My daughter packed her belongings and ran off to spend this past weekend with a gaggle of preteen girls at a neighbour's house, leaving her brother Frac and me eyeing one another and wondering just how in blue blazes we were going to survive the weekend without being subjected to Fric's endless requests to watch High School Musical over and over again.

Turns out, Frac and I managed just fine. It was dicey for a few hours on Saturday night when I lost the coin toss and was out-voted on the twitter boards and had to pony up and put my big girl panties on to sit through my 11 year old's choice of movie: Paul Blart, Mall Cop.

Short of wanting to stick a straw through my ear and stab my brain repeatedly, it wasn't completely unbearable. It's amazing what copious amounts of buttered popcorn and chocolate can get a mother through. Even the most heinous pubescent comedies are doable when amped up on a sugar high.

Still, there are only so many stupid cartoons and repeated viewings of Star Wars, episodes 1 through 100 that a mother can take before slowly losing her mind.

When it was becoming clear that I was on the verge of turning into a drooling, catatonic shell of my former self after having yet another argument over who was cooler: Chewbacca vs. Darth Vader (I'm totally going for Chewy cuz he's hot in a furry kinda way) I decided to call in some reinforcements and Frac and I invited one of his friends over so that I could hide in my bedroom with my laptop as my son killed yet another round of zombies on some video game or another.

The problem with the friend my son chose to have over is I don't particularly like this boy. He's slightly older than my son at 13 years of age and he is what I call a man-child. He's sporting more facial fur on his upper lip and chin than my husband has on his entire body. Man-child boy disturbs me. 

He's a nice enough kid, with good manners and he always calls me Mrs. Miller even though I keep telling him to call me Tanis. He eats with his mouth closed, manages to pee in the toilet and not on it and always tidies up after himself.

He's a good boy from a broken home. A good boy who likes my boobs. A good boy who lives alone with his dad and finds my laundry fascinating. A good boy who likes to comment on my delicates hanging up to dry and tell me how much he likes pink lace.

Generally said as he is staring at my boobs.

Man-child creeps me out even though he is harmless, short and well mannered.

Still, my son likes him and the two of them play well together and never get into any trouble so I generally put on three sports bras to flatten my McGuffies and the baggiest sweat shirt I own to help deter his roving perverted stare and try to stay out of his aim of sight. 

Which, ironically, is eye level with my breasticles.

Yesterday afternoon, the three of us were sitting in the living room, embroiled in rousing game of Risk where I was whooping their collective asses and teaching them that a woman can rule the world when the subject of siblings and adoption came up.

Man-child knows all about BamBam and our family's desire to increase in size and was naturally curious as to how the process was going. Frac and I answered his polite questions with very polite answers and we compared horror stories about our own collective siblings. 

As I sat and listened to the two boys swap tales of the dark side and how they are surviving the torments of sibling torture, Man-child looked up at me (after staring at my boobs first like the good little pervert he is) and asked why Boo and I don't just have a baby instead of fighting tooth and nail to adopt one.

I was about to launch into a long-ish lecture about how Boo and I want to be able to give a handicapped child a home and how there are so many children in the world that needed parents when Frac piped up and said, "Mom and Dad can't make babies any more."

That put a cork in my mouth fast enough. Let's just go with that, I thought to myself as I looked at Frac and nodded my agreement. 

"What do you mean you can't make babies any more?" the Man-child puzzled.

Oh shit. How badly would his parents beat me if I embarked on a neighbourhood friendly conversation of sex-education with their son, I wondered as I stumbled for words and took a big swig of my water bottle while wishing for something stronger.

Frac, however, stepped in once again to save me from embarrassing him by using words like penis, vagina, sperm, fertilize and uterus by quickly announcing his mom and dad had been fixed.

"Fixed?" the Man-child queried, clearly not comprehending what Frac was talking about. Great, don't these parents teach their kids anything? I thought to myself as I quickly tried to think of a way to explain fixing that wouldn't have me being beaten by his parents or shaming my son with any biological talk.

Frac however, was unworried by any such boundaries and piped up, "You know, fixed. They went to the doctor and he fiddled with their plumbing so they can't make babies anymore."

As I laughed at my son referring to my husband's vas deferens as plumbing, the light behind the Man-child's eyes lit up with comprehension.

"Oh, you mean like when my dad took our dog to the veterinarian so there would be no puppies."

"Exactly," I breathed with relief and tried to turn the boys attention back to the board game and ego whooping they were enduring.

"Ya," Frac snickered as he rolled the dice, "Mom and Dad were fixed. Doggie-neutered," he giggled.

"Dude, I am no dog. And if I was, I'd have been spayed," I haughtily informed him.

Frac cackled with glee at this thought as if it were the funniest thing on the planet when the Man-child piped up, "It's okay Mrs. Miller. My dad calls my mom a bitch all the time. You're in good company."

I was swallowing my water when he said it and it went down the wrong pipe so I sat there hacking as Frac laughed like a hyena and I fought to catch my breath.

"Besides," the Man-child continued, "my dad wouldn't think you are a bitch. You never act like you are in heat like he says my mom does."

With that the board game ended. Man-child had officially won even if he didn't know it.