Is there anything more special than a mother/son or a father/ daughter bond? The Almighty has surely blessed me because I have experienced both. One as an offspring, the other as a parent.
As most of you know, I am the proud mother of two sons. It’s an amazing experience to be the centre of a child’s world, even knowing that the centre of that world is only leased to you for a short period of time. As a parent, knowing when to edge more towards the circumference of that world is the key to surviving your offspring’s adolescence.
Every mother/son relationship is filled with punctuation points. Those milestones that signify sometimes subtle, sometimes sledgehammer-like changes in the relationship. The points at which there is no returning to what was. I admit I look forward to these punctuation points because, at least in experience, they have generally been positive or have led to something positive. They are also confirmation that as a parent, one is doing one’s job.
Punctuation point #126 is one of these milestones. It’s the point at which a son develops a taste for fashion and a mother’s role as stylist comes to an end. This point is not necessarily marked by a sudden desire in your son to accessorize or colour co-ordinate or emulate a GQ magazine cover, but rather it means that it’s time to leave little boys clothes behind and become the master of one’s own fashion destiny.
In my experience, point #126 is reached somewhere when your son is between the ages of 12 and 15. Of course, there is always the odd would-be David Beckham prodigy who has the metrosexual thing happening at the age of 8, but they grow up to be Justin Bieber and well, let’s not go there shall we?
The thing is, you never really know the relationship has reached point #126 until you have passed it. You will blissfully be buying packets of 15 assorted colour jockeys as you have done many times in the past because your son needs them only to have them shoved at the back of the drawer with him continuing to wear the worn out underwear with the skull motiff that Aunt Clarice gave him as a Christmas present 3 years ago. The jockeys no longer work because point #126 has unknowingly been reached and because he’s your son and you are his mother, he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. He doesn’t know how to break the news to you.
Remember how simple life was when your son was 6 years old and you could go out with utter confidence and buy your child’s outfit? How he loathed shoe and clothes shopping and it was all you could do to get him to the mall to try on a pair of shoes. Remember how you used to go out of your way to never buy your son outfits with “skull stuff” on them? Seriously, when my kids were under ten it was an impossible task to find a piece of clothing without a skull or other gruesome Halloween creature on it. Why clothing manufacturers, why? Why do you want a 6 year old to channel their inner Hulk?
Somehow we got through the horror clothing era, testosterone intact and without either of my boys having dewingined any butterflies or ripped anyone’s arms off to arrive at point #126.
Yes folks, we are now at point #126 with my youngest. And true to form, I only know this because we just passed it with an incident involving socks, a T-shirt and a pencil case.
Him: “Just get me a plain blue pencil case, Mum”
Me: ” I thought your older brother’s advice was to stick the one pen you use for school in your pocket”
Him: “Yeah, that didn’t work. I’ve actually got four pens and a calculator”
Me: “Better that then three weddings and a funeral!”
Him: “Huh? Anyway, just don’t get me anything fancy, Mum. I don’t want any stars, skulls [!!!!! – my emphasis] or anything”
So, as part of the MO code and my service to mothers of adolescents everywhere, here are some of the signs that your son is approaching point #126:
- he starts wanting to shower everyday
- he starts taking a major interest in deodorant
- he spends copious time in front of the mirror
- he wears the same two T-shirts all week, because he now doesn’t like the rest in his drawer
- he doesn’t have the usual hangdog expression when he receives clothing as a gift
- he realises that blue and green are not the same after all
- he knows the difference between coral and pink
He can’t quite articulate what type of clothing he likes until sometime after point #126 is reached. The fashion vocabulary and conceptualizing have not yet fully developed. It takes a mother’s keen power of observation, intuition, planning, mastery and all of your five senses to keep ahead of the fashion game during the transition period which ends when your feldging fashion plate is confident enough to fully develop his own sense of style.
One final word of advice, when your mother/son relationship arrives at point #126, it marks the stage at which mothers have to learn to SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!! Trust me, voicing your opinion at his choice of grey school socks with white sneakers teamed with camouflage coloured pair of shorts only leads to bad juju. There can be no winners in that contest.
Congratulations, you have now made the move from wardrobe stylist to wardrobe consultant. May the Zoolander be with you!
Have you had the same experience with point #126?Is there a similar point with daughters? What is the most outlandish outfit your child has chosen to wear?
33 thoughts on “Mother and Son Relationship Punctuation Point #126: Fashion A La Mode”
As the father of two sons I can relate — I watched my wife deal with this!
I don’t think my hubby actually knows about point #126. Clothes shopping for him is 15 minute recconnaisance. No agonising there! I didn’t know you had two sons, wonderful. I assume they are now all grown up?
Yes and they each have two daughters!
I still don’t know the difference between coral and pink.
But I loves me my Hawaiian shirts!
