Thursday, 29 October 2009

In which I am a bad mother...

I have spent roughly two hours cleaning Tall Girls stinky pre-teen (thirteen next week!) bedroom this morning, I have cleaned, dusted, tidied, organised and hoovered. It looks and smells much sweeter now.

I cajoled her into the shower sometime later, and feeling that my work was done, came downstairs for a welcome cup of tea. Oh the joy of having a messy teenager!

After pottering around downstairs for a while I decided to go and have another look at my mornings work, sometimes it is satisfying to survey the scene. However there were already clothes on the floor together with her towel and PJ's. Should I get her back upstairs to put it all away? I didn't have the strength.

As I picked up her towel I noticed her mobile phone was underneath. I looked at it a moment. Just one little look?

Now I have to explain, and think I may have done before, that when I was about her age I kept a diary, a very personal one, full of teen angst and boyfriends, until my step father took it and read it. It led to endless arguments and accusations, everything was held against me. I never kept a diary again, until now. So, knowing how it feels to be violated like that, I have always vowed never to do such a thing. But as I saw her phone I hesitated. Just one little look?

Sometimes I leave my phone lying around, though mostly it is close by. I rarely delete texts, unless my phone is full. Most of them are from the same sender, my other life. Some of them say...

Just one little look? I couldn't help myself. I picked up her phone, selected messages, then 'In box' and scrolled down. Jack. Jack. Jack.... All from the same sender. I select one to read.
"Be on line in 10. Ly" I caught my breath, smiled and put down her phone. It felt so familiar. It is so strange. She is a dark horse. I am still smiling inside.


  1. I do think we are often enablers in the messiness thing. I always maintain that when they leave the towels on the floor they should be dragged upstairs to hang them up, but.....sometimes it's more effort than it's worth. I've also found that even after several years of this, it still doesn't become embedded in their muscle memory. My male teenager's room always looks like he's just vapourised - his jeans are literally on the floor as they were when he walks out of them. Now here, I tell him if they don't make it to the laundry basket they don't get washed, and he's just getting vain enough not to want to pick them off the floor and wear smelly, wrinkled jeans. Mwa ha ha.

  2. Oh, how I miss all this. You never think you'll regret the day they leave and don't leave towels on the floor, but you do.

  3. I remember the day I found an excercise book under Sazzie pillow-school work, I thought, so ok to look inside. I shall leave it to Sazzie...she might want to write about this.
    Never a good idea to look, it will seldom cause an 'Aaaah moment'

  4. My ex-husband learnt the hard way, you don't read what you want to hear. his violation of my privacy was one of the many final straws.
    But I did learn about my daughter's first tattoo because she announced it on her facebook page and then left her desktop open and I picked up the laptop to use it and saw it there.
    I think your experience is probably what most parents would find if they 'snooped', that it is all very ordinary and teenage and nothing much to write home about.
    thanks for sharing and for being honest
    much love Martine

  5. I think there is something in the Mom-Psyche so interwoven with sneaking around bedrooms looking for contraband, bits of leaf tobacco, secret texts and letters from girlfriends - Or is that just me??! Great posting Burbs! x

  6. suburbia..lovely to read you here of course!!!and yes there is a snoop in most of us...for the greater good....its wise to know whats going on...cos sure as eggs are eggs..great post!!

  7. Messiness and Privacy all in one post -- yup, that's what it is like to raise a teen, or two,or three.
    New rule at Sink's house: Your room must be soooo clean that I don't have to snoop to see what you have in it. Really.

  8. Still feel I'm a bit of an imposter here, seeing as she's not quite 13 yet! And that I rarely post of course!

    Thanks for your lovely comments :)

  9. No such thing as an imposter, Burbs - You fit right in girl, and I also don't think there's a special age to be a teen - Like puberty - Some get there earlier, some come later to Teen Terrorism! Welcome and thanks ever so much! Fhina x