Yep, I am definitely a Mother of Teenagers!

Been there, done that and lived to tell the tales of my teen hood! Only my tales of my teen years fall on deaf ears, namely my kids, when I start anything with “when I was a teenager……”.

To my kids I’m ancient, songs I sing are sooooo outdated and who the hell is Rick Astley, is he even famous?

newpostI have no handle on life, more importantly theirs.  I need to appreciate that life sucks when the wi-fi goes down and even worse going to school with only 10% on their phone battery.  Who knew my forgotten promise of charging their phone overnight could result in the ‘worst day ever!’.

I am, apparently the lucky one, I don’t have to go to school I get to stay at home and do nothing all day!

However, there are some differences.  When I was a teen I had a sense of humour and often talked to my parents rather than at them.

When I was with friends we enjoyed indulging in the art of conversation through opening our mouths and making sounds, and all without the aid of mobile phones and social media.

There was no 24/7 in house taxi service.  We didn’t have the luxury of being ferried around to all places of interest whilst picking up other teens on the way.

No, we made our own way and managed it.  There was no point complaining, no one listened.

We worked and funded our days out.  And for someone who does nothing I do seem to spend a lot of time at petrol stations, filling up just to save my kids walking anywhere!

While I too thought my parents knew nothing, one thing I did know for sure was that if I was in trouble I knew better than to make matters worse by back-chatting and slamming doors.

Strangely, that doesn’t seem to cause any issues with mine.  They prefer to stand and argue the toss, believing themselves right, while I stand justifying why I am telling them off in the first place.

So, all that and more you know you have children, or in this post teenagers when….

  • You ditch Google?  and www.ask a teenager.co.uk, they know it all!
  • Their friend’s parents aren’t strict like you, they let them do everything and go wherever they want.
  • They don’t have homework.
  • “I hate my life”‘.
  • Everyone is going.
  • Every request is met with “it in a minute”
  • The Hall Floor is decorated with shoes, bags & jackets, where it drops it stays.
  • Every light in the house is on.
  • There is “never anything nice to eat”.
  • Having the cheek to step foot into their bedrooms.
  • The laundry basket is never empty.
  • There is always a mess in the kitchen.
  • Bedroom floors are for dirty clothes.
  • You are not cool,  just plain cringy.
  • They are always on their phone.
  • Have an inability to load dishwashers.
  • They are masters at eye rolling.
  • All the other parents don’t follow their kids on Instagram.
  • You get answered by a mumble.
  • Cupboards doors are all open.
  • The bathroom floor is for wet towels.
  • The bathwater is left in the bath.
  • They get instantly annoyed from the sound of your voice.
  • They shout ‘what do you want’ and ‘get the hell out’ a lot.
  • Always happy if things are going their way.
  • You know all the latest songs.
  • They love to hoard all cups, plates and cutlery in their bedrooms.
  • It was your choice to have children, deal with it.
  • The house is full of attitude.
  • Your recently purchased expensive makeup has disappeared.
  • Doors don’t get closed,  they get slammed shut.
  • Nothing is fair.
  • They ALWAYS have the last word.

Relate to any?

13 – Unlucky for Mum!

As a newbie blogger on the block, I thought it might be a tiny bit interesting , if not useful(ish) to give an insight to who I am, or so I thought, through the eyes of my 4 kids.

IMG_0071I was inspired to do this when I thought back to a newspaper article I read that ran an article about a quiz that was sweeping Facebook.  It was a series of questions designed for children to answer about their mothers with often hilarious results.

I decided to re-hash it slightly, and give my kids,  this one off chance to answer, truthfully,  a set of questions, set by myself.   In turn giving my thousands of readers (I have a big family!) a chance to discover a bit about moi!

With my kids usually ‘abandoning ship’ at the mere mention of my blog,  with hollers of “that photo better not appear on any social media” and “I hope you aren’t writing about me” , I usually pull this card out of the bag when I need some time to sit and plan my next post within the Buck Stops Here House in peace.

With too many questions to text, I decided to take the unusual step of talking to them, at length.  This unwelcomed approach was met with a lot of ‘what’s,’ ‘why are you in my room”, ‘tuts’ and “not this blog stuff again”.

Not one to give up and annoyingly for my kids, I persevered and put a positive spin on it.  With a large gulp I said “think of it as a chance to answer some questions about me with real honesty and no comeback!

“What nothing at all”? asked Ciara (my eldest) “and you won’t get annoyed” “nope, not at all, say what you like I won’t mind” you can trust me, I’m your mother!

What could go wrong, after all I’ve spent the last 16 years reinforcing how much I detest lies.

With the kids newfound eagerness to particpate, I started feeling slightly less confident.

I began to realise that this might be a sort of payback for some wrong I may have done them back in 2008, or even earlier, who knows.

Please note that none of my kids were hurt whilst answering this questionnaire, I believe them to all be OK, I think, although I’m not quite sure as I’m currently not speaking to any of them.

I fired off the first question…

What’s mum’s favourite thing to do:

CJ – Moan & tell us off     (I wonder why this could be??)

Niall – Ironing    (since when?)

Lena – Annoy us   (more commonly known as parenting)

Keelan – Sleep

How do I make you laugh?

CJ – By pretending you are intelligent      (that’s no pretence!)

Niall – You don’t

Lena – You don’t make me laugh

Keelan – you don’t   (yes I do!)

If I became famous what would it be for?

CJ- Appearing on the Jeremy Kyle Show

Lena – blogging  (love her faith in me!)

Keelan – erm inventing something by accident

Niall – getting up early

What am I NOT very good at?

CJ – Turning up on time & not being able to be quiet

Lena – lots of things

Keelan – being cool   (already am cool)

Niall – my homework  (secondary school is hard, oh wait his is primary!)

What makes Mum cross?

Niall – when I don’t do my homework  (every week then!)

Lena – When we don’t listen to you  (every time I speak)

Ciara – Leaving the chair leg rest up & when I ignore my ironing on the stairs   (grrrrrrrr)

Keelan – when I mess about at school    (do you?)

(there seems to be a theme with school and my boys!

What was mum like as a young child?

Niall – really naughty   (clearly been speaking to his grandparents)

Lena – probably listened all the time and was one of those really good girls    (yep that was not me)

Ciara – Little s**t

Keelan – posh girl

What does mum do when you are not here?

Niall – normal jobs like cleaning up and probably smooching with Dad!   (at least he didnt say sitting down again!)

Lena –sits on the laptop doing her blog, Facebook and drinking coffee

Cj –  go on the laptop  (only chance I get)

KB – to be honest I don’t want to think what you do if Dads at home

Describe me in 3 words

Niall –  angry, bad driver    (been listening to his father too much!)

