"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke

>Todd N° 5,378 (and still going.)

>Todd finally came home on Friday, something that I was really looking forward to and had many plans lined up to do with him as his sisters are at their dad’s this week. I think my enthusiasm was probably my biggest mistake.

I had asked my Ex to tell Todd to be home by 7pm as that’s when we were going have supper, something I thought to be a good idea as it is consistent with when he has supper at his dad’s. Todd came home slightly earlier and so I tried to get him involved in the kitchen by wiping the table and laying it while talking about how his exams went. Todd didn’t have much to say about them so I asked how his MRI went and he didn’t have much to say about that either. He was, however, really excited, saying “finally, I’m on holiday.”

The trouble is, this isn’t true.

The Ex has found a new school for Todd that is so far away that he will be boarding, an idea that I have trouble getting used to seeing as I had such a rotten experience. But then, my 3 younger brothers enjoyed boarding school, I have friends who loved it – though none of them went to the same one as me – and it will probably be a good thing for Todd.

I haven’t seen the school yet, nor the boarding facilities as the Ex didn’t think of asking me when they visited, but from what he says, Todd will like it and the students have to ‘earn’ their privileges. Seeing as neither my Ex nor I can get through to Todd it appears that discipline, which I understand to be pretty strict, coming from a third party may work. It hurts to think that I’ll only get to see Todd every fortnight for 2 days only, but it looks as though this is the best solution for all.

The other plus is that the school is aimed at pupils who want to practice arts and so guitars and whatever are very welcome.

And this is why Todd isn’t really on holiday yet. He has to pass an entrance exam this Thursday to get into the school which involves a dance routine and Todd has to recite a couple of ‘things’ – nobody has really told me what. Last Friday, Todd’s cousin chose two articles for Todd to learn but since then he has done absolutely nothing. This exam is very important because if the boy fails then we are well and truly stuffed. Todd has managed to drive his father and PHT over the edge and so I am keeping Todd here for 2 weeks until he goes on holiday with them.

So going back to Friday evening, Todd told us that of course he was on holiday and was going out that night, the following night and Sunday night. We tried to reason with him telling him that he doesn’t dictate to us, and that if he wanted to go out he had to be back by 11.30pm, and that was only after he cleaned his room. After being insulted worse than ever before – I swear, Todd should give lessons, he went upstairs and I saw him folding some clothes. Happy that he was doing something, I went downstairs to watch TV.

At 8.15pm Q went upstairs only to come down and ask where Todd was. As the front door hadn’t slammed there was only one way out – via Coralie’s bedroom window/door. Quarsan went out to look along the road while I went into Coralie’s room where sure enough, the window/door was left open. Todd, who has sciatica – ho hum, had jumped out and scarpered. Quarsan found a hold-all bag outside, in front of Todd’s window containing the clothes that he was folding earlier. We tried calling him but he wouldn’t reply, obviously.

He came back the following day only to run out again while he was pretending to study in the front room. Quarsan found him waiting for a bus to take him into the centre of town and after a bit of a run, got him and brought him home. I suggested that Todd cleared his head a bit by mowing the lawn and he happily agreed to do it – except as soon as I went around the back – he ran off again.

He stayed out again during the night and turned up at my sister-in-law’s (well, a very EX sister-in-law) to study for the exam as previously arranged between my SIL and Todd. He stayed there all day and when I called to ask if Todd could be home for 7pm I was told that she was driving Todd to her mother’s where Todd would be staying for a few days until …. I don’t know, my SIL didn’t say, nor consult with either my Ex or me about this arrangement.

To cut a long story short, Todd has got his own way and will be staying with his mamy, although he won’t be allowed out tonight. Obviously, I am furious about all of this as is the Ex because neither of us were contacted about this decision, my SIL took it upon herself to decide what is best for our son without even considering our rights as a parents. My Ex is as angry as I am and all we can hope for is that Todd passes the entrance exam on Thursday.

To console myself I’m going to watch one of the porn DVDs that I found in Todd’s bedroom and I may post a review of it later on.

Reviewing your son’s porn collection is a vital sign of being a good mother.

Everybody Knows This.


