For a while now, a dark smudge has been growing on my teen's top lip. At first I thought it was just a trick of the light; a shadow formed by winter sunlight. Then I thought that maybe he was up to his old 'never going near water' trick, and it was just a build up of daily grime.
But, eventually, like every mum does, I finally admitted to myself that he is not a child any more. I've already told you about the pubes (which I find hard to even type, never mind think about). But pubic hair can be hidden, tucked away, forgotten about (until you see them again by accident when your paths cross in the bathroom. *shudder*). Your boy's little furry moustache is always there, smirking at you. Saying - I am leaving the warmth of you soon. You were everything to me once. I still quite like you, but now I'm much more attached to my xbox and to my own weirdly changing body.
Well I don't want to see that downy lip any longer. Hence the arrival of THE SHAVER.
Buying a boy's first shaver should really be a Dad's role, I think, but as my ex shows no interest in actual parenting, I've taken on the Shaver Mantle.
Ever been shaver shopping? Let me tell you, it's a minefield out there. A veritable forest of shavers is available, from budget to luxury; three heads or two heads; titanium, rechargeable, trimmer attachments, flexible, retractable, cordless, wet and dry, bladed... He's only got a bit of fluff, for God's sake! I could probably blow it off, given enough puff!
So I went with the cheapest. And it has arrived.
It is sitting on the dining room table, all boxed up. Teen is embarrassed about opening it in front of us, as if it's a box full of porn videos, or a pair of fake breasts, or instruction manuals on how to make your penis bigger - or something. Neither he nor I will really know what to do with it when we've set it up. What's the parenting line, here? Should I test it on my legs, to show him it doesn't hurt? Or will that make him a tiny bit pukey? Or should he just run off with it to his room, and experiment with it?
Is it the male equivalent of putting a tampon in? I remember spending a very uncomfortable half hour in the family bathroom with the door locked, trying to work out how a blinking tampon applicator worked, which way to put it in, does the cardboard come out again, how far up should it go, will it stay, is it in the right place, why does it hurt so much, will I walk like John Wayne once it's in, etc etc.
Surely a shaver is simpler than that?
Well. Let's see.