Lena – moody sometimes, funny, loud

Cj –  Loud, frustrating & bloated   (bloated!)

Kb – lazy, mean, strict    (again, called parenting!)

Where’s mums favourite place to go?

Niall – front room on the sofa

Lena – Spain I think

CJ – the Café   (love a bacon bap)

Kb – Grandmas

What does mum like best about dad or dad like best about mum?

Niall – you like it because dad can cook and you don’t have to do anything.  Don’t think dad likes anything about you!

Lena – I don’t know,  it could be anything

CJ – you like it because dad does what he’s told

Kb – you like dad’s passion for his work, really hard to think what Dad likes about you though!

What am I really good at?

CJ – Blackmailing me to babysit   (works everytime!)

Lena – blogging  (so love this girl)

Niall – cleaning up  (not sure when I moved of the sofa to carry this out!)

Kb – sleeping

What’s the best quality your mum has?

Lena – Bossing people about and forcing people to do things….this was interrupted by Ciara to say its blackmail (I call it delegation)

Niall – Washing up (Ciara shakes head in disbelief to this answer saying she never washes up) I question how she knows this , as when home she rarely lifts her head up from the screen of her phone!

CJ – Ability to switch off from us   (A fine quality that I have I might add!)

Kb – trying to be funny,  such a try hard  (no need to try son! au natural)

What does Mum always say to you?

Niall – Ask dad to make me a coffee

CJ – Stop thinking we single you out

Lena – always saying my name in the morning until I get up and it’s really annoying   (more annoying for me I can assure you)

Kb – have you done your homework?  (everyday at least 100 times)

And so we have it, all done.  The kids, especially Ciara said they really enjoyed answering these questions (can’t think why) and could she write out a few questions on my behalf…..! needless to say this will be the only questionnaire posted on my blog.

How many times have I got to tell you….?

Do you ever find, that sometimes, your kids don’t do things when you ask them to?

Do you ever find when you shout out ‘requesting their company’ they often don’t answer?

I know unbelievable isn’t it!!

Selected Hearing

It’s a daily struggle in our house.  However, all is not lost, I have found ways of getting around these ‘hearing issues’.  When, after several screams of “come here” fail, I have a couple of tried and tested methods that work every time.  I either:

start a conversation with their dad whereby hey presto one of them will appear interested to know what’s going on, and what it was I just said to Dad

Failing that

There are no words needed here, just a smile as I unplug the broadband and wait.  1, 2….then the chorus of screams begin and 4 kids appear out of nowhere in the front room.  It’s never a long wait, usually instantaneous and a personal favourite of mine.

Forgetfulness

Sometimes, or if I’m being honest, all the time, my kids are all prone to bouts of ‘forgetfulness’ (See ALSO HOMEWORK) and periods  of ‘temporary mess blindness’ TMP for short.

They often ‘forget’ to tidy up after themselves and are champions in where it drops it stays, leave it and move on.

From wet towels on floors to used plates & cups adorning any flat surface, and with TMP they are able to successfully navigate their way, seemingly unaffected by the mess, to another room that has been untouched by children’s mess; only kidding there is no such room.

They all make their way back, muttering to their individual pit of doom, fondly known in a world without kids, bedrooms.

Luckily for them, I am always on hand to shout at them remind and encourage them to clean/tidy up after oneself.  It’s not always well received, but I hope in time this constant shouting  encouragement to tidy up will, in time sink in,  but I am realistic in the knowledge that I am way too much of an optimist, I am a mum.

IMG_0010

Maybe I ask too much.  After all, expecting them to bend down & pick up what they dropped, or to even clear their mess up when there is no monetary benefit to them whatsoever,  is a biggie, maybe even a bloody cheek.

But hey who am I to complain.  After all, and I quote “you chose to have children”, yes I did, not sure I opted in for the choosing to tirdy up eveyones friggin mess though! Although I am 100% sure there will be an answer to this should I have dare to voice my complaint.

As we all know (excluding children) parenting is exhausting, however it would seem over here being a kid/teen is way more exhausting.

Poor things, they have to get up so early,  go to school, do homework, do, err, em, well lots of other exhausting things, while I merely just blog all day, apparently.  My life is a breeze.

It struck me recently, when watching the new kids film ‘Sing’ (which I loved!) one of the characters, Rosita (a pig) is married and a stay-at-home mum of twenty-five children.

When a local talent contest gives her the chance to showcase her singing, she is desperate to audition but, being a mother life is hectic and her needs are second to her children’s.

However, not to be deterred and unable to share this dream with her tired husband and kids who never listen (sound familiar!) she sets about setting up a vast assortment of contraptions to take care of her housework, serve her family their meals, send her children off to school, put them to bed, and she has even has the foresight to record specific dialogue, such as using a recording to remind her husband where his keys are, and recording her byes for her family, even record a bedtime story for her kids, all in one night!  And they don’t even notice she has gone!

I thought of how many times I repeat things at home, or in my teenage son’s word ‘bloody nag’ on a daily basis.  I could easily record what I say and press play and just shove off somewhere.

Would they notice I wasn’t there? I wonder, after all,  most days are spent walking around with one eye shut, the other eye firmly placed on phone whilst arguing with siblings.

No I don’t think they would notice, well not until they wanted something.

As I started to write, I realised very quickly I say a lot!  This is just a mere snippet of some of the same ‘ole crap I  use, every day.

They are in no particular order of importance and are used in an unlimited capacity.

  1. Hurry up
  2. Just GET dressed
  3. Have you seen the time?
  4. We are going to be late
  5. Just eat it
  6. Well you’re not getting anything else
  7. Think of the poor starving children in Africa
  8. Who’s everyone?
  9. I said NO
  10. Because we can’t afford it
  11. For Christ’s sake, stop arguing
  12. Leave your brother alone
  13. I said Bed
  14. I hope you’re not still on that phone
  15. Have you got homework?
  16. Have you done your homework?
  17. Are you listening to me?
  18. Are you actually watching this?
  19. Make sure you tidy up
  20. No, I haven’t seen it anywhere

So, in closing, how many, if any of the above do you use on a daily basis?

My 80’s Teenage Years vs My Kids Teenage Years

I loved the 1980s, the era when I was a teen.  A time when ‘Apple’ was something you ate and ‘Windows’ were mainly for staring out of, a lot, especially at school!

Getting ready to go out to the sounds of Whitney Houston, Spandau Ballet, Michael Jackson (even had his poster on my wall when he looked like he should) and Rick Astley all on vinyl, to name but a few.  It was a time when hair, mine especially, would survive any hurricane, rock hard from a can of cheap extra hold hairspray practically gone in one sitting!

