When I woke up this morning, it took me a second to remember where I was.
Having remembered where I was, felt like shooting myself.
These days, the ringing of my alarm clock has become the bedside version of the ding-ding that signals the beginning of today’s round of attempting to keep the Teenager’s hormonal wheels on the tarmac of life.
For the last week, he has been skidding on and off said road on a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour basis.
I may be guilty of a cop-out in terms of writing a proper entry in my diary today but, in my defence, am exhausted.
The energy required to safely oversee the process of a young man shedding the shell of his childhood is, apparently, more of a 24/7 job than having a new-born baby ever was.
I have reproduced here an email that I sent this very day to the Teenager, in response to his e-attempt to have his, recently imposed, 8pm curfew lifted.
I feel that, whilst there are reams and reams of literature, magazines and blogs dedicated to which yoghurt is best for a two year old, that the difficulties encountered whilst managing the sometimes terrifying behaviour of a teenager are a matter for parental shame.
A damagingly silent void exists.
As parents, we are left to fend for ourselves in the belief that it is just ‘our’ teenager that is behaving like a total and utter schitzo.
I choose to speak out.
This diary is about honesty after all, so here you are: Honesty, Single Mum style.
I appreciate your sentiments but you need to be clear on something.
We passed the negotiation phase of this discussion a way back.
I have explained the rules and you will be following them, it’s that simple. If you don’t like it or you are angry with me, I can live with that.
You don’t need to agree or like it, you simply need to understand that you will either follow the rules or things will just keep on getting more and more uncomfortable for you.
You are a fifteen year old school-boy and you’ve got work to get on with, I will not be distracted by all this over-dramatic bravado.
Your laptop, PS3, Sky-box and allowance will be returned, one by one, on a fortnightly basis but, and it’s a big but, you will earn the return of these privileges by following the rules already discussed and also by refraining from swearing, kicking, shouting and screaming.
One such incident will delay the return of any given item by another week. Furthermore the items you have already earned back will be removed again and we will start right back from the beginning.
Your recent behaviour has required me to step up to the plate and do what needs to be done to guide you through what appears to be an incredibly confusing and unsettling time for you.
Expect to find strong boundaries and high walls because I’m here, I’m your parent and I intend to ensure that your actions have swift and direct consequences.
Whether these consequences are pleasant or unpleasant is entirely your choice.
I hope that very soon you will come to the conclusion, as I did years ago, that you are a clever, talented, kind-hearted young man who has within his reach, all of the wonderful things that life has to offer.
We will get through this but there may be some stormy seas ahead.
Be absolutely assured, I am buckled up and ready for whatever may come.
I’m your mother.
The buck stops here.