The School’s Calling

It’s a phonecall you hate getting, next to Unknown number, seeing the school’s number on your phone screen is terror inducing. All sorts goes through your mind. What’s happened? Who’s hurt? What have they done?

I’ve had various phonecalls in my time and inspired by a conversation with an old friend (who sadly I don’t get to see anymore, life gets in the way) I thought I’d share some of them.

Gone Bananas

There was the time the school called to tell me my eldest had had a slip and fallen on his face. Thinking he’d tripped over someones foot or something – I once broke my wrist when someone stuck their foot out in front of me, you can read about it here – I made my way to the school only to find he’d slipped on a banana skin. I shit you not. I thought this particular mishap was reserved for cartoons and comedians. Apparently not.

Holey Crap

“Could you come to the school please? Your son has a puncture wound” A puncture wound? A PUNCTURE WOUND? “Oh Jesus Christ he’s been stabbed” I screech to the other half. “Right that’s it, I’m going to get him and I’m never, ever letting him go to school again.”

I get to the school where I’m greeted by a stoney faced 6 foot 20 Headmaster. I’m only 5’2 so I already felt like a naughty kid caught professing their love for some scroat or other by permie marker in the bogs. “Where’s my son?” I start to ask before he sits me down to tell me that in fact he hasn’t been stabbed but the dozy sod had actually been climbing trees to retrieve a football and fallen on a metal fence. Cringe. Then he leads me to a very quiet teenager who appears to have taken great interest in his trainers. Out we traipse not saying a word other than to thank the Headmaster for letting me know.  Off to the hospital we drive for a 48245 hour wait in A&E where they ask a million questions – quite rightly – and send him off with a dressing on and a dressing down.

Harry Flopper

“Could you come to nursery please? Your son has had a fall and has a head injury.” There I was with a 3 month old baby clamped to my chest wondering what on earth had happened. I sent the other half to go and get him as I knew he could run faster than my podgy arse could. My son came back with a bandage on his head and an ice pack. I don’t know what I was expecting from a ‘head injury’ but it was worse than I thought. My poor little man had a flipping great big split in his forehead and blood running down his face. Off we drove the hospital where he had glue and steri – strips to stick it all back together. We tried to make light of it being his Harry Potter scar but it’s not so much lightening bolt as big fat rain cloud. When we asked him how he’d done it he told us he was trying a show a girl how fast he could run, couldn’t stop himself in time and ran headfirst into a brick wall. So basically showing off for the ladies, sign of things to come?! Bloody great.

Oh Nuts

“Could you come to the school please? Your son has had a um, knock to the um, private area” “Right, some little shit has kicked our boy in the balls Jon. You better get to the school and sort it” I was at work. Seething into my latte. Waiting impatiently for him to come back and tell me what had gone down. Turns out it was an accidental knock to the nads. He got in the way of a flying foot. They have a tendency to do that feet, especially when attached to a 7 year old boy it seems. All checked over the other half traipses home to resume his game of Fifa. Bugger me if an hour later they weren’t  back on the phone “could you come to the school please? Your son has had a bump to the head” “Jon, get down the school again love, someones tried to cave his skull in this time” all I can hear is the sound of the Xbox controller hitting the deck as he exhales VERY loudly and legs it out the door again. Reporting back the fella tells me he caused his own head injury, not by impressing girls this time but trying to retrieve his pencil and smashing the back of his head on the table on the way back up. No matter how many times you scream “watch your head” at a kid it never, ever sinks in.

