It's dinner time and we all sit around the table and eat at the usual pace - Small Sprog eats as fast as possible in order to get back on line in his own virtual paradise. As I look at us all I realise we are peacefully happy together in our own version of 'normal'. TG is nearing 18 and Small Sprog has practically doubled in size over the last 4 months - he's all long and gangly a bit like those yellow stretchy men that he used to bring home in party bags.
The chatter comes around to boy friends as Tall Girl laments the lack of one - again. Small Sprog has made it clear that he has no intention to pursue a love interest yet. He has watched his best friend Dan change girl friends almost as often as he changes his pants (which, to be fair, for a teenage boy is probably not that often!). Small Sprog is always there to pick up the pieces, from both parties - lending a listening ear and sorting out disputes! It seems to have put him off embarking on a romantic liaison - if you can be romantic at a massive comprehensive school age 14, with nothing much to go on but instinct and the internet!
Anyway, I'm halfway through my Thursday night Pasta Bake (it has to be easy to make on a Thursday as I'm always knackered) when Small Sprog pipes up 'And Dan's already 'fingered' someone'!
I splutter my pasta back onto the plate. 'Thanks Small Sprog, for sharing that delightful bit of information, I think I could do without knowing that at mealtime (if at all)'
'Well it's better than having sex with them' he says in a matter of fact way.
It depends how well it's done, I thought to myself - that was probably, I decided, not quite the right thing to share at the table either.
I look at my beautiful boy and think what a hard time it can be for a boy. All the responsibility of asking a girl out and knowing what to do. If only I could pass on the do's and don'ts of dating and seducing...hardly a topic a teenage boy would want to discuss with his mother.
As predicted he wanders of, slinks away from the table as though we wouldn't notice him leave. I mock plead with him to stay and join in some more conversation. He skips up the stairs.
Tall Girl and I continue the theme as she spouts forth about a quiz on Facebook which can tell you if you're a lesbian or not! All of a sudden he's back; he must have been listening from the top of the stairs and he's eager to catch morsels of information that might help him along the path to sexual knowledge! He sits on the table this time as we have more or less finished eating and he tells me some people in his year have had sex. His sister - ever the moralist- thinks its completely disgusting, but that's probably because it's bypassed her so far! I, on the other hand, make things worse by saying I was 17 when I first had sex. 'That makes me feel a whole lot better!' she hurumphs and I do try to qualify it by saying I had left school and was working and that it was a lasting relationship. I'm not sure this helped.
Small Sprog took in all the information, quietly. It was unusual for him to stay so long in a conversation. Towards the end I said gently that he could always ask me questions - he didn't seem to mind me offering and then he turned to me and said 'Can I show you a new game'
'What's it called' I asked
'Goat Simulator' He replied
And suddenly we were 'back in the room'- all was normal with the world!