I’m in a ‘Thank f*ck it’s Friday’ kind of mood.

It’s not been particularly busy or even more demanding than any other week. I’m just a wee bit more tired today than on a usual Friday – and that’s despite the fact that I am officially working from home today. In fact, I am tired to the point of wondering whether it is decent to slouch off to bed before the watershed 9pm… tired to the point of lingering longingly in my bedroom and staring at the bed, envying ginger Jasper cat who is curled in a ball and nestled into the pillows…

Evan is home now. Secondary Schools finish at 1pm on a Friday. And he – in his beautifully laidback and horizontal way – is already flat out in his bed ‘having a snooze Mum’. Crediting his sleep bank – readying himself for activity later on.

Louis will be well into the wedding celebrations he is attending today with his girlfriend. And probably already a bit pissed (I know my son and his current love of the sauce). Airth Castle. And they have an overnight booked – lucky them.

Jamie hasn’t returned yet. He is out. Somewhere. Another 45 minutes and I will panic. But not yet. He does this sometimes: claims he told me he’d be attending supported study/an after-school club/going with friends to the park – and then disgustedly castigates me with a You never listen to me Mum. He might be right. Though Evan claims – every time – that the little rat is lying Mum, he didn’t tell you, he’s away upstairs sniggering. It’s not fair Mum. He’s got away with it again.

None of the older three can ever understand why I am the way I am with Jamie. Why he gets away with things. I think I’ve just mellowed. There was once a time when I’d pounce on minor misdemeanours with a passion borne of fear: fear that out of little acorn offences large oak offences grew… It is enough for me now that Jamie knows that I know that he’s telling porkies. And that he knows he’s diminished his good self by doing that. I don’t have the energy to tackle every minor thing with a grounding or a reasoned row or to inflict one of a list of minor misdemeanour penalties that have proven useful over the years (usually individualised to the specific wain).

In truth, not much actually bothers Jamie anyway – well nothing much that doesn’t involve him feeling a bit embarrassed. If he’s not embarrassed at being caught out then nothing else will ‘work’.

As I type Meg is drafting her resignation letter for the local hotel. She has secured an au pair’s position in East Berlin and leaves mid-November – I’m going to accompany her for at least an overnight just to reassure myself that she isn’t about to be trafficked into sex slavery or exploited by an unscrupulous employer (though given I’m a trade unionist – is there any other kind of employer?). She has conceded to this chaperoning with a good grace I hadn’t appreciated she possessed – and though I am aware that it’s a bit absurd to feel the need to accompany one’s adult daughter to a job, she is indulging me.

Ana is now home. With a friend – Sam. Ana’s school friends are almost exclusively male. They love her. They follow her around like docile wee pups and she bosses them: play football; play tig; play chase. Sam is her closest friend and he is also the cause celebre of Ana’s most embarrassing moment ever:
said Ana to Sam have you watched this film, Little Miss Sunshine, Sam? said Sam to Ana No. But you are my little Miss Sunshine, Ana.

Jamie, who was listening to this exchange, choked on his juice and then, recovered, posted the episode on facebook (like the real little rat he is, said Evan, when he saw it). Megan and Louis have ribbed Ana about it ever since. And Ana does not take this in good grace at all. Oh no. She huffs and puffs and goes red in the face and shouts and stomps off to her bedroom. Sam is NOT her boyfriend she screams.

Right. I’ve got to the end and find that Jamie is still not home. I now need to seek and find.

8 thoughts on “Friday…phew.

  1. I knew my relationship with my child had changed for ever when he started asking me if I was ok when we were climbing mountains together. I should add that by that time I was in my 60s.

  2. Ah, children, yes. Just this week my boy has started resisting asking for my hand when we climb stairs together or go for walks across the neighborhood. His little fists get very insistent and shake at me, firmly declaring he wants to do it by himself. —And as well he angrily points now when he wants something: firmly, dictatorially, with a spark of authority that I never knew was in him.

    I do like the tag/chip idea by the way. 🙂

  3. Haha – (though it's really cruel of me to laugh!) – but this is the start of a long process of rebellion and self-assertion… Objectively viewed, it's great.
    From a subjective, rushed, parent point of view – it's just another complication designed to slow you down on that day you are really trying to get them out the door because you are late for an appointment…
    I mentioned the tag/chip idea to my 'real little rat' – he was less than impressed… 😀

  4. I get that too Geeb. They get to about 12 years old now – and start to 'patronise' their 'poor old parents'. I was just hoping it was yet another 'stage' – and that they'd pass through it into a more pleasant one. Well, I was hoping that until my Mother said 'don't start Yvonne – you do just the same thing to me'… Oooops!

  5. No no no. By all means, laugh! After five children you earned the right.

    Our problem right now is rushing him INSIDE after school with arms full of groceries or schoolbooks and lesson plans. He is definitely an outdoor child.

  6. Ah! Friday night battle fatigue. I'm grateful to know that I am not the only exhausted madre with a constant list in my head. Arrigo is in town, Omar's not coming home, GG has my best shoes on in a club (remember to grill her!), fin needs a ride. Mostly I don't even hunt them down anymore. Only the smallest who also gets away with murder, and who also – for me – is punishment to have for long periods in the house. I feel I am a slave to their programmes, and then they're all gone and I can play piano. Or, they snatch my brain space by arriving in large numbers at the house, with the munchies.

    I'm sure Meg will love East Berlin. And there's no harm in trooping over. I au paired in Paris as a young thing and it was where I learnt to be me, I think.

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