From Toddler To Teenager

Charlie and Lola (TV series)
Charlie and Lola (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My one-year old niece came to stay with us last week.

How quickly you forget, and how quickly the old man retrieved his invisibility cloak, carefully packed away since Kurt’s departure.

The Princess Spoodle won’t forget her gorgeous cousin, such was the advanced level of torture cuddling enacted on her tail – a level of love that even Kurt’s playfulness had not thus far attained.

The carpet won’t forget her visit either, although it made a valiant attempt to resist the wrath of perfectly aimed mashed banana, Weetabix and avocado that rained down on it in food missiles every mealtime.

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I’d forgotten how absolutely delicious baby cuddles are, how sticky their little hands are, and how much their whole universe is focused on the people who show them love. I must have pushed memories such as the touch of soft velvet skin, squidgeable thighs and slobbery kisses to the back of my mind since they were replaced by boy stubble, the faint, yet persistent, whiff of stale alcohol and Sports Girl perfume in our home.

The experience was much more exhausting than I remembered, mainly due to how much anxiety one little person can create for someone so out of touch – especially when she had a houseful of exciting and fragile new stuff to discover.

My legs turned to jelly on quite a few occasions, especially when she impulsively tried to throw herself off the top of the slide in the playground, when she casually placed small chess pieces in her mouth and when she prised her perfectly-sized fingers into the bath jets.

But my fear soon dissipated and my heart melted whenever she was sad.

Huge triumphs may be simple with each baby stepping stone, but they are so fulfilling. My sister and I high-fived each other whenever my niece ate something new and healthy, if she made it down the slide without shooting off at the end and when we remembered to let her push the button on the lift, thereby avoiding a massive melt-down. The only disappointments were wrapped up in trying to get her to sleep before wine-time came and passed us by.

Dressing little people is an art I had long forgotten since I exchanged them for skills required for teenagers – like lifting wet towels off the floor and removing nail varnish stains from the carpet. Pulling clothes over wobbly heads and squeezing tiny, fidgety feet into tiny socks and awkward shoes is torturous. And I’d forgotten how the prettiest, new dresses always seem to attract the worst and most indelible fruit stains.

I met Shaun The Sheep and Charlie and Lola and was reminded how to snuggle, feed with a spoon, understand gibberish and bath a wriggly, slippery bundle of love when she is cranky and ready for her bed.

Kurt is back in two days. I think I’m ready.

My Daughter Has Entered Her Grey Phase Of Growing Up

My daughter has entered her ‘grey phase.’ I went through the same phase when I was a student at university. It’s that period in a girl’s life when she suddenly realizes that her power doesn’t lie with her body and her looks, but with her personality, ideas and intellect.

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It’s similar to what I’m going through now, but sort of in reverse. I’m going through what is commonly acknowledged as the ‘invisible phase’ for middle-aged women; a phase where we can no longer trade on our looks and need to pull out the bigger guns of intellect and personality.

I quite like being invisible and my nerdy daughter relishes not having to worry about body image any more.

But I do feel kind of sad for her, too. I feel sad that she feels the need to cover up her beauty and her sexuality to be taken seriously, although NC was never the kid that pranced around in pink tutus, fairy wings and silver Osh Kosh shoes, but rather the tomboy who was inspired by Thomas The Tank Engine and Harry Potter and who was toughened up by playing rough and tumble with the local boys.

English: The during a Thomas the Tank Engine w...
English: The during a Thomas the Tank Engine weekend. Thomas at Avon Riverside station. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To this day she gets more turned on by rocks and environmental change.

I was never that girly as a child, either, but I’ve tapped into my girly-side more as I’ve grown older and become a mother, mellowed and started liking myself more. I remember my own style at university was very similar to NC’s androgynous look now; the main components of my wardrobe being a range of over-sized ex-army shirts, vintage jumpers and baggy boyfriend jeans that hid the curves that I felt hinted at weakness and betrayed my gender.

NC did try to conform once, towards the end of high school when the formals that she had always cynically judged as popularity contests, began to loom perilously closer. Overnight, all her friends became interested in boys and began to post up images of hot men and their prom dresses on Facebook, rather than the memes of Harry Potter that NC still identified with.

And for a short period of time there, she conceded that it might be easier to try and fit in.

But she developed an ugly, embarrassing rash on the day of her year 12 formal, which coordinated perfectly with the red dress we’d hurriedly picked out for the event at the last moment.

