I don’t mean to boast but, my 13-year-old daughter is currently studying really hard for her Higher School Certificate (end of school exams for overseas friends). She’s so young but I know she’s going to smash it by the time she graduates. Which will be really soon the way she’s going. I don’t like to make other parents feel bad by bragging about my child’s high achieving ways, but I really think I need to celebrate the fact that she’s currently devoting hours of her time and attention to:
4 unit Instagram
3 unit yelling at her mother
3 unit serving looks
4 unit YouTube make up tutorials
I’m loving the extra attention she’s getting from her school teachers, there’s at least three emails a day with a list of all the homework and assignments she has neglected. But boy those videos she posts are marvellous. She has never going to be a kid who thrived in the over-crowded, one-size-fits-all school system, but she could not be less interested in her school curriculum if she tried.
In the 1990s, the cartoonist Gary Larson published a cartoon showing a teenager playing video games in his bedroom and a concerned parent looking on, with a thought bubble over their head dreaming of the day their child could get paid a lot of money to play computer games. I am that parent.
Fights, tears and 210 hours of Monopoly later, I’m in a school holiday daze. I’m the head of my children’s entertainment committee and the acting head of catering but I’m looking forward to retirement from both those roles. Cooking is a chore and shouting, “get off the bloody computer” is becoming dull.
I have run out of low budget activities and if I read one more clean wholesome nutritious paleo educational fun advice for the latter part of the school holidays post on social media, I’ll scream at the smug happily married financially savvy yummy mummies who write them. Sigh. Next week I return to the tyranny of the school run. So much to look forward to in 2016. Today I am turning up the Ackadacka and dreaming of escape.
A is for Attitude. You’ll develop it after years of single motherhood
B is for Breeder’s regret, as in I picked him to be the father of kids? What was I thinking? Breed with a man not a boy
B is also for Bribery, a helpful device in the single mother tool kit
C is for Can I share custody with this man in five years time?
D is for Don’t know how you do it, translation: I don’t want your life, it looks too hard
E is for End of summer, a day celebrated by single mothers whenever children go back to school after months of holidays
F is for Frustration, i.e. speaking to any government department about collecting money for your kids from your children’s father
G is for Glamorous, what single mothers become when their offspring visit their father
H is for Halloween, lots of free lollies for your deprived children
I is for I’m a single mother this week, what coupled up ladies say when their partner is away for more than two days
J is for “Just wait ’til you become a mother.” Frequently said by single mums to their kids
K is for Know It All Children AKA other people’s children
L is for Long ago and far away I used to be young, free and sassy
M is for Mothering Monday, the second Monday in May. Easily the best day to receive bargain flowers, soap and sympathy. Boxes of sweet fancies go cheap on this day.
N is for No money until pay day
O is for Oh My God, tinned spaghetti again?
P is for Perfect families, fictitious people who make children of single mothers envious
Q is for Queen of budgeting
R is for Red Cordial, what you give your kids when they’re going to meet your ex’s new girlfriend for the first time
S is for Sanity, what you lose when you become a single mother
S is also for Schooligan
The little rat in your kid’s class with parents who insist their child is a saint
T is for Teens, the beasts your kids turn into before they become lovely adults who thank you for your sacrifices
U is for Unbelievable, the amount politicians think you can live on
V is for Vinnies, the clothing boutique of choice for most single mothers
W is for Wild side, staying up past 10pm on a school night
W is also for Would, as in I would talk to my ex but I don’t speak moron
X is for Exhausted, permanently
Y is for Y did I choose to live like this?
Z is for Zone Out: what single mums do when married breeders talk about their cleaner
Miss Maturity 14 – my shrink said there’s a touch of the Saffy and Edina (Absolutely Fabulous) relationship about us.
Miss Marshmallow 9 – she is sweet, soft and squishy.
And Miss Mental 5 – she is zany and hilarious, she has my crazy personality trapped in her father’s body.