I am feeling a little bit under siege in my own house. Perhaps it’s because it’s the end of January and i haven’t successfully managed to start any of my New Year’s Resolutions yet and things feel a little, well, shall we just say, chaotic. I don’t feel organised for the year ahead. Haven’t got a plan. Or even a grip yet in any way.
Thankfully my oldest son has finished his exams now so that’s one less stress to worry about. Instead, I am swiftly moving on to mild hysteria about his upcoming “Gap year” travel plans. My friend came round today – she’s being much more hands on about sorting out visas and vaccinations and routes and stuff and saying things like “when are you going to the Thai Embassy and make sure you scan copies of the visas so that if they lose or get everything nicked they can still print out new copies from abroad”. I have done very little on the basis that he is now an adult and needs to sort it all out for himself, but, I’m not sure that is the right approach.
He appears to be basing half his trip on an adventure he’s heard about near Laos – “mum, it’s this really cool thing you can do which involves like getting into rubber rings and floating down a river and stopping off at loads of bars and drinking and then like moving down river to the next one and it’s like meant to be really amazing fun”.
I didn’t give it much thought apart from have a pang of jealousy, until I spoke to my friend in Australia who suddenly said “by the way, make sure that he doesn’t do that rubber ring thing that involves drinking in numerous bars on the way down a river because loads of people are dying and there’s a big thing all about it here – the alcohol they serve in the bars is massively potent and they get so pissed they drown”.
So now what? Suggesting he doesn’t bother with that adventure isn’t going to make the slightest bit of difference I’m sure.
Sometimes being a single parent is ridiculously hard. Trying to manage the balance between being a concerned mother and a disciplinarian very often doesn’t really work. You sort of get wrong on every level. Half the time when I try and talk to them they either roll their eyes or fall about laughing. Of course I will tell him not to do it – but will it work? Unlikely. They are invincible at that age remember. Perhaps, when he leaves next month, rather than ask for regular updates or follow his journey via Facebook I might be better to totally pretend he doesn’t exist and hope for the best.
Like that’s going to work.
My Google search is full of things like “weather in Chiang Mai” and “the Great Barrier Reef hostels”. How do you get on with your life when you have a child out in the big wide world? I can’t bear the thought of him being away for FOUR MONTHS. Any advice on that subject will be most gratefully received.
Maybe I should go with him.
In addition I have many man jobs to do in my house. I don’t mean to be sexist – it’s just that I’m useless at putting up shelves and bleeding radiators. I can’t even get the bulb out of my bedside lamp so I have the whole thing sitting by the front door to take to the shop – I need to get a new bulb and ask them to take the old one out – it’s just that I’m a bit too embarrassed to ask.
My “man drawer” has grown over the years. I now have a tool box with a hammer I’ve never used and several spanners. There was a torch in it recently but one of the children has stolen it and there are also lots of nails but I don’t know where I would bang them in.
Valentine’s Day is coming up and the children are all beginning to show signs of planning. I however am going to go into a massive sulk about not having anyone to buy anything for. Perhaps I should start thinking about posting anonymous cards to people I admire….it’s just that I can’t think of anyone at the moment. Except maybe Johnny Depp who I understand is recently separated. But that won’t work. He’ll be traumatised for at least the next 10 years.
My daughter has finished her mocks and is now planning her holidays post GCSE’s. These too are causing havoc with my mind. All that “WHY can’t I do this or that? You clearly don’t trust me at all” stuff. It’s so exhausting. When I was 16 I wasn’t allowed out past 10pm at weekends or even have friends round. This of course resulted in any bad behaviour being conducted elsewhere. So I know the drill. It’s better to keep them close. Know what they’re up to. But they’re all growing up WAY too fast.
Consequently I think it might be best if I and my youngest child move shortly to a monastery.
I can no longer cope.
Anybody know a good monastery that takes children? (and lets me drink and speak and buy shoes from time to time but not necessarily in that order).