To this day I believe that rash was caused by some inner turmoil created by not being authentic to herself, and since then, I’ve noticed that her washing pile has slowly taken on a much more muted, grey hue.

The pretty, summer dresses, crop tops and slinky skirts have long gone and now every piece of clothing is a variation of grey and at least a couple of sizes too big, so she doesn’t draw attention to her natural, physical beauty.
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I am secretly proud of my girl for her insistence on being herself. I’m ashamed that I don’t tell her that often enough. She always did have an iron will. I remember trying desperately to persuade her to wear pretty dresses when she was little, and contact lenses in place of her thick glasses when she was a teenager, so fearful was I that she would remain a wallflower. But she was always adamant about who she was. I can still remember the day she patiently explained to me that it didn’t matter what was on the outside.

She was about ten at the time.

When she turns it on my daughter is a siren and can stop both sexes in their tracks. My dad still loves to recount the story of when they were in Paris together a few years ago and he asked NC nervously if she would dress up that evening for some posh dinner they were attending. When she entered the bar that evening my father almost didn’t recognize his granddaughter and apparently the whole area went silent, such was the transformation. He describes it as a Pretty Woman moment.

NC has always been who NC wants to be. She allows the world to see the parts of her that she admires most about herself; that is, the thinking NC, the NC who is an intelligent young woman and whom I have no doubt will go on to represent those women who demand equal opportunities, rather than ask for them.

NC’s world is not grey, really. If anything she is black and white. Her world houses ambition, promise and a rainbow of vivid colours. The grey is a veneer. She reserves her colour for causes she is passionate about, the people she loves and those who love her.

Road Trip Dysfunctional Family-Style Part 1

‘I’ve never been so fucking hot!’ Kurt shouts, as his toes touch hot sand for the first time in twelve months.

“I’ve never been so fucking cold!” he squeals like a girl, five minutes later, as his white body braces itself against the first wave in the ocean.

The old man and I must have patted ourselves at least twelve times on the back for our good fortune – part of our joint resolution to remain positive since NYE – since we commenced our family holiday with our son, Kevin the teenager.

Anyone would think that we had dragged Mr Entitled from the middle-class lower north shore of Sydney into some dangerous war zone or ghetto such has been his disgust at being dragged away from his highly-achieving and distinctly dodgy peers on a road trip up to Byron Bay with his parents.

THE SHAME OF HOLIDAYING WITH YOUR FAMILY! Stuff doesn’t get more ‘fuckin shit’ than being seen by someone you know when you’re on holiday with your parents, if you’re a seventeen year old with street cred to think about.

Yes, I did say we have come to Byron Bay. Not the obvious choice of holiday destination (as our therapist reminded us) for a dysfunctional family trying to steer clear their free-spirited and permanently troubled teenager from the wilder temptations of the city.

Byron Bay, for those of you not from Australia, is one of the dope havens of Australia – a paradise known for the happiness of its heyday and modern-day hippies, complete with tie-dye tee-shirts, dodgy cookies, floral headpieces and sweet-smelling free love with a contemporary vibe of healthy eating, blues music and beach culture.

Every time I dare utter the word ‘road trip’ encouragingly, my son snarls at me like some vengeful caged animal. I had foolishly thought a road trip would appeal to the boy, but I am also aware that my new definition of mother is to always be wrong these days.

I’m trying to keep a smile on my face as Kurt and the old man bicker about EVERYTHING, and at how (and in spite of a decent education) my son can use the F word as a verb, noun and adjective in every sentence.

He has also managed to tell us at least twenty-five times how much he hates us and this holiday and even called us ‘Nazi Parents’ the other day, at which the old man and I hugged each other gleefully with the knowledge that perhaps we’re not the bad parents that our therapists likes to paint us as.

This trip is obviously parental penance in its most evil form, yet there have been a couple of blink-and-you-miss-it ‘moments’ where Kurt forgets his alter-ego of Kevin The Teenager and actually enjoys himself, that have made the holiday almost worthwhile.

The discovery of Sapphire Beach, where there was not another soul in sight, warm water to calm the nerves and the sight of my usually sun-resistant son frolicking in and out of the waves was the first. And I can only recall two minor moans, relating to his inability to wear ‘stupid, f…cking thongs’ and his ‘sore fucking sunburn’.

