Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A parenting success, methinks

The hard working executive returns home to his slippers and cardigan, a favourite chair, perhaps to take in a warming cocoa in the arms of his caring family.  As the good father I am, I enquire to the daughter 'how was her day?'


I gently enquire 'Nothing interesting happen'd?'


I mildly suggest with an ever so slightly raising of the tone 'Is it a mono-syllabic day or what? Have you taken a vow of silence and failed by a tad?'

"Shut. Up."

I see this as a success in parenting, a100% increase in parent child communication. I should write a book.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

It was a cold dark night going Downtown on the Wrong Side of the Tracks

First it was a passing name thown into a mix amongst others. A name not really warranting a "who she?". Then a few more times a name was posted as being part of the group, one of the gang, then she was mentioned in despatches to the parents, she shared the joke, name-checked in the fun. Then the name was written down on a birthday card, then there was "gift", the gift was cuddly. Then there was the "tell", she was no-one when asked. I reverted to type and sarcasm and ill timed jokes. I'm that kind of  Daddy riot style of tear it down, without thinking, as long as its loud and funny. That was some weeks ago....

Tonight I am called upon on a Saturday night to collect a son from a friend's house - a group DVD-er all-evening-er......I am without my poorly person excuse of creaky bones needing a good hot bath to get out of paternal duties of the chauffeur.

So tonight my alcohol intake is zeroed,  a liver is happy, kidneys relax a tad, the sacrifices I make.

Tonight I drive to a strange place downtown, I have SatNav as my true-est friend. She has saved me many times, rescued me when a family has let me down, when I have faced near-death in inner city congestion. Bar for obvious inner body experiences not had, she is up there as marriage material.

"Sat" takes me a stranger router than imagined. Sat knows better. Sat takes me on motorways, bearing me right when things look straighter straight-on. The darkness, insufficient non vandalised lamp-posts and a drizzle was not helpful to my wellbeing and I was beginning to have trust issues with Sat.

I should trust Sat as if she is a Jedi night that guides its Padewan to a destiny that she knows and I can only imagine. But trust is based on not wetting my pants at a traffic light turning a greeny amber at an entrance to a multiple choice exit. Sat is not talking to me. I drive straight on as blurry green is still green, concentration is focused and  I find straight on is not a wall...hoorah....but a gap ... a hole that an outlaw may have seen, but I am not an outlaw and I start to consider Sat's past.

One-way systems were suddenly upon me like a maze. I was walled in by cars that are parked in unwieldly fashions of desperation designed to faze the novice. Smart cars prove they are smarter than the average car by butt-ending out of parked cars, wanting  bigger cars to play dodgems.

I am manouvring  here, bearing right there, avoiding more stationary car accidents than I - a grown man - should be subjected to without anti depressants. I am crossing sleeping policemen that need to be awake, this is so higgledy that I am afraid of the next street's piggledy is going to get me. A mind readies the insurance claim. I am so slow, I am the leader of a pack and caught in the glare of leading the pack because I am slow. The other cars that know where they are going, just like Sat, but not me. The other cars hate me, I am slow car.

Sat announces that I have arrived, after a path...a route that probably could well double as a runic sign. I am suspicious that Sat has a virus based on witchcraft and she should be called Merlina. But we have arrived and after a daring reverse and park that causes the traffic only momentarily to stop and threaten to gently touch their horns, but instead I think they are now clapping.

I am having a "moment" of celebrating my parking skills euphoria to virtual shouts of  "Done it in One Bro".

A boy is picked-up and I set the return path into the SatNav. I push my internal buttons of car discipline - focus, mirror, concentrate, wipers, look, signal, arch a neck and I again trust the Jedi warrior that is Sat. I am a Padewan again.

Sat declares straight on, but there is a choice staring me in the face of a slip road or another road slightly off to the right. I make the call, a driving management call. I make an error that the curved arrow means  bear right now...NOW!, whereas she  ...Sat knows she meant bear right in some distance or roghly translated as NOT NOW.

I am for a moment lost, there is cold white fear of terror of a re-routing SatNav leaving me to decide on my own on where is my home. This is terror to the extreme on a dark cold night.  This is bungee jumping for the middle aged.

