There are certain rites of passage that kids go through for which individual parents are ill-equipped.
Although we all like to think we can handle all the questions our kids throw at us about growing up, about the birds and the bees, some things are just better left to one parent or another – usually gender specific.
When Cybergirl got her first bra, I could not have imagined my husband taking on the task of liaising with the lovely ladies at the local lingerie shop to make sure the pretty, frilly piece of underwear fitted to her exacting requirements.
And when she finally reached that point in maturity when more intimate counselling became a must, he hid himself in the shed for hours, unwilling to hear the discussion that proved his baby girl was no longer the bright eyed five-year-old who sat on his knee.
So it was with some trepidation that I arrived home last week to the news that GameBoy wanted to learn to shave.
From my own observation the amount of fine downy hair appearing on his upper lip was hardly worth more than a good scrub with the face washer to remove the dust and dirt of a day at school. But at 14, and with his first girlfriend now firmly ensconced in his school-day life, GameBoy had decided it was time to take that next step into manhood.
He had it all planned, and lined up his dad to teach him the finer points of using shaving cream and sharp implements and had banished the rest of the family to a separate room.
However, a slight oversight saw the plan disintegrate when I failed to remember the new, sensitive skin razors in the shopping.
With a sigh of relief I thought perhaps I could hold on to the youth of my second a little longer, and that with a good night’s sleep the urge to defuzz would diminish and life could go on as usual.
But I was wrong. The next day after school I was forced into the pharmacy for the purchase of the high-tech razors that he assured me would produce the smooth look for which the girls went wild.
It was not until a few hours later that I realised that I was on my own that night and the instructions for putting shaver to face was going to be left to me.
I found the shaving cream, read the instructions, closed my eyes and hoped for the best.
Unlike shaving your legs, shaving your face requires a little more skill and a lot more finesse and GameBoy was certain that my inexperience was going to result in a large slash across his throat and a rushed trip to the hospital.
With my face contorted at all sorts of angles, my tongue firmly in cheek – because that’s the way you get to those tricky bits on the cheek I figured – I went through the motions of a close shave with my 14-year-old son.
He rinsed his still-baby face and looked at me with a newfound confidence I could have cried.
Instead I remarked on what a difference it had made and yes, I could see how much of a moustache he had actually grown in the past few months.
Later that night, as he made his way to bed, all swagger and strut, I reminisced about the toddler that he was and how quickly time does fly when you’re a parent, just like my mother had warned me.
I’m just hoping that he now doesn’t decide to take the full metrosexual route and ask me to take him to the beautician for a full body wax.