Hands up who loved Grange Hill and Neighbours? the unforgettable moment when Charlene aka Kylie Minogue married Scott aka Jason Donovan etched in your mind forever, along with their wedding song sung by Angry Anderson! I can hear it now.

On the weekends, it was Swap Shop or Tiswas, unlike today’s kids, we didn’t have the endless choice of kids programmes 24/7, although I’m not complaining when the it comes to the Teletubbies or other such dribble that I have endured over the years with my kids!

It was the decade of questionable fashion, who couldn’t resist a pair of satin leggings and neon leg warmers to finish the look! We had trends in schoolbags like the Plastic Jelly Bags, totally impractical, where you had to line them with a carrier bag or everything would fall out!

Fast forward to now and unwittingly I seem to have morphed, somewhat into my parents.  I can often be heard bellowing out to the kids how they “don’t know they are born”, “I would have loved that when I was your age”, and the unforgettable one liner about the Money Tree!

I have put together an insight of what some of the 80s for me had to offer along with how it compares to my kids today.

Walking (What my kids avoid at all costs)

A large percentage of the 80s was spent walking.  We had no choice back then, anywhere we wanted to go, we walked.  We weren’t privy to the luxury of ‘Mums Taxi’ on standby waiting to ferry us all where we wanted to go, nope we walked.

Sometimes, we would jump on the bus always favouring the back seat just so we could puff our heads off (yes, we smoked…a lot, funded by saving our dinner money) on the way into town!

Homework

The luxury of tapping in a few key points and oodles of information appearing before your eyes was, unfortunately not available to us.  With scraps of paper with illegible, rushed notes from copying the homework down from the blackboard to textbooks for our information.  There was no copying and pasting or luxury of a delete button, we had to write it all up, and with an in ink-pen.

With writer’s cramp and an offering of something, our homework would be complete.  And if we didn’t finish or even start, a quick ‘Sorry but she was unable to do her homework….’note would be signed by me on behalf of my parents!

Mobile Phones

We didn’t have them.  We had payphones, which we could never afford, so spent a lot of time talking to the operator asking to reverse the charges.

House phones were usually rooted in the hall, annoyingly as there was no privacy.  We would have to wait to ring our friends until after 6pm and then it would be accompanied with shouts of “hurry up on that phone”.  Mine don’t have that worry, they can sit anywhere talking on theirs for as long as they like all paid for my us.

And being able to bypass the phone lock by tapping the black buttons under the receiver.

To be sure of our friends answering and not their parents, we would always give 3 rings first put the phone now and ring again.  We had code words such as ‘polos’ for fags, aptly called as we would eat a dozen on the way home to rid ourselves of the smell, and any fag packets and lighters found in our coat pocket were always our friends, we were just minding it for them.

Our version of texting was passing each other notes throughout lessons or writing messages in each other workbooks trying not to be seen by the teacher.

There was no way of our parents getting hold of us or tracking us on any find my i-Phone.  The only ‘being’ regularly phoning home back then was E.T.

The Top 40

tapeOur Sunday evenings were spent, taping the Top 40.  When my kids moan about their Spotify premium trial coming to an end, and the horror that will have to endure ads in between songs! I think back to the problems I had, when taping, stopping it at just the right moment before the DJ spoke.  I swear the DJs used to do it on purpose knowing half the UK were trying to avoid their interruptions.

We didn’t have a phone to plug our headphones into and listen to 100s of songs, we had Sony Walkman’s.  We had the pain of having to rewind and fast forward to any particular song we wanted, fist pumping when we timed it right the first time!  And when the batteries started running out, well….!

To add insult to injury we also had to endure the bloody nuisance of the ribbon coming loose from the tapes.  Hours were spent tightening it up with a pen, often turning it that one bit too much and resulting in the bloody thing snapping.

Video Rental Shop

Who doesn’t love a Movie night!  We had lots in the 80s, the biggest difference between our movie nights in the 80s and my kid’s movie nights is the way it’s viewed!

Watching a newly released movie in the 80s meant, renting a video from the local video shop.  Making yourself up to look older for the 15+ films, rehearsing your date of birth en route just in case, which would often be all in vain as the film would already be on loan by the time you got there.

Today it’s much simpler.  Movies can be directly streamed onto your computer, tablet and television right from the comforts of your own home.   There is no problem with it being out on loan or having to make yourself up to look older, its just a press of a few buttons to confirm they are old enough, having worked their way around any parental control, smart kids of today!

Selfies

A selfie back then was holding a throwaway camera as far as your arm would let you, at a certain height hoping you were all in the shot.  The disappointment when having waited 2 weeks, picking up your photos from the developers, to find photos of half heads or blurry ones!

Instant ‘selfies’ were only available with a Polaroid camera, and only if you, or a mate was lucky enough to own one.

There were no filters, delete and try again.  Once that button was pressed that was it.

Playing Outside

We pretty much lived outside.  From morning to night, we would be out and our parents would have no way of knowing where we were or being able to contact us.

No phones with trackers to find out where we were.  Home time would usually be either when the street lamps were coming on or you were hungry.

We literally have to prise our kids out of the house nowadays, preferring to keep in touch with their friends by gaming, texting or face time, and that’s usually when in the same room as them!

Shopping

Walking, again, we would go into town where we would scour the classics, C&A, Chelsea Girl (always way out of my budget) Tammy Girl and testing out the make up in Miss Selfridge.

Today my 2 teenage kids prefer shopping online, from the comfort of an armchair,  with our bank card at the ready.

Back in the 80s town would be full of punks, large stereos blasting out and a crowd of people, us included, watching kids breakdancing.

Then before heading home, it would be off to the pub for a quick drink and a fag age 14!

Dirty Dancing

How I wished I was the one having the ‘time of my life’ with Patrick Swayze!

In the Here and Now

A lot has changed over the years but a lot remains the same, just jazzed up with fancier names, such as the end of school disco now a more lavish affair called a Prom costing upwards of £300.

Although I spent a lot of my teen years doing everything my parents didn’t want me to, such as messing around at school & smoking.

I look back on my teenage years with great fondness, a time when we laughed, a lot and worries were few and far between.

If the technology today, had been around then, I don’t think I would have got away with half of what I did, although it was never anything bad.

I just wonder what my kids will grow up remembering and what comparisons, if any there will be to their teen years.

The Stranger in our home.

“and don’t be talking to any strangers”, my mum would regularly say to me growing up, “Yes I know” I would yell back at her, exhausted at forever being told the same thing.