But to cut a long story short and  a long road is straight, I am not called upon into rash calls. The Gods are with me. Sat re-routes and I take a new path home.

Gradually the buildings seem familiar at least from the shadows and shop window brightness, then I am back in the familiar, where Sat becomes a background voice and I can relax to a CD beat and talk to the boy.

A confession he can wait...... I am driver, who seeks to live longer than this Saturday night, a confession waits until this junction is crossed and I have avoided the other Satellite navigation-lead drivers, who do not realise that this turn is sharper than "to bear left" would suggest, success ......we are still alive.

A confession is to be made......

He says....he pauses...he says he was not with the boys tearing up through shlock-horror gore movies. He says, he was with her. He was with her that was the name on a birthday gift. He was on a date.

He wanted to avoid my irony, my sarcasm, the glare of Dadarazzi tabloid humour. He wanted to avoid an embarrassing dad, as much as a Guernsey based bank accounts wants to avoid tax, as well as a campaign of naming and shaming.

I consider, I pause thoughtfully and regretfully  I advise him that he must give her up. The relationship is doomed as long as I am his father. He looks at me as if I am mad. I feel the need to explain the dark secret on this cold dark night. I slowly stutteringly let him know the truth that, that was a bloody awful traffic congestion, traffic routing, traffic re-routing and an unnecessary stress-peaking, blood-sugar-cholesterol dipping nightmare outside a B Movie Horror flick for an old fella ...and that this Dad cannot risk another near heart attack because of a teenage romance. He laughs.

The boys are back in town, the boys are home, thanks to Sat and Saturday nights allright for driving.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Like a Family a long, long time ago....

CBS - I am not one for abbreviations when a good old common multi syllabic words will do and Creaky Bone Syndrome fits the bill. I am poorly as poorly as a person can be without visiting A&E, when every move or jerk deserves a round of applause. I am creaking worst than an empty, cold house on Halloween in a B-Movie Horror pic. I am deserving of lurve, more love than a loverheart message can give.

My teenagers do not give lurve, but a commentary that I knew that I am growing old, always was growing older than I care to think, I knew that this happens, that it was going to happen, get used to it appears as ripe a phrase as a Teenager wishes to suggest.

A phone rings, a daughter answers as she knows it is for her. It is. She discusses things.

She shouts at the poorly one - can I, the poorly person, give her a lift to somewhere, where things are going down. I give a look that says I am a poorly person and this look I believe is not too far a call for a teenager to guess I am saying a big fat no.

She gives me a look that used to be a puppy-please look, when toddlers could run around little fingers, until bigger fingers had reached in a wallet and a cuddly toy was king for a day and retired in three.

To cut a long story short her sympathy look has as much going for it as cardboard box of forgotten cuddly toys. She knew it was going to happen that when a toddler ages, body parts grow, cuteness disappears like fairy dust.. She is not a toddler no more, so no spells no.

She is now upping her game, she is a teenager, she is bringing out the Stare.

We are entering a new age of a Galaxy, a long long time ago........ where prequels became episodes and animated cartoons became clones.

In my world, here tonight the role of  Darth Vader transforms into the Daughtinator and I am Puke Pub-Crawler, for historical reasons that make me appear interesting at least in the past tense. We will duel in a Pryce equivalence of laser swords - the eyeballed-powered death-bitch-stare. Our eyes positively hum with antagonism, our pupils radiate with anti-matter that could re-define modern physics. The silence burns.

I am too old for staring, as well as running it appears. I will lose, like an aging Obi Wan that is now known as Ben.

I retreat to a higher plane, the Force is with me, guiding me to the toilet.

A daughter takes a bus.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Naturally Occuring Poetry

It started as good schoolday evening after a hard day at the coal face called racing that rat and coming second and hoping that the drug tests proves top rat may not be reliably consistent in his defence of accidental inhaling of herbal tea extract.

Daughter has done good, well..... bloody brilliant really.

