Sunday, 25 November 2012

Little boy growing up

What a day yesterday. DS (a young 13 year old) wanted to go to into the City with his friend.  Now.  He has never been without me and although his friend is very trustworthy I started to worry about his ability to catch the right train find his way round the city staying together etc.  I wouldn't normally have been so touchy but it was a rugby international Saturday so the trains are heaving and the city is bouncing.  I should never have let him go in hindsight however they were going early enough and said they would return before the rugby finished (thank god for late kick offs!)

Anyway he text to say they had managed to get on a train and let it slip that they were with "some girls".  Ok I thought girls are usually a bit more mature and the more of them the better.

However it started to get dark about 4.30 so text DS to find out what time coming home. His reply was along the lines of "no idea".  Queue me starting to panic. So I rang (Yes I know I'm probably going over the top but it's a big city, he has no idea of his bearingsthe sheer volume of people in the city on International day can make anyone feel a little nervous especially if they get caught up in the crowds and lose their friends - and yes this is all in my head). 

They were in Winter Wonderland which is a fair trek from the station.  So I checked the train times to find that extra trains were being put on as usual on an International day but the trains were running 45 mins late and  were taking an hour at least to come back to our town as they were running through all the local stations due to high numbers of people returning/going into City.

It's an awful situation to be in [for me that is]; he had told me he was cold as he didn't want to ice skate and his mate and all the girls were skating for an hour and I then found out they'd only gone so his friend could meet up with one of the girls.  I'm pretty sure he was bored and I know he was hungry as even though he had money he doesn't like fast food!  I was torn between driving up to find him, or leaving him there to find his own way back and also panicking that he wouldn't make it back or get lost or I don't know what all together.  

I text him and told him the train times and that they would have to leave Winter Wonderland half an hour before the train was due in order to catch the one that should have taken the quickest route back.  

As always they managed to catch the correct train which despite my fears was completely quiet as the game had 20 mins left to play out. However they did take nearly an hour to get back. I picked them up from the station.

Now yes I am a neurotic mother and my mind is probably over active but if it hadn't been international/dark/his first time in the City alone/25 miles away then I'm sure I would have been fine.

In the cold light of day I was an embarrassment to him.  If that had been his sister she would have turned off her phone or ignored many of the texts until it was time to come back.  Poor boy. I do hope I calm down before he wants to go out again!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Seesaw

Is it really hormonal? It cannot surely be 28 days or so since the last squabble? Oh my days. 

But first. Let me tell you about DS this morning.  Back in the Summer (against my wishes I might  add) we bought a dog.  Now. I know those of you who have been in this scenario will be sitting back with a smug look on your faces at this next statement but our DS said he would get up at 6.30 every morning to walk him!  We knew he would not be able to sustain this but still he has mostly been very good at this chore.

Fast track 3 months on and DH asked him to walk the dog this evening as well as this morning because DH would be working late so needed a hand.  DS seems to think this is totally unfair. Why should he do extra when his sister isn't asked?  DH is primary dog walker and DS and DD share the walk each morning.  I escaped that one - left DS and DH to battle it out. Anyway when I then asked DS about homework boy did he kick off. Answering me back saying he will NEVER do it and so what if he fails - which as usual gets me stressed out and worrying. So I screamed at him as he was leaving for school that I had banned him from the XBox!

However I came home tonight and he was out walking the dog.  Once we had eaten our evening meal we then sat down and studied for his test on Friday! Why do kids to this to you? I've been worrying on and off all day about him and his temper. Then he goes and surprises me by doing exactly what I wanted him to do.

On the other hand DD.  Hmmmm.  One thing. That was all.  One thing. "Please do not listen to that rubbish in the lounge where I want to sit and watch the news. If you are then please use your headphones. But if I can still hear it then I want you to go upstairs."  Well. You can guess. It was still loud.  An argument ensued so I took her phone! I may as well have chopped off her arm. Boy did her attitude change. Demanded her phone back and spoke to me like I was one of her friends - well not really. Like I was one of her enemies I suppose.

So I retaliated - admittedly rather childishly perhaps - that all the clothes I'd bought her for her birthday next month were going back to the shops.  She doesn't believe me as I rarely keep to my threats. But I am determined to stick to my guns on this one. She was horrible yet the whole drama was over in 5 mins but right in the thick of it she gets right into my guts and my god I just can't stand her.

Will I ever have a stress free argument free day? It's like a seesaw in this house. One teen up and the other down and vice versa.

I'm off for a bath - on the plus side at least I'm not locking myself in there this time.....

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

This is clearly how we roll, DD and me

I worked late on Monday night but that did not stop a humdinger of a row between myself and yes, you've guessed it, my one and only daughter!

It all started when I told DD that it had been suggested to me that she trains more in her sport by a friend of ours - maybe only one extra hour just to give her the edge and to put her in a good position for next year - too complicated to go into here - just trust me that it's bloody competitive and even to stay where she is, she would benefit from this extra hour that has been offered to her.

