29 November 2009

The end is nigh.....Goodbye to dye under my nails!

TD has finished her Art textiles 'Final Piece'.....Yippee...YAY!


Finally it's done. For TD no more stitching, sewing and dyeing. And in my case no more nagging, cajoling, persuading or whatever else you want to call it when us mums end up trying to get Teens to do what they 'really, really' REALLY' don't want to!

'Flotsam & Jetsam'

So, for now, the sewing machine can leave the kitchen table.....

Until next term, and we get to have this fun (!) all over again....

I'm going for a little lie down, to conserve my energy you understand.

26 November 2009

X-box game playing ..Or is it Maths?

TD came home from college today, extremely chuffed.

During her Maths GCSE class today, TDs tutor had them test their reaction speed, using a traffic light system of click the button when the light goes green. The students then had to record these times, and work out averages.

TD's class must have thought they'd hit the jackpot, because their homework for the next week is to play x-box games (Yes! You read that right), take the test again next week, to see if there are any changes in their reaction times, work out averages again and compare before & after using percentages/mean/median so on....

The tutor has also done the same test with another class. But requested no game playing (Like that's going to happen!) The two classes will then compare their results, work out the differences between both, using the same methods as above.

Now I will admit, I admire this particular Tutors ingenuity. Anything that instills an enthusiasm for learning can only be a positive thing. Of course, in this instance, the students don't care 2 hoots about the learning, just the game playing. But it will make the process fun and more relevant for them, and therefore it's much more likely that they will learn.

But, if I were 16 again, I'd be mighty p**sed off if I was in the other class.
Can't you just hear them....
"That's Soooo NOT fair! That's Soooo NOT happening!"

Also, dammit, I've lost one of my bargaining tools.
You know the one that goes "Yes, OK, you can go on the x-box after you've done your homework". Now to be followed by "But Mum, this IS my homework".....

And I definitely won't be believing those comparison results!

19 November 2009

So how come I'M the one with dye under my nails?

After more than 2 months of college, TD seems to be, sort of, getting the hang of it. Dare I speak too soon?... and is this the point where I should start touching wood? (it is only one term in)

TD now realises she made a big mistake taking on 2 courses with huge coursework content. Unfortunately she came to this realisation a week too late to swap to any other subjects.
All other courses were full, so, she's got to stick with it. This is one of the reasons her mantra is 'I HATE college'. The other is, of course, it means she has to 'GET OUT OF BED'...

Both her courses, Photography and Art Design:Textiles, slowly appear to be coming together, and she's due to hand in her finished pieces next Friday.

Currently she's filling/filled up one of her two A3 size sketchbooks with negatives, test strips, notations, photographers work and her own prints.

The other one, Textiles, the one she really, really, really (Have you got that yet??!) wanted to 'drop', is straining at the seams with fabrics, sketches, paintings, and artists work. It's actually so full, it doesn't come close to shutting.....

I've tried to help her, particularly with textiles, as there is probably 12+ hrs work a week (outside of classes) to keep up with. I've added loads of pics (I'm generous like that!) to give you an idea of the amount of work generated in less than 1 term.

This is, of course :sigh: an ongoing battle as 'I HATE this course!' is another favourite line, as she tries again, to
un-stitch what the sewing machine, 'This STUPID sewing machine HATES me!' somehow manages to get wrong!

Let me explain why I'm helping out. I understand TD now 'realises' she made a mistake with this course, and there is nothing she can do but plod on with it, until the end of the academic year next June. The very fact she recognises it as a mistake, and acknowledges it, is for me, a small sign of maturity. Yes I know, this is a very tenuous 'grasping at straws' logic on my part, but hey, you grasp 'em where and when you can with Teenagers!

Which is why I ended up last night, in the kitchen, supervising saucepans full of Blue & Green food dye/Ink & mutton cloth, as TD wanted a particular colour of 'Teal' fabric to use in her Final Piece.

Can I tell you something else? Just in case you're contemplating encouraging your Teens in their creative endeavours?.... THAT
particular colour of 'Teal' is a real bitch to get off your fingers & nails!

16 November 2009

The brilliance of the Blogosphere...and lovely hugs!

