Tuesday 13 December 2011

In which The Beautiful Children sulk

Well, to be accurate only the 2 that live with me are sulking, the quiet in the house is lovely. The one who doesn't live with me is still at university and still loves me. Maybe that's the reason.


Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin. Or if you want to, you can click away now and come back when normal vaguely bemused auntie service resumes, I'll still love you.

Like many of us, I have a job and children and household chores to do, I have grocery shopping (not nice lady things shopping) and laundry, I have children to drive to many lovely clubs and activities and social engagements, funded by me (of course), I have Christmas presents to buy and wrap, I have cards to write and post, I have a tree to put up and decorate, I am a busy auntie at all times of year, at this time of year I take busy to the max.

Usually, I do this with a side order of low level grumbling that is ignored or the children will pat me and say "poor Mummy" and then go back to ignoring me.

This week however, I am less grumbly and more cross.

I am as cross as I can be.

I have taken agin the children's selfishness. Both children. Especially on the subject of household chores. They think that if it is a chore then it's my job to do it.

I have taken agin The Beautiful Son's smart arse remarks on Twitter.

I have taken agin Beautiful Baby Daughter's back chatting and always having to be right.

I have taken agin their bedrooms, they should be rolled in foam and dealt with by the Royal engineers. Scientists would be queuing up to take samples, they are truly hideous.

I have taken agin The Beautiful Son's wandering in at whatever time he pleases and bringing people with him.

I have taken agin Beautiful Baby daughter's tone and eye rolling when conversing with me.

I have taken agin The Beautiful Son's can't be arsed attitude to school, voluntary work for D of E and anything that doesn't involve mates and alcohol.

I have taken agin most things except gin and cake. Gin and cake remain more than acceptable.

So, I have shouted and stropped and I have made them tidy their bedroom, they have to be Mummy tidy (this scares them, I can be ferociously houseproud when I'm on one)

I have explained that if they are living under my roof then things have to go my way. I am in charge. This is non negotiable. They have to attempt to be regular humans, pitch in with chores, don't backchat me, work harder at school and party less.

They have been grounded for a week.

The Beautiful Son's Crackberry, IPOD touch, laptop and XBox controllers are in the boot of my car. The internet router plug is living in my handbag. If I had room for the TV it would be removed as well.

I am not doing any laundry or chores at all, if they need something doing they will need to do it ALL BY THEIR OWN SELVES.

I am not being a human alarm clock, they are having to get themselves up for their paper rounds and when they oversleep thay are having to explain why to their bosses and get told off for it.

When asked at the last minute for lunch money, instead of driving to the cashpoint, as would be my wont, I say "sorry, I didn't go to the cashpoint, you'll have to take sandwiches from home"

In short, I am doing what my Dad advised me to do, go on strike.

The ex mrauntigwen is looking after them (very kindly, he rearranged his life to let me have a night off at very short notice) so I am off here today, to Kilworth House Hotel for a lovely Christmas dinner and sleep in a posh hotel with 5 lovely friends who are becoming my family. I will use the gym, have an afternoon nap, read my book, have a treatment in the salon. I am having a rest.

I may even spend their lunch money on a bottle of champagne.


Autumn Mist said...

As a mother of 4 (now thankfully grown up) children, I can honestly say you have my wholehearted support. We may love them, but I personally can't stand being dictated to by anyone. Even my boss didn't do that, and he paid me money! Every so often we have to stand our ground or be trampled completely. Or you could take the easy way out, develop a relationship with the cake and gin and stay under the radar until January!

auntiegwen said...

AM - thank you, I know they're just being teenagers but they really were taking it to Olympic standards

Sueann said...

Good for you!! Kids can be so ungrateful! Sheesh! Glad you went on strike and you "be good to yourself" vacation should last for one week or more!! Ha!
Enjoy and have a drink on me!

Taz said...

Can you show me how to do it please, I keep making feeble attempts at it but it never seems to work :(

I hope your night away was marvelous and everything you deserved ;)

auntiegwen said...