Well, what ensued was so horrible that it has taken me 3 days to feel comfortable enough to put it into words.  She told me that she didn't want to do it and when I explained that it could only benefit her I got accused of telling her she was crap at the sport.  The hour is on a Sunday so does not conflict with anything but the group who train are also crap apparently.  I retaliated by saying lots of other doing it - not the point she says.  I can't remember all the minutiae but it involved a lot of screaming,  shouting,  physical abuse,  fingers in ears and ended up with me being given the finger by her.  I was accused of being a crap mother (I've toned it down for the purposes of this Blog).  She said she hated me and I think she was quite ready to leave except for the fact that it was so late.

This is only a snapshot of what happened. Needless to say I locked myself in the bathroom and sobbed for half an hour continuously. Dh remained out of the way downstairs with the dog and Ds kept coming out of his room and then going back in - he totally hates conflict of any sort.  I just felt so alone and helpless; the feeling that your daughter doesn't like you and doesn't appreciate anything you do is quite terrifying. I thought I was being supportive.

Fast forward to Tuesday evening.  I take DD training which went well but as we leave one of the other Mums happens to mention the extra hour training on Sunday. I take this opportunity to say to both girls how much they would benefit and really come on with the experience of training with older people etc and DD responded by saying yes they really need to be going and has made arrangements to start week after next (cancelled for this Sunday)!!!!!!

For heavens sakes! If I'd known that a chat with a friends mum would have done it I'd never have said anything on Monday night.  It could have save a lot of trouble.

So I took Dd home and in the car she was chatting all about her schoolwork and her revision for Controlled Assessments which has been on going for weeks.  I offered to run her a bath which she happily accepted and the rest of the evening was very pleasant.

It's like nothing happened - normality resumes.  I guess this really is how we roll as a family.  Turbulent with plenty of ups and downs but now I'm through that dark hour or so I do realise that my daughter is just dealing with her own issues in her own way.  Tough lesson learned by me - hold back (again)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Domestic goddess I do not pretend to be. However there is only so much even I can take. So in light of a fellow Blogger I decided to go on strike this week. Well.  I stopped doing the washing of any clothes - which of course has backfired enormously (quite literally!).  Two huge laundry baskets are now overflowing.  I think I may have shot myself in the foot.  

So there I was at 6am loading the washing machine muttering to myself - I mean, who else would have been up? Even the bloody dog was still napping!  I did manage to show them all how to use the washing machine but I'm not sure it sunk in with any of them.  DS did manage to vacuum and DD did dust her bedroom but that was it. I'm not asking too much of them am I?

Well anyway it was a very productive day. I managed to get quite a bit done and ready by early evening as myself and DH were off out with friends locally.  I'm not quite ready to let the children stay at home alone so arranged for the in laws to pop round for a couple of hours.

DD was still out to meet the boyfriend again - although apparently he is not the "boyfriend", I can't get my head around their relationships these days what with snaking, married and in a relationship on FB, but then I'm not supposed to am I?  She came back not long after we went out so once again has done as I asked - still feel that maybe she is angling for something.

DS on the other hand is morphing into something else. Woah! Stop right there.  Both days on the weekend he has communicated via a series of grunts or when he has spoken it was to complain about everything I did e.g. It's my fault his haircut is too short (well actually it is because I asked my hairdresser to cut it so!).  But it's not MY fault his shoes are annoying him or his trousers are too short! Talk about hormonal - it's bloody wearing at the moment.

He has a Maths test this week and because he doesn't like it he is revising very little. In fact, so little I'm sure he won't get anywhere and he doesn't even seem bothered! (Really struggling with keeping back when it comes to him - he is not as academic as his sister)

Ooooh! Must say though  DS is loving reading - on his own terms admittedly which means bed time and no other time but he lies with me and reads to himself and then we chat about it afterwards before he goes off to sleep.  Very tender moments.

DD has so many tests/homework it's hard to keep track. Just found out she has a Sociology test tomorrow but she is happy she has done enough work and so, I am still backing off.  Not sure if it is working.  Let's see what happens when the results come out.

Anyway I am exhausted.  Let's watch some trash TV and return at a later date.


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Average day today

Just your average day today.  No rows  although there nearly was one.  I came home after being to the gym to find no-one at home.  Quickly realised DH still in work and DS was walking the dog.  When I phoned to find out where DD was she replied "out" (really? I just thought you were pretending not to be here!) Turns out she has arranged to meet the new boyfriend. "What new boyfriend?" I here you ask.  Well truth be told he's not new.  She had a few dates with him before but with her school and sport commitments during the 2 or so months they dated she only saw him twice!

So. He's back on the scene.  Should I be afraid? I'm too afraid to commit to the Blog the various scenarios that I have put her in but I'm sure any other Mum or Dad can see where I'm coming from. I'm full of questions too. What do his parents do? What is he studying in school? What are his plans? What do you talk about with him? What do you do with him? - no STOP right there! I can't think about this anymore!!!