After reading a poem out in class which is in itself embarrassing by definition, then to heap embarrassment on embarrassment. Teacher gobsmackingly, as they sometimes do,  said it was brilliant. If there's one thing being worst than being a teacher's pet, its to be a teacher's pet in poetry. Then miracles of miracles the kids applauded in "gettin' down in the Project" sort of way. Parental pride knew no bounds.

So plaudits all round, except there started the claim of inheritace of the gene.... yes the poet gene...was it a mummy thing ...or  a Daddy thing...eeny meeny miney mo was not settling this, coin tosses were not going to establish a winner, random luck was not in this equation because history knows the Pryce family can rhyme it with the best of  it. Paternal and Maternal bonds knew the bounds

If there was God-like genius in this Pryce family then  the parents were keen to place direct responsibility with a family or families as case may be, his and hers.

In an innocent aside, Pa Pryce forgot his manhood and beer drinking prowess credential, reeling off various schoolboy poems that were rated 8 out of 10, a mistake by Pa Pryce, I knew it as soon as ey-eight passed out of my mouth, as if it had two syllables. In between 8 and 10 is nine,...... and guess what? Ma Pryce laid claim to 9. Oh yeah. Minor squabbling over the source of genius was about to start as if we were....well teenagers.

Ma Pryce Grandmother was as near a Poet laureate without actually being a Poet laureate that any non Poet laureate could be. Oh Yeah. She had apparently won competitions with published magazines.  I had an opinion, not wanted, but given freely, but not really appreciated as a gift to the art of debating. I had seen the pictures and the words "Farmers Gazette" in the magazine title was in my opinion a give away that rhyming 'cow' with 'how' was not a sign of genius, but a lack of milking knowledge.

For my part, I let it be known that Pa Pryce Grandfather suddenly read books without pictures and with  a few rhyming couplets . Accusations were about to fly.  Threats were about to be thrown as if marriage was a javalin competition. A mixture of nouns and verbs, not normally associated with threats, are suddenly made into a threat by intonation of a voice and a willpower to overcome any Y chromosome deficiency, a condemnation of all things Pryce...... "I've met your family" is heard mockingly. Divorce is a likely option.

Now things were moving into larger families circles, Pa Pryce claims of distant relatives being that close to being Booker prize winners, cheated of their rightful place in literati  by a biased judge and resentful ink industry that jointly did not understand the beauty of crayons as the true combination of  art and writing form.

Ma Pryce claims to have  an extended family that suddenly included the non-mentionable black sheep, as if by virtue of a successful poetry recital were now cast in grey. It was, she implied by the medium of the the death-bitch-stare, a family that are such bookworms that early bookbirds probably have eaten them.

Desperation may have crept in as Pa Pryce quoting historical  family trees. Family trees that proved beyond all reasonable scientific credibility that Pa Pryce's family was linked inherently and genetically to poetic-ness, so incredible that it must be true. It was said in family folk-lore and probably just an internet search away was the paternal proof of a link to Beass ap FitzPreyce the Poet. Bayess or whatever his unpronounceable name was, was a Romantic poet heroes of the Early Ages, whose script would adorn scrolls that may now be dead and near a sea, and these scrolls rhymed that they may be red and near a tree. Look, its a naturally occuring poetry.

A daughter surmises, a judge and jury and possibly practising her best parent, the maternal bond is strong,  she is thankful she is genetically a girl since the only likely DNA footprint I have passed on is hairloss to her brother.

I feel a need to admit there may be some poetic licence in the latter paragraphs, bar the last one, above.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Turning back the clocks

So the clocks went back and time stood more than still, but reality is that turning back time is for the fiction writers and the mad scientist types. Regrets are there and there is more than a few of why's and what's amongst the why not's and what if's, so call me the pessimist, but I know that I cannot turn back the clock, erase and re-wind, and soft focus the wrinkles and pick-up a toddler on shoulders.

So a large part of my time is gone, its there to be seen  in the out-sized belly, the greying hair, and not to be seen in the creaking bones and the forgetting the what's it my call it. So it is my time to advise the sharers of part of my DNA that life is for living. Make mistakes, and know they are mistakes, it happens, get it right next time, regret it enough, but not to try again.

