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Teenagers teeeeeeen-agers.

Teenager…..Teeeeeenager…..A teen aging….Aging Teen….

 I keep saying it out loud to see if there’s a hidden message guiding me through this topsy turvy path that is being a mum to a teenager.  

This is unchattered territory for me and I often feel I’m sailing without a map.
I know I was one 20, cough cough, years ago but I was a girl one, and horrible. So the memory game doesn’t work. 
He’s generally a lovely, helpful, kid but I’m always on the lookout for ways to understand what it’s like to be a boy teenager. 
I have self help books by my bed that tell me how I should be doing it right which I resort to at times of trouble. I’m no Luddite, I’ve fully embraced the wonder web and google is often my friend when confused & inquisitive. (especially when asked unanswerable questions by my tween.) But as a child of the 70’s I still take comfort in the words of a good book. Plus there are oodles of baby forums but not so many ‘teenagers is testing’ me ones. 
I love my boy to the moon and back and I do feel bad for him as he’s been my practice child at every mile stone, which is why I strive so hard to get it right. 
This week I’m taking the ‘of it’s a nag, keep it in the bag’ approach. (Similar to the ‘pick your battles’ one I’ve been failing at for many years.) 
And it’s killing me!
It generally involves ignoring minor grievances ( hand towel chucked on the floor every time he uses it, rubbish on top of the bin, cupboard doors left open, you get my drift) I’ve finally realised that after 2 years of repeating these nags in a mantra like fashion several times a day, if it was ever going to sink in, it would’ve by now. 
I’m well aware his brain is going through a rewiring and pruning process but i’m getting worried now that the basic rule of tidiness is buried so deep in his neo cortex that it’s  been completely by passed and left in lost property. 
Luckily his bedroom is in the loft so I can plead ignorance and avoid all unnessary visits. I often send someone in ahead to give me a status update when I do need to to pay a visit I plan my route, maintain minimum eye contact and exercise a quick retreat. 
It usually comes down to a game of whits and negotiation to get it habitable, where I’ll exchange a return trip to Sidmouth to meet friends for a full wardrobe tidy and crockery amnesty. 
I’m hoping that one day it’ll click and he’ll swap squaller for spic and span, that the cupboard doors will be closed, bin foot pedal pressed, rubbish discarded appropriately and that he won’t decorate the kitchen work tops everytime he refuels (which is often. Very often.) 
How long my ‘hold it in’ approach will last I don’t know. I’ve just got to remind my self that he won’t be living with me forever. 
That one day, it’ll be someone else’s battle! 
With love from lovely Devon
(Apologies to future spouse, I tried, I really did!) 


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