Trouble is I know at her age all the girls want a boyfriend and I don't not want her to but on my terms (I know I know not bloody likely).

Anyway she was out for quite some time.  Came home at the time that I asked her to but disappeared into her bedroom and hasn't been seen since.  Is this behaviour normal? I don't like it.  I want the child that always told me everything and wanted to spend time with me and did as she was told to return.

On a different note  I've been thinking about DS and the amount of time he spends out on his bike/skateboard and computer games and I realised something.  He does not read anything.

So I have set myself a target - to get DS to read something albeit a magazine/newspaper/encyclopedia/novel.  There are plenty of books in this house as I am an avid reader and both children over the years have amassed some good books. I did encourage him to start reading again last year and we went and bought some books. Indeed we actually took a lot of time seeking suitable books that he thought would interest him. But he never read them.  Why?  We always read to both of them as babies and as toddlers. In fact until the middle of Primary School we read to them and then they read to us. So why do they not bother anymore? Is it the fact that there are far too many other distractions - electronic or otherwise?

Anyway the target has been set - in my head - and I am about to send DS off to bed with a book.  Let's see how this effort pans out eh?

Will I ever stop worrying???

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Smug? Who me?

End of the half term holiday and the week has ended eerily calm. 

DD has done plenty of homework and has managed to behave impeccably as well and for that I am truly grateful!  I am still holding back and letting her manage her own work - she has a test on Wednesday that she has not revised for but feels confident as is having a lesson on tomorrow and will work on the subject from there.  I do want to make her do more but I am learning to let her do it on her own. Hard but I'm doing it.

On another note I took DS shopping for clothes this week and boy can he shop like a pro! Very impressed.  He knew exactly what he wanted and we managed to buy lots of bit and bobs - some for now and some for Christmas.  He carried bags for me and we had an enjoyable lunch too!

I feel quite smug today relishing in the fact that both my children have been like little angels! I know that I will have many more days of arguments and fights but days like these make it all worthwhile. Long may it last!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Half Term with no rows yet

Right, what happened? 

One day I had 2 children lets call them DD and DS.  If I ever went anywhere and came back they would literally run to the front door or if unable to would shout "Mummy!" in the most excited voices ever eagerly awaiting a hug and kiss from me.  However this appears to have been lost in the dim past as discovered yesterday when I came back from the gym and DD didn't even notice that I had gone and DS (13) welcomed me with a lovely grunt. No warm welcome for me.


I spent some time at a friends yesterday afternoon (any escape from my house at the moment - half term) only to find out that DD has plenty of homework to do over the holidays and am pretty sure that she told me she had  none.  Popped home to find DD very studious working her way through her GCSE English.  (I know
, I know what does she want? More of that later)

"I have to critique Miss Havisham" she says; Wow I say
, I did that, I love her. In fact Helena Bonham Carter is playing her in the film which is out later this month, shall we go and see it together? I ask.  "This is why I didn't tell you about my homework because you get too cosy, I'm fine thanks" she turns away and carries on.  Queue me to leave the bedroom.

Wow. That really hurt. I stood there for a second but felt like 10 minutes really shocked. Why doesn't she want my help? Why can't I sit with her and chat like we used to?

Took me a lot of courage to walk out the door without saying anything - if you knew me you'd know that I usually would not let that go without giving at least a 15 minute lecture (borefest) on 'I'm only asking as I care/am worried/want to help'.  But I have to let you in on a secret
 I have had a little help with this.  I have finally been reading the book recommended on Mumsnet regarding teenagers and their behaviour and it is slowly falling in to place. I know that teens brains work very differently and that there is a big struggle within themselves but how they behave and why is so wonderfully explained that it makes things, almost, ok.

Well, I neglected to say that one reason DD is doing homework apart from because she has so much to do is the fact that her and 11 other girls are off to a Halloween party in the City.  We are cutting the apron strings as mums and allowing them to go by minibus 20 miles down the road to an organised U18's disco.  They are then all staying at one girls house - Queue the panic now.  Will the bus driver get them there safely? Are there seatbelts on the bus? Will they all get in? Have they remembered their tickets? Will they stay together? Will they all catch bus back? What happens if they get ill in the night? Will any of them drink? What if they meet boys? and on and on and on

Now I realise that in the cold light of day this is hilariousbordering on pathetic. They are all 14/15 and as parents we have all angles covered e.g. minibus hired from reputable company; party all checked out; and also we do have to give them some credit as they lurch down the slope from being children to adults.  They have to learn to look after themselves but the worry never stops does it?

I have to admit I gave in and did text DD to check she was alright and had no reply until they were back at friends house "sorry" she wrote, "left my phone back at (friends) house so only just got your text we are all back and having pizza". Ah, so now I can sleep without worrying.  

So now it seems that I am the one eagerly anticipating their return - case of role reversal....