Saturday, 23 October 2010

It's the little things

Why oh why do kids not clear up after themselves? It's every generations headache and an old, old chestnut l know.

It's usually me who gives in and just takes dishes through to the kitchen. Today l cleared 5 glasses, 3 plates and 6 mugs from my son's den.

In the living room a plate with the remnants of a kebab lurked pungently, but l left it there until he popped home from school for lunch.

He ate a plate of noodles and l asked him to clear both plates when he was done. He didn't. Soy sauce swallowed the room.

Later as l collected the evidence together and began to walk to the kitchen, l turned and went into his bedroom and placed them upon his bed. I closed the door behind me for maximum effect.

When he returned from school he paused in his room, looking, figuring it all out. I lurked in the hall, he said loudly,

'Do you think l don't get this is a ploy on your part?'

Me, 'That may well be the case,'

Son, 'Well for that l will leave them, not playing these games.'

Me- appearing disappointed, but secretly knowing, with a touch of blag for good measure,
' Ok, fair enough, thought it would be a funny thing to do, don't get het up.'

I walked down the hall to the kitchen, smiling to myself.

Two hours later, he appeared in the kitchen, plates in hand, trying so hard not to smile, ' Don't gloat,' he said, dimples threatening.

Job done. I'll wait and see if this light-hearted episode will stay with him. There will be bigger and more  important battles. I know.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

I don't get it...

In the early 1970's when I was 16 and  'behaving badly' , the misdemeanour's I was guilty of included;  going very occasionally to the  pub drinking Babysham; smoking ciggies; sex with my boyfriend; and coming in a half hour later than my Saturday and only night 10.30 curfew. I was actually the latest developer in my convent school year and even secretly became engaged to my boyfriend. None of this secret world was brought back home, as my Dad was a very vocal strict Latin parent. This was my 'rebellion'.

I was then sent to the USA for a second chance at school, but alas, I found I was a novelty in the small town and I revelled  rebelled  in all the attention. It didn't last long as I was caught out after 8 months there and sent home for my sins. Not my best days. Only later did I realise that 17 in the USA was under age unlike the UK. Again my misdemeanour's seemed to be the usual teenage antics of the time, but mine were now away from home and on another mothers watch.  I know I wasn't bad un. I know I was an unhappy teen and craved affection and attention. Little has changed actually methinks.

Now as mother to a 16 yr old son who lives with me and  a 19 yr old daughter who lives with her Dad, I seem to be in the positon that when l see her, which isn't very often, she bares it all. A good thing perhaps. Am I her confidante or is this shock value. I allow for exaggeration. It makes me shudder with how seemingly casual she is about her life as a 2010 late teen, who is on a gap year and gainfully employed. Considered in our culture to be an adult. Making her won choices. She has left home, well my home. Stories of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll abound.

Talking with my younger friends I do realise that the culture is very different form my decade. 'Recreational drugs', (how I abhor the oxymoron) appear the norm. They are cheaper than alcohol and the effects longer lasting.

Yet I keep thinking of my Monday night badminton pal who now spends her days by her son's hospital bed, after finding him not breathing on her sofa. Resuscitated he has not come out of his heroin induced coma, they fear the worst. The teenagers l know are causal about their antics and fearless.

There are no stereotypes here. This is classless and cultureless. What did we do wrong? Do we sit and wait and fear the phone call?  Did this happen to spite us or inspite of us? Is it about her or us? Did we push too hard? Why even tell me? For me to intervene and how? Am I being unrealistic these days?

In the middle of divorce and with little contact with Larry she admits he is trying to reign her. Having lived with an addict for most of my adult life I find this almost unfathomable and l feel helpless.

One never stops being a  parent.

Saz x

Friday, 8 October 2010

Expat Mum - Boring the Pants off Everyone

I'm turning into one of those boring mothers. You know, the ones with brand sparkly new babies who tell/blog about every little burp, smile and poop? (There I've said it.)

Except in my case it's about the Queenager who is a senior (upper sixth) at high school. Every event is "the last one" so I'm running around with a camera trying to capture every moment. I'm boring the pants off everyone but other senior-parents, talking about which colleges she's interested in and what she might study. I can't help it. It's all so exciting, and a little bit sad of course. (Talk to me again next summer.) You'd think she was moving to Pluto the way I'm going on and if most kids these days are anything to go by, she'll be home as soon as she graduates college anyway.

I"m even thinking of redecorating her room so that when guests use it (as they inevitably will, whether she likes it or not) it won't look as girlie. I'm going to refrain however, as I remember when my own mother messed around with my room and it was a very strange feeling coming back to a room I barely recognised. Actually, the fact that she'd given my room to my brother and put me in the box room probably had more to do with that particular trauma, but never mind. I'm over it now.

I know what's causing it though. Apart from the fact that my eldest is fleeing the coop that is.

It's the thought of being the only female in a house of wet-towel-dropping, burping, smelly males.


Expat Mum