1. How have I got two teenagers? I am only ( eternally ) 28? They are really good teenagers too.
They've attended and go to clubs; Sea Scouts, ( the daughter trained with the Navy in Portsmouth for a week aged 13 - when she came back she marched everywhere!) Explorers, Karate, Fencing etc. He's learning to play the Saxophone.
They have a decent set of friends who are always welcome in our house. They don't really ask or expect too much. We've never had enough money to really splurge out on the things I'd have liked eg a trip to Disney when they were small. They are polite and well mannered ( mostly to other people , less so to each other! )
Yes, they have hoodies, but these are worn to keep them warm! Not to menace old people in town centres. They are not bothered about overpriced designer gear.
They go to school every day; they have to literally be at death's door before I let them stay off.
She has fantastic GCSEs and AS levels and is on track to get her grades needed for Uni. He is on track for As and Bs at GCSEs. They are never in trouble at school. They wouldn't dare. Neither has EVER been in detention. Ive had postcards sent from school to tell me how delighted their teachers are with them. We never dread parent's evening. Friends and family tell us they are just lovely young adults. Quietly confident, self assured and well behaved. They do not nor have ever played out on the street or hung around on street corners.
She has a part time job - washing up in an old people's home. My son is currently wheeler dealing in the scrap metal business - is he, like the *TGBs round us - going on people's property nicking what he wants? Nope - he just asked his dad to collect all the old window frames he takes out when he's working and save them. Then with the help of Grandad off he trots t weigh it in! Alan Sugar watch out! ( We bought him a safe for his birthday! He keeps jaffa cakes in it!! )
They are expected to join in with the household chores. They can eyeroll and huff and puff as much as they like - it get's them nowhere! Nor do they earn money or privileges off us for doing these tasks! ( This might cause a ripple in some right on parenting circles ) ! They can both cook a full roast dinner , bake cakes etc.
They don't succumb to peer pressure. They are smarter than that. They are not arrogant or selfish. they are not mummy's darlings or precocious at all. I am soo not beans and lentils. They had clear boundaries. They haven't gone off the rails BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED ANYWHERE NEAR THE TRACKS! I didn't 'explain' things to them when they were small. No meant no and it still does! They are not called Tarquin and Phillomena. Do I have high standards and expectations for them? Hell yes.
They were really good babies, really good toddlers ( except with one or two EPIC and I mean EPIC tantrums - you read about one in an earlier post ) really good pre teens. Do I blame the parents? YES ! TOTALLY!!
2. Putting aside that I am obviously the best mother in the world ( I'm so not ) with the world's saintliest children ( they are so not ) and Even though I am really not looking forward to the eldest going off to Uni in September. This morning I was inwardly putting the flags out and cheering her off!
- Firstly, she has nagged me constantly about doing her Student Finance application. We couldn't do it until she had made a firm choice. I was approached at 9.20pm last Wednesday night by a scraggy haired girl child with open lap top in her mitts with the expectation that we should do it now. How many flaming times have I told her about carrying that laptop around the house, up and down the stairs like that?
- She was gently explained to that it wasn't the optimum moment really. Thursday is my early finish day so I would be home just after 3.30pm and we would do it then. I think I had an affirmative answer. I could tell from the glare.
- Thursday 3.30pm I was home! Where was my eldest? No sign. an hour passed. Still no sign. Once over I would have put the call into Mountain Air Sea and Road rescue. I have had to relax on the old cotton wool thing for my own sanity. I sent her a text. Just then the door opened and I was about ready to strangle her as foster daughter no2 popped her head round the door and smiled! They'd come home to revise together. Hmmm. My face was like that straight face emoticon.
- Now I am used to her friends dropping in willy nilly and I like it. I am going to miss all them too come September. I suspect my food bill might drop massively. The boy child is socially the opposite to the girl. She has been happily surrounded by Sophies, Beckys, Sarahs, Kates and Hannahs from day one of High school. My boy has a small friendship group, made up of about three of them ,who sadly are in a separated family situation, therefore their weekends are spent with the other parent. My two sometimes say they are jealous of these two home families and it's not fair that we selfishly stayed together! It's only ever said in jest! ( I always maintained Mr Radiostar could have FULL custody! )
- Friday night she was at work. So the finance thing still didn't get done.
- Saturday morning. I was up with the larks. washing on the line by 6am - my nanna would be so proud. We made a start on the form about 10am. As requested she had already filled in her basics. Then the lengthy process of pages loading. Directgov is RUBBISH! Then different windows take you forwards and back. Now her father and I have our own Student loan application number.
- The amount she can get goes on our household income. One thing that pisses me right off. Why should it matter what we earn? It's not US who's going! I think ALL should get the SAME no matter what their background. ANyhoo - I filled in the forms based on the Tax year 2010 - 1011. BUT In October 2011 our world was crushed when Mr Radio - like millions of others in this sorry little country was made redundant. Told on Friday - sorry no work on Monday. That's it. see ya! At all the Open days at the Unis. I had carefully listened to the finance talks and I knew that we could ask for THIS years figures to be taken into consideration. Since I had been on long term sickness ( Thanks Gallbladder ) I'd had some months on half pay coupled with a change in some of my HLTA hours meaning that this year's income is no where near last year's which actually was nowhere near enough to live nicely and have holidays etc!!
- We decided to ring up - because I couldn't find the form for the change in circumstances. Well, a jolly nice chap tells you after you've gone through the EXTENSIVE automated menu that you can find all the answers you want online. Well, actually no old chap, we can't which is why we are ringing! Daughter had to ring because even though it's OUR details they need , they can't speak to US because of her data protection! I protect her data thank you very much! So eventually we found out that you could navigate to a certain area to download the correct form for our situation or they could post one out! We could ring a number to request one by post. ERRRR CAN YOU NOT SEND US ONE , YOU KNOW WHILST I AM ON THE PHONE TO YOU??????
- We have to submit last years' figures and wait to send in the form when it arrives in the post.
- Nightmare number two. She had to provide proof of identity. If she had a digital passport we would not have to send off her birth certificate. I nearly broke down when we discovered her passport had expired. ONLY THREE WEEKS BEFORE. It will be renewed. So we rang to see where we stood now? Nope, we have to send off her birth certificate along with a bloody declaration form from a person of decent standing who has known her for two years! FFS! What a sodding palava. Now I can't get this done til Monday. I'll have to rush to the Post Office in my lunch hour as we've got another sodding staff meeting at work.
4. Her bedroom is a tip. She has been tidying it solidly for 7 years now. It never gets any better. I'd emptied the laundry basket this morning, after asking them last night for their dirty clothes. I was assured I'd got them. An hour after I'd emptied it it was FULL to the brim! I yelled at her.She'd snapped back "What?" in that way where they really emphasize the last T. WOTT - Ter is what it sounds like. So she was told that if she did this again - then I was not doing her washing anymore ever!
5. I know I will. She knows I will.
6. This morning's feeling is - September and the offloading of a daughter away to Uni cannot come quick enough!
Thanks if you made it to the end!
Harrassed Mother of a teenager.
*TGB - Thieving Gypsy Bastard