Up Mum Creek - Guest Post
As most of you know, we have property in Portugal and like to visit as often as we can (to check the place is still upright you understand) and that's where I've been all week. So you don't go entirely cold turkey and miss out on Dad Creek updates altogether, I am happy to introduce you to another fantastic blogger. Here, writing as a special guest of Dad Creek is Jo Middleton. Jo writes a very funny mummy blog, which you can check out for yourself at Slummy Single Mummy.
Up 'Mum of Teen' creek, similarly paddleless.
My new boyfriend, who has been living with us for two months now, is struggling to understand how my daughter works. Said daughter, Belle, is 13 this year and to say she was ‘approaching the teenage years’ would be putting it lightly. I think she was born a teenager. Don’t get me wrong, she is lovely - sweet, charming and thoughtful - but at times turns into a completely different person.
“?” she will cry, every single day after dinner, “I have to wash up??” The washing up is her one chore and yet it seems to come as a complete body blow to her every evening. “Fine,” she’ll say, herself about, “I’ll wash up and not have time to do my homework and get in trouble, will you be happy then?”
What do you even say to that?
“What should I do when she’s like this?” my boyfriend will ask. “Is this normal? How should we best handle it?” He frets, and heads to Twitter for advice.
I admire his determination to get to grips with the hormone-charged working of a pre-pubescent girl’s mind, but I’m a loss as to how to help.
“I’ve no idea,” I say. “Nothing I do or say seems to make a difference.”
“But you’ve been doing this for twenty years,” he points out, and it’s a fair point, but unfortunately most of the time these years of experience feel like they mean nothing - I still have no clue what I’m doing.
I had always assumed that, like with other skills, like playing the violin or speed skating, that the more parenting you did, the easier it would become, that the years of practice would render you a pro, able to take on any tricky situation.
Children have this wonderful ability to grow and change, meaning that just when you have got to grips with wrestling them into the buggy without having to resort to punching them in the stomach, they switch to a completely different annoying .
You can almost hear them thinking to themselves: “I see, the sleepless nights becoming more bearable are they? Fine. Let’s see how you deal with tantrums in Sainsbury’s instead.”
It’s a scary thought, but I wonder if there ever comes a point at which you really feel accomplished as a parent? Do they ever get to an age where you think “yes, I’ve got this sussed now, bring it on.”?
I suspect not.
In the meantime I will just stay out of Belle’s way when it’s washing up time.
Topic: Up Mum Creek - Guest Post
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