  1. Burton
    Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I am wondering why you are upset at ‘only’ seeing Todd for two days a fortnight – assuming he even bothers to actually spend that time at your residence!! I can’t believe that Todd will bother to give a good exam as he knows that it is his way of not going if he doesn’t want to go there.
    So I would not expect to find that he will be going to the new school – however much it will benefit him.

  2. NaF
    Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Upset? Because she’s his Mother, that’s why. It’s called uncondiitonal love & the vast majority of parents suffer from it.

  3. Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    NaF said it. Todd may be an arse, extremely rude etc, but he is still my son and I love him, despite his flaws. He hates my flaws too – but I know he loves me.
    And maybe I didn’t make it clear, but the school is “aimed at pupils who want to practice arts and so guitars and whatever are very welcome.” It sounds rather ‘Fame Academy-ish’ and seeing as Todd considers himself the new Sid Vicious, loves his damn guitar – I think it’s a good choice of school for him.
    I didn’t say that he doesn’t want to go, either. Just that he hadn’t done anything at the time of posting.

  4. Claude
    Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Call me naïve, but I find rather odd that you would have to pass an exam to get into a private school (especially of the “artsy” type). You would think they would be more than glad to rid you of huge amounts of cash, no questions asked.
    I have a hunch this has more to do with “marketing” than anything else: give the potential customer the impression that the school is so much in demand that it has to screen the pupils to select but a happy few.
    Bull, methinks.
    But what else can you expect in this age of Star Academies, American Idols, etc…

  5. z
    Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I hope he gets in – it could be just the thing for him, with the sort of musical leaning he wants, but the strict discipline he needs. And I don’t know if he has friends who are as difficult to control as he is, but it could be good for him to get away from the people he mixes with at his present school.

  6. Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Claude, they are looking for enthusiasm and commitment, I think. My Ex just sent me a paper stating what Todd has to learn: a poem and some prose and he has to make up some dance including certain moves etc.
    z, I agree. When Todd visited the boarding facilities he talked to some of the kids there and was very taken in. I just hope he gets in – for his sake as much as anybody else’s 🙂

  7. Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    For some, it’s the Army, Navy, etc that can cause a turnaround. Here’s hoping Todd has a similar experience. Even more so, here’s hoping he comes to realize what an ass he has been towards you and offers an apology when he grows up and be comes a man.

  8. Claude
    Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    On the other hand, maybe he will snort your ashes like Keef Richards did with his dad’s…..
    This surely has to be a sign of the times when a mum is hoping Rock’n’Roll will save the soul of her offspring.
    Strange days, indeed….

  9. Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    That fine arts boarding school sounds like a good solution – if Todd truly buys into the idea. My friends with a daughter much worse than Todd did the same thing, and academically it has worked well (psychologically, not so much, because the kid is not getting the psychological help she needs with her behaviour issues). Todd obviously thinks he is mature enough to run his own life without the support of his parents, so let him do it – within the limits and rules of the boarding school and with the support of the adults there. I really hope he gets his act together and passes the exam! Hang in there, Zoe!

  10. Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Is it ‘Debbie does Dallas’? A true classic! *runs*

  11. Dd
    Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Claude, even in these economic times good schools have more applicants than they need, and can be picky as to who they are going to educate.
    Zoe, I think bad boarding schools are a girl thing – I went to an absolutely foul place in Kent – miserable is not even near it. Consequently I refused to send my ‘Todd alike’ – he still, at 21, brings up how I spoilt his chances of a happy school life, etc etc. by not sending him. My husband had an absolute ball in his school in Somerset and is still in contact with dozens of other Old Boys and some teachers – in fact he disappeared down to the school this weekend for some do.
    I hope that Todd shows off his potential, if not his rote learning, to gain a place.
    Meanwhile, I feel there might be need of a family and ex-family meeting. I suspect there needs to be an open discussion of what has been going on and certain people need to be aware that what Todd says to them might not be linked to reality. Wonder how they would feel if the situation was reversed? Input from my s-i-l when we were going through our Todd years nearly lead to a total meltdown in our family and a near breakdown in my son.

