I am contemplating renaming Smudgie Towers as “Betwixt and between” seeing as my life seems to pootle along in this style, as a friend kindly commented. In fact, the bungalow itself is a bit betwixt and betweeen at the moment as I try to find a method of keeping it habitable despite the ravages of two boys, two gerbils and a cat. Mind you, the gerbils are really quite well behaved. They have a new, luxury cage and seem to be making the most of their new abode. Perhaps the rest of the family could take lessons…
There again, I’m a fine one to talk, sitting here on the computer as a good excuse to avoid doing all the tasks awaiting me. I’ll explain why I’m procrastinating so much in my next post, I think.
The betwixt and between is, of course, primarily a boy-based problem. You recall my pronouncement that Tiddles was having a good fortnight? If ever I mention that again, please remind me to keep my mouth shut.. or should that be, to keep my fingers still? Massive explosion for the two days prior to returning to my brother’s. All I can say is that it is a good job the child minder is such a patient and supportive friend… and I had to admit to being relieved that for once someone else was ititially on the receiving end and could actually say “So that’s what you’re handling” rather than “I can’t believe it, he’s always so lovely”. I pulled a fast one at one point, though. He refused to go to his room when I sent him there… then went into his room to get something while declaring his intention to call social services. I said “Come here with me, then, while we call them” and he refused, stating that I wasn’t going to get him to come out of his bedroom. “Good boy, for going into your room and staying there as I asked you to”, I said calmly as I closed the door and walked away. 😀
Trouble is, there’s a camp in two weeks’ time that he really wants to go on. I was reluctant – he doesn’t cope well with lack of sleep at all – but thought it might make a good motivator to say that he could go as long as his work was up to date and he had no violent tantrums. It was something I was quite happy to follow through on… until now when I find myself really needing to follow it through and not wanting to. I don’t want to because Smudgelet is now going and Tiddles will make his life a misery if he, Tiddles, is not allowed to go too. Also, for the first time in ages, I found myself able to go to a hen party on the mainland – a meal and a trip to the theatre with my colleagues from work – which I’ll have to cancel in favour of staying at home with an angry and resentful teenager for four days. Oh bliss. Between a rock and a hard place indeed.
Incidentally, you’ll be pleased to know (though hardly as pleased as I am!) that he has been called for an interview at the boarding school which looks like his saving grace. Typical for my rock and hard place habit, the date of his interview happened to be unalterable… and the day of Smudgelet’s birthday party! Smudgelet can’t come with us, he has to stay for the weekend with Honorary Auntie M. It took all my powers of persuasion to sell this to him as a preferable alternative to having a birthday party (He loves having a sleepover at M’s, but….) and to stop him seeing it as his brother’s needs once again being given priority over his. All credit to him, he’s upset but philosophical and making the best of a bad deal.
Now all we need is for Tiddles to get his act together sufficiently to make a good impression at the interview….