Practically Speaking

Being a parent is exceptionally rewarding, especially as your children begin to get to an age where you can interact with them on a number of new levels.

My son Monty is quickly approaching 12 years old and as much as I embrace his growth physically and mentally I do sometimes miss the younger more naive version when he believed my every word without doubt.

Skepticism is a strong Crane trait so I am always delighted when I manage to get one over him.

For the last two weeks I have been doing just that with one of the best planned practical jokes I have ever had the pleasure of plotting. It has involved other people, the Internet and even unknowingly school friends.

Two weeks ago I “broke” the news to Monty that, by law, in New Zealand that prior to turning twelve and before the early onset of puberty it was mandatory for all boys to be circumcised unless they were exempt on religious grounds.

I added that his mother and I had debated long and hard (excuse the pun) about doing it when he was younger but hadn’t been able to agree meaning that the inevitable had been put off and that now with only days to his birthday (something he had been looking forward to) the clock was ticking.

We discussed the options, the best dates and the lack of a general anesthetic; the fear grew in his eyes and voice as he researched the various processes online (helped by some well positioned links).

Over the last two nights the bargaining has escalated as he has offered sacrificing all money that would have been spent on presents to be used to pay for private treatment. He has taken an unusual interest in my medical policy and generally has been more nervous than I have ever seen him before.

Today I have capitulated; happy with the length of time I had him worried, amused by his genuine fear and feeling a little guilty.

It will be something he won’t forget and I am sure it will come back to haunt me in years to come, but as my son creeps closer and closer towards not being the small boy I love so dearly it will live on as one of my greatest triumphs.


Practically Speaking | Dispatch