Those naughty Byron men who run the Internet, however, must have been smoking too much of the funny stuff, unfortunately, because it is no way near as fast as the speed with which Kurt exits the ocean the minute a single grain of salt gets in his eyes, so I will sign off here before I throw this ‘fucking shite’ computer out of the window.

Tips To Discourage The Dreaded Teen Party

Teen party
Teen party (Photo credit: veleirosdosul)

So, the old man and I were supposed to be going on a mini-break this weekend, staying at friends over-night.

 

We were leaving NC in charge of ‘he who will not obey’.

 

Kurt is nearly seventeen. Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it?

 

‘Pissing my pants’ is not a strong enough description for how I felt at the thought of leaving my son ‘home alone’ on a Saturday night until NC got home from work at 11pm.

 

In spite of trying to rationalise with Kurt, he refused to make any promises about his behaviour and his argument was that we needed to chill out, trust him but let him ‘be a teenager.’

 

You’ve probably realised by now that there’s no REAL secret to the age-old problem of teen parties, and that your first line of defence as a parent lies with the traditional art of blackmail?

 

Right?

 

After all, like us you’ve probably been honing your negotiation skills since the first day your toddler said ‘no’.

 

Well, this was our time to use those skills.

 

Serious negotiations began about two weeks ago.

 

I told Kurt the little white lie (because in parenting laws, little white lies are ok, right?) that NC’s boyfriend would be arriving at our house at 10pm to wait for NC; even though I knew that he was actually going to a Bucks night, would probably not be back until the early hours, and certainly would not be in any fit state to police my son.

 

I definitely mentioned that with Vivid Sydney happening close-by, the suburb would be teeming with angry police. I might have mentioned that I would probably end up driving home, anyway.

 

I also suggested he invite some friends over on Friday night when were at home, and to his surprise I actively encouraged as much debauchery as possible; my theory being that if he exhausted himself the night before, this might preclude him from hosting an event on Facebook.

 

Sure enough, his friends checked in on Friday night as is their want when free food is mentioned but they ended up watching back-to-back episodes of Puberty Blues and no amount of fizzy drink and sugar could drag them off my sofas; not even my suggestion that they hang out, delinquent-style, at the local park.

 

In fact they looked at me as though I’d finally lost the plot.

 

Scientific Bean Review

I promised Kurt everything I usually forbid – all those treats that when we aren’t blackmailing him, he is only allowed to fantasise about. I let him name his take-out, I promised him blue and red sugary drinks and I might have even promised to share the password to the Apple TV at one point, in desperation.

 

But even with a firm risk management policy in place, that innate parental fear niggled at me and killed any real possibility of sleep for nights before.

 

The teenage party is something most parents of teenagers fear and the old man and I have faced it many times before, and ultimately one of us always ends up giving into it and driving back at some ungodly hour.

 

Then Kurt sent me this Youtube video and we realised once again that we are still rookies when it comes to teenagers.

 

 

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6 Terrible Teenage Triggers

WEEK 2 OF THE SCHOOL/UNI HOLIDAYS IN DYSFUNCTIONALITY HOUSE (said in northern Big Brother accent).

 

fridge surprise
fridge surprise (Photo credit: Nestor’s Blurrylife)

I am still alive. Barely.

 

*Right eye twitching*

 

So, I’m not normally one to go all ‘domestic’ on you, but the impact of having teenagers in my home PERMANENTLY over the past ten days will definitely send me prematurely to the loony bin unless I am allowed to vent.

 

I AM slowly surrendering to the number of teenage bodies and associated life-forms that loiter permanently in my lounge room and in front of my fridge.

 

And…

 

The drugs help, as did the Easter chocolate, but I have to admit that there are still some triggers that no amount of wine helps.

 

Any one of the following six teenage triggers, when committed by my own flesh and blood, can propel me the ceiling as quickly as if a rocket thruster was attached to my ass, and I begin to shout expletives and issue threats and curses more suited to one of the witches in Macbeth.

 

I know it’s hard for them, poor loves, what with a brain not yet fully formed and their naive and vain insistence that the world revolves around them not yet dispelled by the reality of work.

 

And, as they persist in reminding me, again and again – this is THEIR HOLIDAY, after all (!)

