“Boys only want love if it’s torture…”

nbtb-boys only want love if its torture


Snapshot: Flora and I are careening down Deerfoot, singing along to Taylor Swift’s Blank Space.

Now, you might infer from this that I like—the singer. Or the song.

Truth: I couldn’t care less. I live under a pop culture rock. I don’t think I could pick out Taylor Swift from a line up. And, thoroughly unmusical that I am, I can’t tell you whether the song’s good or bad. It just exists.

Fact: Flora, 10, LOVES it.

Truth: I LOVE her enjoyment of it. It thrills me.

I think: She loves that I love her loving it, and she’s thrilled that I’m singing along with her.

Truth: We love doing this silly loud thing TOGETHER.

Bonus: When we scream…

“Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t, I didn’t warn ya”

…the boy children in the back seat make puking-and-dying-noises.

Everyone’s happy. Win-win all around.


Ender’s six-year-old friend Stella is staring with disapproval at Cinder, who’s standing on the kitchen table, in order to reach something way up on the wall.

Stella: Jane? I think you need to come up with some rules for your kids. Like, they shouldn’t stand on the table, and…

I actually have some rules. Such as… You must wear pants at the table—after the horrible penis-in-hot-soup incident—and no vermin at the table after the traumatic “I lost a mealworm… I think it’s in Daddy’s salad” incident.

And also: Do not make fun of things your siblings love. You don’t need to love Barney (gods know I don’t), because you’re a cool 12 year old, that’s fine. But don’t ruin your little brother’s enjoyment. Don’t mock it. Don’t dis it.

Say, “It’s not my thing.” “I don’t really enjoy that.” “Not to my taste.”

Not: “It’s stupid.” “It’s lame.” “I hate it.”

There are so many things my kids love to do that I really, really don’t enjoy.

Playing video games (any).

Watching iCarly.

Playing Munchkin.

Eating Jelly beans.

“Mom, will you play Battleship with me?”

“You know, sweetie, I don’t really enjoy that game. Could we play something else instead?”

But sometimes:

“Yes, I would love to watch iCarly with you. Tell me, who’s your favourite character? Why? Really? Why do you think she acts like that?”

(Just to be sure I’m not misrepresenting myself: Most of the time it’s—“I’d rather not.” But it’s never, “Why would you waste your time watching that stupid show?”)

(yes, sometimes… I really, really want to say that. But I don’t.)


Flora: Are you watching Pride and Prejudice again?

Jane: No. Downton Abbey. It’s like Pride and Prejudice, except without the hot guy.

(Sorry. Dan Stevens can’t hold a candle to Colin Firth.)

Flora: Is it boring—I mean slow—like Pride and Prejudice? I mean, are there any murders and things in it?

Jane: Well… there’s deaths… but yeah, it’s pretty slow. I don’t think you’d like it right now.

Flora: Well, maybe when I get older I’ll like boring, I mean slow, stuff too and I’ll watch it with you.

Jane: I look forward to that.

Flora: Me too.


Jane: Boys only want love if it’s torture

Flora: Don’t say I didn’t, I didn’t warn ya

Cinder: Mooooooooom! Aaaaareeeee you trying to kill us?

Jane: No. Just torture you a little.

Cinder: It’s working! It’s working!

(It’s not necessarily that he hates the song. It might be that I’m a really bad singer. But you know. He won’t say THAT either.)



 PS Want to sing along with us? Do:

10 thoughts on ““Boys only want love if it’s torture…”

  1. So.Accurate. My 7-year-old keeps bugging me to play Minecraft with him and I really have zero interest in it. Like less than zero. Just this morning he reminded me. So tonight after school I will bite my tongue and spend time with him “learning” Minecraft.

    • and if it drives you totally crazy–don’t. Just don’t tell him it sucks, it’s lame etc. Cause if he told you (or your husband, say) repeatedly, that the thing you love to do is lame and stupid… how would you feel, right?

      • Good point! I acquiesced – once. It might happen again. But I will heed your advice 😉 Thanks

  2. It looks like I was a crap parent. My kids are still alive, so the story about me neglecting them so much they had to boil frankfurters in an electric kettle and allowing them to visit their father where they sat on the roof when they were 7 and 9, plotting how to derail the train that occasionally pootled through the golf course over the road because it was too loud give me some leverage, but obviously prove this fact. I shamefully took them out of school when the day was so gorgeous I couldn’t breath and drove them to a forest where we bought honey ice cream and barbie and woody got married. I let my eldest daughter keep snails till I found them, well their shells floating in a see of green soup, under the bed in her school lunch box. I am a bad mother. I know I am. I guess admitting to it is part of the cure? (Robert Smith is also part of “The Cure” but I think he has his own problems) I blame the fact that Taylor Swift wasn’t born yet. It’s ALL her fault!

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