Today I have a knowledge to be passed on whilst a daughter is having a rough time at school, for no particular reason than its another Monday not liked or is it Friday in love, or is it the colour of an eye-shadow, or a branded bag that others do not have, or is it a boy without a shine in his eye, or the embarrassment not shared with an older generation. Advice is as wanted as as a poster needs to list the support act. I am to be a bystander at this point in a life. And I stand by wanting the call, like  a sprinter awaiting a gun in danger of false starting.

I am to wait and watch as things go by and mistakes are to be made without my knowing. And regrets, we hope are few.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Dad's gone to home

A vacation, a visit back home and a culinary challenge. We are guests, that our hosts feel are somewhat anorexic, despite ridiculous level of visual evidence that 20:20 eyesight or even 1:1 eyesight should see. We are to be fed.

We are challenged to eat sausage rolls.We eat peas mushed to saliva-dribbling-good. We eat beans that are praised for their protein content and condemned for post-intestinal aeration qualities. We eat pickled onions as if bad breath can be solved by a mint polo, ho-hum. We eat chips saturated in fat by the chip shop owner and drowned in salt and vinegar by chip eater.We are back eating "Full English", that it needs to further words like breakfast.

Weight watching we can do, watching it go up and trouser-belt ratios goes up a notch.

Family and friends expect feasting and we are too polite to say no and too happy to say yes.

This is all a good thing, to count calories in large amounts and to tell jokes that are based on a mutual shared past. An ambiente has been created based on a cholesterol fest. Tales to tell, to exaggerate, to Billy-Bragg-it this is my UK. Good times to be had by all. The gym can wait. There are new shared mutual history to be made for next year's stories.

But, and double but, there are consequences when day becomes night, I am again called to share a bed with a lanky stick insect called my son.
I  am guessing the bed that I see before me is a probable sign of a long forgotten sibling rivalry that maybe associated with a my lack of sharing a Lego toy in '77. My brother introduces us, yes us, to a three quarter bed. Three quarters is not one double bed and we are two fully grown adults in size, if not in age. One fully grown adult in particular is known to be "XXL", my brother knows this, since my brother bought me a Christmas pullover that was "XXL" and I like to think I am "XL" going on" L". He was big on Lego in the seventies.

So I face a night of torment as he, my son, takes revenge for a childhood imagined injustices, he sets about to toss, to turn, to kick twelve bags of.... but at least we are talking bags and not sacks, if you know what I mean. Its not his fault, he was sleeping, he will say, I know he is avenging my mildly sarcastic tone about  him being lanky and sticky.

But I am impervious to his kicks I have fat, thanks to my hosts, as my body knows more than me I am XL going on XXL.

It's time to bring out the big guns, I will avenge, let the snoring begin. He will awake.  I will survive until breakfast is cooked in an English way. Ready defibrillators.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Fashionista - Zero

I feel obliged to admit that the following may be a wee exaggeration in the sense it may be a half truth, like it is a half truth to say the kids are stressing me out every waking minute, and I am then not counting the nightmares.

Tartan is apparently back as a teenage craze and my credit card is proving it better than any Pa Pryce rant at the children about the cost of  cotton and the higher price of cotton with three stripes on it. I have evidence in bottom line sums from a Bank. And Banks are honest brokers or at least they were.

As for me I have been known to don the odd shirt that could have graced a Scotsman's loins. But I recognise that in the past I may have been in tartan, but not exactly "in". But hey I like my tartan and have a few photographs that prove it. So if tartan is back, I am back, and what is money good for?

So if tartan was back, Pa Pryce was going to grace the teenager parent evening as "Daddy Cool". So tartan shirt was worn and I was back rolling  back the years again, expecting welcoming glances, admiring looks from the old folk called other parents that I am still cutting it.

I expected the teenager to applaud a father that could still get down with the kids.

Ho hums.

Next day I was faced with post-school admonishment of  me. A child, a daughter was none too happy that other children's parents had reported back to her friends, and even giggled at and generally hammed it up that a parent had attended the sombre event that is a parent evening and that parent was by all accounts mutton dressed as lamb.  I was told in deeply metaphorical tones that I was not a lamb, I was the mutton. She could not live this down allegedly, this was a catastrophe apparently, this was a tummy ache at school moment level of embarrassment.

