Sunday 1st May

Annabelle has gone off to play with Small-For-It’s-Age-Kid and the Teenager is off intimidating the elderly and infirm, somewhere in a crowd of rainbow coloured rucksacks and hoodies.

I started this morning by announcing that today was going to be a jarmie-day and that nobody need get dressed because we were all excused chores and responsibility of any kind.

The Teenager wasn’t impressed. After all, when you’re a fifteen year old boy, every day is jarmie-day.

Annabelle got into the spirit of things a bit more enthusiastically and dragged her duvets, pillows and bed-sheet downstairs to make up a ‘nest’ on the sofa.

 My pretty expensive (from John Lewis dontcha know) cushions obviously weren’t required in said nest, as I found them flung into a corner where the dog was cheerfully making a nest of his own.

Resplendent in a sea of silk (and velour type stuff), he was lying on his back; legs in the air, wriggling around like a call-girl on acid.

Somewhere along the line though, the ungrateful little sods have obviously begun to enjoy making ‘other’ plans.

Whilst I’m handy to have around to hit up for pocket money and to provide the microwave, in which to heat up their dinners when they finally deign to grace me with their presence, I’m a little bit ‘last-year’ to spend any length of their precious free time with, by choice.

My mouth is full of the dust that was kicked up in the mad scramble to get out of the front door when their chums came to get them and although I have spent their entire lives encouraging, (sorry did I say encouraging, I meant bribing) them to be, as often as possible, wherever it was that I wasn’t, I must admit; I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself.

 I know that I’m supposed to be patting myself on the back right now about a job well done.

I should be experiencing delight and pride at the fact that my offspring have their own personalities and are confident enough to go out into the world, explore, and start having their own adventures. Well, saying that, quite a few of the Teenager’s adventures seem to involve a Community Youth Worker but I’m still breezily confident that he is in the middle of what I like to call ‘a stage’.

But I’m not patting myself on the back and I am not filled with delight.

I’m sulking.

I, like most people, do not deal well with rejection and right at this moment in time I’m huffily stamping around the house ranting at my very bemused dog. It’s fine, I inform him, for me to provide the laptops on which they maintain their Facebook and MSN accounts, but ask them to spend an afternoon engaging in some ‘quality-family-time’ with me and the freeloading, spongers vanish quicker than a doughnut at a Weightwatchers meeting.

I think I might plant some weed in their bedrooms and self-righteously ground them for the rest of the summer.

That’ll learn ‘em.

That’ll learn ’em up real good.