Monday, 28 June 2010

Growing up...

It's been a tough old year this one, in terms of child-rearing, I mean.

What with the 'C' words: Cannabis, Cussing, Cigarettes, 'Can I have some more money for petrol?', 'Can't be arsed to revise!'...

And we've made it through to this, the last exam of my son's school career was on Friday, and he's been out Clubbing all weekend since to Celebrate.

And I feel utterly relieved. A bit flat even after all the drama, the Crises, the Complaints and the Crapilola... Now, we have to wait until August for his results to come through.

I shall have my fingers and toes crossed until then. I'll not bother crossing my eyes for luck, as it makes crossing the roads a little too dicey...

And he has so much high emotion riding on what he wants to do, with two University places waiting for him... (Forgive me for posting so little here, as things have been very fraught... Chaotic, to say the least.)

We had a very low moment a couple of weeks back, and I launched into Good Samaritan Mother Mode, to reel off my personal mantra...

I wanted Grizzles to understand, you see, that it isn't 'the end of it all' if he doesn't quite get the grades he wanted... There are always other options in life, aren't there? And, as much as I'd love him to go to Uni, as I had the luck to do, (and let's face it, the Chance of him getting a decent job in today's Cramped Climate are pretty slender), but his lovely life won't end if he doesn't enter the hallowed Ivory Towers of Academia.

We will Cope. We will Continue to support his Choices. Help him into his future. Whatever that bright future will be...

And so, we averted that Crisis within him. We left with him feeling a little more hopeful, more optimistic, about things... At least temporarily...

I've been growing leeks, did you know?

Show-leeks. Prize leeks. For our local pub's Leek Club Competition... You would not believe how Competitive people can be. I'm only doing it for a laugh - The Craic, as it were - so it's great fun for me...

It's been particularly engrossing, as I plant and replant little baby leeks - They're called sets, I believe... The wonderfully wise and ancient old leek grower who sold me the leeks, laughed indulgently when I called them 'my Baby Leeks'...

So, on Thursday evening I was on duty again, standing with my bare feet planted on the warm ground of my little patio, making sure that my 16 thriving babies were getting enough water, deluging the marshy creatures generously with the garden hose. Water running silver in the clear shafts of evening light.

And I glimpsed my Grizz through the window, sitting at his full 6ft 5" length over most of the wide sofa, dwarfing the living room, squinting at the telly... The Simpsons must have been on.

And I glanced at the growing leeks, and I looked back at him. And I blushed, full of Mother's Pride and Poetry at how golden, how beautiful, how big, he has turned out. This man-child of mine, on the threshold of another new beginning in his life.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Take a page from my book...

I'm writing this post with a mixture of melancholy and excitement.
I say melancholy because as some of you will know from my FFF blog and understand where l am at present. For those that do not, suffice it to say that I am now a single mum, with a 15 yr old son at home with me and my 18yr old daughter who is now living in the home l vacated in March after my husband ended our marriage and our daughter 'chose' Dad. A double whammy. Whack!

This melancholy has peered out at me, as the last day of school approaches and reminds me of how fast it all passes. Tomorrow is the last day of exams for both my daughter and my son. So for my big girl this will also be the last day of school EVER! She is taking a gap year with the hope and expectation that she gets the grades to take up her offered places at one of her top choices; Northumbria or Dundee. She wants to be a Barrister. She will always aim high. Reach out for the moon l've told her, even though she may have to settle for the stars! I am excited for both of them and realise that they have the rest of their lives yet to live. As do I!
This would be so much more less of a big deal for me if she were still living with me, so all the preamble and fretting were a ridiculous waste of time, given that she has gone from me 18 months before Uni starts!

My son has his last exam tomorrow AND his year 11 Prom in the evening (Form V to you and I). It will also be his last day of school. He plans to enter the 6th form college in September.

I remember last year l started fretting a little about the impending empty nest syndrome, though realistically it was  2 years or more away. I write this post in the hope that one reader will listen and enjoy the time shared with their beloveds, before uni beckons. That he/she will breathe deeply of the well of a their family and count your chickens or indeed chicks! They have hatched and we have set them on their paths. In my case my daughter was wrought from my tentative grasp when she decided it was in her best interests to stay with her Dad.  I berate myself for wasting energy and tears on thoughts of her spreading her wings, far before l needed to. There is no point in crying over spilt milk, l am trying to find my way and move on and up. I'm sorry if this post is too miserable, but l do want to share in the hope that others may gain from my sadness.

