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!

Monday, August 25, 2014

New (School) Year's Resolutions

I always think of back-to-school time as a time of great joy change. Another school year starting off, all fresh and shiny. A time to do things a little better, more efficiently, etc. etc.  So, here's what I am planning -

No piles, anywhere. I vow to either pay it, file it or bin it instead of putting it next to the bread bin or other such places.

No more excuses.

Ditto with e-mails. I will act on them immediately. And while I'm on about e-mails, I will also reorganize my management system. Having a file named after each child as well as one named "school" simply means that I will never quite know where I have filed school e-mails. And enough with the flagging of everything!

I will also get dressed every day. OK, that sounds like I sit in my PJs all day, which is not quite how it is. Since the Little Guy is now old enough to walk the three blocks to school, in theory, there is no need for me to get dressed at such an ungodly hour. However, I vow to throw on my workout clothes as soon as I get up, and get my bum on that treadmill.

Since the Little Guy is also the last child I'll be having, there is no point in keeping triplicate copies of Spanish/Science/English text books. He might need one extra for the inevitable times he leaves a much-needed book at school, but he doesn't need to inherit the entirety of his brother and sister's collection. Besides, they do change the syllabus from time to time.

Similarly, clothes that no longer fit him are to be removed from his closet, bagged and taken to the school garage/jumble sale office. There's no one to give them to and at the rate he grows, they're taking up far too much space. (Ditto, clothes that I no longer wear, now that I think about it.)

I resolve to go out and talk to other humans from time to time. Since I work from home, it's very easy (and tempting) to hole up for the day. It does make other people worry about me though, and of course, they say that sunshine and fresh air is good for you.

Finally, I will manage my stress levels by tackling the house one room at a time. There always seems to be stuff lying around or things to be fixed (door locks, window locks, over fans, dodgy dishwasher) and my initial response is to - do nothing and stress about it. No more. I will roll up my sleeves and get things done, even if it's only one task a week.

I feel better already!

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