(And great advice about the “shut the front door”. that should be highlighted in teh parent manual.
Wearing Hawaiin shirts well is an art form and I have no doubt you do it well. Ever worn a Hawaiin shirt with a tie?
Yes! And I once wore one to a wedding.
It was a tasteful one though, and I checked with the couple first.
Ha! The sad thing is that the femaile equivalent is probably the mu mu and let’s just say, not eveyone looks good in a table cloth ;). Certainly not me!
Both my sons have passed point #126. The youngest came through with flying colors. In other words, he chooses his clothes wisely. The oldest would wear sweatpants and a t-shirt everyday were it possible. Is it too much to ask for a pair of jeans when we go out to eat? Jeans! That’s not that big of a request. 🙂
Yes, jeans are a big request, at least for my 13 year old. No way, no how, never. The only solution is those the sweatpants that sort of look like slacks. I feel your pain, sister 😉
Really enjoyed your post, as a mother myself . By the way I am one of Lee’s Ambassador’s for the A to Z Challenge so thought I’d make myself known to you.
Hi Yvonne, really good to meet you. I swung by your blog today. I love rhyming poetry and anyone who can write it certainly has my vote. Looking forward to getting to know you more throughout the Challenge.
I love it. I have two boys and it is a journey. When they do mature things, I go wow that is cool. And, just when I think they “got it,” they will backtrack and doing something foolish. My girl is truly wired differently. She is much more aware of things and shares more. Great post. BTG
It’s hard for me to know really as I don’t have daughters. It’s good in a way, becuase I don’t really know my way around a makeup bag and thier training would have been woeful. I’m more tomboy than anything else. Hope all is well in your world.
It’s a sad day when the sons don’t wear everything you bring home…very sad. This year my son actually printed out pictures of specific clothing he wanted with the statement “This way you won’t make any mistakes.” I thought “what happened to my baby?”….boo.
At least you had a road map, I don’t have any. All I get is a few vague instructions about it should “sorta look like this” and “I don’t like a round neck”.
Point 126 started with my son when he was 18 months old. He wouldn’t wear anything without pictures on it. I expected the phase to stop, but it never did. He was always insistent. Now at 21, he insists on ragedy old shorts and hoodies. Sigh.
Wow your son started young in his quest for independance. The no pictures thing is not a bad idea, it means that clothes should last longer given they don’t need to be replaced when the next fad comes out with merchandise. I can guarantee there is a strongliklihood that he won’t turn up in shorts and a hoodie to his wedding (when it comes).
Ah, the joys of parenting. As soon as my daughter started highschool, the hair became straw blonde (Ew), she thought fake suntan was gorgeous (ugh). Now I have two grandkids. I don’t like lots of parenting my daughter and her husband practise and must keep a tight lip. You thought Point126 was hard. I hope I can live through THIS (we live in the same house).
Such is the lot of a grandparent, but the flipside of being able to “give them back”, I guess. It must be interesting to live in the same house. I know you have the upstairs/downstairs thing happening.
Having girls..when they were younger well mum just chose their clothes and they were happy to oblige and wear or angry mum would rise up. As they got older they wanted to wear ‘weird’ stuff occasionally but no angry mumma bear wouldn’t allow it… you want to what with what? Of course now they wear what they want..they are adults as so I shall let them 😉 Great post J. 🙂 xxx Cruelle De Ville.
Well, Cruella you gots to do what you gots to do…. 🙂
roflmao yusm maam
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My oldest son is 17 and I’m ashamed to admit I just caved in over the dreaded boxer shorts hanging out of the jeans. Ugh!
No shame in that as resistance is futile. The trend should only last a year or two, my eldest just turned 18.
I have an absolutely wonderful relationship with my 30 year-old daughter, and it has always been so because circumstances enabled me to spend so much time with her when she was growing up.
I had no close relationship with either of my parents which I regret, but I certainly didn’t bother them with fashion trends. I had no fashion sense back then, and certainly have none now.
That’s good to hear GOF as there are so many negetive parent/child relationship stories. As for fashion sense, I seriously wouldn’t know the back end of a makeup back. Thank goodness I didn;t have daughters is all I can say 😉
That’s hilarious. I’m not a mother, but I do have a younger brother and I remember when he started spending more time in the bathroom than I did, and used so much hair gel his hair was crunchy!
I’m one of Arlee Bird’s Challenge Ambassadors, and just wanted to stop by and say hi, and I’m looking forward to working with you! 🙂
Hi Jaimie, thanks for introducing yourself. I swung by your blog today and even wrote about it in my latest post. I’m also looking forward to the whole Challenge experience 🙂
I have an amazing son myself, and can relate to your story very well:)
Hi M J, thanks for swinging past my blog. Will return the favour with a vist to yours. Good luck with the Challenge 🙂
Great post J!