Teenagers. ‘Nuff Said.

manhatttanThe Teenager is off to New York in 9 days for a school trip, so he needs warm clothes.

Sounds easy, but this is the same Teenager who refuses to wear jumpers (too naff), hats (yeah, right) or gloves (I’m not, like, a kid).

So our weekend shopping trip to town was meticulously planned and of course fell spectacularly apart.

‘It’s cold in New York, you need warm clothes.’

‘Is it colder than Glasgow?’


‘S’ok. T-shirts will be fine.’

‘Get dressed, we’re leaving in five minutes.’

Thump, thump, strop around upstairs, sound of clothes being flung around the room.

‘Right, I’m, like, ready.’

I look round. ‘Get back upstairs this instant and take those shorts off. It’s minus 2 outside.’

Grunts, strops, thumping back upstairs. Comes slouching back down in trousers (and a t-shirt) and magnanimously agrees to get in the car.

Town. Seventy shops later, my nerves are frayed and I’m on the verge of yelling in public. Shop seventy-one and I yelled. ‘There’s nothing wrong with the zip. The only thing that’s wrong is that you’re stropping and trying to do it up with one hand.’ A small crowd gathered, pretending to look at the Bermuda shorts nearby, earwigging.

‘Ok. Okkkkaaaaaay, I’ll take it.’

So we got the jacket. Eventually. Only two jumpers to go. Hours later, I took them up to the desk, where a chirpy young man bagged them up.

‘And how are you enjoying this lovely day, madam?’

‘Oh, wonderful, thank you. I adore shopping with my sullen, sulky son. In fact, I wish I did it more often.’

He looked scared and glanced surreptitiously under the counter where there was no doubt a panic button.

On the way back to the car, I had to stop to get some stuff in for dinner and made the mistake of asking The Teenager what he fancied.



‘Small one?’


Fine. I’m going to wait in the car. Keys?’

I waved him off and took  my time schlepping around the Tesco Metro, admiring the plastic tubs of ready-peeled kiwi fruit and chopped coconut. My phone went.

‘Can’t open the boot.’

‘Just press the button on the key fob.’

‘Can’t. It’s disappeared.’

‘What, the car or the key?’

‘The button to open the boot.’

I ended the call.

He’s having salmon for dinner. With broccoli.

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12 thoughts on “Teenagers. ‘Nuff Said.

  1. Peter says:

    You had a typical day with a teenager … they know and understand the world but can’t find their shirts, socks boxers or pants …. I have two teenage boys I let them make their decisions and then they live by their mistakes. NYC last week minus 12C (Canadian) or 8F have your son stand in a freezer at Metro that’s how cold it is in NYC plus foot n half of snow … sandals won’t do …

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I’ve warned him! I lived in New York years ago, through a freezing winter and sweltering summer. He just doesn’t believe me. Kids, eh? He’ll learn…

  2. Adrian says:

    bring extra clothes, regardless if he wants to wear them or not. He may not tell you if he’s too cold (stuff them in the trunk)….maybe not. If he gets sick, that’s his problem. Yes, I know, you’ll most likely have to take care of him and/or scold him, until he feels better, then again, he’ll want to go out anyway. Just say no, if that’s the case, let him “pout like a child” (say that to him) and continue to discipline..Boys are easier to discipline than girls. Emotion/control, confidence vary between genders..

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Couldn’t agree more!!! He’s got what he’s got now and that’s it. I am emotionally drained after today and have found solace in blogging my frustrations, lol.

  3. it gets really really cold there this time of year (as you know). if the risk wasn’t blue frozen off fingers I would let him suffer the cold to find out himself 😉
    (or go to alberta in the winter, often -28C without a wind chill, double that with the wind chill :p) you don’t even think twice about going out in that without a coat :p

  4. Jonny says:

    I remember that big freeze over here a few years ago, was it 2 or 3 (yrs ago) Never Mind……it was VERY COLD! And all those young uns queuing up in their T-shirts….It wasn’t like that in my day! Don’t start me……they’ve never had it so Good! Courtesy of the Monty Python Sketch…..’In my day……we had to clean out the LAKE…’


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