There are teenagers about to strum.
We are going unplugged before MTV come knocking.
I will have a tantrum. Pa Pryce's nickname is not sox-less and by darn there is a teenager whose nickname will not be sox-full.
By all things in common law justice I will have a pair of socks.
I am a man who will be the first man to suffer hospitalisation with a cornflake covered foot in need of surgical removal from an adult-sized mouth.
Pray for me, dear parents. I'm a gettin' religion.
I entered the fray like a stupid divvy that a laugh was worth the risking the alliance of the North Atlantic Parental Organisation. I said, I regret deeply it now, "I believe he has a wife "A Teenager was hum-less , enjoying the chink in the parental armour, smirking at the civil war about to commence.
He entered the fray that "BP can clear it up" as a strap line played across the bottom of the TV screen. He was better than us- environmentally right on. He was correct. I was witty.
At least "you proved you can read" I said.
"What?" he said
"But your hearing is still not too good then", I also said. I was on a roll.
Its a take it or leave it way of saying that I ~a parent~ have a life-tine responsibility to be at my teenagers beck and call, and damn it most of the time I am-ish.
Son, Have I told you about a stork and a bush, and that bush was not burning and it was not immaculate.
A mother could retort about pain, hours of labour, about a TENS machine that should have been wired to National Grid for all its capacity for pain relief, laughing gas that hardly raised a contracted smile, needles that paralysed spines and blod pressure with an authorisation to risk a lifetime's paralysis. I am a man, I just had the fun part.So I may not exactly be on the morale high ground and indeed shakey ground may be more appropriate Mr Richter. I occasonally however.....I have to stand up for my love rights, as a response to a son, it may not quite rank with my rather good part in creating a human life, but at least it was a response. My response was.....good.
It was an adult response that may not be the most enigmatic, it may not cut the clever dick scales of superiority or exactly reaching the exalted heights of Dorothy Parker put-down-ability. It may not have set-up a thawing of father-son relationship in a post-Christmas context, but at least there was a fair to middling chance of near immediate tidying.
There may have been a token delay to show he is still a teenager, but I believe that the bed may be tidied, that clothes would not be a substitute carpet, that a plastic bottle that once contained pop was now not considered a long term decorative ornament and possibly by end of play today may be considered rubbish.
Hooray for greed and money.
Yeah, time to sit back and re-discover a life outside being child minder, as my teenagers discover a life outside of me. I may need some tips from my teenagers on how to spread my wings, as I have lost the knack of walking alone.
The daughter is having a bath. A mobile phone is drawn, the family home number zapped. I hear a faint too happy to be true sound. I enter the teenager zone and by God it is ....dangerous, I could trip on things that I never wished to see. The chirrupping guides me but a daughter may hear it above the sound of gushing water, she may think a friend is phoning her, she may catch me in an exclusion zone. The phone is near, but unseen. It sounds terrifyingly loud in a Eurovision winner sort of way. A daughter hears it, and knows it must be for her, it always is, I am in danger of being caught. I am in danger of the Pout. I am afraid to advise the Pout can kill conversations dead. The Pout is a dangerous weapon. My daughter owns the Pout like I own facial wrinkles. I grapple with clothes, I thread a path to release a phone in captivity. I escape. I switch off a mobile phone and a daughter returns to cleanliness and a question was it for me.
"No it was for me" - I did not lie. I smirked in a clever dick fashion that demanded an audience for my wit.
And a phone is revived with electricity in its Living room Cradle.
Somewhere in the ether this translates at Dad Pryce begging Teenager Pryce to cut shapes and teenager Pryce is cutting the air with a sharp stare and a look. I am recognising slowly this Look as "You are not my Father because my father would be considerate".
Rock on. I cut shapes alone amonst the Tango-ers. I am hip going on hip replacement. A circle forms a la America's best dance crew. Is there to be a Dad-on-Dad Dance off. I feel a challenger coming through the masses of playing it safe Tango/ers , I feel he's readying Jiggywithit while I am a ready to shake my tail feather. Sadly I am more alone than Marlene on the wall. Sharp staring is back in fashion apparently, aswell as my new blushing red and it does not match my pants. The middle aged "in crowd" appear to share my daughter's opinion. The middle aged crowd are conditioned to behave to a teenage view of the world, to behave as if old and being old is not having lots of fun. Middling fun once in blue moon is supposed to be my norm. I am not only a disgrace to all things paternal, but to all things middle aged. I am in a void of my own making.
I retreat after a last humiliating "I don't care stand" that leaves little to my dignity as a fellow adult, with an internal voice saying at least, they did not laugh....aloud.... well did not laugh in my face .....much.
So today we talk post dance off with myself, about things my teenagers say are not so good about me. Damning the evidence, I listen but make no promises, I have memories of how to party and I wish to grow old slowly.
And in all this there was a certainly fatherly pride that as skipping goes my daughter's skipping had a grace, a physical eloquence that any comparisons to heffalumps were safely avoided. It is a strange quirk of fatherhood that unholy of unholies things that got ganders up further than absolutely necessary in former times, those rants I entered into at drop of a hat over one or several beers in single-dom pubs are now condoned and not condemned. I am maturing, but is it fast enough to withstand the coming teenage storm.
This is still, at least, sub thirteen behaviour... we await when she wants to go proper nightclub dancing and I may yearn for the easy applause of seeing my daughter skip across a stage.