Yet here I am today, repeating the same to my kids – the single difference being they aren’t leaving the house when I tell them!   This stranger is right here in our house, more so in our children’s bedrooms – in the form of the internet and social media platforms.

As a parent it’s difficult to know if all the nagging (my kid’s words) and repetitive talks on internet safety ever really sink in.  Groans of “yes we know Mum”, “you don’t need to keep telling me” are often heard, when I am, as the kids say, on one!

Would they tell us if anything untoward happened?  It’s a worry.  We later found out, that yes, our eldest did tell us. While there are positives to social media, there are also negatives.   When speaking to my kids about the dangers, I don’t sugar coat any of it.  Awareness is better than ignorance.

Knowing the majority of their online chats will be with their friends, there is always the chance that someone, somewhere might try and creep in un-invited.  Explaining to my younger ones that 11-year old Jacqueline Wilson fan, Jane, might actually be a 40-year-old paedophile John, can be difficult for them to grasp at.   The difficulty being they cannot see this person so generally will believe what is being fed to them (unlike the stranger on the street, where they can physically see).

stranger 1

Any time there is a story about the perils of the internet, such as the scenario above,  I show mine.  It doesn’t give them sleepless nights; it just gives an insight of the real, potential dangers out there.

Unable to have eyes and ears on the kids 24/7 any prolonged monitoring of their online activity is just not possible.   As parents we are bringing our kids up to be both sensible and savvy. To know right from wrong and to notice when online, the difference between safe and worrying.

A few rules that work for us as a family are below, and with any rule I always explain my reasoning behind it, that way it’s not open to misinterpretation!

  1. 100% not allowed too give out any personal details, i.e. name, age, where they live.

The kids groan when I reiterate this to them from time to time.  The replies of  “we know, you don’t have to keep telling us”,  are often heard.  But they have to be mindful of unwittingly slipping up.  Who’s to say after a long comfortable conversation they haven’t, unwittingly just given out some personal detail.  It pays to always be that little bit on guard.

  1. You don’t accept friend request from complete strangers.

If a person approached you on the street and asked to be your friend, would you accept it? No. So why would you accept a friendship from someone you don’t know online & who doesn’t know you, especially one with no mutual friends!

  1. If it doesn’t look right or you are not sure, don’t click on it.

Like an email that appears to be legit but contains a link in it.   Or any pop ups or ‘click here to win’ boxes.  Clicking on these can lead to unwanted viruses or worse.

  1. Bullying

Reminding the kids if they feel this is happening to them, let us know. Also, enforcing we don’t expect them to participate or become involved in any form of bullying online.  Once its said and sent it cannot be undone, even with good intentions some message can be misconstrued.

When it happened to us

When I mentioned to Ciara I was thinking of writing this post, she was like “Mum, what’s the point of writing about Internet safety, everybody knows the dangers”.

Rewind to the midpoint of 2015 when Ciara, then 15, received a notification showing she and a couple of friends had been tagged in a post on FB.

When she viewed the post, she was shocked to see a photo of her Christmas presents (along with around 8 other various photos from her account) had been posted, with a piece underneath telling her what he would like to do to her, sexually.

This post, was public on her wall for all to see.    This was only half of it, there were 8 more photos.  She chose not to read further and immediately blocked him.  Fortunately, she screenshot the posting which proved invaluable as he later removed the post from her wall.

post pic

The ‘offender’ in this case was a lad at her school, in the year above. She knew him, but he wasn’t someone she spoke to or spent any time with.

Shaken and troubled by this, she spoke to her Head of Year at school about it.   In turn, the school liaised with me and informed the police

Her friends, who had also been tagged in this post, were less willing to discuss it with anyone.   They didn’t want to report it.  One friend didn’t see it as any big deal, while the other did not want her mum to know or have her phone taken from her.

Undeterred, Ciara was happy to take it further and speak to the police.  She felt what he had done was wrong, and she wanted him, in her words ‘told off’.

She was also concerned about how it might have been perceived by anyone who may have seen the post when it was live.  They might, wrongly assume that she was in some sort of relationship with this boy, and was ok with this type of sexualised messaging!

With the police on board and dealing with the lad in question, Ciara carried on as normal.  However, a little while later, he sent Ciara a photo on FB.

Again, it was posted publicly on her FB wall and was an image of his erect penis along with some scribblings on what he would like to do to her.

Shaken, she again screenshot it.  Like before, he took the image down some 30 minutes later

She reported it accordingly, and this time was invited down to the police station to make a -statement.  She spent around 30 minutes in a room describing in detail, to a male police officer, the sequence of events and a description of what the photo showed.

I for one, at that age would have found that to be an excurationally embarrassing situation, if not an incredibly scary thing to do.  She handled it with great maturity, and I was so proud of her.

She later heard, when interviewed, he denied the charge but on further pressing admitted he had sent the image.

He was given a conditional caution and to undergo a process of Restorative Justice:

“restorative justice whereby the system of criminal justice which focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large”

A youth intervention officer was assigned to Ciara.  She was there as a mediator, giving Ciara the opportunity to talk about how she felt, how it made her feel and what outcome she would like to see happen.  In this case, she replied she simply wanted him to acknowledge he had done wrong and be punished.

One of the biggest things Ciara struggled with was why he had done it, and more importantly why her?  This was a question she put to him, he was unable to answer it.

These meetings proved to be a great help to Ciara, keeping her up to date on how things were progressing.  It was something she felt was important to her.   I often wonder how she would have felt if there had been no such intervention.

It was suggested she write a letter to him, whereby she could ask any questions she would like answered.   Then if agreeable to both parties, they could be brought together for a meeting where she would have the opportunity to speak to him about why/what he did.

She agreed and wrote a letter.  In turn, he responded and the YIO duly brought it around.  Feeling, nervous Ciara read it.  In it, he said he didn’t really know why he had done what he had, but he was willing to meet with her too discuss.

Unfortunately, a couple of days before their scheduled meeting, he again sent an inappropriate picture, this time to a different girl.

Consequently, the meeting was cancelled.  Ciara was not interested in meeting with him anymore.  She was shocked, and said it was like re-living the whole experience again.  She could not believe, after all his weeks of ‘therapy’ he was still acting in this manner, with no show of regret and willingness to stop.

Throughout all this, she still had to see this lad every day in school.  She spent her days, always mindful that she could at any time bump into him.  It was a situation that made her uneasy for a number of months.

Fortunately, he is no longer in school and Ciara is able to continue her education without feeling nervous about seeing him.

As a mother, I found it incredibly difficult, especially at the meetings whereby he would be discussed.  I struggled with how he could, after being involved with the police, go on to repeat the same offence.  I imagined being his mother, and what I would do if it was one of my children.  But like all situations, its easy to say and much harder to do.  Hopefully, with all the best will in the world I will never have to know.