Apparently tartan is cool if you are under 18 and have not got a pot belly that a tartan shirt just ain't covering.

On the bright side, this admonishment counts as the longest conversation with the daughter by several words since it was longer than  "D'er", "Fine", and the previous record holder of "I am doing my HOMEWORK!".

Friday, 7 September 2012

Fashionista - Hero

I am apparently back at the cutting edge Fashionista - why you may ask, although now I only respond to por quoi as I pret-a-porter it.

The kids are growing old and as part of this process they deciding whether to strive for an "ista" or an "ology", and "ista" is winning. Where once pink was the colour for at least one of the family, and Disney stores were as "must see" as must see gets, unless Toys R us were having a sale.

Now as teenage hormones kick in with overtones that  fashion takes on a key role in self expression.....well peer group expression.
As if by magic, the colours are multiplied and crossed tartan is back, its as if the "Bay City Rollers" were the true lost prophets.. There is more is more tartan than a Highland Fling could compete with in the school yard.

And I am rolling the clock back, a pendulum that rocks in years.

Never mind the sweat stains, never mind the wear patches, never mind the pot belly, I have tartan in the closet. I am cutting edge.

It time to be cool again.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Call of Duty

Teenager or not,  as an obliging parent I am called upon at the beginning of a school year to listen attentatively, well pretend to listen attentatively, well sit there; whilst a headmaster or a teacher impresses me the importance of doing French homework and they are right and I am wrong. Education, education, edu...wake me up Scotty.

But I am not the only one,as I sit amongst the throng of maternal and paternal do-gooders wearing sensible casual clothes as well as a patience wearing thin.  Then like an alarm clock, a parent's evening erupted to life as a teacher complained that a classroom cupboard was failing, and we all know a failing cupboard is a small step to a failing school.

She probably wanted a donation to fix it, but instead there was a rush of male adulthood to inspect said cupboard, all driven by a desire not to be sitting. The cupboard was not exactly the best thing in flatpack technology and looked as if it should have had a sell by date, since its laminate was so thin a good polish would have converted it into window feature.

The DIY boys gathered around,  fingering screwdrivers that appeared from pockets as if it was the norm, there was even a.... a feeler gauge! Do not ask me to explain. I am all for boy scouts, but a parent evening does not require (normally) a feeler gauge.

The boys were in their element, points were noted, repair strategies debated. Wives and mothers looked on, including the odd sad reflection of sitting But I know, we all knew...

And we all knew that all that was needed was a good roll of duck tape that could have made a hanging door into a silver wrapped ghetto-standard door in a matter of minutes..... and .if my mind runs perhaps to the dark side... probably could have cut short a few subsequent speeches with a threatening stare and finger point to the skin-to-ducktape stickability quality ratio.

Monday, 6 August 2012

A Person calls

The art of telephone message taking is not difficult in modern times given a 98% literate population, but this median probably takes account disproportionately of adults. Teenagers have probably been discounted from all known averages, as part of a known phenomena about the intelligent gene skipping a few teen years. I hope it returns before A levels or Arbitur equivalent.

I am deservedly bath-side of  teenage family ripping it up or chilling it down or whatever new-fangled word means having fun or playing it cool. I am taking in the soapy waters, after mulling a few things in a working day that deservedly were needed to be mulled. I am in my comfort zone, mulling over nothing much..... me , a rubber duck and a favoured CD playing.

A teenager interrupts there is someone on the telephone for me.

"Who is it?" I ask innocently enough methinks.

After due thought, a teenager ponders "A person".

Hoorah, evolution aside, we have successfully determined it was not animal or mineral.

I politely suggest he finds out, takes a message and  I carefully avoid my natural instinct for an argument based on irony and tendency towards sarcasm, for to win an adult battle may mean losing the teenage war.

Hell's bells, temptation wins,  I shout out he may need a pen, he may need a notepad and he may need to put the phone down after pressing the red button.

'Do you think I am stupid?'.

"Who needs to think".

