Living with teenagers


(Catharine Higginson) #1

In the days before my offspring had reached their teenage years, I used

to read the infamous ‘Living with teenagers’ column and think to myself,

‘Ha! My children will never be like that’. Well ‘Ha bloody Ha’ is all I

can say to that thought now. Admittedly they are not quite as rude and

don’t swear quite so much, but other than they, they are becoming

horribly similar.

It doesn’t help that we’ve inherited a spare

teenage nephew so we’re now up to three. And the husband and I are

feeling decidedly outnumbered. This also means that there are now six of

us sharing a bathroom. The mornings see the girls spending at least an

hour in there before they emerge, immaculate, to face the rigours of a

day at school. Hair is done, eyebrows tweezed, nails manicured and

subtle make up carefully applied. The husband and I meanwhile, are lucky

if we manage to get in there for long enough to clean our teeth. The

small son is not really a problem; I just chase him into the bathroom

once a day and scrub him from head to toe. The teenage nephew requires

the same treatment but it seems rather inappropriate so I resort to

snarling, ‘Go and clean your teeth. NOW.’ It doesn’t help that he

refuses to wear underpants. He sees this as being anti-capitalist. I see

it as being rather gross. And it seems doubly ironic as I have only

just got the small son to a stage where if he dresses himself, he

actually remembers to put his own underpants on.

The girls are

both now the same size as me and have taken to wearing my clothes. This

means that finding anything that is both clean and that I want to wear,

has become a daily challenge. I’ve taken to storing my clothes in the

office as all under 18’s are banned from there. Given the bathroom

situation, I also tend to get dressed in there. However there are no

curtains so I am forced to do this in the dark or risk scaring ‘les

voisins’ opposite.

The amount of food they get through is

unbelievable. The weekly shop now requires at least two able bodied

people. And a suitcase full of cash. And despite the mountains of food

that come into the house, there is still never anything left in the

fridge. The washing machine is on day and night and the family car

should be renamed ‘the taxi’.

All of this isn’t anything new, as

parents of teenagers everywhere will testify. So I shouldn’t moan

especially as ours are (sometimes) helpful, funny and appreciative. And

at least they all still want to be cuddled…


(Catharine Higginson) #2

Wow - thats pretty good going these days


(Catharine Higginson) #3

Must be nice to have him back Steve!


(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #4

I feel your pain.