I really mean it!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Lettuce Prey

By Vegemitevix

There’s no asking. None of it. No ‘please may I’.
Vegemitevix scares away hungry teens
 There is only pilfering on unsuspecting prey.
 From my spot on the couch in the lounge I can hear footsteps in the kitchen.
Cupboards open. A tap is turned.
I wait expectantly. Any moment now.
I could recognise those movements anywhere. It’s 14 yr old Dark Princess. Isn’t strange how you get to know which of your children it is by their movements, and their habits.
I sip my coffee slowly. Am I smiling?
A little.
The door to the fridge has opened. Yet within minutes it’s shut.
I try to remain quiet in the lounge. I struggle against inhaling my coffee through giggling.
The fridge door opens again. AND SHUTS.
”That can’t be right,’ she’s thinking. I can almost see the perplexed look on her face.
But she is her mother’s daughter. Determined. Focussed. Hungry.
Nonchalently I walk into the kitchen. Dark Princess is at the fridge door.

‘Go on. Open it. Dare ya’ I think to myself smiling.
‘You know you want to’.
 And she does. She opens the fridge door, but within seconds she’s whimpering. Her hands clasped firmly across her ears.
 ‘Can you hear it? What is it?’ She wails.
I can’t hear anything. I’m too old to hear it.
 ‘Nup. Don’t know what you’re going on about’.

She throws a sulky pout, slams the fridge door shut and storms out. Making sure she has left the area I sneak over to the fridge and open the door. I can’t hear anything high-pitched and annoying. ‘Where did he put it?’ I look through the top shelf behind the milk, up behind the eggs, and then finally I open the vegetable drawer containing an old shrivelled red pepper and a bag of lettuce leaves.

I’m guessing my Englishman has put it where the kids would never look. In the vege drawer. Sure enough I reach into the bag of lettuce leaves and pull out the little electronic device he’s made for me.
It’s a mosquito. It emits a high pitched sound that drives grazing teenagers nuts. Adults can’t hear it. Teenagers will eat their own elbows to get away from it.

Every Mum of teenagers should have one! I reccommend you hide it in the lettuce.
There’ll never look there!

First published on my blog: 

Image Flickr CC:

Monday, 14 June 2010

He Ain't Heavy...

Conversation between Man-Child (14 and 6'3") and 7 year old brother (very tall, but a wee boy):

14 - Dude, Pull your pants  (shorts) down.

7 - Why? What's wrong?

14 - You look like a dork. They're not supposed to be up around your armpits.

7 - And your's aren't supposed to be under your butt. Dude - Pull YOUR pants UP.

14 - But you're not supposed to see your knees.
(At which point I want to rush in and point out that every mother wants to see her little boy's knees in shorts for as long as she possibly can.)

7 - The world isn't supposed to see your boxers  either.

14 - Mom- tell him he looks stupid. His shorts are pulled up way too high.

7 - Mom - tell him no one wants to see his boxers.

ME - OK, that's enough. Both of you, I want to see your shorts where they should be.

(Neither of them change the arrangement of their shorts, but the threat of mom interfering with their appearance is enough to stop the arguing.)

Oy, oy, oy.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Some Quiet Finally!

Have you ever noticed that teenage girls just don't shut up?

My 13 year old daughter has been home from school for less than 2 hours and I have a big hole in my head. She's been singing and yapping at 90 miles an hour. She was showing no signs of stopping.

Normally that would be fine, but I have a headache and all I have been hearing is non stop yakkety yakkety yak yak.... (Felt like a pounding drill.)

Now, I finally have some quiet.
*Big deep breath and sigh of relief.*

*Don't worry, I am not that mean of a mother. I gave her 5 shekels for letting me take that picture.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Land of the Giants

This is a tall household. My husband is 6'4" so I sort of knew what I was getting myself into. (I'm 5'7", so not particularly tall.)

My kids are huge. They were fairly big babies but by the time they were two, they were inches taller than their friends.

The 17 year old daughter is 5'8" and seems to have stopped growing, but has been that height for several years, putting her in the "tall" category for a while there.  The just-turned 7 year old is often taken for a 10 year old, despite the fact that his front teeth are all missing, in true 6-7 year old fashion.  He is the 2nd tallest in his class and one of the youngest.

But it's the 14 year old man-child who is the real shocker. He's 6'3", takes a size 14 shoe and has hands like dinner plates. He's been shaving for almost a year now and he sounds like his dad.  Sometimes it's hard as people take him for an 18 year old, although when the older girls hit on him he's not complaining!

Yesterday we were watching him playing baseball. The other team's coach turned around and said loudly, but to no one in particular, "How old is that kid?'

"Oh, here we go again", I thought. "They're going to ask to see his birth certificate and surprisingly, I'm not carrying it." (He is challenged almost every year so I should know by now.)

To the amusement of everyone however, a random dad said "Not sure, but he has six tattoos and he drove himself here! He's taking me for a drink after the game!"