SueAnn - people keep telling me I'll miss them when they've gone, maybe when they've gone they'll realise what an easy time they had at home

Taz- I am a bit rubbish at being the boss, but never mind I'm trying, as for the hotel, I go today, room available from 3pm, woo hoo

hausfrau said...

Oh I wish I could be that brave! Well done you. I seem to be rather good at remembering I don't do paid work and that this is the bargain I made with Husband: to do the chores... It doesn't make me less annoyed that the girls rarely think they should help!

Gigi said...

Auntie, I know exactly how you feel. And have pulled the same on occasion. It's usually the smart mouth that sets me off.

And you are right - we will miss them when they are gone but I think they will miss us (and all we do) much, much more.

Have a great night away!

auntiegwen said...

hausfrau - it's the sense of entitlement that rankles with me too

Gigi - yep the backchat kills me, and I'm just fed up with it now

Andy said...

One of the things that makes me smile most about grumpy teenagers is their notion that sulking in their bedroom is a punishment for harassed parents.

Kilworth House looks lovely, I could do with a visit there myself I think. Hope you have a fab time!

Nota Bene said...

Could you please, please, please come down to Essex and adopt the same approach with The Boy and The Cat. The Cat's Mother and I are weaklings, barely able to survive let alone stand up to our two. Alternatively correspondence lessons will suffice...xx

auntiegwen said...

Andy - the sulking in the bedroom has been the highlight of my week :)

NB - definitely, auntiegwensguide to taming teens will be written and put on the sidebar when I stop having fun in a posh hotel

AGuidingLife said...

I swear I could tolerate it all, every little last bit, if the eyes didn't roll. As soon as those eyes roll I down tools. I always have, mid plait..mid breakfast...mid whatever...I simply stop and walk away. Self removal is a fantastic power and it works on men too! Enjoy yourself, I'll be the one wiping the hole in the misty window, nose pushed up against the glass, looking in and wishing :D

Lesley said...

You have burst my wee bubble: I thought my pre-teens might grow out of their "mummy is my slave" ways. You should definitely have spend the lunch money on a bottle of champagne. Cheers!

auntiegwen said...

S -self removal, best tactic by far

Lesley - sorry, maybe it's just mine, drink the champagne and you won't feel quite so bad

Ayak said...

Oh well done you! Can you make it last a week though? I was never any good at it when mine were teens. I hope you have a lovely time at the hotel...well deserved x

libby said...

They will get over the change in regime...stay strong! and enjoy Kilworth house...all will be well..xx

Working Mum said...

Well done you! A sign we saw in the printers at Blists Hill Museum says it all:

Children! Fed up of your parents? Then get your own back - leave home, get a job and pay your own bills!

He he he!

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Yes I get the 'poor mum' thing, to which (he) always adds 'you're always tired aren't you?' and then he offers to do something and then makes such a hames of it that it takes twice as long to clean up the mess than if I had done it in the first place. Sound familiar? Well done for going on strike and in a hotel too, sounds fab :)

Curry Queen said...

Welcome to my world. Only tonight, I have had to remind my lovely daughter that she may not tell me to shut up as she is not my equal. I had a major, major sense of humour failure on Sunday night over all the things you have written about. I know it's no comfort, but they are all the flippin' same!

Sandi said...

Yep, my kids are on the lazy side too, I have to ask a few times before something is done 'in their own good time' What rankles with me: I have paid for my daughter to go to dance classes since she was 9, I went without clothes, holidays etc just to be able to afford her classes. My birthday I get a hug, teachers birthday, $100's get spent on her. I'm not paid to be her mum, I do it because I love her. The teacher gets paid to teach her......grrrrrr!!!! Other than that I am pretty lucky, we are past the eye rolling etc stage (as you'd hope at 21yrs)
Enjoy your time out and away, feeling a tad envious.
xx Sandi

Sweet Seahorse said...

I've been shouty, shrieky and cross all day at mine and they are only 1 and 3. God help me when they are teenagers. I remember something a lady I used to work with told me, she said that when her children were young she threatened to cut the cord off the television if they didn't start behaving and doing as she asked. Sure enough she took the scissors and cut the cord off and left it like that for 2 weeks. She never had any trouble from them again because they knew that her threats weren't threats, they were promises!
xXx Helen

auntiegwen said...