Whilst catching up with my reading of blogs, late (as I do) on Friday evening, I spotted a post by Maternal Tales titled Bloody Babysitter which to me didn't look like a feel good, happy post title. I couldn't believe it when I started to read about the babysitter who never having babysat for Emily before was asking to bring her boyfriend along! First time babysitting for someone? As a teenager I spent loads of Friday/Saturday nights babysitting, so I was astounded by her cheek. Did the girl really think Emily would say 'Yes of course sweetie, its fine'??

Anyway, reading the post I thought of TD, who by this point had already gone to bed but never, ever goes straight to sleep, what with msn, Facebook on her fancy phone, and often complains about lack of 'her own' money.
So I called her on her mobile (it is 4 flights of stairs...give me a break!) and, yup, I woke her up!


I quickly asked her if she would like to babysit for a friend & earn a little cash of her own. Actually not that little, £6 an hour, and it's not exactly 'hard' labour is it?

Given that she had just been woken up, she couldn't remember if she had plans or not.

'Mummy, can we talk about it in the morning?'...

With that my OH said to me 'Why don't you do it? They're only up the road'

Good idea, I was only going to be watching x-factor anyway, I can do that there.

So a quick comment on MT's blog, knowing Emily would probably already be in bed, and a quick one on FB to let her know if TD could'nt do it, I was happy to, but could I please watch x-factor?

TD had plans, of course she did.

Both OH and I were invited over to catch up and have a drink before OH had to come back home, to cook dinner for hungry teenagers and Emily & JP went to the party. Also for me to meet Renee and Edie (yes, I know, I am a bad, bad friend, it really is that long since we had last met up) before they went to bed.

One of the nicest parts of this for me, apart from the obvious, of catching up with friends and remembering how much you enjoy their company, was the following.....

At about 9pm, Edie called out, I could'nt quite decipher what she was saying as she was still sweetly, half asleep, sitting up, with her thumb firmly in her mouth. So I did what mums do, I stroked her head gently, and as she lay down I stroked her back, all the while cooing softly...'Ssshhh..ssshhh'....and up she popped....so same again...'Ssshhh..sshhh'...But this time with a wriggle...
Maybe loo time? So I lifted her from her cot, and she clamped her little arms & legs round me to carry her, still asleep.

And that sleepy hug was a lovely moment...

My babies are all grown up, and yes they still hug me, loads.
And we don't know anyone with small children anymore, all teenagers now.

Believe me, there is nothing on earth like a half sleeping toddler, trustingly allowing you to carry them, and hugging you, to make your heart smile. And to think, I'd forgotten about it and taken it for granted with my own.

So, I would like to thank Lucy the 'Bloody Babysitter' for sending Emily a 'f****ng illiterate text message' which incensed her to the point of posting about it.
Is'nt the blogosphere wonderful sometimes?

Thank you, Lucy, it was my pleasure.....

13 November 2009

Sore throats and Hamster Wheels....

I haven't posted in a while. In the last couple of weeks Teenagers have been ill, and of course, I've had it too. This stupid cold/bug is knackering, all I've wanted to do is lie down & sleep. Sore head, coughing fits, which hurt my throat. But it's getting better. At present I sound like a cross between Mariella Frostrup & a mad, manic, screeching hamster TD once had , not an attractive combination! Oh, and add the swollen glands, and I even looked like that damn Hamster.

So having a tirade at TD this morning about getting out of bed for college was probably not a wise move. For TD, being confronted from her bedroom (tip!) door by a wild haired, hamster-looking-sounding mum to 'Get out of bed ...you're supposed to be walking out the door NOW, not just getting up!' possibly didn't put her in the best mood. But after trying to get her out of her bed for 25 minutes I wasn't in the best of moods either, so yes, I lost the plot slightly, or the will to live, well, actually just my voice.

Getting her to go to college is getting harder by the day, and we're just going round and round in circles for her reasons why.

'I HATE college!!'

'What do you hate about it?'

'EVERYTHING!' My textiles tutor HATES me!

'I don't know about that, but she knows you wanted to drop the course. So maybe its hard for her to teach you, knowing you don't want to be there?'

'That doesn't give her the right to treat me like crap!'

'Yes, I agree, it doesn't'
'But maybe she's just reacting to the attitude she's getting from you?' (No kidding?!?!)

'Probably, but I don't care.....I HATE college!'

And round & round we go.....I am that manic Hamster on a wheel...