The Monster Diaries

Wednesday 5th June – Friday 7th June 2019

June has started off quite well, despite my peri-menopausal symptoms, such as night sweats, memory loss and the occasional hormonal outburst. For one thing the 10-year-old mini diva is away with school and by the time I get home from work The Husband will be happily on his way to Norwich for a five-day football tour, leaving me with just two teenagers, who have long since decided that spending any amount of time in a communal living area is akin to torture and so will have shut themselves away in their rooms, attached to some sort of electronic device. This means that, despite the house still being half renovated (even though The Husband is a builder and we have lived here for fifteen years) I will be able to keep it relatively tidy over the next few days.

So it was that I was able to come home and just throw some cod fillets and chips into the air fryer (best invention ever) and then relax with my feet in a pair of those plastic socks containing fruit enzymes that everyone is raving about, while watching the box set of Riviera with a bottle of beer (or two) to refresh me after a hot day at work. Bliss!

Thursday was another lovely evening. I Picked the 13-year-old Middle Child up and went into town for an evening of shopping, dinner and cinema. Threw some money at the 16-year-old Eldest Child to get a takeaway so he was all smiles, well that might be pushing it but I didn’t get told to “go away” and “leave me alone” so was feeling the love.

Friday dawned before I knew it which meant the peace had come to an end. Youngest Child is due home this afternoon and my mood has sunk really low as one of the parent helpers on the trip has secretly messaged me to say that my little angel was put in a tent with a girl who has constantly given her a hard time this year and of course it went pear shaped. Youngest Child got upset and had to be moved to a different tent. Why did the teachers not think more carefully about who they placed together? We are talking four nights away from home with four kids in a tent and no adult supervision overnight. It should have been given more thought.

Youngest Child arrived back safely but a bit deflated. She did not enjoy the experience at all. Apart from the tent trauma she said the activities were boring plus it rained all week. That’s what happens when you go to Wales for four nights! (I used to live in Wales so I am well aware of the weather conditions before I’m condemned for being unfair to the Welsh climate. I also originate from Manchester and do not get offended when people say it rains all the time because quite frankly, it does!)

I Decided to take her out for burgers for dinner to cheer her up (and more importantly I couldn’t be bothered to cook). I said we would eat in, rather than get drive through because the food would be cold by the time we got home. Middle Child rang her brother to ask if he would like us to bring him anything. Oh dear! He has been outside the front door since 4pm because he has forgotten his key (despite me telling him three times during the week that if he goes out, he needs to take his key) and it was now 5.30pm. He knew we would be home late today as I was waiting for his sister to arrive back and coaches are always later than they say they are going to be. So, in my parental wisdom I decide that this will be a lesson learned and he won’t forget his key again and tell the other two that we are not rushing home and to relax and enjoy their food.

I look out of the window. Oh dear! Looks like Youngest Child has brought the Welsh weather back with her and it is now pouring down. “Did he have a coat?” I wonder aloud. Middle daughter informs me that not only did he not have a coat but he didn’t have his blazer either (despite it being a requirement of school uniform) and he will now be sitting on the front door step in his shirt sleeves.

We arrive home at about 6pm and Eldest Child is nowhere in sight. After finally getting hold of him on his phone, during the five-minute window that he deigns to turn it on, I establish that he got fed up of waiting in the rain and went to his friend’s house. Surprisingly when he arrives home, I am not shouted at, in fact he is quiet and polite. “Lesson learned” I think smugly. I spend a few minutes feeling like a proper parent until he refuses to let me make him any dinner and tells me he just wants to be left alone.

The peaceful household (due to the novelty of Youngest Child being back home and Eldest Child having learnt a very wet lesson) lasted until about 10pm when everyone fell back into the old routine of screaming insults at one another and shouting downstairs to me various instructions such as “tell him to get out of my room”, “tell her to stop being mean to me” quickly followed by disparaging remarks about my parenting skills such as “you are so mean”, “you don’t care about me” and so forth. Which quickly escalated to me screaming “all of you shut up”, “I can tell you are back” and lots of mutterings along the lines of “for fucks sake” and “shut the fuck up”. Proper parent??? Yeah right!!

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