I recently became a father, and I have a confession to make: I'm not sure I like my son very much.
First of all, he was born a teenager, which is a hellish experience for any parent. The sullen silences. The indifference. The disappearing for days on end with not a word of explanation or apology.
I hear myself turning into my own father, shouting: “You treat this place like a hotel!” Which is fine if you're on your own, but in public? Not so much. Especially when you're yelling it at a phone screen. People on the subway tend to back away ...
All he does is take. I spend every clover leaf I have on food and gifts, and place them lovingly in his backpack as he prepares for another one of his vanishing acts and what do I get in return? Zero. Nada. Not so much as a “thank you” or “see you later”.
clover n. [植] 三叶草
And I'm also worried he might have fallen in with a bad crowd. There's a little mouse chick he hangs around with sometimes. Occasionally, when he can be bothered, he sends me postcards of them together, traipsing around temples or hot springs, on my dime.
traipse vt. 在…游荡；走过
But I'm guessing they must argue a lot because she often refuses to travel with him, judging by the number of times he's alone in the pictures.
But the one I really don't trust is a butterfly. That one is a total gold-digger, leading him astray with her fancy wings. He doesn't see her very often, probably because she's off with one of her other, richer boys.
I've tried to warn him about her, that she's using him for his clover leafs, but he ignores me, as usual. He just slumps at the table, eating the food I've made him or sharpening a pencil that looks suspiciously like a knife, but I try not to think about that.
And don't get me started on the snail kid or that bumblebee. What a couple of freeloaders! They show up at the front door at all hours, completely unannounced, and I'm supposed to feed them like it's no big deal.
"What about your parents, what's going on with you two?" I ask them. But they're as bad as my son. No answers.
I've asked other parents about this and they report similar incidents of insolence. Apparently there is also a turtle who's a major culprit but I haven't met him yet.
On the plus side, my son is quite creative. He's always at his desk, writing. I have no idea what, of course, he never lets me read anything.
There's always the possibility that I'm just jealous. My son has a far better social life than I do. Maybe I'm the one with the problem. Because my son doesn't seem to have a care in the world.
其实我可能只是在嫉妒我“儿子”。因为他的社交生活比我丰富多了。可能我才是那个有问题的人，我的儿子似乎不知人间烦恼为何物。About the author & broadcaster
Graeme Elder was born in Scotland and after studying journalism in Glasgow has worked in newspapers in various parts of the world for more years than he cares to think about. He spends most of his spare time trying to finish writing a series of novels for teenagers and worrying about the Juventus midfield. He apologizes for the beard.