 

BUT, SORRY KIDS, WE HAVE A MINOR COMMUNICATION PROBLEM WITH THE FOLLOWING:

 

  1. When you don’t put your dirty plates in the dishwasher and leave them to congeal on the side until I come home to load them. Surely, the cognitive development needed to open a door and place a dish in a rack is not that great?
  2. When you claim to be ‘too tired’ to help me when I ask you to do ANYTHING or walk the dog, but then you stay out until all hours of the night with your friends.
  3. When you use every towel in the bathroom and then leave them in a soggy mess on the floor of your bedrooms so that they are un-useable for anyone else. AND THEY YOU OFFER CLEAN TOWELS TO YOUR FRIENDS!
  4. When you eat all the best food in the house and leave me with the healthy shit that you were supposed to eat so that I could get my ‘good parent’ award.
  5. When you offer your free-loading friends, (who wouldn’t know the difference between a Chardonnay and a Riesling) my favourite and fucking expensive wine!
  6. When you moan about how there’s never any food in the house because all your fucking friends have helped themselves to it.

    June 8 - 15, 2010
    June 8 – 15, 2010 (Photo credit: osseous)

 

Someone please tell me at what age the brain is fully developed?

 

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10 Tips for Surviving a Weekend Away With An ADHD Teenager

So it wasn’t officially a holiday as such.

It was more of a mini break, if that constitutes 24 hours away from home with an ADHD teenager and the release of some pent up working mother’s guilt.

10 Tips For Surviving a Weekend Away With An ADHD Teenager

It was a final desperate attempt to find some quality time with my son amid a busy time work-wise that unfortunately always seems to coincide slap bang in the middle of the school holidays. There are only so many bribes you can invent and get away with when parenting, if you want to sleep at night. Anyway, our local shop had run out of Coco Pops and guilt-cash seemed to be walking out of my purse on a daily basis.

I eventually realised that the only way I could pull myself away from the computer and clients that were becoming more needy than my own kids, was to leave the office house completely.

Of course I had realised before our 24 hours together that the world according to Kurt was a very different place to the one the rest of us inhabit. But what I hadn’t fully appreciated before was just how astute and funny my son can be, when he is extricated from the everyday pressures and strains of living in the real world, my nagging and commonplace expectations that he finds so hard to fulfil.

You see, like a lot of parents, when I’m at home and bogged down by the day job, the housework, and failing to achieve some work/life balance, sometimes I overlook the enjoyment of relaxing and having a belly laugh with my kids.

Because Kurt has a very different view and appreciation of the world and the simplicity of the language he uses to describe his relationship with it and how it dovetails with his emotions can be highly entertaining at times.

I am ashamed to admit that I had forgotten that.

For example, when the most expensive exclusive restaurant in a cheap hotel served perhaps THE most delicious warm bread I’ve EVER eaten and Kurt commented, ‘I ain’t eating no bread with shit in the middle – that’s just wrong.’

10 Tips for Surviving a Weekend Away With An ADHD Teenager
Bread with shit in it.

Or when my amazing starter arrived and the oysters were presented on large ocean salt granules and Kurt whooped rather too loudly in front of the waitress:

‘Mum, you got Chrystal Meth with your oysters!’

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And upon finishing what was apparently the best steak he’d ever eaten, he said solemnly,’ That steak gave me an erection.’

And then there were those typically ADHD observations…

Like when I left my phone charger at home and typically Kurt became obsessed with telling me exactly how much battery I had left, EVERY MINUTE, until I am certain my hair actually started turning grey in front of him. But when I asked him at dinner how much battery I had left, he informed me that I had 50% charge remaining and when I asked him again, half an hour later, he said 52%, I was obviously puzzled and said, ‘but you said 50% half an hour ago.’ ‘

For Fucks Sake, Mum, I thought I’d finally try out that whole weird ‘rounding up thing’ you’ve been going on about in maths for years, and you still complain.’

