Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:29:12 AM
Further to my recent post about number one son's dyslexia and short term memory problems (see previous post), he has been in Spain for less than one day and has so far lost 60 euros, his sunglasses and his Apple iPhone. About par for the course, unfortunately.
Allied to his inability to remember he has put things down (or if he does remember, he can't recall where he put them) is his insistence on wearing those stupid skinny jeans with pockets that are about an inch deep and which are therefore incapable on safely carrying wallets or, it appears, iPhones.
As for me, I am feeling proud of myself. Two mentions of Apple products and I avoided going into one about the Manchester United of the consumer gadgets world.
might prove interesting to early adopters/Apple sheep.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007 12:25:34 PM
In a previous blog entry I was rash enough to say that one of the things I really like about the new house is the plumbing, specifically the fact that when you turn on the hot tap, the water that comes out is hot straight away. I might even have been rash enough to wax lyrical about the stupendous water pressure we now enjoy, which means that a bath can be filled in about 3 or 4 minutes, instead of the 9 or 10 minutes it used to take at our house in Enfield or, more pertinently, the 70 or 80 minutes our sons seem to think it takes to fill a bath …
Since moving in just before Christmas, the first floor bathroom has been flooded out three times, thanks to someone running a bath and then forgetting about it. This oversight would not be so bad were it not for the aforementioned fantastic water pressure and, more crucially, the complete absence of an overflow hole in the bath. I’d like to get hold of whoever was responsible for this design flaw and wring his neck. (Do you see what I did there? Juxtaposed the image of soaking wet items with the word “wring”; God, I am so clever some times).
On the first occasion it happened, number 2 son was responsible, and the response from Mrs. Fiendish was fairly measured. It was a new house and the bath does fill up a lot quicker than in the old house and so number 2 son was merely advised to stay in the bathroom next time whilst the bath is filling.
Then number 1 son did the same thing and though I wasn’t there this time to witness Mrs. Fiendish chastise “big brother”, I’d like to think she was even-handed enough to cut him a break too, and warn him not to do it again. Last night, he did it again, and Mrs. Fiendish went thermo-nuclear. It’s odd, in situations like these, how often parents go into the good cop, bad cop routine. Had I got to number one son first, I probably would have torn him off a strip too, but as he stood there, mortified at the ankle-deep water sloshing around the first floor landing, listening to Mrs. Fiendish question the point of his very existence and threaten him with all kinds of punishment and deprivation, I could not help feel she was going a bit OTT. Of course, that was before I found out it was the second time he had done this.
I think it is common for all teenaged boys to refuse to take responsibility for their actions or inactions. The catch-phrase of Harry Enfield’s “Kevin the teenager” is funny because it is so accurate: That is so unfair!
The overflowing bath was not number one son’s fault. It was the fault of his parents. We were the ones that had moved to Hertford to a house with an unfamiliar bath. Because he spends so little time with us, preferring to spend his time in his old Enfield stomping ground, he has not become used to the house’s facilities, apparently. “I’ve only had about 3 baths in this place since we’ve been here,” he whined. And flooded the house on 2 out of those three occasions.
We are talking about a lad who is often to be found in his room with his PC on, a laptop on his knee, his stereo playing while he plays on his X-Box, so it is little surprise that he has the attention span of a mayfly. I suggested to him that next time he’ll have to stay in the bathroom whilst the bath fills but I know he is probably incapable of spending 3 or 4 minutes doing nothing more stimulating than watching a bath fill up. He’ll nip off to make a phone call or play a quick session of Call of Duty on X-Box live and will forget all about his bath until someone notices the water dripping through the smoke-alarm downstairs.
Ho-hum. My attempt at playing good cop did not last very long. The bad cop, Mrs. Fiendish, is fed up with number one son’s behaviour on a number of other fronts too, and whilst it is important as a parent to soothe one’s children’s passage through the difficult teenage years, it is also important for parents to maintain solidarity. Well, it is if you are a man who wants to retain possession of his testicles. So, it could be ultimatum time for number one son: shape up, or ship out.
Hopefully there will be no long term structural damage, and we were planning to replace the carpets anyway. It could have been worse: when I first heard my mother-in-law crying out in alarm, my first thought was that my father-in-law had snuffed it or had experienced a heart attack. Touch wood there is not much chance of that – the pair of them will probably outlive Mrs. Fiendish and me! Who do you think did the majority of mopping, scrubbing, wringing and strategic bucket placement? My major contribution to the crisis was to crawl around the floor with a Vidal Sassoon hair-dryer (no other brand of hair-dryer would do – this was, of course, number one son’s “big girl’s blouse” hair-dryer) drying out the carpet. This proved about as effective as King Canute’s famous tide repelling efforts.
Coda: That was Mrs. Fiendish on the phone. Apparently number one son has started to “shape up” on the school front. This entails Mrs. Fiendish, who is at home recuperating from a recent operation, typing up an essay for him (“You and Dad are so much faster at typing than me” – how the hell does he think we got so fast at typing? By dictating to a secretary?). Mrs. Fiendish wanted to know whether it is possible to recover an earlier copy of a Word file once it has been overwritten. It seems that after she typed up his essay and saved it, number one son then loaded up another (older) version of the essay and saved it over the top of the new file, thereby wasting all of Mrs. Fiendish’s efforts. If there is one thing above all else that Mrs. Fiendish hates doing, it is doing the same task twice. She absolutely hates it. If number one has not been decapitated as a result of this latest bone-headed transgression, I will be amazed.