day of week

Parents Can Never Be Cool

19 December 2007

Transformers and Turtles

I grew up in the 1980s-1990s with lots of BOY cousins. Which meant I knew a bit too much about the Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Robocop, Marvel Superheroes and the NBA All Stars.

So imagine my delight, 15 years later, as I discover that my 4.5yo son is into the exact same BOY STUFF. When he and his friends get together, all they ever talk about are the Autobots and Decepticons, and Leo, Don, Mike and Raph.

Considering that my son has never actually watched any one of those movies or tv shows, I am both shocked and amazed by how much he can absorb by talking to his friends. I’m not too worried about it at the moment, I’m keeping things relaxed and moderate.

In fact, while all the other mothers shrug their shoulders in sheer disinterest, I correct the boys and say things like, “The weapon that Raph carries is not a fork, it’s actually called a SAI.”

Now am I cool or what?

So the other day, Callum was invited to his friend’s birthday dress-up party. Callum chose to go as Spiderman, and I asked him what the birthday boy was dressing up as.
He said, “Oh. Um. Hmm. What’s the name of leader of the Autobots again?”
“Oh you mean, Optimus Prime?” I said casually.
“Yeah that’s it! Optimus Prime!”

So we rock up to the party, and lo and behold the birthday boy is actually wearing a Megatron costume (the leader of the bad guys, for all you uncool people out there). We walk up to him, say happy birthday and give him his present.

Then there was this awkward pause, in which I decided to make polite make chit chat, “Hey that’s a really cool costume!” I said to the birthday boy, “But I thought you were going to be Optimus Prime, because Callum said—“

The next thing I know I feel a little thump on my leg and I look down at Callum, who is looking up at me with these big eyes and this GLARE.


So I spent the rest of the party sitting in the corner with a paper bag over my head, truly appalled that – against my own sworn childhood promise – I have now become an embarrassing parent.

And my kid is only FOUR.