I re-learned a lot about my son during that 24 hours, but here are some tips every parent going away with an ADHD teenager (or in fact any teenager) might want to consider:

  • Make a firm plan and above all stick to it. ADHD kids like to know what’s happening and ‘change’ is anathema to their mood. Some might question my judgment of doing a u-turn in the middle of a highway when I missed the promised Maccas on our route, but the one after was not part of the plan.
  • Let them play their music in the car no matter how awful it is – Jack White (I must stop calling him Jack Black because it makes Kurt really angry) and Nirvana aren’t exactly my cup of tea but I’m getting pretty good at drumming to Seven Nation Army on the steering wheel and Kurt is now very adept at playing guitar in the front seat. I am obviously Meg White – he is Jack.
  • Break up the journey with food promises/bribes.
  • Do not entrust an ADHD teenager with the room key-cards if you don’t want an awkward conversation at reception within the first hour of your stay.
  • Let them explore. Your ADHD teenager will need to check out everything in the hotel room, like the sharpest sleuth. Check they don’t put anything valuable in the safe ( I still miss that mascara) while they test it out, bring other soap and shampoo options with you because the hotel freebies will be emptied and assessed immediately and make sure you hide what sachets of tea and coffee you need for your stay before they secrete them into their baggage. Allow them wear the shower cap around the hotel if they want to – fight the wars, not the battles.
  • Don’t be surprised when they don’t assess situations like us. If you ask an ADHD kid to fetch you something from the room, he may consider that the quickest way will make you the happiest. I honestly don’t know why I was surprised when my sun cream came hurtling down eight levels from the balcony, although luckily it did go straight into the pool.
  • ADHD kids cannot wait for their food in restaurant which is why Maccas is often a safer option for your mental well-being.
10 Tips For Surviving a Weekend Away With An ADHD Teenager
ADHD kids can’t wait for food.
  • Diet, sleep and exercise are the three main requisites for a good trip with an ADHD teenager. Wear them out before bedtime, especially when you are sharing a room. Medication helps too.
  • Don’t feel guilty about bringing whatever electronic devices will help you entertain them in a hotel room which to them can seem like a prison cell and to you a torture chamber. No food on tap, no space to roam and none of their favourite programmes on the television will drive you both nuts.
  • Explain to them the full cost implications of the mini bar before you lose the plot.

Helicopter Parenting

Week 36: Helicopter Parent
Week 36: Helicopter Parent (Photo credit: WilliamsProjects)

 

We met when we were just seventeen.

It was an innocent time. Up until then I had been locked away in an all girls’ boarding school, he in the boys equivalent. He had only thought about sport; I was like a bitch on heat.

The stars must have aligned..

I spotted him in my French class one day as he was conjugating the verb avoir. He had a beautiful French accent, stunning green eyes…. and hair, back then.

Our very first ‘date’ was in the coffee shop down the road from the school – some of his friends orchestrated it, because he was obviously incapable. As ‘Zoom’ played on the radio, we shyly tucked into our hot chocolates and gazed awkwardly into each other’s eyes. He looked terrified; I felt like the cat that got the cream.

The seal was broken. We fell in love. We couldn’t get enough of each other.

‘Need’ took on a whole new meaning.

We spent every weekend of the next two years at his house. We would arrive, make the necessary polite words of conversation with his parents, (about the weather, the school or the garden), share a polite cup of tea and head straight up to his bedroom. Shamelessly. I remember how his mother always looked suspicious and slightly worried.

And we would explore……..his collection of music cassettes, among other things.

We took it slowly. Things were different back then – we weren’t in any particular rush.

And at the end of those halcyon days, just before I went home, my future mother-in-law would call us down from the old man’s den of iniquity and calmly make us pizza and salad; but with questioning eyes. And we would sit in the kitchen, and talk politely to her again, as we munched on our pizza, rosy cheeked, lips swollen, blissfully unaware of how transparent we were. Oblivious to the fact that she knew.

That we were falling in love.

The ADHDer has been spending a lot of time in his bedroom recently with his new girlfriend. Playing her the Arctic Monkeys on his Ipod, I think. She looks a sweet girl, like I did.

I probably always appear suspicious and worried to her, though.

Because I know.

I pace and cough a lot outside his bedroom. I often need to put his washing away in his bedroom or vacuum, when she’s there. I spend a lot of time listening at the bottom of the stairs, shouting up to see if they need anything; I sometimes have to telephone when I don’t get an immediate response.

The old man passes me on the stairs and makes the L (loser) sign on his forehead, or simply tuts in disgust, making whirring noises.

He thinks I’m a helicopter parent.

I made them pizza and salad yesterday, as they emerged from the darkness and heat of above. They smiled gratefully at me; with their rosy cheeks and swollen lips.

And I wept a little inside.

See How Easily You Can Wind Up A Teenager

Wet Towels and Coco PopsHow many irrational and menopausally bitchy comments does it take to wind up a teenager?

Not many, in my experience.