Ayak - I still have all the gadgets and I had a night away in a hotel, I'm quite happy

Libs - it was a gorgeous hotel, really beautifully decorated

WM - oh I so want one of those to hang up in the kitchen now

LFBS - yep I know that feeling, it takes so long to put things right we do keep doing them ourselves xx

CQ - ah the teenager, a creature tricky to tame

Sandi - yep no pay of holidays in being a mum is there?

Helen - that is the only thing that has saved me, when they were little if I said something was going to happen, it did, so this week, they will remain gadgetless and grounded xxx

Anonymous said...

Well done Auntie!

By the way, you are sleeping with five of your friends in this hotel and they are your family? TMI, I think we should lock you in the car boot!!

Like the Crackberry bit :)

Anonymous said...

Well done Auntie!

By the way, you are sleeping with five of your friends in this hotel and they are your family? TMI, I think we should lock you in the car boot!!

Like the Crackberry bit :)

Anonymous said...

Yay! Go Auntie Gwen! Hopefully your tactics will work - mind, I had a friend who swore her children didn't 'turn back into people' till they were 23!!! Hopefully they will spoil you rotten at Christmas with all their help!
Glad to hear hotel was fab - hope you had the best time, enjoy gin and cake , they sound like a wonderful idea!

love Chris x

susie said...

You've reminded me of what a friend once said to me me many years ago when I was just about to go into meltdown : "Your job as their mother is not to do everything for your children, but to teach them to do everything for themselves". It removed so much guilt from my shoulders, and from then on I sat on sofa eating cake and drinking gin, watching them learn all those useful `life skills`. Now they are two wonderful adults with partners who are constantly amazed at how "good they are at everything domestic". And I'm still on the sofa with the gin and cakes ! x

speccy said...

I love this! My little folk haven't turned teen yet, but this is a great reminder to be on my guard.

cake and gin- super survivial mechanism :)

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

I think striking is a great idea. I may join you.


Muddling Along said...

Good on you!

Sounds like it long overdue and good on you for standing firm (is it wrong that I'm amused you have the router in your handbag??)

auntiegwen said...

Jon - please do lock me in the boot, it's now full of chocolate and pringles, I have to hide everything or it gets eaten immediately

Chris - 23 eh, I just count the time till they go to uni, it helps get me through the days :) xx

Susi - move up my dear, I shall join you

Speccy - you have to play to your strengths, fortunately mine are eating and drinking :)

Suzanne - oh I kept it up, my son caved first and I now have a signed contract that says he will do any chore asked of him without moaning in return for laundry, go me :) xx

MaM - I thought it was a cunning plan the hiding of the router

Elderberry-Rob said...

Wow judging by the number of comments this is a biggie for many ladies - we should have a monthly club and share strategies - oh yes Auntie we are there - handsets and laptops regularly cruise round in my car during groundings and I regularly open up The Complaints Department and tell everyone how much I need their help to tidy rooms, deliver dirty laundry, load/unload dishwasher... I worked all day yesterday to return home to an absolute pigsty and went into the teenage bedrooms with bin bags and tipped every offending article into one, I now have the bags in my car destined for the refuse site - they were warned! how many inflatable parrots, old magazines, odd socks, broken keyrings, watches, disused toiletries, coke cans, crisp wrappers and cat hair can a mum take?! Oldest boy returned home from work at nearly midnight, didn't notice but shouted out 'have you got another uniform ready for my work tomorrow (nope).. nobody has noticed my blitz or missed the offending articles.

Helena said...

Boy Is that a familiar scenario! Routine and responsibility (and a variation of strong words and ultimatums) are essential in make kids feel secure. We'll always use little wisps of sort heart from time to time. I had a mother who didn't give a shit about my future and development and that still hurts to this day!

Have a lovely break away and I'll wish you a very Merry Christmas, now Gwen in case I'm not around....x

Anonymous said...

You are a genius. Is this your version of an Arab Spring revolution?