Thursday, 7 July 2011

Teenage Unengage

I'm being a lame slut and recycling a series of emails I've been sending to a chum about my latest crisis. Well - I say crisis - such a drama queen. The Thing is.... my Minx has SUDDENLY decided to give up ice-skating.

There - CLANG!!! - are you all in tears? No? Oh. Just me then.

Told you I was a drama queen. I was inconsolable all yesterday. And still knotty today.

So here's a mish-mosh of my rants to my chum who, poor thing, happened to be there yesterday morning when I was being all pink and sobby, and who has been sending me all sorts of wonderful positive replies. I just thought I needed to rant a bit more and inflict it on blogworld instead of on some poor soul who has to actually put up with me in 'real' time. But when it came to 'composing' (ha ha) - I thought 'pffffffff' I'll cut and paste me rants I've already done. See? Lame slut. I did try and change the names to blogworld names - so look... effort made alright?

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I'm probably feeling extra guilty cos we've been really going on about money lately - and altho' I've never said anything about the skating itself I have had to say we can't all eat in the cafe on Thursdays in future (cutting out all cafes is my latest attempt at saving some cash) - and she was coming out with the sort of things we have said (albeit about other subjects) in the past about money, appreciating things etc etc - and the 'stopping for 6 months' thing sounds like something I would say - and have in the past about things (like bloody horse-riding) but have NEVER said about ice skating!!! Ah well..... I'm sure none of that last 'sentence' makes any sense but hey....

Hopefully it is just a blip. I hate thinking that all that effort over the last 3 years or so is 'for nothing' cos she's enjoyed every second of it, but I can't help thinking that it will just turn into a vague memory if she doesn't pick it up again, and that she'll probably regret it in later years and wish I'd pushed her!! Does that make sense either?? But as Mr RB and I were saying just last night, the reason we don't send our kids to school is because we don't want them to be wasting their time and energy being made to do something they really don't want to be doing - so by the same token I don't feel I should 'push' her into carrying on just now.

She's finding her way with this new 'teen' group which is lovely - but I'm wondering if it's having a knock-on effect of 'conforming' somehow - although none of these kids are especially conformist themselves! I think the biggest thing that got me going today was the wish that I was really good at something and had the opportunity to pursue it! (Cue the violins....) But my lack of a true talent that makes me so envious of someone who DOES have something - and then throws it away!!!! - eeeeek!!!!! (So - I think I've just realised that all my dramatics this morning is basically me being a princess about me me me - as usual eh?)

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It's funny you should say that cos I don't think I DO know what's right for her.... I just think it's very odd to SUDDENLY decide to stop something you've been so passionate about for so long. If she'd been waning for a while I would have had a clue but it was a real BANG! We thought it was just cos she was overtired the other night (Tues night) after a silly sleepover-y weekend. I was expecting her to be grumpy and tired on Wed morning but she wasn't grumpy - just quiet so I thought once she got back on the ice she'd be ok again - but she seemed consciously resolute in her decision.

I now think it's unlikely to be the other teens opinions as they're a good bunch all with their own interests. I'm now wondering more if it's 'getting in the way' of her and Lu-Lu being totally joined at the hip. The other day she mentioned starting ballet again (ie with Lu-Lu at her ballet school) and I said NO. She's stopped and started with ballet etc (and many other dance things) so many times - and let's face it - gorgeous as she is - she's not built to be a ballet dancer! She's athletic - not a neat precious little stick thing!! And I know all this stuff the kids do is supposed to be for their enjoyment etc and we're not supposed to be getting too serious about it BUT - ballet????? I really thought I was done with all that poncey stuff!!!! No nail varnish.... perfect neat hair in a perfect bun..... not a stitch out of place.... AAAAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!! Please no!!!!! Now does that sound like Minx to you? I just can't bear the idea!!!

Ballet rant over now. Sorry!

Actually no it's not - going back to the money thing.... ballet uniform, shoes, tights, lesson fees - and for what? She'll give it up again within a term. And her Dad says it'll just bugger up her feet anyway!

Ok I'll step away from the ballet bollocks now for good.

I know at this age friends really do come first - and she's got great friends. And we love Lu-Lu to bits. BUT - what IS this obsession with all being locked together wearing the same clothes saying the same words laughing the same liking all the same things....... They may as well BE at bloody school wearing a bloody uniform!!!! I want her to be HERSELF. And this is the problem - do they know who they are at that age? They do when they're younger it seems - and then something happens at this age and they go all cliquey and seeking acceptance or something. Then we spend the next 35 years trying to work out who we bloody well are again!

