We’ve all been very relieved about the good news on the cancer front. Of course. I got big hugs from both the teenagers which nearly made me cry, as it only then sank home what it all really meant.
Later that evening one of the boys suddenly turned to me and said “So does that mean you’re going to start doing our laundry again?”
I’ve been on strike since a particularly bad week somewhere near the start of the chemo when the washing mountain grew and grew and my idle offspring waited for me to deal with it. It was half term, I believe, so it wasn’t as though they were pressed with other duties.
Anyhow I’ve enjoyed being on strike and see no reason to regress. In fact, I regard it as my duty as a mother to stay on strike. Their future wives will surely thank me.
Now, do you reckon I could get them to clean the loo?
Tara, at Sticky Fingers, sets a photograph challenge each week. I’ve been meaning to take part for months but, well, you may have noticed that I haven’t blogged for months. So, to celebrate putting metaphorical pen to metaphorical paper, I’ve hunted through Windows Explorer to find something for this week’s theme: Show me the funny.
May I present two or maybe three photos which encapsulate for me Living with Teenagers.
I spotted this sculpture at Tate Modern earlier this year. It sums up for me exactly how I feel when I come home from a week’s fieldwork. Laundry basket overflowing, bedroom floors invisible beneath the mound of wet towels, on duty as Domestic Goddess (if only) the moment I step through the door…
And then there is the challenge of making teenage boys Go Out For A Walk… You can feel the happiness and excitement in this picture.
And finally, do teenage boys read? Or only when they have to?
I know that, as a responsible citizen with a fully paid up TV licence, I should have been watching the Prime Ministerial debates during the election campaign. And I did, I really did, listen to part of each of them on the kitchen radio following the Guineapig family’s various Thursday evening jumping around activities in disparate parts of East Lothian. But I only listened to part of them because on Thursday evening at 9.30pm Outnumbered came on the box. The series is now finished, sadly. Political debate v Outnumbered? Scripts v improvisation? Adults arguing like children or children arguing like adults? No competition.
Anyhow, one of the best episodes of the election campaign was the one where the family discovers that Ben’s a whizz at chess. It suits him because spear wielding knights can charge through the opposing army and lay waste in all directions while alien pawns come hurtling in from outer space. As part of the discovery process there were dicussions about the relative merits of letting your child win as opposed to playing to win yourself. Of course, when Ben trounced them all they all protested that they’d just let him win. No, they didn’t fool the viewers. It set me wondering, though, at what point I stopped playing GP2’s Scrabble hand as well as my own and started playing for my own survival. I’m just about hanging on to my winning record, but only just. And when did I start finding the crossword has been done by one of the children before I get there?
This morning, at 9am, I found myself online with my finger hovering over the Buy This Instant button as T in the Park tickets came on sale. Apparently I agreed to buy GP1 a ticket in return for his fantastic exam results this year. That must have been during one of my more maternal “Let’s be positive and look on the bright side” moments, as my understanding of fantastic exam results doesn’t entirely coincide with my son’s. In fact, I don’t think our opinions even approximately match. Still, not being one to go back on my word, even if I can’t quite remember the conversation, I did the deed and bought the ticket.
So I’m now the proud owner of a ticket for the 2010 T in the Park. It’s my ticket. Mine. Not his. If he wants it, there will be conditions attached. And if he doesn’t get respectable marks in his prelims in February, I will be offering the ticket to the highest bidder. Or any bidder. Perhaps I’ll give it away. I’m sure there are some very deserving cousins who’d appreciate it. Who knows, I could even go myself.
If I were my son, I wouldn’t be calling my bluff. You have been warned, GP1.
Please form an orderly queue now. You can camp overnight if you want to be first in line. And no pushing at the back!
Things were easy when the boys were small. Birthday parties maybe involved booking the swimming pool or local bouncy castle for an hour or so, a few sandwiches and crispie cakes, grapes for the health conscious and a party bag or two. We went through taking a few friends to the pictures and then it all went quiet for a while before we got to paintballing.
So, this year… “Mu-um?” “Yes?” (note the nervous upward inflexion).
“Can we have a few friends in? And will you go out for the evening? Maybe you could stay out overnight?”
“How many friends? Who? And there’s no way we’re staying out overnight.”
Parents’ Evening could have been worse, I suppose, but you do have to read between the lines. A little conversation ensued on my Facebook page, to help me in the interpretation. I though you might all like to join in.
“I used to get comments like, easily distracted, can do it if he makes the effort. Not to mention the poor splelling 😉 “
“My best was for p.e. – J. would benefit from a more active approach to this subject”
“Teachers’ code. Lazy ass who needs a kick up the backside. But we are not allowed to say stuff like that.”
“Teachers’ code: I know a teacher who refers to the pupils as E.L.F.s (evil little f…ers) Made us laugh lots.”
So there we are. External exams are over for another year. Next year will be the big one – GP1/Highers (I’m trembling and pale at the prospect) with GP2/Standard Grades (an entirely different proposition). This year, though, was a relative breeze.
Mum, paranoid, needs text from boys, teenagers (gmt & vyt), afloat somewhere in the Clyde. Maybe they’re too seasick to text. Or too cold, wet and miserable. More likely they’re having a great time and we’ll hear all about it at the weekend. After they’ve had 24 hours sleep, that is. I do wonder, though, if the boat crew have enlisted the services of an interpreter for those East Lothian accents yet.