"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° 5,379 (and still going, it appears).

>So Todd went back to his boarding facilities on Sunday. Despite having barely seen my son over the weekend, I was only too glad to see the back of him, and that feeling makes me sad because it is wrong. It is wrong to want to see the back of your son. Todd is my flesh and blood and no matter how much I love the boy, he drives me insane.

His sudden change in August was a little too much to believe, but he wanted to take care of his mum while his quasi-papa wasn’t there. But now that Quarsan is back, everything has turned back to how it was before. Is Quarsan the problem in Todd’s life? Have I chosen someone who is really horrid to Todd behind my back? I don’t think so. But perhaps the fact that Todd is growing and becoming a young man is the problem. Puberty is nobody’s friend.

When Todd came home on Friday – with a new/borrowed studded belt hugging his hips and making him look a bit of a prat as no punk would have worn the belt like that – I was happy. But where was his bag of washing?

“Oh, it’s at mamy’s house.”
“Todd, I need it tonight as I do not have a tumble dryer, therefore your clothes have to be washed tonight.”
“But I can’t – I have to go to the Gare du Nord to pick up my girlfriend.”
“What? She’s staying tonight?”
“Yes mum, but don’t worry, I’m taking her out for dinner.”
“OK Todd, but don’t be back late. But before you go to meet her at the station, you will go and get your washing.”
“OK, mama – I’ll go.”

And so he left.

And came back at midnight.

Without his washing, nor his girlfriend.

In the morning Todd got up to have his hair cut, then promised to get his washing. I told him it would never be dry in time but he told me not to worry, he’s arranged it so that I would wash his clothes and Todd would then take them to his fathers to dry. His aunt then came around to pick him up to mow her lawn without a care in the world that this just happened to be my son, the one I only see every other weekend and so Todd tried to leave without his clothes.

We finally got the issue of drying Todd’s clothes over with, but the icing on the cake was when Todd came back from ‘somewhere’ on his sister’s bicycle without having asked her if he could borrow it. And not only that, he had broken the ‘stand’ ‘le pied’ of the bicycle right off.

I’m beginning to feel as though we have to lock everything up. We have all put passwords on our computers, but the kitchen needs locking up during the day, we need to put locks on our bicycles (Todd never did find Quarsan’s – does anyone have a 2nd hand bike for sale?) and so on.

This is no way to live. I feel that the happiest ‘person’ in this household is Hermie. He sleeps, he eats, he pees on his food, he sleeps, he eats, he plays Prison Break, ad nauseum.

At this rate, I’ll find myself ending up on the Jeremy Kyle show.



  1. Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    You can borrow some of my madness at the moment, if you’d like that instead of your own? heh heh

  2. Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear things are driving you nuts at the moment. I hope things get better 🙁

  3. anonymous
    Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    From now on, when T. comes home, tell him to wash his own clothes, hang them out, take them in from the line in time for his return to school and iron them if he wants them smooth. Tough love. Stick the instructions on the washing machine and go and do something you enjoy instead. Won’t make you a bad mother. Will make him take responsibility for his things.
    It’s a long, long haul. Hang in there.

  4. Burton
    Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Surely his new domicile has facilities to do his own washing. If so, do not do it for him at the weekends.
    As for Quarsans lost bike give your local ‘Freecycle” a try. [It’s for recycling items in general – not bikes in particular LOL]

  5. Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m with anonymous – time for Todd to develop a deep and meaningful relationship with the laundrette. Big hugs for you xx

  6. z
    Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    And now you miss him anyway. Oh, it is all a shit. It will get better though, honestly, though it may take a few months or years yet. In the meantime, frankly, dirty clothes won’t kill him and I wouldn’t care if I didn’t do the sodding washing if I were you.
    And yes, locks, I’m afraid. But he will grow out of it.

  7. Anonymous 2
    Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    My sister in law was a shit when she was young. She sold everything of my husband’s she could lay her hands on. He had a lock on his bedroom door to keep her out.
    She did grow up in the end, but sadly they still don’t speak.
    The in-laws let her lead them a dance (very hard to get out of the cycle, I think), she married someone who’d been in the army for a long time and he was the one who laid down rules.

  8. Anonymous, too
    Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    Sounds like he’s acting out because he knows it makes you (and maybe the Twat?) angry.
    So, stop letting him do it. Keep the bikes, TV, etc., locked up. Stop doing his laundry. On the weekends he’s home, make sure the pantry is empty. If he’s late for a meal, he doesn’t get one. Quit letting him make himself the center of attention.

  9. Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    There are no easy answers for this, I hate to say. Odds are he will probably grow out of it eventually, but the problem is that eventually doesn’t come with an absolute time frame.
    As much as I hate to think it, it may require something extremely shocking to wake himself out of the notion that it is only his life that matters. Until then, the only thing to do might simply be to ride the wave.
    Keep your eye on Thursday and that interview. Right now, that is your immediate concern.

  10. Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I am new to your blog and did not know what to expect when i read your title.
    However after reading some of your articles i find that you and i are related in many ways.
    You have gained a new fan and i look forward to reading many more of your articles.

  11. Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to tell you that they don’t all improve with age (at least mine haven’t). I just asked my son (36) to get me an ink refill from Cartridge World as I can’t afford full price ones and let him loose with my bank card. He refused to take my mobile in case there was a problem and has just come back with a full price cartridge from Carrefour because he couldn’t find the shop. He looked really dejected when I said I’d have preferred to wait. . . . .

  12. Posted Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    Boys tend to drive their mothers insane, they do, they do. I dare any boy to disagree 🙂

  13. NickyB
    Posted Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Good luck today

  14. Posted Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    It will get better. Teenagers are vile, I know because I used to be one and I was a complete twat. I’d arrive home, have a row with my mother, put on some makeup and a skirt short enough to irritate my dad, help myself to vodka from their drinks cabinet, smoke a Marlboro Light (because I knew it annoyed my dad), grunt something unintelligable and leave. I did that for several years, it’s a wonder they didn’t kill me. But I grew out of it eventually….

  15. Posted Sunday, October 18, 2009 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Interesting that he’s nicer when Q isn’t around. I imagine he feels quite intimidated by Q and it puts him constantly on the defensive — and makes it hard for him to be aware of his own true feelings. So he goes around absorbing as much of the local resources as he can, trying to make himself feel a bit better and more like he belongs. But because of his age, he has no idea what an imposition he is — or is full of self-pity and thinks he deserves whatever he can grab.
    Quite often these days I think of leaving my husband. But I think living in 2 households with 2 families gets hard for boys when they’re going through the bafflement of the teen years (not meant to poke at you, just remembering what a jerk my brother was).
    I found it easiest to talk to my mother during those years by going out for a hill walk. Don’t have to deal with body language and facial expression, if you’re aggravated it gives you more energy for the climb, and you’re at least sharing an experience. I don’t know Belgium, though – I expect it’s a bit flat?
    Best of luck. How are the girls?

  16. Posted Sunday, October 18, 2009 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Hi Kari. The girls are just fine, thank you – I think it’s all down to puberty as Q isn’t exactly new to the household – he’s been here for 8 years now!
    Q pisses the girls off, but pretty much in the same way as he pisses me off. He leaves the kitchen in a state, never buys what’s on the shopping list etc etc. Oh, and eats everything in the fridge.
    Still, I reckon Todd will get over this – he’s not exactly sweetness and light towards me either!