Wednesday, 27 January 2010
"Byeeeee", we yell, without doing the usual equipment check at the door. "Take your phone" I call, as she's half way up the street. Right, well, never mind.
Five minutes later the phone rings and we can see that it's her. "Somebody get that" I yell, as I help Little Guy brush his teeth. Despite living in an American house, there's no phone in the downstairs loo. The Ball & Chain manages to dive for the kitchen phone before it bounces into e-mail.
"What? What do you need? You're breaking up? Call back on a school phone."
She calls back twice more on her cell phone, perhaps hoping for miraculous improvement by ATT&T. It hasn't happend in twenty years, so why it would suddently improve cell phone reception in under five minutes is beyond me.
Given that she's attenpted to call home twice now, it appears to be a national emergency so we stand guard at various phones. Then my brain wave:
"Text her", I say. "She can always send and receive texts". Isn't that the way teens communicate these days anyway?
"WHAT DO U ND?" texts the B&C.
Some huge emergency. Her response????
"Why R U still in the House?"
Saturday, 23 January 2010
My daughter has been in a grotty mood since she started 6th form,
Thursday, 21 January 2010
I don't know what's happened to my parenting blogging Mojo, mes bloggy loves...
Sunday, 17 January 2010
Monday, 11 January 2010
So, I asked my son who I'm going to see and at what time.
And his reply...
"Oh, I didn't bother I thought you could just speak to them in the staffroom or something"
And my response...
"I haven't taught there since July"
I do actually live with my son.
Love from your
Thursday, 7 January 2010
I made all kids go to bed at a reasonable time on Sunday night, the backpacks were ready at the door, the PE clothes washed and ready, cell phones, keys and other paraphernalia located. Oh yeah....2010 is bringing some changes, I thought.
Now, I admit that we were an hour behind on Monday morning, having spent two weeks on Mountain Time instead of Central Time, so waking up was going to be a challenge. The Ball & Chain usually gets up five minutes before me and makes so much noise that there's no way I could ever fall back to sleep, but since he's on a quote unquote "conference", I was in charge. Managed to wake the man-child a whole ten minutes before he had set his alarm - not a happy camper, to put it mildly.
"Oh for god's sake it's only ten minutes" I said. He displayed a surprisingly dry wit for a just-woken teen when he punched back with "Oh yeah, 'cause you wouldn't mind at all". I sloped off, stage right.
The Queenager said she was awake when I popped my head in, but she could have been sleep-talking. The Little Guy - was nowhere to be seen. At 6, he's perfecty capable of getting his own breakfast, as long as I don't mind wiping up the half gallon of milk that doesn't make it into the cereal bowl, so I wasn't worried. I'm not thrilled about him getting up earlier than 7am though. Why? Because he can't tell the time yet (eek) so neither of us have any idea how long he has been up. Has he been watching TV for two minutes or two hours? How much sleep did he actually get?
Anyhoo, after much questioning, the teenagers were allowed to leave for school. (Phone? Keys? PE stuff? Homework?) "Mom", they wailed as one, with maximum lack of patience, and much eye-rolling.
And yes, it happened.
Two minutes before leaving with Little Guy, came the first phone call. It was so predictable that even LG said "Oh that must be one of them."
Me: "Yes", stretching out the word for maximum effect.
Queenager: "Oh thank god you're still there." (Playing to an audience of at least six high schoolers, I deduced.)
Queenager: "I forgot my math homework. Can you bring it please."
Me: "What, - the stuff you were panicking about last week and have been working on ALL weekend?"
Queenager: "OK, OK. Pleeeeze can you bring it? Thanks. Love ya."
Thirty seconds before leaving, there it goes again.
Me: "What now?"
Me: "Oh it's you. What's the matter?"
M-C: "Hey. Mom? (Pause) I forgot my key. You will be in at 3.30pm won't you?"
Me: "What if I'm not?" (Like I go anywhere.)
M-C: "Mom". Again with the hour-long word.
Me: "Yes, I suppose so". (Implying huge sacrifice on my part.)
M-C: "Cool. (Pause) See ya".
Oh well. What's that song? Tomorrow, tomorrow......
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
The teenagers and their little prodigy (aged 9) have disappeared Down Under to torment the Father for a month. We can tell they’re Missing In Action. Here’s how:
1/ Water – We have water. We have HOT water, on demand! This little terrace in North Hampshire has become our latest spa. Now if I could only figure out how to get manly, muscled attendants to preside over my la salle de bain.
2/I threw out a bottle of milk, because it was past its use by! I know. I can’t remember ever doing that before. Typically the Son (15) skulls the milk with cornflakes to build up his strength for another demanding day building levels on Little Big Planet. Dark Princess (13 going on 30) is determined to nip osteoporosis in the bud so she downs the rest of the carton before anyone wakes. We are perpetually short of milk, so much so I’ve considered raising a cow in the back yard.
3/ The TV has not magically turned itself onto Cartoon Network overnight.
4/I have loo roll, dishwashing and washing machine tablets, and enough butter left to freeze and carve into a sculpture!
5/At midnight last night I could hear something creaking in Son’s room.
6/I can dash to the loo in the middle of the night without having to grab my ever-so-sexy black velour dressing gown, and no one yells ‘Muuuuuum’. (‘This embarrassingly stretch-marked body gave birth to you child!’)
7/ I can play Tainted Love without being reminded how old I am by the teens knowing all the words (it’s on Guitar Hero as a retro hit)
8/I have bandwidth. It’s not being sucked away by Limewire or online battles of Age of Empires.
9/I feel the need to engage my Englishman in petty argument. I’m just not getting enough verbal sparring.
10/I can locate all of my clothes. They are not stuffed under Dark Princess’ bed in a smelly heap. Pairs of shoes are still in my wardrobe not missing last seen at school/dance/drama. I have hair ties for the gym, and I haven’t had to look at a nit comb in a fortnight!!
I have two more weeks of this strange regime and then they will return. I’ll probably be missing them by then.
Friday, 1 January 2010
We have busy house with lots of people and lots of space.
We have one TV, no cable, no Tivo (I actually don't even know what that it, exactly), and pretty ancient guidelines/rules about watching only on the weekend.
Over the last year or so, the TV has been making a more and more invasive presence in our home. Borrowing movies from the library has become an almost weekly expectation. Teenagers like all kinds of crazy television. Saturday morning Yu-gi-oh turning into Saturday afternoon bad 70s movies, turning into baseball games, and now football games. I haven't liked the refocusing, but I have let guidelines be bent.
Until this weekend....when a disrespectful unload from a teenage mouth that had just spent hours in front of the television led me to walk to the box, unplug it, and remove it from the living room. I didn't have to or plan to offer an explanation.
You might be wondering what television has to do with a disrespectful mouth. Well, it's all attachment. Television disconnects from relationships and when our kids are disconnected from the loving people around them, they forget how to behave. Sounds simple...and in many ways it really is simple.
The kids were facing a Sunday through Wednesday holiday from school and were distraught...it seems they have completely forgotten how to make themselves happy without the plug in box.
"What do you expect us to do while you are at work all day?"
"You mean, after you finish your chores?"
"Uh, um, yeah...?"
"It's not my job to entertain you, my dear. I am sure that you can figure it out."
When I returned home on Monday afternoon, the house was quiet. I couldn't hear a peep. Only the dogs greeted me at the door.
Good golly, they ran away to a house with cable!
Actually, I found them. Quietly doing a variety of creative activities in their rooms!
I love when it is so clear that we, as parents, do the difficult, but right thing!
Yours in Chaos,