To date, Ciara has never heard anything more from him.  I could not be any more proud of Ciara than I am.  Throughout this difficult period, she handled it with a level of maturity beyond her years and was completely non- judgemental.

So in fact, by continuing to parent our kids the best way we can, we must also look on the plus side of the internet. It brings a lot of positives: endless information, possibilities and opportunities for us all, blogging being one major one!

And a favourite of mine, connecting us to loved ones far and wide, bringing the ones we love and know into our living rooms.

Was that really me? FirstWorldProblemsFirstTimeMummy

Was that really me? One thing I never envisaged when I became my mum a mum 16 years ago was the sudden loss of all common sense & rational thinking.

As soon as Ciara was placed into my arms, I literally became a woman, who slept every night, badly, anxious with one ear open, listening for any sudden change in breathing.  I would regularly get up and check she was still breathing, and if I wasn’t sure I would poke her, instantly regretting it when she cried; only to repeat it all again later.

Looking back I can see how the phrase ‘helicopter parenting’ was coined, that was me morning, noon and night, unable to let go, always hovering just in case.

Every rash had me carrying out the ‘glass test’ never quite sure if it actually disappeared or not, so to be sure would head off to the Doctors.  It was no different if she coughed, sneezed, had a cold that seemed prolonged, it would all have me in a state of fearing it was something more sinister. (see NEUROTIC).

Everything had to be right.  I lived by the book of new motherhood, following the reams of goals, tips, checklists mainly focussing on the ‘must not do’ list such as; never re-heating bottles (especially in the microwave), never giving her dummy back without first sterilising it, never weaning before 4 months…and so on.

That was me; first time neurotic mummy wasting endless hours sterilising dummies, any toys that had hit the ground and the like, gasping in horror if another mum suggested I cut corners, fearing I would somehow, damage her in the process, all coupled with my parents telling me the stories of their survival as babies with no parenting books or sterilising kits!!  (See BINNED THE BOOK, TOOK PARENTS ADVICE with second child).

However, visits to the Doctors surgery were regular.  The routine baby checks were my favourite.  It gave me a chance to ‘show her off’ and swell with pride at her development and seeing my shiny red book fill up nicely.

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All other questions such as,  is she talking – err yeah of course, can she count from 1-10 not quite but we are working on it, is she toilet trained, were plentiful… hang on, sorry scrap that bit, those were the Nursery Gate questions, wrong story!

I KNOW HOW THIS SOUNDS BUT….

On one routine visit, my Doctor asked me how much Ciara weighed at birth; it would be worth noting I was shite at maths (see NEVER LISTENED AT SCHOOL).

I proudly informed him she had weighed 350kg.  Waiting for the unexpected laughter to die down,  he composed himself before asking if I was sure, feeling the pressure, as clearly this figure was wrong, I hastily changed it to 35kg,

“whaaa…t why you laughing” I asked, puzzled.  Showing a clear lack of any understanding surrounding weights,  especially kilo’s, he suggested maybe it was 3.5kg, I went with that, after all he was the Doctor he understood kilos better than I did.

It wasn’t until I recited this account later to my brother, it become apparent what had been funny, I had given the weight off something more in line with a baby elephant! (see SECOND BABY).

IT GETS WORSE

I am fully aware of how this might look, and the following just adds to the list of ‘how stupid could someone be’ but that was me, first time mum and all that, the kind of mum who had to have everything right for my first, along with buying anything gadget based.

I remember buying a Motion Swing that would rock baby gently, saving on any un-needed arm ache and time.  Walking through town with box in tow and his nibs moaning about the price, I was delighted when a woman approached us to champion how good the swings were, apparently brilliant!

Feeling smug and repeating this to his nibs several times over, the smug table turned the day we put her in it, she hated it, cried solidly.

Incidentally the swing ended up in the loft along with all the other waste of time purchases & parenting manuals, along with his nibs muttering “told you it was a waste of money”.

“No Doctor, you don’t understand she isn’t like any other baby” I would tell him as I graced his room once again with Ciara sneezing, “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t important” blah blah blah.

Imagine my horror, when, again, having taken leave of all normal senses,  I was laying with Ciara one morning, when after feeding her, I noticed she started rolling her eyes.

Only slightly at first, but then moving on to real back of the head rolling.  Watching these actions panicked me, trying to reset her eyes to the front position and their clear lack of adjusting back, I let out a mighty roar to his nibs, “quick, come here, there’s something wrong with Ciara”.

“What you on, she was perfectly fine earlier”, he said

“Well she’s not now, I think she might be blind”, mumbling something along the lines of ridiculous and stupid, I carried on, undeterred “seriously, she is rolling her eyes, it’s not right, I need to ring the Doctors”

Pressing redial calling the surgery, I was asked by the Doctors bouncer for my knicker size, what I had for breakfast, is it life threatening blah, blah, blah.

I blurted out my child was blind, “ok what makes you think that”, “well she’s rolling her eyes back in her head and they aren’t refocusing”, so with a reassuring, “ooh I’ve never heard of that before you best bring her in…”.

Throwing her in the car, not literally for any anti- throwing kid’s campaigners out there, we raced off in the mumobile, rubber screeching to the Doctors.  Rushing in I couldn’t have given a stuff that I still had my slippers on, this was urgent, pretending not to notice anyone in the packed waiting room I hoped we wouldn’t be waiting long.

The wait seemed long and all scenarios were playing through my mind, what type of dog we would get, were there any braille classes locally..!

The crackle of the speaker came on,  holding my breath I heard “Sharon, Room No. 4 please”, detecting a hint of ‘what now’ in his tone, I carried on regardless.  It seemed we were on first name terms, I liked the personal touch!

“She’s blind” I announced opening the door and walking in.  “Take a seat Sharon”, sitting down I braced myself as he took her and asked “what makes you think she’s possibly blind”, possibly!

Are you kidding, she’s rolling her eyes right into the back of head so much so I expect her to start chanting lines from the exorcist, her iris literally disappears!  That’s why I think she’s blind.

“Ah right, ok I’ll have a look”.  Turning his back slightly, l sat worrying he was shielding me from some impending doom, rehearsing how he was going to break the news to me.

After what seemed like a very long time, probably one minute in real time, he turned to me and said, “Sharon, have you ever thought she might have wind”?

“Wind”, I said, no I hadn’t, apparently according to him it was a common fact that some babies rolled their eyes when they had wind, well that was a first for me and something I had not read in any of my shit mummy manuals.

