a bit risky with one finding they didn’t like crab so much as they thought they might and the other finding crab in a lasagne a bit strange, but edible. They both said it was a wonderful meal and a great experience with plenty of thanks. We talked about tipping, I’m from Canada where tipping is a regular thing whereas here in Australia not so much and the company we brought with us were firmly against tipping, especially for meal that came to over $200 so I discussed my thoughts later in private with my own child. Sometimes I explained it’s better manners to go with what the other party members would prefer to do but you can always slip a bill under your napkin on the sly if you feel you really want to tip.

We passed on desert and travelled to our final destination. I decided we probably needed a break from dinner to talk and take some photo’s with the city lights as our backdrop but also I knew this desert only restaurant was sure to top the cake so to speak. It was in a ritzy part of town and the boys were thrilled to see a Porsche convertible leaving the car park upon our arrival. I mentioned quietly to our waiter that tonight was a special night for our boys and if it wouldn’t be too much trouble a couple of sparklers would be a real treat. I wanted them to know they could enjoy themselves as kids that this was not ALL about being grown up and at 14 years of age I knew they’d both appreciate the cute gesture from one of the Mums. Actually I’m the Mom, the other is known as the Mum, something they made up as the night wore on. They boys knew immediately on seeing the menu they would get 2 “sundae supreme’s” consisting of marshmallows, chocolate fudge, brownies, ice cream, whipped cream, more fudge…and 2 sparklers. Oh and their desert also came with something quite unexpected…

porsche-carThe deserts arrive with sparklers lit but unexpectedly being presented by 4 staff singing Happy Birthday in the middle of the restaurant. This is a video moment not to be missed as I start singing along taping my son’s face beam with a massive smile and glow like a glowing red Christmas tree light. The singing staff pause mid song to ask their names and then continue finishing with clapping and me giggling away in the background of the tape. The waiter came up to us afterward and said something to the effect of “it wasn’t their Birthday’s was it?” Nope. But you sure did make our night Mr Waiter!!!

I let the boys have a sleep over and took myself off to dream land feeling very pleased with myself. My son said he could tick that off his bucket list. I didn’t know he had one. I can tick it off my “parenting a teen” list. I was told this morning that in the middle of the night at 1:00am one said to the other, “I sure could go with another slice of that pizza” and the other said, “I was just thinking the same thing.”




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