I'd love to have a perfect answer to this 'difficult age' thing. To be able to allow your children to be themselves all the way through would really be something - but it appears we're up against a too-strong urge to fit in with their peers. Fight it and you're evil. Let it go and you watch your fantastic little firecracker turn into a wet blanket!


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Yeah I hope so!!!! She was even saying stuff like this herself - the needing to 'miss' it a bit. And she is permanently tired at the moment. Permanently eating, permanently tired, resolutely not going to bed at nighttime - and then totally inert in the mornings.

She's just like her bloody mother!

But I'm only growing outwards - she's still growing in all ways! Even Shark Boy this last week has kept complaining about being tired and suddenly 'not well' - and then just as suddenly running around the garden again - and then 'not well' and floppy and complaining about aching legs. My mum says that 'they' say there's no such thing as growing PAINS but I know a friend who as an adult felt so exhausted and unwell without any actual illness, and after 2 weeks of lurking in bed she discovered she'd grown a couple of inches. I can't remember all this growing lark at all (but I stopped growing at 11 so not a great example) - but it must take it out of you if it happens in spurts surely? And gods knows being a 12 - 15 year old girl is simply hideous!!!! So I think a little slack is called for.

But it's just that little nagging voice that wonders if being 'nice' is also being 'lame'. In the long run - will she turn round and say 'why didn't you MAKE me??'

And then, obviously, I shall be forced to slap her.

And guess what - it's nearly 1.00am and she's just come downstairs again after a bad dream!! I've told her to do some puzzles to switch her mind around. Doesn't this girl ever SLEEEEP???? (apart from the mornings.... )

She was like this as a baby/toddler tho'. Still going strong at 2.30am every night. Think I may as well just teach her how to pull a pint so she can just work in nightclubs for a living. There - problem solved!

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So - there's a new post slapped up on-line with no editorial standards applied. (Like spot the difference.... ) Now I just need to work out what to bloody do next.

If anything?

Anybody out there? Did you give up stuff that you loved as a kid and now wish you'd kept up with? Were you left to your decision or berated? Do you wish somebody else had intervened with sage advice? Would you have taken it if they had? Blah blah blah blah blah.....


Oh and sorry if I've offended any ballet-lovers out there but.... pfffffff..... I'll go and watch a big proper one but don't make me do kids' ones! Once they get past about 8 years old they have to be really really tiny and be really really good at it or else it's all a bit bovine.

Sorry but.....

Just saying.


  1. Hmmm. Dilemma.

    In our house we have a sliding scale of participation in activities based on how much *I* like the activity/how much it ticks *my* boxes, how much it costs and how much my kids *want* to do it. Much as I like to give 'em as much choice as possible, sometimes it's just a case of 'Humour me, I'm your mother.'

    Can you come to some in-betweeny agreement where she doesn't give up altogether..?

  2. That sounds like a very sensible grown-up solution. Unfortunately, there are no sensible grown-ups in this family. My present personal coping mechanism is to pretend I've never heard of ice-skating, nothing's wrong, the world is still spinning...... make 75 fairy cakes to take to the park, wear a tight leopard-print barmaid top and turn the radio up.

    This seems to be working so far.

  3. I have to say my kids (except the youngest) are not passionate about anything, so would have loved to have said they were ice-skating (anyting! )for years even if they'd gone off it. What I'm saying (horrifically badly) that mine are well prepared for teen years. ( I know what you mean though, as an adult its the unusual, keen kids that I like the most, but mostwant to be homogenous!)

  4. It is difficult to get it right, but as I'm old and grumpy, my younger three by and large have to do what I say, which isn't much coz I'm lazy. With the benefit of experience and hindsight,(4 grown-up children), I have convinced my 11 year old to persevere with piano lessons, as she is really talented at it, by a mixture of praise and the threat of removal of things she likes(computer time and mobile phone!. She is glad now that she had no say in it because she really wasn't mature enough to make that decision. My oldest is 31 and has always regretted giving up her running when she was about 14. I didn't make her carry on. I was young then, and also didn't want to force her into it incase that made her hate the running and me! Little things like liking me all the time arnt so important now. Good luck whichever way it goes, Jackie

  5. Ooh - thanks for all this stuff! I really do appreciate it!! It's good to hear from those who've been there and dunnit! - or indeed not dunnit!!!

    There's been a little clue to the future this week as her next test date has come up - for when we'll be away. She was very cross! 'I thought you'd given it up' I spiked. 'No I want to do my test.' 'So you are planning to go back to it?' 'Of course I want to go back to it!' - as if to say I'm the stupid one!!!! So..... I think 'we're' possibly just resting for the summer.... ??? So I shall be Chummy Mummy for the next few weeks and then sneakily turn into Slave Driver Mummy when I think she's done enough loafing!!??