Looking back I have great admiration for that Doctor, he always saw me and never mocked, well not to my face.

If it wasn’t for him leaving, not long after we took to visiting him, (just coincidental)  I would thank him in person for putting up with the ‘then me’.

Over in England the Bedtime War Rages On….!

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It would seem that my pre-mummy, delusional bedtime dream is shared by a primary school in Wisconsin, America. According to a recent article, this school decided to help parents with bedtimes, kindly providing them with a ‘helpful chart’ outlining suggested times on their FB page. It helpfully outlines times for bed (sleep time) in order to wake up at certain times (wake time) ie. If a 6 year old goes to bed at 7:00pm they will wake at 6:45am.

Guessing the school felt it had to act, probably due to a few kids snoring keeping the others awake, someone somewhere in the school decided to dream up a table and fill it with a load of shite of times and label it ‘Bedtime Table’.

I am amazed my kid’s secondary school haven’t jumped on this bandwagon and put up a similar one.  I have it on good authority, from my kids, that ‘everyone’ falls asleep in lessons. Now not wanting to wrongly guess it’s the lesson that sends them to sleep, it’s probably due to not getting enough z’s.

Only the other day whilst in school, my son was having a quick power nap, however he crucially forgot to remove the banned contraband from his mouth, and suddenly woke to his name being shouted causing a choking reaction as he believed the ‘lump’ in his mouth was in fact a fly!  Apparently his relief was immense when he spat it out to find it was in fact his bit of chewing gum.

Anyway I digress, so rather than weep with usual despair at the mere mention of ‘bedtime’ I felt myself having an unusual reaction to this word, it was laughter, reading the table wondering who would actually refer to it, let alone use it!

Over here in England the only FB page we have connected to both my kids schools are for ranting about anything school related sharing important fluffy information, such as recipe ideas for dinner.

The Only In America chart recommends children aged five have 12 hours’ sleep,  I agree and would champion this if anyone was willing to listen at home.

It further advises children aged 12+ need between nine and 10 hours sleep.  I’m assuming that’s for the weekends, in which case mine, are thankfully, getting more than the recommended amount, clearly nailing that bit.  Sadly, however, on school nights it would seem that unless they are all in bed and fast asleep by 9pm, they will not get the required amount of sleep! The chances of this happening probably as likely as me finding out Victoria’s Secret!!

A few parents, the kind that every school has praised the guide, commenting “very true I follow this” calling it “awesome”, adding they were going to show it to their kids if they complained.  Wow they must have really easy to scare kids, I can just imagine the scenario here whilst arguing the toss about bedtimes, I whip out this handy chart and the kids all recoil back to their beds, but hey thats just a scenario, the reality would see them laughing and probably throwing it in the bin, or more realistically the floor space surrounding the bin.

Over on FB the ‘comment here if you are on planet Earth’ remarks such as, “bet there’s not many who live by this table”, lol thanks for the laugh that is hilarious” and my favourite one “this chart was clearly written by someone who doesn’t have kids or doesn’t live in the real world” add a more realistic view to the post.

I don’t know about anyone else, but if you are one of the lucky few whose bedtimes are a non eventful process, then I envy you.  Bedtimes are an eventful occurrence in our house to say the least! however I often wallow in the proud cloud, that if anything, all of mine could go on to become great hostage negotiators.

Having nothing better to do ordering putting our kids to bed is the first step in a long process, with the window of dispute wide open for ooooh at least a couple of hours before it shuts.

A lot of wandering around and sudden urges to chat about their day happens only on the stroke of bedtime, sometimes the wandering is accompanied with a puzzled expression, usually mine, as they don’t have their phone in hand but rather a vague of explanation of looking for something, beyond any description, but crucially adding a few extra minutes to the avoidance of bed.  Luckily for them I am on hand to intervene and assure them I will continue the search for ‘nothing’ once they get to bed!

Not wanting to compare as there is no actual comparison, I have put together a snippet of a typical evening, fighting the bedtime battle, and unfortunately can offer no assurance that it gets better as they get older, our war has been raging on for 16 years, I’ll leave you to work out the chances!

09:00pm Bedtime warning sounds out to deaf ears
Repeat above
Repeat above
Apparently they all heard me the first time
The unfairness of it all debate
The homework he didn’t have is due in tomorrow
Mum you have remembered it’s my school assembly tomorrow?
Has no idea what the homework is & why would he ask the teacher!!! Its easier to ask his mates that don’t know either
Shit what assembly?
Time for a wander the phone needs a walk
Explaining why it’s not easier to go to bed in their uniform
Guidance given on where to wander to
Have I seen their library books due in tomorrow!
Wandering again this time pretending to look for something with added puzzled expression
Kids all finally in bed
Are they asleep? yes they must be they just said they were!
No they are not on their phones, why do I always assume they are?
Shouts out for phone charger for the phone he is not on
 11-11:30pm Desperate for a drink they are dying of thirst x 4
 Incoming text from son who is not on phone with breakfast order
 Do I wanna hear about his day? NOOOOOOO!!!!!

Another School Term begins!

So after a long & tiring pre-Christmas term of completing homework incorrectly, stuffing school bags, forgetting to pay school trips, under filling lunch boxes, causing headaches, way too many early mornings we were ready for the break!  Ooops sorry this isn’t about us parents, it’s about the kids, it’s always about the kids God love ‘em!

The long term had seen Ciara sitting her mock exams and Keelan just sitting..! Finishing school every day the threat of “I really need to revise” was said with real sincerity but alas all too quickly forgotten after the discovery of Gilmore Girls but she battled on, ever the optimist.

Meanwhile over at Primary school Niall had the embarrassment of wearing an ill-fitting Roman outfit for Roman Day.  Feeling overally smug and worryingly confident,  for not only had I remembered he needed a Roman outfit I had actually ordered it well ahead of time quashing any need for last minute panic runs to Sheets-become-Outfits aka Mum’s.

However, drowning in complacency, it probably wasn’t my best move leaving it until the night before for a fitting, doing that can only end in disaster, such as the wrong size, like Age 5-6 when Niall is 9, and we all know that these dress up outfits are always super small no better what age is says.

Seeing him in all his attire with hat resting on top of head for effect purposes, I managed to hold back on laughing out loud, I told him to look on the bright side, it wasn’t about Kings so he could be the poor homeless Roman boy,  to carry this look off he would need have trousers no longer than his knees, a top that sat nicely above his waistline with the stretched look and sleeves that touched his elbows,  luckily this outfit gave him all that, so convinced and seemingly happy he skipped off to resume device attachment.

