A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Home. Show all posts

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

House Rules

By the time you read this, Olivia will be back at university and there will be another tale to tell, about failing to leave the house on time, what she left behind and how we make the same mistakes over and over again.

I thought I'd write about having both daughters back for the holidays, before we head down the motorway to take Olivia 'home.' Apparently 'home' is now university - sob!

We collected Sophia from university on Mother's Day. This involved a round-trip of about 6 hours and we returned to discover that Olivia had made Aubergine Parmigiana for dinner. I was touched, especially as she usually makes student food and it's not the easiest of dishes to make. She had cleverly negotiated a back-up plan in case it all went horribly wrong. Dad was instructed to call, as we left Sophia's uni and if, at any time the meal went wrong, plan b was fish & chips from the chippy on the way home. I have to admit to being very impressed by her ingenuity.

Sophia nodded off in the back of the car on the way home, I couldn't help but look at her and feel nostalgic - how adorable are our kids when they're asleep? Even as teens they look cute. Olivia's also been napping since she came back, I guess that too many late nights and studying hard catches up with them all eventually. She was curled up with her favourite cuddly toy and I like to think that he's good company when she's away.

We had to bring Sophia's printer back with us, as it's been playing up since just after New Year and she had been too busy to investigate thoroughly. Mr A took a quick look and could only nod his head in agreement.

Once at home, he investigated more thoroughly and asked if she'd stuck anything in there that could have caused a blockage. 'No,' she said, and this sounded sincere, but we couldn't work out why Olivia was giggling and made her escape. We know from experience that everything reveals itself when the kids have done something they shouldn't have.

Mr A concluded that there was something wrapped around the paper feed, and ran off with my tweezers in an attempt to extract the evidence. He re-appeared, 15 minutes later with an assortment of random c**p that should never be found inside a printer, this was mostly comprised of foil and glue.

Olivia was in fits of giggles, and apparently knew that her sister had put foil inside the printer, but didn't want to share that info with either of her parents. Was Sophia hoping that Dad would be too daft to notice? Or, was she thinking that it would have vanished all by itself without a shred of evidence? I am no closer to solving this particular mystery, but at least the printer is fixed.

Over the past week, I was reminded of what it's like to share a house with my daughters:
  • The house resembles a disaster zone; I have given up trying to keep everything under control. 
  • I am trying to leave my daughters to it, but occasionally dish out a reminder that at home, they are not actually students, but family members with an equal responsibility for household chores. They agreed with everything I said, and went back to being themselves.
  • I have been told that I look like a muppet in a dress (I don't think this was a compliment).
  • The kitchen is open twenty-four-seven for meals and snacks.
  • The washing basket is overflowing - I have a theory they may have been stockpiling laundry for some time.
  • My new car has gone down a treat - I haven't seen it since they arrived home.
  • Mr A and myself have been heading up to bed early to escape the chaos, and have concluded that we're in need of a holiday
The cat however, was thrilled that her sisters were both home and hasn't stopped meowing since they arrived.

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Bamboozled Again!

Today's blog was going to be an intellectual one, but my mind was bamboozled by a couple of conversations I've had recently with my children and this is what I've written instead...

I have been decidedly hands-off with both daughters since they left for uni. We Skype regularly and if there's a minor problem I'll say something like this, "Oh that's dreadful, what are you going to do?" I then eagerly await their answer, while trying not to giggle and offer advice if they need any.

Occasionally however, my Mum-gene resets itself and I'll wake during the night filled with fear, thinking random thoughts about things they're bound to have forgotten. Eg. Olivia still hasn't sorted out accommodation for next year; why is this bugging me exactly? She isn't worried about it in the slightest and I've been banned from bringing it up in any conversation. I am positively freaking out about this and trying to think ahead. Does anyone have a tent she can borrow if it all goes horribly wrong?

Next weekend, she will either heading home from university or going to France. During a recent chat with her, I mentioned that she might want to let me know as soon as possible. Unimpressed by my nosiness she asked simply, "Why?" And my answer, "Because I have your passport."

I guess that I have only myself to blame for this. When the girls were growing up I had a demanding job, Mr A worked long hours and we were caught up in a whirlwind of extracurricular activities (ballet, Japanese and rowing) and domestic bliss chaos. There was very little time off for anything and it was always easier to get on with the chores, rather than listen to a never-ending list of excuses from my daughters. To be fair they've always done the dishes, while homework and the aforementioned activities seemed to consume the rest of their time.

I have spoken to Sophia via Skype just this morning, she has eaten toast and peanuts for breakfast and had been out clubbing last night. To be fair she looked remarkably well. We had exactly the same conversation that we've been having for the past month now, about a reference that has gone AWOL in the uni postal system. I have learnt from experience that approximately half of all mail goes the same way and that anything of importance has to be sent via recorded delivery. Having wanted to stick my fingers in my ears and hum quietly to myself, I insisted that she actually call the person in question and ask politely if she could have another copy, which I'm only too happy to collect, upload, email and send via recorded delivery. Please can we not have the same conversation again next week!

Having said all of the above, I am so looking forward to having the pair of them home for the holidays. I know that my brain will be even more scrambled than normal, as I'll be thinking for three and second-guessing all that is going on, but I miss being a Mum and love my daughters more than they'll ever know.

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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