Through the eyes of an 11yr old

Posted on November 12, 2010


As much as I like to think I can sympathise with the trials and tribulations of my 11 year old son.  I have to admit it’s not happening for me.  Someone is erasing parts of my brain. There was a time when I could remember being 4, then I could think back to about being 7 and now I struggle to remember life before I was 13.

What is happening?

I have no idea but how better to try and remember than to speak to someone who is experiencing it now.  Talking about the life of an 11 year old to an 11 year old will surely enable me to compare and remember about my 11 year old self.  Oh yeah!

Me: “So how was school today?”
Samuel: “It was good”
Me: “What did you get up to?”
Samuel: “Nothing”
Me: “Nothing? You mean the teachers let you do nothing all day?”
Samuel: “Well no Doh! But you know, we had lessons, played football, I missed choir and I had lasagne for lunch oh and I got 45 plus points and the teacher really liked my presentation.”

At this point I’m starting to realise why I can’t remember my life before 13 – I did nothing, my days consisted of nothing in the form of nothing lessons, nothing conversations with friends, and nothing going on in the after school activities.

Me: “You got 45 plus points, that’s great!  So what did you do to get them?”
Samuel: “Oh just the work I did.  Mum!”
Me: “Yes hunni”
Samuel: “I really want something for Christmas but I don’t know whether I should ask for it”
Me: “Well it helps if you let me know what you want but I can’t promise if it’s too expensive.”
Samuel: “It’s kind of expensive but it’s so cool and everyone has one.”

At this point I raise my eyebrows, everything is expensive.  Gone are the days when you could give a simple present that a child really wants and not to forget that all of his friends have one.  I am sure his friends are telling their parents exactly the same story.

Me: “How expensive?”
Samuel: “I don’t know really but I thought if I could do a car boot I could help”
Me: “They don’t do car boots at this time of year hunni but it’s a lovely thought.”
Samuel: “Can I sell some stuff on eBay?”
Me: “What do you know about eBay?”
Samuel: “People buy rubbish, so I can sell pretty much what I like”
Me: “Well it can’t quite be rubbish”
Samuel: “Well you buy rubbish all the time”

So now I understand that my son thinks because I buy things that don’t interest him like food and household stuff that I buy rubbish.

Me: “Well not everyone would consider what I buy rubbish”
Samuel: “Precisely, so I can sell my rubbish and people will buy it because they think it’s not.”
Me: “Let’s have a look at what you are thinking of and I will see whether I think it will sell.  Anyway what do you want for Christmas?”
Samuel: “Why don’t you buy it off me and then you can sell it for a margin on eBay? I want an IPad.”
Me: “a Margin? An IPad?”
Samuel: “Yes you know where you buy from me and then sell for double on eBay, yes an IPad”

So at this point we have 2 separate conversations going on and I realise my son knows more about percentage margins than I do.

Me: “eBay charge you to sell and iPads are very expensive”
Samuel: “What’s the point of that it’s just people selling rubbish?  OK well as the IPad is too expensive please can I have an Iphone instead?”

I just realised he’s built me up to a big OMG he wants a present I can’t afford, to actually lull me into buying him something that is not so expensive but still expensive, however as it’s not so expensive then I might consider it.  Clever lad, but I’m onto this one and not so easily fooled.

At this point I had given up about trying to remember what being 11 was like, my son had single handily taught me that I buy rubbish, I can sell rubbish but buy it from him first and that if he could convince me that he was settling for a less expensive present I would buy it for Christmas.  What I discovered is that at 11 Children are armed with far more experience than we give them credit for.

I’m sure if I can remember that at 11 I was concerned with which Barbie had the best outfit.

How times have changed?