Anyone who watches Game of Thrones will know that Jon Snow has put us through the ringer recently. He died, he came back to life, we got a glimpse of his Kingslayer (you need to pause the Sky Box at just the right moment…trust me, it took me a while but it was worth it…) and he nearly died again. Damn you, Jon Snow. And true enough, at the moment, there seems to be a real case of life imitating art. For the most part, our Jon Snow is a pretty decent lad to have around. But this week…geez, proper little git. That kid is pushing his luck.
Me: Can you tidy your room?
Jon Snow: No.
Me: Well then, no xBox…
Jon Snow: I don’t care…
Me: *snarling* *face contorted* *daydreaming of launching the xBox into the street…*
This dad. He gets it.
I’m being good. I’m being patient. But there have been a few times this week I’ve wanted to drop him at a lay-by, wave goodbye and watch that sullen look disappear from his face. Make him care. Before you call social services, I won’t follow through. I think.
I know exactly why it’s happening and part of the problem is I am in a huge case of denial. Because Jon Snow is changing. He’s ten. He’s on the precipice of his teens. You can see it, he’s calm and collected one second and the next, he’ll fly into a rage about stuff.
Jon Snow: MY SOCKS! I HATE MY SOCKS!
Me: (laughing) Why?
Jon Snow: (crying) You just don’t get it! I hate you!
I Google the shit out of these things. Hormonal surges apparently. They will give him all the rage and all the mood swings and turn him into delightful company. At the moment he eats. Like a boss. I’ve seen him literally inhale hot dogs. And his face has lost that baby soft sheen. His skin has gone dry and blotchy. His teeth I am sorry to say look like frigging Stonehenge so soon there will be braces. He goes into the barbers, and where before I would just ask them to neaten it up, he now tells the barber he wants to look like a footballer: number 1 around the ears, some length on the top so he can gel it to one side. Yikes. He’s nearly as tall as me. If I had a penchant for wearing Astros then we could feasibly share shoes.
But with all these changes, there will come the inevitable talks, the conversations. Yep, the sex talk. Ned and I are in agreement that when it comes to sex talk, we will do what we’ve always done. Wing it, obviously. Jon Snow knows a bit about what’s going to happen – all his bits will grow and sprout hair, his voice will break, his face will look like pizza and he might start to smell a bit more. Ned also gave him his patented sex ed talk ™. You’ll love this; please feel free to use it on your own children:
Your mother has three holes: one for wee, one for babies, one for poo. Done.
Aaaah, but no mention of the three holes, Ned?
Not only does Ned make me sound like a colander but he also gives the kids the impression that the holes are one-way orifices. Ummm… And it’s not that we’re prudish or think there’s anything to hide. All our kids know that Mummy and Daddy get naked sometimes, lock the door on a Sunday morning and have some alone time whilst everyone’s downstairs eating brioche in front of Danger Mouse.
'Oi oi, Penfold....they've locked the door again...'
Ned and I are also quite terrible at the random nudity thing. Most of the time, the kids see me making the sopping wet naked dash to the bedroom because I’ve left my towel in there. Ned sleeps in the nude (this is not as sexy as it sounds especially given his night time flatulence). So Jon Snow should know the difference between boys and girls. He knows about periods because I asked him when a Tampax ad came on the other day.
‘You bleed out of your baby hole and you have to wear those towel things for a bit.’ Nice.
But I know for fact he doesn’t know what sex is. I know this because he told Arya last month that:
‘…Daddy kisses Mummy and seeds come out of his beanbags, up his body and through his mouth into hers and then she swallows it and makes a baby…’
This made me choke on my cheese sandwich. He slow danced with a girl at a school disco a few months back. One of his friends came up to him and told him, ‘Don’t forget the condoms.’ He told me this story on the school run the next day whilst I was commandeering a vehicle packed with the rest of the wildlings.
Me: ‘Do you know what a condom is?’
Jon Snow: ‘No…but it’s a funny word. Con. Dom. Con. Dom. Rhymes with poppadom…’
Rest of the Car: (chanting) ‘CONDOM! CONDOM! CONDOM!’ *Daenerys pumps her fists in time…*
This makes me relieved that he still doesn’t know everything. I will have nothing to hide when informing him about the mechanics of sex. In essence, sex between consenting adults in love is one of life’s little joys and the reason Jon Snow is here with us. What worries me is the shit load of other stuff to inform him about; the random stuff. Boy stuff about erections and jizz and correct condom use (Ned! I am delegating this part of the talk to you!). There’s a lot to tell him about sex: different variations on a theme, the bad stuff, how he needs to look after his bits, how somewhere down the line someone will have sex with him and they’ll leave and possibly never be heard from again. Don’t be that person, Jon Snow. Mama didn’t raise no fool.
And so Ned and I enter into the great unknown again on our parenting adventure. And there was me thinking Jon Snow was just a surly sock-hating kid who was growing in independence and so would need me less. Little Jon Snow who used to look like a Monchichi and who used to jump around on my bed with me to Kings of Leon. Turns out the little bugger needs me more than ever: if only to take away his Xbox when he has a raj on, and to inform him that he’s not going to get girls preggers by kissing them. You can’t get pregnant from kissing, right? *gets on Google…*