Sixth Non-sense

‘We’d like to make an appointment with you to discuss your son’s progress in sixth form.’ says the chirpy receptionist, knowing full well a bollocking is coming my way in the near future. I wasn’t wrong. “we have concerns that maybe sixth form isn’t for him” says the scary teacher sat in front of me. She then goes on to tell me that she doesn’t think it’s the path he’s destined for as I squirm in my chair feeling like I’d rather be ANYWHERE but here. “He really isn’t putting any effort in and we get the feeling there’s a million other things he’d rather be doing (lying in bed being the main one. Probably.) so we think it’s best he revisits his thoughts about his future and let’s us know where we go from here” accompanied by ‘the look’ that makes you feel like a completely useless parent from Knobsville. I really wanted to tell her to shove it up her arse – purely for the look – but I didn’t, I was very adultish. I looked at him, he was very interested in a poster on the wall funnily enough. Think it might have been something about not sharing dirty daps. He blurted out something that vaguely resembled English which I took to mean “I hate sixth form” and so there and then on that day he left. Just like that. I swear she high fived herself. And off we drove back to Knobsville. Via the Jobcentre.

Have you ever been called to the school?

julie-x-2

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Getting A Teen Out Of Bed

Right now you may have little ones and be experiencing  5.30a.m morning wake ups and sit there wishing they ‘would just stay in bed and give you a lie in’. STOP. Karma will come around and kick you right up the bum when they turn into a teenager and you can’t get the sod out of bed for love nor money. Here are the stages of getting said teenager up that happen in our house. Insert Spongebob style ’10 minutes later’ between each one.

Stage 1

This is the stage where you’re still optimistic that today will be the day that they get up without the hassle. Pahahahahaha.You knock the door whilst steeling yourself for the stench, run in and shake them awake cheerily telling them if they get up now there’s plenty of time for shower, breakfast and a cuppa.

Stage2

10 minutes later you realise there is no movement going on upstairs and stomp back up in the hope that your heavy footsteps will get them shifting. Does it heck. They’re still lying there bleary eyed saying “what?”. Keep calm, they’re bound to get up soon, they’ll be worried about being late.Right?!

Stage 3
Now you’re getting your hair off, they’re taking the mickey. So you go up and threaten them that if you have to come up again you’ll be bringing a bucket of water. They sigh and moan “for god’s sake” under their breath. Yes, because obviously I’m doing this for fun. It’s the highlight of my day don’t you know?! I really don’t have anything better to do like sticking hot pokers in my eyes, the usual.

Stage 4

Right they’re still not up. So you realise it’s time to make good on your threat to throw water. You spend a few minutes looking for the bucket you bought the kids at the beach in the summer and when you remember they’re probably at the back of the shed with the false widows and tube webs you decide ‘sod that for a laugh’ and just grab the mop bucket, chuck the mouldy smelling mop across the kitchen in annoyance and fill it up. Drag the heavy sodding thing up the stairs only to find right at the last second the teen will magically launch themselves out of bed and shout “I was up, stop stressing” You fight the urge to drench the cheeky git anyway, grit your teeth muttering about ‘lazy bloody kids’ lug the bucket back downstairs and get ready to start fighting ‘get dressed and ready wars’ where they’ll race down the stairs – steady on- to shout about the favourite t-shirt/skinny jeans/trainers they can’t find and you’ve obviously moved. Believe me mate I wouldn’t touch your stinky clodhoppers if my life depended on it!

So honestly, if you are reading this bleary eyed at the crack of a sparrow’s fart then just remember it’ll come full circle in a few years time.

Are your teens like this too? Are you one of the lucky ones who’s teens get up without a fuss?

julie-x-2

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

To My Teenage Son

TEXT HERE (1)

As I sat there on the bathroom floor sobbing quietly to myself wondering where on earth I’ve gone wrong. I thought I was doing ok,not perfect but who is? But it’s so much harder than I ever imagined it could be. Being the parent of a teenager is bloody hard, when that teenager wants to be treated as an adult yet the behaviour they display is that of a child just without the high pitched screeching (most of time).

Son, do you think it’s ok that your Mum is feeling worthless because you’ve just told her to stay out of your business again when she tried to engage you in conversation? Or your Step-Dad is in the shed trying to calm down because you’ve told him to eff off when he asked you to clear your mess?

Us parents who gave up years and years of our lives, took meaningless jobs so we could provide food to go in your mouth because we wanted a family, children to love and care for who would love them back, only to find that years down the line said child would throw it all back in our face and fight against every rule they’ve made to keep you safe. Every suggestion to help you get on in life. Those parents that scrimped and saved and went without just so you could get the things on your Christmas list.Sacrificed their social lives and stopped going out with their friends, some of which lost them a friendship or 2 because those friends stopped asking after a while, fed up of being rejected.

