As I type this, an 18-year-old Emma Raducanu, has just qualified for the fourth round at Wimbledon. While waiting on her A Level results.
Simultaneously, my oldest two are standing in the kitchen voicing their protests over the lack of kettle and demanding to know how they are going to make themselves a cup of tea.
I’m not sure I have a sigh loud enough in my repertoire for this proud parenting moment.
Don’t get me wrong, I am exceptionally proud of my kids and will fight for them till my dying breath, but every now and then, on exceedingly rare occasions, an element of despair and disbelief creeps in. I choose to believe this happens to keep me on my parenting toes. To remind me that my work here is not yet done, and it is far from time to relax.
Even so. I’ll admit, the biggest has done well this week. She has started a new job at a local tourist destination after interviewing over a Zoom call. She didn’t get the job she applied for, it went to someone with more experience, but they were impressed enough by her to offer her another position and she happily accepted. A new challenge.
Actually getting out of the house and meeting real live people! Earning some cash towards her move to university in September. Having never managed to do anything successfully over a Zoom meeting, we were rather impressed as she skipped off for her first day.
Not our best parenting moment
As supportive (nosey) parents keen to encourage, we enquired how her day had gone. I won’t even try to pretend what happened next was close to being us at our parenting best and I hope you understand when I explain why.
During her shift, biggest was invited by one of her new colleagues to join them for a ‘puff’. She politely replied she hadn’t yet been shown how to ‘do a puff’ but enthusiastically assured her new colleague she would seek out the appropriate training to be ready for the next time.
As the lady subsequently brought out her vape and wandered outside poor biggest was mortified. Putting two and two together was apparently not a prerequisite for her employment and we couldn’t even speak for laughing as she recalled her embarrassment.
Straight to the family blunder board
Naturally, as all decent parents would, we assured her this was an innocent mistake to make and assured her it would soon be forgotten………. No. We. Did. Not. Straight to the family blunder board and we have enjoyed this ALL week. She turns 18 next week after all time for the mollycoddling to end.
Time for another birthday celebration?? Marvellous and this time, thanks to the easing of lockdown, we might be able to do something.
Time for some merrymaking in the garden, balloons, bubbles and presents. I’ve ordered so much stuff even I don’t know what’s happening anymore – if Amazon show up tomorrow with a llama tomorrow it is what it is.
Nothing like a tight deadline to get family Duncan motivated! Is it just us who do this? It’s a clean house (my vocabulary aside) but it’s lived-in by a family of 5 all collectively ignoring tasks until the last minute. The new shed arrived last October, so sorting and demolishing the old shed happened this week.
Things must get worse before they improve
Unsurprisingly, the house looks like a bombsite because things must get worse before they get better.
The poor dogs think we’re going on holiday because suitcases have been dragged out to store winter boots and coats.
Imagine their excitement being crushed and quickly followed up with despair when they realised it was nothing more than my need to declutter. This removal of cold climate attire has subsequently brought with it a weekly weather forecast for thunder storms and flash floods.
With the shed gone, broken down and launched into a skip, we are now left with an expanse of exposed soil perfect for them to dig up and stomp all over the house.
We have a lot still to do, the mister and I, before she can have a handful of friends for a BBQ but I have resigned myself to a more realistic plan.
There is, after all, only so much one can hope to hide behind several lengths of bunting, fairy lights and a gazebo!