Oops, a teenage war is lost.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Bad Parenting and the wannabe orphans

Bad parenting  is about  perspective. From the perspective of my teenagers I am a bad parent.

I am able to readily list my bad parenting, as I am often reminded, well should I say, I survive threats that when the revolution comes there is  a list, due to this list of misdemeanours I am condemned, I will be the first living parent  of orphans.  So topping the list......

I am associated with child abuse by torture, I have used allegedly torture techniques on the teenagers, such as sleep deprivation, or what I called waking up to go to school. 

I am accused of  forced child labour which I use to call  doing homework.

I am accused of stealing his socks. There is unfortunately little evidence that they are actually my socks, since I have refrained from needlecraft involving sowing "Dad" in the inner sock area, but trust me they are my socks. Much as I may need to get in touch with my inner karma, my foot needs to get in touch with its inner sock. Besides all else I have paid for all socks.

I have apparently caused short-sightedness of vision because I am no longer called "Dad" but like several other acquaintenances, I am now called "mate". Maybe I need to sow "Mate" in my socks to at least get a chance of retrieval.

Friday, 15 June 2012

The Chilled War is in Need of Thawing

My home apparently is now in a state of Chilled War. I may have lost a son and gained  complete control of the remote control, at least when sis is not in a fightin' mood. If he turns up downstairs, this may count as a miracle and I could start a new religion. I am checking his water-to-wine making ability, which might be a damn sight more useful at times of economic crisis, than forty nights in the wilderness of freely deposited clothes and CD boxes.

My son is hibernating, cacooning himself in a room, chilling in Teen-land. When he appears in the flesh, perhaps to take sustenance of, say, a digestive biscuit or two, I have to rush to stop the publication of the missing person ads, apologetic in telling the police it was an "easy mistake to make" and suggest the face on the milk cartons were not a good likeness anyway.

The good news he appears to be still alive, if  the noises that blabber from his room are actually his breaking to broken voice. I am assured by those in the know, his sis', that he is not talking to himself, he is not medically insane and I should  slowdown on my need to double check his room for belts, shoelaces and ties. It is not a sign of madness, I am told, but Playstation internet chatting to mates, real mates he could physically touch if he walked around a block, took a bus ride.

School boys networking after school by technology that comes in camouflaged digital worlds and death is without pain, you get points.

My point is I am now happy, would like to give up the remote control a bit.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Do as I say, not as I do

I was, back in the day, quite good at school, I most of the time did things quite well and I have the odd certificate to prove it. I would like to think I have passed on this zeal to learn  as a gift to the younger generation. A gift so indelibly linked on my 50% of their DNA that I would gladly give up an aunt saying they had paternally  inherited  say, a commonality of a nose, an dual shading of eye colour or the cute dimple on a Pryce chin.

So I, today, I am discouraged, as there are apparently better things to do, on a warm Sunny Saturday than study for say six to eight hours. Exams can damn well wait until the clouds come back apparently. I am reduced to utterances that they~ the kids ~ they ~ the students ~ they should be like me.

Unfortunately intelligence can manifest in many forms. Apparently if I want her to be like me, she confidently tells me she will put on thirty kilos then.


Thursday, 17 May 2012

In Tribute to Kevinetta

It may be the weather, it may be a moon-sea-earth trichotomy or something like that, but times are-a-changing.  I may have said something incendiary, inappropriate. I may have put the size tens in the turd-fest called teenager rights of passage....again. This time, it may have involved a call to help involving pulling a trolley to a local supermarket.
As offences go I did not realise I had made a mistake bigger than forgetting her birthday.

She looked upon me as perhaps I may look upon a pile of clothes and contact lenses after night on the tiles. She was mouthing "D'er " before her brain had even a nano-second of her time to send a synapse to a mouth in "snarl-mode-to-go". This girl was so on automatic;  that it made me look manual in a world of  drive-neutral-park gears. She actually bent her knees, she actually slouched her shoulders, her arms elongated like an orangutan about to knuckle-walk the floor. Her body said "D'ER".

I was in the wrong obviously. I was so obviously being stupid. I was fulfilling her every worst teenage nightmare.

