Friday, November 14, 2008
They grow up so fast, don't they?
We spent half term with old friends in Hampshire. My friend from university married Lurch's school friend and they have two boys, exactly the same age as ours. It was lovely. On Halloween we went trick or treating, not that I really approve of that activity, but I relented. About 6 teenage girls came round to call for James, Danny Boy was all studied cool, simmering embarrassment and self consciousness but tailed along with the group. I noted that all of the girls were taller than me, and considerably thinner.
My friend and I took the two younger boys trick or treating. The last door they knocked on was that of a bent and twisted old man of about 98. The Terminator saw him approaching through the frosted glass front door and took his werewolf mask off. Eventually the door opened, The Terminator said 'don't worry, we'll go away' but the old man insisted on searching for something for them and, after 15 minutes he came back and gave the boys 5p to share. They said thank you very politely and my heart swelled with pride when TT explained he'd taken his mask off to avoid causing a fatal heart attack.
Back home to their cosy warm house. Matt's an architect and they've renovated some old stables. All of the children were playing in the garden and Lurch knocked up his speciality for us, Mojitos - topped with fresh mint. Delicious! Life was sweet until I heard the deafening tones of The Terminator from the garden 'You f***in' w***aah!' I inhaled the mojito suddenly, coughing and spluttering, aghast. I called them inside and asked TT what he thought he was doing shouting in someone else's garden, and him a guest to boot. 'Don't worry, Mum' he responded 'it's not real, we're playing Chavs and Robbers! It's so much fun swearing...'
Having put a stop to the game we returned home a couple of days afterwards. A week or so later a shifty looking Danny Boy sidled up to me. 'What's wrong?' I asked 'I've got something to tell you' he replied, looking pale and drawn and at the floor, 'I've been looking at porn on the internet'. This time it was a cup of tea that I ingested. We sat down to talk about it, I found it very, very difficult, I was cross but he had told me. He then explained that all of his friends were doing it and one boy, Robert, spent every Friday night with a couple of Jack Daniels and Cokes surfing the world wide web. He'd given Danny Boy the websites. 'Robert's mother is a teacher and Robert is telling lies' I explained to him. I also told him that porn wasn't real life and that psychiatrists offices were full of young men who were unable to have normal relationships after porn addiction. What else can you say?
I subsequently found out that one of his friends had actually downloaded two porn videos, paid for with his father's credit card. The parents had to send their son's birth certificate to the company to prove that he was 12. Naturally, every computer in the neighbourhood is now fitted with new software and we're trying to hold back that crashing tide...