After three days of peace and quiet, The Teenager is back. I missed him like crazy, but being an off-duty parent has been bliss.
I cleaned the house from top to bottom on Friday and it’s stayed just the same. The towels are still hanging up, the loo roll doesn’t disappear quite so fast (does he eat it?) and the washing machine is taking a well-deserved break. I don’t walk through clouds of Lynx. There’s been no homework supervision, driving to rugby games or food shopping for an army.
On his way back home though, the texts came thick and fast:
Can I have a sleepover? No.
Can I have a tenner for the cinema, and bus fair? Maybe.
Has anyone been in my bedroom? Yes, me. Emptying your bin.
Did the cat miss me? Um, I guess so.
At the supermarket earlier, I made the mistake of calling him to ask what he wanted for a welcome home tea.
‘Pizza. But it has to be Chicago Town’.
‘Ok, wait til I get to the freezer cabinet. Right, which one?’
‘Cheese, but not the four cheese one.’
‘They don’t have that. Pepperoni?’
‘Duck? Sloppy Joe? Beef? Mexican?’
‘Nah. Just cheese.’
‘They. Don’t. Have. That’.
‘I suppose I’ll have to have the pepperoni then.’
I get to the checkout. The Teenager calls. He’s changed his mind, he’ll have the four cheese one. The freezer cabinet is at the other end of the store. I buy the Pepperoni.
There’s no such thing as an off-duty parent, is there?