I was failing to unreasonably realise:
(a) a trolley was uncool, granny style
(b) a Daddy was uncool, especially her own
(c) local shopping was so uncool, what are large out of town supermarkets good for
(d) walking to a shop was uncool, involving broad daylight
(e) walking anywhere was uncool, yep still involves broad daylight.

I had failed to realise gang-girl-culture-hangout-posse may see her with a Dad, with a trolley, without a car. Serious street cred was in danger of being blown away like a Dylanesque wind.

So her backside was not letting any air enter the backside-couch vacuum.

I demanded, I remonstrated, I would break the vacuum, ....and she remembered like a white knight, winner-takes-all, four-of-a-kind, Famous Five saves the Day again, Ace of Spades trump carding, "Its a knockout " Joker kind of way, she had long forgotten homework to do.
Daddy showed his age and said "D'er", as I moved deliberately through the gears, first ~ why suddenly do you remember homework, second ~ why are you still sitting there then, third ~ make me a cuppa when I get back and fourth is not reached because I am an old driver in a built up area these days.

I was to shop alone.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Ventilated Jeans

So there was a time not so long ago when fashion dictated that a pair of jeans was not a jeans if it was not cut at some point, frayed was cool, faded was cool.

Therefore in case I have confused this with too much coolness in the face of a price tag. So in simple terms the jeans were deliberately cut for fashion before purchase and perhaps even to increase the purchase price.

So nowadays, times have changed, rather quickly for my slow-go middle aged mentality.

My boy through genuine wear and tear has a tear in a rather good fitting pair of jeans at the groin area. Ventilation is cool. Apparently not.
Apparently this means that I must get the credit card from its cob-webbed safe place of keeping, to pay rather ridiculous prices for branded goods. He thinks.

In my day and age a slice in the trousers was a reason for Mam to do a rather fetching patch and it was damn cool. And cheaper than buying a pair of non-branded jeans let alone a pair of branded jeans. By darn, we darned socks or at least Mam did.

I am holding firm that a patch is the best economic answer. A patch obviously not cutting it, to coin a phrase, in teenage cool that is to say his jeans in not going to be part of any family austerity programme.

My boy is about to enter a tantrum that I used to call a pout, but as an adult-in-waiting he sees this quivering of the recently-acquired-bass voice as a demonstration of manhood.

Its time for my "in my day and age" speech, a speech that will always be as welcomed as much as say a mobile phone in the Monastery vowed to Silence.

I pontificate with the threat of my non -use of a credit card, he knows I will eventually concede, I know he knows, he knows I know, the father-son bonding knows. There is a depth of knowledge known but not voiced, and in that void he will suffer the boredom of my voice on how things wer, how it should be, how it was for my father and how it was for his father before him and my great grandfather down t'pit. How the younger generation ~ him~ do not appreciate things like we ~the older generation~ do.

He is prepared to suffer a little, there is the balance now of when to perhaps hint at conceding.

By all things going nuclear- atoms are split - suffering is over.
Arbitration is needed, call in the Peacemakers, t..t...timing is everything. He is not prepared to suffer for his jeans.
I am prepared to wait to be appreciated for my wisdom, even if wisdom is symbolised in pocket-sized plastic and let Father-Son bonding be in need of some glue.

One day my son you too will make this speech to my grandson and equally forget that you wanted a brand new pair of jeans for the moral of this story is..... money does not grow on trees.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Learning to Drive

Perhaps I should start by saying with age my driving has improved as I realised getting from A to B did not require GTE to be stapled to the backside of a car and "go faster" stripes may result in "go slower" scratches.

So GPS is a wonderful thing that has saved me from reading a map for many a year now, or made me as lazy as tub of lard to bother to plan a road trip. I have found the most ridiculous location known to any in-sensible housing planner, courtesy of the GPS.
GPS is a good thing, that is in general a good thing.

So I now drive in automatic in a manual car, as the GPS lady tells me, nay, orders me to 'Turn Right' in various metres and to 'Bear Right' even when I was unaware there was a verb "To bear". I understand her ~Miss GPS~ as if she was a trusted confidante. I am her servent to her all-knowing satellite view of all things called Traffic congestion avoidance.

