Thursday, May 22, 2008

Living with a twelve year old....

... has its ups and downs.

For a start you have HORMONES. So a child who is normally quite calm and collected will get temperamental and teary for NO REASON AT ALL.

Then you get the whole, I don't want to grow up/take responsibility for anything, but you treat me like a child type thing. Treat you like a child? Now there's a thing...

And on top of that as Mum, you are expected not only to know EXACTLY what said child needs at any given moment in the day, and drop absolutely everything to deliver it (lucky I work at home, huh?), but the lack of responsibilty thing also extends to remembering where you have left keys/homework/phone/take your pick.

Thus it was Monday morning found no 1 barging in when I was on the loo (if I do that to her all hell breaks loose) demanding to know where her hoodie was. No idea, I said, why? It's got my phone it, she wailed, and you're bound to have put it in the wash. Dearie me, how thoughtless. I might have actually CLEANED some of your clothes????

Well it wasn't in the wash.

Have you tried your bedroom? I suggested helpfully. Cue lightbulb moment. I never thought of that, she said... Why would you when your mum does all the thinking for you?

Two minutes later, Found it! she says triumphantly (oh and thanks, Mum for helping me - oh sorry was that a pig that just flew past?), not in her hoodie of course, but in her bag.

By now it is time to leave for school.

Where's my black folder?

Which black folder?

You know. My black folder? My English one? You've moved it haven't you?

Now let me think... did I perchance move all the folders you dumped on the hall table to your bedroom WHERE THEY BELONG, so we could have a tidy house for your birthday party yesterday? I really am the most inconsiderate mother in the world...

I remember moving some folders, but not a black one. Cue hormonal moment, twelve year old collapsing into tears on hall chair because she clearly has the cruellest mother in the world, and me abandoning sandwich making (which I was supposed to be doing) to search her bedroom, where there was nary a sign of a black folder.

Was that the one you took in on Friday? I asked, trying to be helpful.

Nooooo, she says in her best Kevin manner, that was my red French file.

Of course. Silly me.

By now it's five to eight, and she's going to be late, so like the sap I am I offer to give her a lift to school, but give her a stern lecture about taking responsibility and that this time I am not planning to bail her out with her English teacher by writing a note to explain the inexplicable temporary mislaying of the file.

On the way to school she suddenly announces that she may, perhaps have left her folder in her locker...

I think my response was very restrained considering.

Having put me through all of that before 8.30 on Monday morning, I have to say things didn't bode well for the week.

But then. Like I say, life as the parent of a twelve year old is full of ups and downs.

Last night she took part in a school concert for Year 7. For years I have watched no 1 in shows and concerts, and she's had, maybe one or two lines. She's never been chosen for a lead, or asked to sing or anything. But this time she not only was asked to sing a solo, she also played the piano too.

The piano playing, I have to say was not exactly of the highest standard as she lost her place a bit, thought she did recover well eventually.

So when it came to her solo performance I felt really nervous for her. I hear her frequently practising the piano and guitar which she has recently taken up, but I never hear her sing, though I know she has a nice voice.

Actually, she doesn't just have nice voice, she has gorgeous voice. And she stood up and sang Second Star to the Right beautifully, without putting a note wrong. I was reduced to jelly natch, but it was wonderful to hear her doing something with such confidence. She's had to grow up a lot in the last year and it hasn't always been easy.

Being the parent of a twelve year old is full of ups and downs. But the highs when they come are very high indeed...


Political Umpire said...

My brother has two baby girls. I, as you know, have two baby boys. He opined that baby girls were easier. I reminded him to ask me again in twelve years time ...

Jane Henry said...

Spouse has mournfully suggested from time to time he should get a dog, as it least THAT would be male.

Yesterday I had an email which I saw at 1pm saying Help, I've left my English book behind. Like a numbskull I did go and look for it before thinking, HANG ON... when I was at school a) my mum was too far away to bring me things I'd forgotten and b) I had too much shopping to unpack. So the book stayed where it was, and luckily for her she wasn't in trouble. But a change of routine is definitely in order!!

Expat mum said...

ALmost five years ago we made the stupid mistake of moving two blocks away from school. At least once a week I get a call begging me to bring something in. Since there's a lot of parental involvement (slave labour) at the school there's always a chance I'll be going in anyway, so I have no way of making them live with their error without being one incredibly mean mother.