Tag Archives: Teenager

Peace. At Last.

peaceWell, the trauma of last week is fading.

One email sent to school, one passport sent in for half-term trip, one mea culpa parent. Sorted.

Me and The Teenager had A Talk. I explained (again) that my brain has taken early retirement and sometimes doesn’t want to play ball, but he’s also got a responsibility to be on top of school stuff too, i.e. don’t remind me five minutes before a meeting. I guess he’s just used to me remembering everything and it was a shock to his system. Bless him.

Anyway, he has now gone off for the weekend on a mentoring break in West Wales with the school, to support him through his exams.

We packed his bag last night, he charged up his phone (‘I am nuffink without it’), and laid out his clothes ready for his early start – 6 am this morning, lol.

I don’t have a megaphone, so I just yelled in his ear at the set time. He grunted, turned over and went back to sleep. Repeated five minutes later and he lumbered to the bathroom, complaining loudly and slamming the door.

So far, so good. Drove him to drop-off at appointed early hour (don’t get out the car with me, s’embarrassing and do not hug me’), then heard nothing by text. No news is good news?

A text a couple of hours later, ‘food is grim here’.

Then another, ‘beds are too small’.

And another, ‘wanna come home’.

In the meantime, I have been catching up with the laundry, catching up with food shopping and most importantly, getting out into the real world and catching up with a good friend over coffee, where I boasted, ‘oh, he’s fine, I haven’t heard anything’.

So now I am at home, pacing, waiting for a phone call from one of the teachers. Something along the lines of, ‘please drive fifty miles to West Wales and pick up your son. Now‘.

Probably just as well I had planned nothing more exciting this evening than highlighting programmes I want to watch in next week’s Radio Times. And sorting through The Teenager’s growing collection of odd socks.

Life goes on. I now have even more post-it notes cluttering my table, reminding me of every single tiny thing, just in case I forget again:

  • Petrol – buy some.
  • Saturday Guardian newspaper – buy and read the Blind Date article.
  • Call tax office – next week.
  • Teenager goes to New York for school trip in two weeks – check weather forecast.
  • Take library books back – overdue?

Another text from The Teenager, ‘I feel sick’.

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Annual Report, Lol

TeenagerI was handed an opened A4 envelope today by The Teenager, with the words:

‘s’ok you know, s’not me, s’my teachers, honest, I mean, reallllllly, you know, innit, obvs.’

Yes. School Report Time.

First, the good news -he has a 96% attendance record with 0% unauthorised.

As for the rest:

  • ‘…he has the potential to be an amazing student…but he procrastinates……’
  • ‘….he is a popular member of the class but can become distracted’
  • ‘…he is a bright pupil but easily distracted….’
  • ‘…..you can do it!’

And so on. So we had The Talk. Of course, his teachers lie. Dreadfully. Tut. Never in my day.

I was, and I freely admit it, a girly swot. I was over the moon when I found out he would have the same German teacher as me. At parents evening a couple of years ago, we had a huge hug (I hadn’t seen her since I left for Austria at the age of 18), then she sweetly told me The Teenager would never be reading Brecht in the original. But no matter, he had other talents.

And he does. Many. What’s difficult is juggling this hormone-tastic time with general life. Take for example a couple of days ago:

Me: Hey, that was a nice dinner, no?

Him: Yeah. But I hate MS.

Me: Oh. Um. Yeah. Was it the carrots?

Him: Hate carrots. Hate MS.

Me: And how does that make you feel? (what else should I have said??)

Him: Sad.

The next day we had breakfast together in a cafe. I tentatively raised the subject again – MS, not the carrots. We chatted. We mulled over how both our lives had changed. We shared a baby-ccino.

MS is horrible. The Teenager has needed to formulate what has happened to me into words he can understand and pass on and make acceptable for his peer-group, i.e. ‘oh, yeah, my mum has MS, just like Jack Osbourne. I know!!!! Wicked (or dench, lush, etc)’

The biggest accolade happened the other day: ‘I told (friend) all about you and the MS, and he likes you and I like you and he’s staying over on Tuesday, so can we have  pizza?’

Annual Report. The Teenager – Must Try Harder

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Blazing Rows…

prefectOur tranquil little cottage has become a battleground, with neither me nor The Teenager willing to give way. There have been tears, sulks and door slamming and I’ve apologised to the neighbours who rolled their eyes and said, ‘Teenagers, eh?’ in sympathetic tones.

He’s even attempted a hunger strike but lasted only until I stocked the fridge with his favourite Müller yoghurts and waved a pizza under his nose.

The cause of all this conflict? His school is adopting a new uniform policy as of September. From the age of four, The Teenager has gone to school in some variation of a polo top and school jumper. Now his high school want to have a smarter uniform so the kids no longer look like over-grown infants and I’m all for it. We got the final uniform list a couple of days ago and he remains distinctly unimpressed.

‘Oh, lovely, you have to wear a blazer!’

‘Yeah, with, like, gold piping. I’m not a girl. I’m not wearing it. They can’t make me. It’s like, rank.’

‘But they wear them in Waterloo Road. Very smart.’

‘Yeah, whatever. Still not wearing it. It’s against my yooman rights’

‘Well, look, you get a nice tie as well! Very grown up. Why’s it a clip on one though? What’s wrong with a proper one?’

‘Like, duh, it’s so we don’t strangle each other. Elf ‘n’ safety, innit?’

And so we go round in circles. He’s trying to organise a boycott for September, but few of his friends are brave/daft enough to join him. The uniform is due to land in the shops within the next couple of weeks and he’s coming with me whether he likes it or not. This may involve an after-school swoop, where I thrust a packet of crisps into his hand, bundle him into the car and lock the doors from the inside.

I have tried to reason with him, but as soon as I started a conversation with the words, ‘when I was your age….’ he huffed and puffed, stomped upstairs and blasted his music out (Oasis, full volume, same two songs in an endless loop).

I will win this argument but the next battle will be trying to take his photograph in his brand new shiny uniform on the first day of Year 10, minus the rude gestures. And there was me thinking the toddler years were the worst.

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