Sometimes us mothers have to do things we are not proud of.
I admit that I have inadvertently found myself, on more than a few occasions, skimming through my children’s Facebook pages or stalking their friends; I may even have mistakenly checked their private messages.
Sometimes when you parent teenagers, you have to ignore their ‘right to privacy’ for your own peace of mind and their own good.
To protect them.
I call it ‘parenting’.
What our kids don’t understand is that sometimes we have to do these things to teach them the right values and integrity. Admittedly, it might sometimes be more of a case of divine retribution.
Last week, I had to search clean Kurt’s room from top to bottom. For someone who is so OCD in certain areas of his life, (like having to have his uniform washed every day), that boy can happily thrive in a festering pit.
But the reason I was searching cleaning his room this time was not in search of dirty washing, but for illicit substances.
Kurt’s been a little crazy without the old man’s rod of iron discipline to keep him in check (AS FUCKING IF!), this last ten days.
And my nostrils, (which, for some reason, seem to recognize the sweet perfume of ‘cigarettes that aren’t cigarettes’, if you know what I mean), tipped me off that I might have something else to get anxious about.
And you know how much I thrive on anxiety.
Initially, I convinced myself that the not-unpleasant odour was wafting from our hip but rather cray cray neighbours….well, for all of about three minutes….then I began planning my mission.
First I appointed my team. NC was mission control – being the brains and the Princess Spoodle was our sniffer dog.
I retrieved my forensic kit, which was gathering dust in the laundry as I haven’t had much use for it since the mystery of my chocolate fingers stash, and began my search for the evidence.
Kurt’s room was as dark, fetid and pungent as I imagined it would be when I opened the door. What is it with teenagers and gloom? No wonder half of them are so fucking depressed. I inhaled deeply before I attempted to cross the obstacle course of musical equipment, dirty laundry and shoes that lay between the door and the window.
After 30 seconds of inhalation and psyching up, I covered my nostrils to evade the predictable stench of BO, stale cigarettes and decaying left-over pizza (that was no doubt concealed under the bed), and vaulted straight over the mess to the window to release the foul stench of boy germs.
Then I turned around to inspect the crime scene, hoping for obvious clues.
There were none.
There was nothing for it, I pulled on my rubber gloves, got my torch out and began to investigate more thoroughly, carrying out what I have been prepared for my whole life as a mother, a perimeter search of the area, combing every millimetre of foul carpet.
I opened each drawer gently, careful not to tidy any of the dirty shirts crumpled into balls inside and give myself away.
I poked between new school textbooks – books that had obviously never been opened – I recognized many of the books titles from letters that we had received from libraries over the past ten years.
I found my nail scissors, tweezers, hairdryer and deodorant…….. but, alas, still nothing to suggest that my son was a junkie.
Finally I put on my ski mask, to get down to the real nitty gritty. I got down on my hands and knees and braved the underworld that grows beneath his bed.
The Refuse Mountains in South America have nothing on the debris that collates in that dark, dank habitat.
The decaying scent of old Pizza, congealed Nerds, empty Coke bottles and Oreo cookies assaulted my senses immediately, but aside from my own pestle and mortar (that I have never used to mash up fresh herbs but it just looked right on our wedding list), there was nothing I wasn’t expecting to see under his bed.
I sat back up on my knees and relaxed for a second, praying that my assumptions had been misplaced.
PESTLE AND MORTAR? HERBS? WTF!!!!
I shoved my head back under the bed as quickly as a middle-aged Ninja might and dragged the bowl out with difficulty – (it’s surprisingly very difficult to pick up anything with rubber gloves).
The bowl was full of white powder with a straw protruding from the centre of the incriminating pile.
My worst fears had been realised. I sat down on the bed and shed a tear for my son.
I called mission control NC on my phone. She picked up immediately from her bedroom next door.
‘The eagle has landed,’ I whispered.
‘Why are you whispering? Kurt’s at school,’ she responded drily. ‘And what do you mean, the eagle has landed?’
‘Sorry, I mean’t ‘mission accomplished.’ I still whispered, shakily. ‘I’ve found his stash….the evidence,’ I said, ‘and it’s worse than we thought.’
‘Bring it in here,’ she answered, sounding authoritative but bored.
I covered my tracks by throwing a few more crumpled tee shirts on the floor as well as three wet towels from the bathroom, and then proceeded to the lab NC’s room to get the evidence examined.
NC looked at the bowl sitting in the palms of my trembling, yellow rubber hands, gravely.
She put her finger in the powder and licked it, (authentically, like those real detectives on CSI), while I held my breath.
‘This is serious,’ she said, as any final hope of saving my son began to disappear in a cloud of Cocaine. The shower scene in Midnight Express flashed before my eyes.
‘Kurt’s seriously addicted to WhizzFizz.’