Replaced the phones you lost and/or smashed so you can communicate with your social group even though we could ill afford it. Moan that we take away your essential wifi akin to removing all the blood in your body because it seems to be the only punishment that gets through.

Become best friends with slamming doors and huge sighs of irritation at the slightest ask of help, why should we do all the dishes only to find you’ve abandoned your glass on the kitchen counter because it’s beneath you to just swill the damn thing out.

Get out of bed at 12pm and demand a lift to somewhere you should have been an hour ago, hang on – I thought you were an adult – you know, the type who get themselves out of bed and go to work and earn a living?

I was a teenager, I know it’s hell on earth at times but one thing I do remember and remember well is not to bite the hand that feeds. Once you’re out in that big, bad world you’ll know. You’ll see what we’ve been saying all along is true and that really deep down you’re still a little kid who has no idea what they’re doing. I know because I’ve done it. I left home at 17 thinking I was the kiddie and I could rule the world. Til I realised that world was actually full of an awful lot of some quite horrible people. People who don’t care about you and would walk past you if you were on fire. Who do you run to then? I think we all know the answer to that.

Son I love you with all my heart and soul but right now I’m not liking how things are going. I want my boy back, the one who hung off my leg and watched intently everything i did. Where did he go? I only hope that one day we can look back and laugh. Until then we have to ride it out.

 

Julie x (2)

Tips To Get You Ready For Having A Teenage Boy

One day just when you think you have this parenting thing cracked, they’ll go to bed and wake up a totally different kid. You’ll wonder what on earth happened whilst drowning your sorrows in gin. Here are my tips to get you ready for having a teen boy. It isn’t serious I’m just as blimmin’ clueless as everyone else but it will give you an insight into the delights you can look forward too. Yippee.

• Take a lovely pair of white socks, get in the car, drive to the nearest rubbish dump, rub them around the smelliest pile of crap you can find. Take them home leave them for a week. Now pick them up and take a good sniff. That smell right there is how their socks will smell and consequently their bedroom. Oh and clean up that vomit you just got everywhere you’re gonna need a stronger stomach.

smelly-socks

 

• Start learning how to fashion a gas mask out of a tea towel to do the washing now so you get used to it. Believe me when I say you’ll need it. You can NEVER be prepared for how smelly their pits  get and NEVER EVER ask why that sock is crispy and stuck together.

• Start having conversations with the walls. Sometimes those guys will be the only ones listening and they won’t roll their eyes at you or huff and puff every time you so much as open your mouth or even just breathe near your darling teen. Maybe make it worth it and stick a poster of Tom Hardy up there. If you’re gonna be ignored at least he’s worth looking at.

• Buy a dictionary of ‘crap words made up by teens’ or you’ll never be able to understand a bloody word they grunt your way. Do you know your peng from your fam or your raw from your schnapping? Nope, I didn’t have a Scooby Doo either!

• Start using the space under their bed as a makeshift bin. That way when you go searching for the batteries they nicked out of your Sky remote for their Xbox controller there’ll be no nasty, niffy surprises.

messy-teen-room

 

• When storing their phone number in your phone change it to your own number. You might as well just text yourself all day long as I can guarantee they won’t answer you unless of course you’re clever and text something like “your little brother is in your room looking through your DVD’s and there’s one with no name on it, is it ok for him to watch?” they’ll be straight on the phone then telling you to “get the hell out of their room, they never get any privacy”.

• If for some reason your teen has to go somewhere with you (oh the horror) be prepared for them to walk 20 steps in front and act as though they have no idea who you are. Especially when any of their mates might see you and wind them up by shouting MILF at you. Then you may hear some other choice words but these you will DEFINITELY know the meaning of. They really won’t thank you for giving them a clip around the earhole for swearing in front of their ‘crew’ so best just to let them walk on ahead.