Obviously I failed the perfect parent test AGAIN this week with my latest fracas with the ADHDer. And the implications of this one, our most serious humdinger yet, were a little more serious than our usual lower-grade battles. He took his revenge to a new level this time, by posting as me on my Facebook page with the words “I am a terrible mother.’

WHO ME?

It was (almost) funny with hindsight, (and the alternative to Rescue Remedy in the form of a good bottle of Chardy), but witheringly embarassing nevertheless. I suppose it could have been so much worse; I mean he could have posted a photo of me first thing in the morning, or that video of me doing my Dita impression after that burlesque party and way too many Mohitos on Australia Day. But nevertheless……it hurt like hell.

The message was only visible for a precious minute or so; the time it took me to remember my password under inordinately stressful conditions. Long enough for a couple of loyal friends to instantly jump to my defense, fearing presumably that I had finally lost the plot and was on the verge of a breakdown, (which I probably was, at that point). You might find it hard to believe, but I don’t really like the whole airing my dirty laundry in public thing – laundry is fine, the really ‘dirty’ stuff stays in the basket.

There’s a sisterhood of us sharing teenage hell at the moment. With the breath-taking evolution of our once ‘little’ people becoming adults, and the benefits that go hand in hand with that growth, (like them finally communicating properly, sharing humour, sharing clothes), come the complexities of learning to control developing emotions and impulsivity, to understand the consequences to actions.

Afterwards, at my debriefing with the old man, I questioned my own contribution to this new stage in the turbulent relationship I have with my son, and I realised to my horror that I was as guilty of the same childish errors of judgement as him.

Us working mums are all too familiar with the ‘getting home from work’ domestic ritual. You wearily open the door, (shattered after ten hours on the computer, after ten hours of worrying it you’re good enough, after ten hours of faking it, after ten hours of not knowing what your children have been doing in your absence).

You wearily walk into the chaos that has ensued, because it’s the school holidays and you have to work nevertheless, and you have two teenagers and a dog left to their own devices, (deep breath). The dog hasn’t been walked and is pandering for attention that you no longer have the energy to give (deep breath); music is blaring from every zone of the house; the televisions are harmonizing and the back door is open and welcoming every lonely mosquito in the neighbourhood.

The ADHDer is in your room (OOOF!), even though you’ve tried explaining to him countless times that this tiny 12sqm space is YOUR zone; he’s on your computer (BAM!), lying in your fresh new sheets (WHAMM!), and by the mound of wet towels on the carpet, he has obviously used and abused your shower, AGAIN (KAPOW!).

He looks up, oblivious to your mood and innocently asks you what’s for dinner. This is a trigger question. You know it and he knows it.  You show no mercy. You tell him (spitefully) you’re making fish (purely out of consideration for his Omega 3 levels) and you watch the tell-tale signs of nausea flood his face. You are better than him at interpreting facial clues. He swallows and informs you that he WANTS ‘something nice’ (‘WHY CAN’T YOU EVER COOK ANYTHING NICE?’ is what he actually says. What, like another three bowls of Coco Pops, you think, the remnants of which are scattered over your bed?).

You start to froth and then erupt like Mount Vesuvius.

He is ill-prepared for your change in mood. His sinewy, growing adolescent body doesn’t have the experience to prepare for your verbal assault properly. He’s been in a good place all day, innocently trashing the house, while you’ve been repressed at work, building up to this outrage and resentment. Being a male and an ADHD male, he doesn’t understand your facial expressions or body language (as you frantically grab at stray Coco Pops off the bed, and forcefully kick your way though the wet towels that are getting caught up in your work stilhettos, all the while making as many tutting sounds as possible).

Bad stuff is said. Verbal bile that you know you’ll regret later, but unfortunately, you’re simply just not that perfect.

He says he wishes you weren’t his mother (ouch!), you say you wish you weren’t his mother either (childish). You are both in the teenage ring now. Verbal upper-cuts, right hooks, the match is on.

Fortunately you do have that lightbulb moment before it’s too late. There is indeed a God. For Dr Spock whispers magically in your ear somewhere in the midst of the intense heat, and the awareness that you are the adult finally kicks in.

And you stop yourself. You can’t deal with him leaving the house again, not knowing where he is. You hold up the white flag and walk away, like you should have ten minutes earlier. He storms off, huffing and puffing, you hope to calm down.

Your iphone flashes with a Facebook message. Apparently all is fair in love and war.

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