Fast forward to January 2017 and Tuesday last week saw the return of the School Morning Battle Cry, only for the eldest two,  the younger two still had another day to magnetise themselves to their devices.  Although, not one to miss an opportunity Niall was up early apparently unable to sleep, apparently it was not for gloating that he didn’t have school.

With the battle cry sounding out from 6.55am the echoes of groans could be heard throughout, soon these groans formed silhouettes of what appeared to be zombies moving in for the kill but I’ve seen the Thriller video and the zombies are that were 100% livelier so I knew it was nothing more than teenage manifestation.

With breakfast over and moaning at an all-time high broken by the shouts of Keelan “Why has my button moved sides on my trousers”?  With a puzzled expression I sent hubbie in for clarification, after deliberation it was discovered that the trousers he had on were not his, they were in fact mine.  The question of what the “hell they were doing in his wardrobe?” rang out “how the hell could you not tell they weren’t yours”? Comeback was overlooked, this was 100% my fault how I could have committed such a trouser sin, now he had to take them off and put another pair…effort!

I quietly pondered the idea if the button had been on the same side would he have actually walked out in my trousers……I would like to think he wouldn’t have,  but then again this is the boy who put on his brothers school trousers once and wondered why they were so short on him!

This little mishap was soon forgotten as the air was filled with screams of Hurry Up, we need to get going, what’s up with him, his attitude is so bad, he gets away with everything and that was just from Ciara, bless her always on hand to chip in.

With no urgency or worry, Keelan announced “I can’t find my school shoes” this sent me into a frantic search, watched closely by Ciara tutting loudly and  Keelan who had the grace to remain calm leaning against the wall checking his phone, occasionally answering “nope”, “no idea” and “how would I know”.

With hubbie on board the search continued, with a sudden lightbulb moment I remembered I had dumped them due to the sole hanging off as did the fact I had not replaced them.  So with great delight Keelan got to wear his trainers for the day, with me reminding him that they were expensive blah blah blah and they had better come home with him, intermittently interrupted by Niall repeatedly telling Keelan to have a “nice day at school”.

Well I can report first week back in and things are going well.  Ciara has had a few of her mock results back and considering she never so much as looked at a revision book she has done well, but is  nervous,  as today is the big day their results come out, and all sealed in an envelope!

Evelena has decided that I will no longer be helping her with her homework as she was so embarrassed when her maths was all wrong, and fair play to her she has kept to her word.  I will not be disputing this any time soon.

Niall not one to break with tradition remembered he had homework last night on the stroke of bedtime, and with no one willing or available to complete it for him, it was down to him to rush his way through it.  After 10 minutes talking a good talk and questioning what my problem was, after all I should be thankful he a) remembered he had it b) and ever so slightly grateful that I didn’t have to do it.  My failing to see this was classed as ‘moody’.  So after researching said requirements he produced an impressive sheet of scribbles, mostly illegible but this was the plan, I see the method in his madness.

Finally what is any new school term without the start of roadworks?  Why would anyone want to carry this out at a convenient time, no its best left until the kids go back that way we can all work on the same timetable.   Turning up before the school bell rings, having a spot of brekkie, a mug of coffee, a quick chat, check phones, pivoting on the spot, staring at nothing or maybe it’s the screaming banshee in the mummy wagon stuck at the red light…that he’s staring at!

My Second Favourite ‘F’ Word at Christmas

Christmas marks the beginning of my second favourite F word, fibbing.  This F word is batted around sparingly in the months leading up to December, but as soon as we hit the festive period the start of 24 nights of fibs start to roll of the tongue, and boy do I marvel at how good I am at this.

Writing this I can almost hear the gasps of disapproval ringing around me, but quite honestly I’m blinkered to the echoes of how wrong someone else may see it, as much as I’m blinkered to my OH telling me I’m useless at parking, I don’t care.

Coming from an Irish family story telling is in my blood.  I grew up listening to stories, some real, some fibs although I’m still not quite sure which were which, but I enjoyed them all.

One I know to be an actual fib was about a strange man aka Father Christmas, who would come into our house every year on the 24th night of December and leave presents for both me and my brother.  Sounds good doesn’t it, but alas this fib doesn’t sit well with everyone, it seems that by my parents fibbing I, along with my brother, should now have trust issues with my parents, as this line of fibbing can leave us questioning the words that roll out of their mouths.

Wow if this is the case I cannot believe I didn’t end up being carted off in a strait jacket to the nearest asylum as this wasn’t the only fib I got told growing up, I grew up believing fairies, leprechaun’s and banshees all existed, and spent many a night on holiday in Dublin praying the Banshee wouldn’t turn up on the window ledge to belt out a wailer of a tune,  and not only that, my mum told my friends these whoppers when they used to come over, oh the shame!!!

So here I am a survivor of the fibs, sane (well almost!) and ready to spill some of the fibs spun in our house over Christmas.

Christmas in our house starts with the hubbies ceremonial, grunting & groaning during the untangling of lights.  Checking out the neighbourhood competition usually calls for my husband’s favourite F word and a quick trip to the shop for a few new sets to thrown around the bushes artistically, although this year we seemed to have missed the memo that our neighbours got about the all new snowflake projectors in town!

And with a few more of my hubbies preferred F words I put it on the ‘must buy in the sales list’ and file it away in the black hole section of our filing cabinet.

Inside doesn’t escape the twinkly lights, but this is my domain and I like to keep it more grown up and sophisticated, with villages a glowing, peppermint cane candles burning, snowmen blinkering, National Grid rubbing their hands, we are ready to rock ‘n’ roll, of course the downside to this is

a) how long it takes to turn the bloody things off and

b) who’s turn it is to spend the 20 minutes or so turning them off, fortunately I always seem to have other pressing matters at ‘lights out time’!

Christmas is about remembering to put out chocolates for the kids every night, not from us but from the chocolate fairies, and hoping that hubbie remembered to replenish stocks that day but stupidly waiting until the twilight hour to check this fact!  Even the Quality Street tub can’t save the day when hubbie forgot since it contains nothing but empty wrappers.  It’s at these times I prefer his favourite F word and spend the night planning my missing chocolate fib to tell the kids next morning.

Christmas is about battling through shops with a list left at home, and wishing it was like the ‘list’ I asked my mum to write for her present ideas, a one item list, a book, a book that when I went to buy was told it wasn’t out until April next year!  Christmas is also about convincing the kids that the present I have actually ended up buying due to Argos being out of stock, is really a better alternative to what they really want!

But most importantly Christmas is about setting the stage for the biggest night of all, the visit from Father Christmas.

f

Cue the FC Video, watching the kids in turn listen to FC using my second favourite F word telling them how good they have been, all year! And stifling my giggle as he reels off what is required of them to do, all carefully crafted by my good self.  Then sit back and listen to the echoes of my youngest son threatening that he will try to do his homework in good time.

