Thursday, 12 March 2009

Living With Teenagers

I still remember how I felt when I read the first instalment of the ­Living with Teenagers column, which ran in the Saturday Family section of this newspaper for two years. I didn't take a breath until I'd reached the end.
The ­column was so good it was chilling – it was beautifully ­written, but also had a rawness to it, an honesty that was breathtaking. It was real. The writer was ruthless in her descriptions of herself – here was a mother who had no idea how to handle her children's tempers and tantrums, and who was bewildered by her conflicting feelings of exasperation, love and loss. And the teenagers!
From the very first episode they were living, breathing, three-dimensional people – appalling, sometimes, but also funny and vulnerable and charming
read more here

"Well FUCK YOU" I hear as I walked downstairs this morning. It was Daisy, and the person on the receiving end was Kitty. The crime? Kitty had failed to co-operate and prepare Daisy's school bag with the correct books for the day. The consequence was a stream of vitriol peppered with more fucks than I ever hear please or thank you. I poked my head round the door to calm troubled waters, after ranting some more Daisy says "Mum can you get my shoes out of the cupboard?" I comply without a mummer.

I totally echo the review above, the column was the first thing I read every Saturday morning, I would save it for Daisy to read as she loved it too. Beautifully written it had laugh out loud moments, as well as elements of real sadness tinged with the frustration that resonates with any parent of a teenager.
I missed it when it was gone and thought little about it until the latest brouhaha erupted over the publication of Myerson's new book The Lost Child which elaborates further the disintegration of Myerson's relationship with her eldest son.
I do absolutely count my blessings that both my teenagers appear very 'clean cut' I am Edina to their Saffy most of the time.
Reading Myerson's account of life with her eldest son, I can not help think that 'there but for the grace of God'. That Myerson has been so vilified for telling the story, especially of course by female journalists very sad and not a little unnecessary.
Many of us bloggers frequently recount tales of woe and destruction. Like Myerson theirs and my feeling is that a problem shared is a problem halved. I do not feel that I am using my own children for the entertainment of others, rather I am retaining my sanity in an often quite fragile environment.

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