So today, I am the designated driver because I am Dad, my teenagers sit there and look upon the chauffeur as a necessary evil, although sunglasses are worn and sunscreens may need to drawn down in case a friend sees them with the Oldie.
It is a sad day to see children so uncomfortable in comfortable passenger seats. I am the nearest that God could have created to a Teenage Anti-Christ figure, apparently.

So I am on the road, maxing out to the speed limit and watching the boy racers pass me by, although several drivers in brief glimpses looked middle aged.

So I am bearing right as she has ordained, when Miss GPS goes walkabout and "New Routes" me to nowhere. She is preparing clourful hexagons becoming stick insects to God knows where, but Dad knows, not where Dad wants to go. I want instruction.
Nightmare on Several Exit street is had.
Miss GPS is in a tiz, she is old like me, we are mutually befuddled. Our simbiotic relationship is breaking down, man-machine interface is reduced to "What the's". I am a senile old man talking to the GPS ~ a machine ~ in very negative way and she is no "Miss" anymore, unless we are talking about missing a road network.

So this is a new road network, or as I probably re-christened it as a *****!!!!-ing new road ****!!!ing network, or words to that effect. Panic and old age plays trouble with any memory that I may appear more teenager than the teenagers, especially in front of the teenagers. Full body adult tantrum is out there like starship in deep space.
Roundabouts appear like magic mushrooming from a real world but disapperaing from the virtual world of GPS. This is an AAAaaaargh moment.

So the kids are losing faith in my driving and next it will be religion, well there may be some hope there.
Brave driving decisons are being made, if my swearing is anything to go by. We survive, as I turn back to the "Boy Racer" years and instinct hunts down exits, as if they are an endangered species. I have a mission to save the road network equivalent of a Dodo, as in "do do" exit safely.

So finally as frayed teenage nerves are re-energised from their mild paralysis and the cerebal cortex re-adjusts to cricked vertebrae. Teenagers may be reconsidering their "No fear" slogan as a way of life. Fear comes whether you like it or not.
I am put in my "Grand Theft Auto" place as my teenager drily notes I believe "Drift Right" is not in the GPS vocabulary. Neither is "Make a hand-brake Turn if you dare" a software road rage inducing law of Highway coding.

Ho hum.... learning to drive lessons may be needed before I teach teenagers to learn to drive.

Friday, 6 April 2012

A New Day Dawning

She arrives home late, later than an adult, later than the adult called Mam and Dad. The imagined dangers of the night were just imagined as entry to family home is made in a smile of a good night had and why are you still up, but whilst you're still up make me a tea kind of way.

Innocent fun has apparently been had. Laughs have been indulged, friends have been friends and who knows....enough history has been told and a bed awaits. Parents are left to imagine again, to fill in the gaps in most incredible ways, and wonder if it difficult to use a mobile phone after 11 o~clock, when you were damn good at using it, according to the bills for a good 4 hours in every other day. The bank account never lies.

We were there once hero-come-villains embarrassing a night away. Firsts are there to be taken on the road to adulthood. We were there, where excitement merges with youth, unique in its form, a youth fresh to the call of the Downtown Club and we kept our secrets too. Our parents were distant, left to imagine the cull of the night, where parents knew, from their years, sometimes out there lurkers lurk. This parenting malarkey is getting harder.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Evolution of the spoken Word

Gay once meant happy. It probably still does. Words evolve, things change in meaning. Life moves on. We grow old.

Australian convicts and their guards once spoke with a British accent, that mutated in generations to the Aussie accent. Hoorah for diversity.

But and double but again, why-oh-why does the teenage language evolve to make each sentence too long and disingenuous, it could bore the pants off a drill with pants on. And drills know how to bore.

My daughter use of emphasis-as-a-form of disgust, involves introducing multiple syllables into the language of adult-child commuiques.
"I wee-ll no-ot make you a co-offee" a child huffs
-' ok i'll have a tea' an adult speaks
" oh you-ew th-ink you-ew ar-Re So-o funny" a child puffs.

I cannot recall if I spoke the same way at her age, my age colours the memory a shade of grey. Or perhaps, Grey was the new Gr-ey.