Some from the club of ‘we don’t lie to our kids, ever’  have even been documented as saying it’s like a form of control getting kids to do what we want by fibbing they could end up on the naughty list if they don’t.  I agree it is a control thing and one I love to milk, this is the only time of year that practically anything I ask of them will be done pretty much first time and without resistance, and all at the mere mention of “remember who’s watching”!  The other 341 days are usually spent arguing my case!  I welcome this break with open arms.

Not only do we fib to our kids, we have now even enrolled my eldest two into continuing this fib, yes you read that right!  I even go that one step further and leave proof he has ‘been’.  He leaves his snowy footprints through the hall right up to the bedroom where all 4 of them share the same room, argument free, for this one night only.

His reindeers even leave their sparkly take off trail on our front lawn, and it’s not that mad woman who looks like she’s sprinkling grass seeds in the early hours doing it.

Stories, fibs whatever you want to call them are told every day by many people,  yet it’s this one story that seems to stir up a fuss.  In years gone by, men would gather on street corners in Dublin to tell many a tale, and one such tale an Uncle told me as a kid which I remember to this day.

With his Irish eyes a smiling, rosy cheeks a glowing and Irish voice a telling the story goes that many years ago a war was being fought deep in the Jungle, whilst running from the enemy a young soldier heard the faint cries of a distressed animal, troubled by the sound he ignored the danger behind him and followed the cries.  It led him into an opening where he found a baby elephant trapped, not wanting to leave him he freed him from the trap, gave him a pat on his arse and off the baby ran.

Many years passed and the young soldier now a man made his way to the Circus that was in town.  Sitting right at the back in the only seat he could afford him patiently waited for the acts to begin.  First on were the elephants, as he watched them enter the big top, he noticed that one suddenly stopped, turned and looked straight up at him.  Next thing he knew he was being whisked out of his seat by a large grey trunk and taken and plonked in a seat right at the front of the tent, and with a wink from the elephant the show began all apparently proving that elephants never forget.

Like that elephant I do not, and have not forgot all my wonderful childhood memories adorned with magical fibs of Father Christmas, Fairies, Leprechaun’s, and tales that I could sing!  And if I can be just half of what my parents are like then I know I have made it as a parent, and hope like me, my kids all grow up looking back on their childhood the same way I do and instead of having any such trust issues they just have fuzzy warm feelings.

What is this Teenage Mumble?

I wonder where the inspiration or idea came from for the Game ‘Speak Out’.   The aim of the game is to correctly understand the phrase your teammate is trying to say, while I imagine trying not to spit – through a mouth guard!
Did the creator get this idea from having a teenage son?
Maybe, like me, he too found it a struggle to understand what was being said, and thought what a great idea for a game it would make!
I say this as it would seem that we play a very similar version to this every day at home, albeit minus a board, phrase cards and the all important mouth guard.
But the concept is definitely the same: guess what my teenage son has just said, as quite frankly at this moment in his teenhood I have no idea what 95% of the sound means that comes out of his mouth.
img_9335Don’t get me wrong I can clearly hear it’s a mumble but other than that it’s pure guess work and my constant misinterpretation of what he has said does not go down well.  The mumble becomes a loud grumble.
If my teenage daughter is around, it’s great,  she is fluent in teenage mumble and translates word perfect for me.
The pressure to understand it right first time is enormous.  Saying pardon more than once will only result in a grunt and him asking me if I’m going deaf in my supposed old age.
This then always results in me deliberately pulling the ‘pardon’  funny card out the bag which he falls for every time, failing to see the hilarity of my joke!
However, it seems that I too must mumble as when I ask, what I believe to be a simple question, such as “‘have you got homework?” his answer is usually no.
Yet at bedtime he suddenly remembers that actually he does have homework.  He then wonders why this triggers an explosive response from me! apparently he hadn’t actually realised what I had meant earlier when I asked him!
Its like when I can’t find my phone to text him, so instead yell out his name.  With no response, probably due to his selective hearing, I usually give it one last shout then with no response I turn the broadband off.
Strangely, this unspoken act he understands and is quick to respond!
Always keen to keep the line of communication strong with my kids, not that they are always keen to embrace, but as their mother I am interested.
I feel it important to keep up to date with what they are doing, who they are seeing, how school is going, blah blah blah, it’s never a long conversation, in fact its usually short and to the point.
Their answers consist of nothing more than ‘fine’, ‘not your business’, or simply ‘why do you always want to know?’
So, after repeatedly failing the mumbling listening test, I took to the drawing board and thought I would keep a handy little dictionary close to me of popular phrases all translated for easy reference for when the mumbling is rumbling.
We now have our own little tune called ‘Mumble of the Teen’, which he even uses himself now! More commonly used in the car on the way to school, the mornings are when his mumble is at its best!
So to avoid writer’s cramp creeping in I decided to start with only 16 of the 50+ I have.
Listed below are the most current phrases mumbled.
1-15 are mumbled loudly and some with eye rolling for added affect but I stress that No. 16 is not mumbled but spoken in a surprisingly affectionate ‘clear as a whistle tone’.
  1. Everyone = No-one
  2. I haven’t lost it/Someone must have taken it = I’ve lost it
  3. Yes I know *continuous eye rolling* = No idea at all will wing this somehow
  4. I am listening *looking at phone*  = I have no idea what you just said
  5. Yes I am getting dressed = Crap, where’s my clothes
  6. I am going to sleep *looking at phone* = In a couple of hours when I have finished snapchatting
  7. Hang on *annoyance in tone*  =  What is up with that woman! I will be out when I”M ready
  8. Just Coming *adjusting hair* = One more selfie and I’m done
  9. I don’t have any homework = Only English & Maths which can wait until bedtime
  10. Its not my fault!! *loud & dramatic* =  Yep its mums fault she should have warned me my pocket had a massive gaping hole/reminded me it was PE today/that I had homework/my maths homework was wrong!
  11. Can you help me with my homework = Can you do it as I can’t be arsed
  12. Did you ring me? = Why would you ring me when I’m with my mates?!? You know I won’t respond until the ‘RING ME NOW’ text arrives
  13. You don’t understand =  What would she know!!!  I’m 14 making me ‘Mr Knower of all’
  14. Not much  = A lot, sharing the details would only lead to further questioning that I cant be arsed with
  15. Why would I lie? = I am lying through my teeth because if you knew you wouldn’t let me
  16. I love you, you are the best mum ever = guaranteed to disfuse the situation and gain total forgiveness

tweens