  12. Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Can you do me a copy?
    If it fixes Todd’s attitude to life then it is worth it. If it doesn’t of course, it’s an expensive mistake, but I don’t see that you have any other options. I wish you *all* the best of luck.
    Will send you an address for the DVDs… 🙂

  13. Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Dd, I went to Ashford in Kent – it was horrid. The school where we hope Todd goes isn’t that expensive – his boarding fees come to €200 a month but I doubt that any washing is done there and we have to give money so that he can buy lunch. It’s more of a B&B plus supper. It will be more expensive in the long run, I guess, but anything to make the boy happy.
    Famulus – thanks 🙂 and the DVD is really quite crap.

  14. Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    “Famulus – thanks and the DVD is really quite crap.”
    So, I guess that means there’s nothing useful for you and Quarsan to try out on each other come yearly shag time? 😉

  15. Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Tell SIL and MIL it is not their place to do what the boy wants or asks for; their actions are only undermining your ex and you & giving Todd an easy way out.
    The old addage “too many cooks spoil the broth” comes to mind.
    If that fails, tell them, having taken responsibility for Todd once too often, he is now their full time responsibility: you wash your hands. He is now theirs and sit back and watch the fireworks as he kicks back at them and burns some more bridges.
    There are too many people involved here being played off against each other by a very manipulative boy who thinks he’s a man.

  16. Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    I didn’t have to run away from home. One day my dear old dad gave me a box of sandwiches and a trumpet. He opened the front door and said “Blow!”

  17. Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    BB, I may do that – but then I know that I’ll feel like I’m giving up (if it comes to leaving the boy with them).
    If I followed the nastier side to me I would be at the Police station right now reporting abduction. I never agreed to this set-up, I think my ex did simply because he is so tired after having had Todd for 6 weeks – but I never agreed.
    I’m just waiting for my good old friend Karma to come along and take revenge the ‘natural’ way.

  18. Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got everything crossed that he gets in.

  19. Burton
    Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure that the arts boarding school is a good idea – even if you feel you are being ‘pushed’ into it.
    Just hope it does the trick and it improoves his behavior. Sadly though if it doesn’t it puts you in a fix.
    I just worry that his fits of temper whilst so far taken out on inanimate ojects could so easily become violence to you or someone else!
    So fingers crossed he gets in and they can modify his behaviour.

  20. Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Burton, not only has Todd hurt me psychologically, but physically. He has pushed me around.
    “I’m sure that the arts boarding school is a good idea – even if you feel you are being ‘pushed’ into it.”
    Was this aimed at me or Todd?

  21. Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    Claude, don’t knock the performing arts to help children. I’ve seen it happen in the Caribbean island where I once lived, where children from the ghetto did better in their school work, were more disciplined, after becoming members of one well-known theatre company.
    I’m not saying it’s magic and that it works everytime. But it can.
    I once did a programme for tv where the director of a govt. art education programme told me how much art helped many troubled children.
    I wish we had programmes like this for our children here.
    I only wish the best for Todd.

  22. Burton
    Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    The ‘being pushed into it’ was you, as there has seem to be little discusssion, and was ortginated by the ex.
    As for being physically hurt, that is just ‘beyond the pale’ – how it should have been tackled I don’t know.
    Physical retaliation would probably make thing worse in these PC times.
    But I know I would have been tempted to react that way. But then I took the deliberate choice not to have children.

  23. Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    When Todd hurt me, and I’m sure – or at least hope, that he didn’t mean it – I called his dad to come around and help me. Q wasn’t around and so it got settled.
    And Todd ended up living with his dad for 6-7 weeks.

  24. Burton
    Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Look on the bright side, zed, your parnting can’t be too bad as the twins have become well adjusted young ladies.
    Maybe you are just unfortuneate with Todd.

  25. Anonymous
    Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps, just perhaps, posting his failings on a website is not the best way to forge a better relationship with a wayward son. Perhaps, for all the sympathy and cod psychology you receive in return from readers, some things are best kept private.
    And *please* – don’t tell me he doesn’t know about this site; trust me, he does, and it follows that he looks at it.

  26. Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Anon, I have respected an awful lot of Todd’s privacy in this post. Nobody, unless they themselves are going through the same thing will know about the ‘extras’ that I have not mentioned.
    Sure, Todd KNOWS about this blog, but he doesn’t read it. If he did, I’d know about it and he would tell me.
    And I thought well and hard before even posting.