Okay, people are probably looking at the title for this post and are struggling to see the connection between all three things listed. Teenagers and online gaming: easy connection. A large number of teenage boys are gamers. Teenagers and showers: well, if you have a teenage boy, you’ll understand. Online gaming and showers… Just wait. It’s social media at its best.
My son, bless his soul, turns 16 tomorrow. OMG, my little man is 16. Okay, he’s not so little — he towers over me, but he’s still my little man. (Don’t tell him I said that.)
(See my post about my memories of his birth here.)
Trying to work out what to get him to celebrate has been an exhausting exercise.
He’s obsessed with trains, loves lego, is fascinated by space and science, and spends an insane amount of time on the internet playing online games with his friends. And yes, I know that he’s playing online games, because he’s extremely vocal when the men of his spaceship attack him in response to some crazy command. And I know the ones he’s playing online with too, because I hear the full three-way conversation as they’re shouting at one another. (Did I mention that my son is 16?)
Anyway, one thing that seems to be a common complaint from mothers of teenage boys seems to be the distinctive “man smell” that permeates from their bedrooms. Sometimes when they’re standing right next to you, the eyes water. And don’t forget the need to hold one’s breath when they breathe on you.
OMG… Teenage boys!
Meanwhile, I quietly celebrate that my second child is actually female, then cursing that she’s getting the PMS temper issues instead. Okay, being a mother of two teenagers has its moments — that’s for sure.
But coming back to my son…
There is something else about teenage boys that is a minor frustration: the hair that grows at odd angles. For weeks, I was staring at this single curly hair on the chin and the fuzz on his upper lip. I even threatened to pull out the wax.
Enter the connection between online gaming and showers.
About a week ago, my husband decided to have fun. He knew that our son was on the internet in one of his games — everyone in the house knew, because my son is not exactly quiet when he’s gaming. Anyway, my husband casually stood in his doorway, while I stood in the hall trying not to burst out laughing.
“There’s a distinctive odor coming from your room, and I think it’s the person sitting at the computer. Perhaps you need to take a SHOWER.”
This was rapidly followed by a chorus of “Take a shower!” from his friends online.
A few minutes later, our son not getting the hint that we were going to take full advantage of peer-pressure, my husband returned to the doorway and said, “Oh, and you’ll be shaving tonight — after you’ve taken a SHOWER.”
Again, another chorus of “Take a shower!”
Still not getting the hint, my husband returns a few minutes later for the next bit of fun. “To my son’s friends, do me a favor and remind my son that he needs to take a shower.”
The chorus changed. “You stick!” “You smell!” “What’s that crusty stuff…”
A few minutes later, the counting began. My husband counted backwards from 10, only to be joined by my son’s two friends, and one of his friend’s father who had no idea why he was counted, but thought it was fun to join in anyway.
My son just got up from his chair and slammed the door in my husband’s face. Meanwhile, both my husband and I were in fits of laughter.
My son did eventually take a shower that night, and he learned to shave for the first time — and his only response to me is “Are you happy now?” His friends were good sports about the whole thing, not once teasing him about it. (They’re a good bunch of kids.) But to all the parents out there worried about the life that your teenage sons might be having by spending all their time on internet gaming — just remember that sometimes peer-pressure and social media work in your favor.
Happy Birthday, Little Man. I love you.
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© Copyright, Judy L Mohr 2017