independent

Sunday 22 October 2017

It's August and I'm ready for the kids to go back to school

By Justine O'Mahony

Six weeks in and I've finally admitted defeat: I'm ready for them to go back to school! So ready in fact that I have purchased the new uniforms, school bags, books and I'm ready to push them out the door with a ham sandwich and "nut free" cereal bar. 'Good bye! Good luck my darlings! Be somebody else's problem for six hours!'

And I don't care if it makes me sound like a bad mother. There is only so much mess, moaning and general teenage moodiness that any parent can take. Yes yes yes I agree the first few days of the school holidays are a novelty. No school run, no doing the lunch boxes (Oh God I hate doing the lunchboxes), no getting up at some ungodly hour to make sure they have their PE kits and homework done.

But then reality kicks in and mine is two kids, lolling around the house in various stages of undress, glued to electronic gadgets, only to speak when they want something to eat or drink. Unfortunately they've outgrown the concept of summer camps and no amount of pleading could make the younger of my offspring attend one this year. Instead she likes to get up about ten am, look for breakfast, spend an hour on her Nintendo, then an hour on her iPod then watch a bit of tv before I harangue her into putting some clothes on.

The Oldest doesn't normally appear before 12 ish and his communication skills amount to grunting at me as he turns on the kettle and retreats to a bedroom that reeks of smelly trainers and teenage boy.

When he hears the kettle click he comes back out again and positions himself on the couch waiting for me to make him a cup of tea which I'm embarrassed to say I do. 'This is not a bloody hotel you know' I say as my mother emerges from my mouth. He grins at me and drinks his tea before going back to the world of teenage angst and snapchat.

Trying to get them to go out for some fresh air is tantamount to getting Donald Trump to admit he's a tosser. If I manage to succeed with the younger one it's by virtue of blackmail and I end up buying her ice cream and hot chocolate just to get her to go for a ten minute walk on the beach with me.

I've given up cleaning up. What's the point? They're only going to wreck the place ten minutes after I do it anyway. Best to just soldier on, living in squalor until that glorious day-September 1 arrives and I can ship them off to school.

And you know what's the worst bit? I know it's my fault. I am the one who created The Monster, or in this case Two Monsters. A decade and a half of total and utter mollycoddling has resulted in them expecting to be waited on hand and foot.

But they're cute you know, when they see I'm reaching the end of my tether, ready to have a meltdown, they'll be all over me like a rash, hugging me and telling me I'm the best mother in the world. And like a big fool I swallow it, hook line and sinker.

So it's either school or valium? Actually can I have both?

Wexford People