Thursday, August 28, 2014

When "Teen" Happens

My mate Iota has written a terrific post about the infant versus teen years. Go over and nod your head in agreement (if you have kids over the age of about 12, that is.) I was going to leave my usual comment on her blog, then realized even the mental draft was so long, it needed its own post.

So here it is.

Sleepless nights - when they get really big (we're talking able to hold down a part time job), they pick the most anti-social shifts. This summer I had one getting up at 4am, and the other coming in at 3am. As my family tells me, I can hear a fly fart three miles away, so all the coming and going, creaking stairs, alarms being turned on and off, made for a very knackering summer. Not to mention the fear that comes with lying awake knowing that the alarm quite possibly hasn't been set and the front/back door is probably unlocked.

Food - Not only was I bulk shopping twice a week, neither big kid eats remotely the same things. Now, unlike picky little eaters, one is a vegetarian (who doesn't really like vegetables) and the other doesn't eat red meat. They are life choices so I can't really make them sit at the table until they've finished the nice steak I lovingly cooked for them. I had planned to "let them get on with it", but this still entails shopping for food - in itself a challenge worthy of a MasterChef kitchen scramble.

Laundry - The Ex-Queenager, having now spent three years at college, does her own laundry. (She also reads this blog so that's all I'm saying. She also thinks she needs a new name, so if anyone has a suggestion...). I still have one very large 18 year old male, and one big-for-his-size 11 year old, both of whom stink. There's no other way to put it. Their clothes, along with their equally stinky father, require a "heavy duty" cycle in the washer, often followed by another rinse and spin, and copious amounts of "fresh blossom" dryer sheets in the dryer.

Your body - when you have adult kids, you're obviously a lot older than you were when they were babies. And boy there's no forgetting it when they're around. "Mom, is that your knee making that sound?" as they follow you up the stairs. Or, "Mom, can you grab that or is your elbow playing up again". And unlike when they were little and their questions caused mirth (Think "Mom, why does your face crack up when you laugh?"), it's neither cute nor funny when they're merely trying to remind you of your rapidly approaching decline.

Expense - Don't. Even. Let's just say I have two college age kids. And the average yearly tuition for college in the USA is (according to the College Board) $30,000 for private colleges, $22,000 for out-of-state students at state colleges - which we're looking at. That obviously doesn't include air fares, meal allowances, books, etc. I know.

Internet - I'm blogging about it! With photos.

Yes, it's red!


  1. *Nods in agreement*

    For me, it's all a massive readjustment of expectations, that is still going on. I knew that teenagers still need their mums, but I sort of thought it would be less demanding. In many ways yes, it is less demanding, but I do still feel spread quite thin. I thought maybe it wouldn't be like that once school used up a lot of hours of the day, and once I didn't have to travel everywhere with a pack of wipes and a tupperware of cheerios!

    When you have a baby, people say "there is no manual", and you're learning about babycare on the job. That doesn't change. You don't have a manual for teens either, and you have to learn about GCSEs, UCAS forms, the inticacies of the local football club scene, parental internet controls...

  2. You've summed it up perfectly!

  3. I hear ya! Yep, I thought teenagers would be difficult - but not THIS hard! Demanding, expensive but entertaining - that's my two. Great post x

  4. The College Queen for the Queenager? The journalista?

    It all sounds like too much fun. I would say if they insist on a funny diet, get them to cook it themselves!But I'm sure I won't be saying that when mine are 18...

  5. I remember it all well! Your description is brilliant!

    Now my grandchildren are reaching that stage too & my strength is even less than it was when mine were that age and unfortunately when looking after an elderly person, I am often reminded of toddler tantrums and unreasonableness that often goes with it and the strength to cope is less than ever....... So much to think about in the different stages of life.

    Love the red hair!!!!!
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  6. My teenager (age 17) must just be amazingly easy, because I remember the pre-school years as a nightmare just to be got through (never was keen on ankle-biters, though, so maybe that's why), and I liked him more and more as he got older.

    He's relatively house trained, does his own washing, works hard and although I do have to listen to much talk about hockey and football/soccer, he's really no trouble at all! Much less hassle than his dad, anyway. Expensive, yes, but we just hand over the allowance and it's up to him to budget wisely.

    I do miss Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam and Thomas the Tank though. Plus Thunderbirds from the next stage up. It's kind of different watching The Inbetweeners movie together...

  7. Oh dear, I do sort of wish I hadn't read this (still at the toddler stage!) Although it was very entertaining and well written, and they do say forewarned is forearmed so it worked out quite well that I did!

  8. It's difficult... lol Our 16 year old girl's bedroom is like a black hole, things get sucked in there and never reappear!


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