• If, like mine, they’re into free running get ready for your stomach to launch itself out of your mouth every time they show you the latest thing they can do or how many flips they can do off that massive wall that would make you crap yourself just climbing.

Bet you’re totally and utterly looking forward to it now aren’t you?!

Julie x (2)

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

 

Parenting a Teen – Seriously Awkward?

Parenting a teen can be really hard,I mean REALLY damn hard.But obviously it can also be good too.The good far outweighs the bad (doesn’t feel like it sometimes,I know) but in those (rare) moments where their face lights up in a smile you know your sweet kid is still in there somewhere.

As a baby/young child all he wanted to do was cuddle,he was a so-called “velcro baby” and I just couldn’t put him down.There have been many moments years on that I would give anything to go back and just have 5 more minutes of that.And it makes me sad to think of the times I inevitably shouted “just let me have 5 minutes”.

In no way in my teen “naughty” or however you want to put it but he can be really hard work sometimes.My partner of 8 years isn’t his biological father but he’s the only one he’s ever known.He does a bloody good job of providing for all our children and I couldn’t wish for a better bloke.However there is a constant struggle for Alpha Male as my 16 year old tries to establish his place in the house.You ask for help it’s met with a flat out refusal which tends to lead to removal of his phone which in his mind is likened to removal of his right arm.Still won’t do what he was asked though,oh no,he has to drag it out for an hour or two of huffing,puffing and “why are you ruining my life” ing.His room smells like a cage of baboons but he seems to like it that way and to be honest we do ask him to clean it sometimes but I shut the door and pretend not to see it other times as it’s just not worth the row.If he can stand it then crack on kid.

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We’re lucky we don’t have any problems with him being arrested or drinking to excess or drugs.Which are the things that terrify me as a Mum,as I’m sure it does many other Mum’s and Dad’s.We just have problems with him answering back and being sullen and sometimes if I’m honest downright blooming lazy!I think many teenagers are the same though I know myself and my brother were messy beggars too.Although my other half maintains he’s always been a clean freak and his room was always tidy!Hmmmm…….

The one thing that does make me feel I’ve failed slightly though is that he isn’t really interested in his little brother/sister he shuts himself off in his room most of the time he’s at home and doesn’t really have a lot to do with them.They are 6 and 3 though so I’m hoping this is something that will change as they get older.I’d love for them to have a close relationship like I do with my own brother now we’re older.We always have been close but fought like cat and dog as kids.

If you came to this post hoping for help I’m sorry I don’t have the answers I’m afraid!The only thing I do know is if you sit down and talk to them like an adult they are more likely to respond as once I start shouting it’s a sure fire way to get a door slammed in my face!

I don’t pry but I do ask him if he’s ok regularly as I would hate to think there was something bothering him that he felt he couldn’t tell me about.This has worked for us as he has opened up about his worries in the past.

I have made sure all internet access has parental controls on it (although now he’s doing an IT A level he can probably bypass it quite easily!)

I do encourage him to come out with us when we go anywhere for the 9 times he grunts no,there will be that 1 time he surprises me and says yes.Usually to go to my Mum’s for a cooked breakfast.How much can teenagers eat?!It’s shocking I can tell you!!

Encourage them to have responsibility as hard as it can be to let go,this I struggle with as my fierce instinct to protect kicks in and I REALLY have to fight it but they do need it to set themselves up for life out there on their own.

“The most vulnerable 16 and 17 year olds are often in grave danger, facing hidden harm. They are more likely to go missing or be victims of violent crime than any other age.

They are a high risk group for domestic violence and sexual exploitation. Yet they are the least protected from abuse and neglect in law, and get much less support than younger children.

My son is lucky enough to have a safe,loving home that he can always come back to,sadly that is not the case for many teens.Please help by signing the petition below.

 “The Children’s Society is asking the Government to change the law to protect 16 and 17 year olds from abuse and neglect. We are also calling for more support for teenagers at this age and for them to be more involved in the decisions that affect their lives. We want as many people as possible to sign our petition, and help encourage others to sign this.”

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