5 ways you know you have a pre-teen boy in the house

delta force day out

This month my boy officially became a pre-teen. He celebrated his 12th birthday.
Clearly I’m not old enough to have a 12 year old. There is NO WAY I’ll be old enough, or responsible enough, to have a teenager next year.

But I have been blessed, for my pre-teen is pretty much problem free.
He has been a joy to parent, right from the moment he arrived bang on his due date and he looked upon the faces of his two utterly bewildered parents.

Dan is a sportsman and has a sportsman’s team spirit, enthusiasm and respect. He is and always has been very loyal to his friends. He has great wells of compassion. And he still hugs his mum a lot.
His dad and I are really rather proud of him.
We don’t tell him this enough.

But there are ‘cons’ to this relationship.
5 of them actually. So here you go 5 ways you know you have a pre-teen boy in the house. So, you know, you can prepare!

1. The cupboards are always bare
I feel like one of my primary functions in this house is food shopping. Every other day I stock up and every other day it’s like a plague of locusts have munched their way through the entire contents of our fridge. And we have a very big fridge.
He is always hungry.
Half an hour after eating a roast dinner the same size as mine, he’s asking for a snack. My overriding vision of him is the ghostlike glow of the fridge’s innards as he stands there, eyes darting around the shelves for something to satisfy his raging hunger.
I didn’t realise one human being could eat so much toast in one sitting.

2. There is a certain smell
It is the smell of boy. Slightly sweaty, a little earthy, not entirely unpleasant but if left to fester it makes your eyes water slightly.
Last Christmas Dan was gifted lots and lots of Lynx body spray and Fat Face smellies. For a year we’ve suffered a fog of man scent enough to bring on an asthma attack if you walk in his bedroom.
I’m not sure which smell is worse.

3. Mud
Everywhere. Over everything. School shoes, best shoes, back of the neck, knees, fingernails.
You will wail about HOW the heck he manages to get so much mud in such hard to reach places.
And then wail some more as said mud finds its way onto towels, the bathroom floor, light switches.
He will pop outside for a quite game of footy and bring half the pitch back with him into your once very clean house.
His favourite trainers that he spent ages choosing because they had to be just so, will never ever be clean but he will shrug like you’re being picky and unreasonable when you point it out.

4. Socks
You thought sorting the socks out after a wash was a nightmare before? His socks are pretty much the same size as his dad’s. And the same colour. You will get moaned at, accused of incompetence and suffer the eye roll constantly for mixing them up.
Get used to it. Or buy socks which are easy to identify.

5. Social media
Ooof. A new generation of pre-teens brings with it a whole new host of issues.
Between the Xbox and his iPad there is a real danger of never actually seeing your child’s face, let alone having a conversation with them.
I’ve gone down the ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ route, so we often sit and giggle at something he’s seen online – obviously he has no clue it’s my way of checking that he’s safe and not using that godawful text speak any where 🙂

I’m sure having a pre-teen girl in the house bring with a whole different set of challenges so we have that to come in a couple of years.
Are your experiences the same – or do you live in a whole other circle of hell?!


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19 Responses to 5 ways you know you have a pre-teen boy in the house

  1. I can relate….I have a 12 year old girl! lol I understand the certain smell….I walk into her room (climbing over the junk on the floor) and Im sure she coats her room in perfume and deodarent each morning….lol
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  2. OMG I hear you! But the only difference is the socks just get pulled off in his bed…and stay there until I've screamed at him there aren't ANY socks in his sock drawer, apart from the one I've just put in there…but, bloodyhell, they're good fun! x
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  3. SusanKMann says:

    Aww bless, what a lovely boy. I am not quite there yet, but it won't be long x
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  4. oh I can relate to this so much with my 14yr old who sounds very much like Dan in every way. As far as the socks are concerned we've all taken to sharing socks as the husband has no clue which belong to who when he sorts them out – and the teen boy seems to like wearing odd ones now which makes pairing much easier. oh & I have never seen a person put away so much bread & still look skinny – he ate 6 bread rolls on the way out the other night and he said he wasn't even hungry!
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  5. coombemill says:

    I have 3 at this stage, I so understand every one of your 5 points. It is also reassuring to know mine are probably typical!

  6. Kara says:

    I learned the sock lesson a long time ago and make sure they all have identifiable socks although I’m not sure that the pairs of socks reach the washing bin at the same time as I can never find their correct partners! My boys are fully fledged teens now and my cupboards are always bare and they moan there’s no food even if there is a fruit bowl full of fruit – all they seem to want to eat is rubbish!!

  7. Iota says:

    Yes, socks that have different coloured heels or toes are the way forward (3 men in the house here all have the same sock size and all wear black socks). Or realising that they just don't care if they wear each other's socks. My battle on the sock front has been teaching the boys to unravel their dirty socks when they take them off. Who wants to have to pull endless smelly dirty balls of scrunched up footwear into shape, before putting them into the washing machine? Yuk.

    The thing I hadn't expected as my children grow up is the sheer amount of physical space they take up. Seems obvious, but I'm still not quite used to the thudding as they run downstairs, the sprawled bodies on the sitting room floor, the emptying of the cornflake packet in a couple of sittings (as you say), and the bumps in the night as my 14 year old turns over in his single bed and wallops the wall that separates his bedroom from ours. There's just so much of them, and even if they're not around, as you mention, there are plenty of lingering reminders in terms of mud, laundry, aromas, etc. The only thing that goes in the smaller direction is toys. No more piles of brightly-coloured plastic, or boxes spilling off shelves. It's all small electronic things and wires and cables.

    Great post.

    • Tara says:

      Oh my Iota, that sock thing. I TOTALLY hear you. I rage when I find socks in the basket in a ball. The worst are rugby socks – having to put your hand in there and straighten them out URGH

  8. sarahmo3w says:

    Can relate to the mud and the smell! My 11yo won't accept that he does smell sometimes and needs to shower every day. He also thinks that putting jeans and a clean Tshirt on over his mud is a perfectly acceptable way to get rid of it! My boys don't seem to eat quite as much as a lot of boys, but they do get through a fair few biscuits these days.
    With two big boys (plus husband and me a similar size) – they all have their own individual sets of socks, but they often don't make it to the washing machine together as they get taken off in random places and not put in the wash properly.
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    • Tara says:

      It's good knowing you're not alone isn't it?! There are so many baby and toddler bloggers, I'm clinging on to those with older kids to see what 's coming my way!

  9. witwitwoo says:

    Oh God, the smell! And Dexter's only 10! He'll be getting ALL the Lynx for Xmas! Having a boy that's left home though, you'll miss him when he's gone, so enjoy the mud and odd socks while you can! 🙁 x
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  10. anna10george says:

    I totally agree with "The cupboards are always bare" thing . it always happens with me too..nice read in total 🙂 The boy is cute.
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  11. Fortunately we managed to avoid the mud as my son is tall enough for basketball. Lovely indoor sport with dry clean boots. The smell though, that lingers, for many years. I can definitely vouch for that 🙂

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