Do you know how much time teenage boys spend gaming? Don’t ask one of them. They wouldn’t be able to answer. They wouldn’t know. They haven’t got a clue.
Why would they want to time themselves gaming when it’s their whole life? It would be like asking them to tell you how many times a day they breathe. As far as Gollum Boys are concerned, (see earlier post) there is no need to ask that question: it’s irrelevant. Gaming is what they do when they’re at home. They’re not causing any trouble in the household, are they? They’re not running around the place mouthing off and smashing your best china. They’re not kicking the dog. But, they’ve turned into Gollum Boys, sitting in the dark, coveting their precious gaming machines as though their lives depended on them.
It was kind of funny when I posted about the situation in March. The dark humour of it was my way of dealing with things I can’t change. This is where the wicked stepmother notion comes into play. I have a theory about stepkids: they get away with far more than your own kids did. You want to know why? Because you’re trying so damned hard to avoid that wicked epithet. As a result, stuff you don’t agree with happens in the house. You don’t approve of Gollum Boy spending all that time upstairs alone with his online friends, but you’ve allowed yourself to become powerless. You’re not his real mother/father. You can’t tell him what to do. So you’ve taken a step back and then another to avoid having that serious talk with biological parent. Previous serious talks have got you nowhere. So, you’ve been keeping the peace and trying to find some way to strike a balance in the house.
Now, it’s not so funny. Gollum Boy has passed out at school. Fainted. Collapsed at his work station. Biological parent is taking more notice now. You bite your tongue to avoid the I told you so scenario and you support the decision to make a doctor’s appointment.
Hallelujah! This young doctor in our little French village is very switched on. He weighs up the situation immediately. He WEIGHS Gollum Boy. He looks at his skin and hair and hands.
The doctor is saying everything Gollum Boy needs to hear. I’m trying not to look delighted.
You must not miss meals. The doctor tells him. You must get up in the mornings and have breakfast. Yes, young man, even at weekends and during school holidays. You are tired in the mornings because you are not getting enough good sleep. At night. When you are designed to sleep. You must limit your gaming to 2 hours each day. That is all. You must get out in the fresh air and take some exercise. Eat well. Fruit and vegetables, young man. Not always burgers. Twenty two euro. Thank you very much.
I could have kissed him. The doctor. Twenty two euro well spent. Biological parent can’t shoot this messenger down with a volley of excuses. Gollum Boy is making himself ill. And biological parent is to blame for allowing it to happen. So am I. Move over Disney. You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Did I tell you I used to be a teacher? Thirty-two sixteen-year-olds in my classes? And I’ve let this happen with one fourteen-year-old? I don’t care any more about being thought wicked. I’m stepping in. Close your mouth and put your eyes back where they belong. Wind your neck in. I said move over.
The next few weeks are going to be very interesting.