Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Well that seems to work with teenagers.  It also seems to make teenagers grow nicer!

Are you thinking ‘What a nasty mother?  How can she feel like that?’   Really it’s true.  The bit about them growing nicer, not the bit about me being a n@sty mother.  Recently, someone asked me if there might be some teenagers who would look after their house and cat while they were away.  Well of course I said mine probably would.  Then I thought…hmmm you know that could be dangerous, her house could look like a squat when she came back, clothes on the floor, plates – well everywhere except the dishwasher.  And she said they could have a party  (oh no, don’t say that to them).     They are lovely at other people’s places tho, so I hoped for the best.

They were moved in.  I took them shopping for food.  And they had the best time.  100 G’s of internet will do that when you’re used to sharing 6 G’s of satellite with 4 people!   The cat was in teenage heaven – he slept till the afternoon, ate a lot and mosey’d around doing nothing much, and getting patted. 

I enjoyed it as well.  Quiet at our house.  The other teen away at horse camp half the time.  Late mornings, early nights, peace, calm and tranquility – not your usual teenage hormone house.  Although the cats and dogs missed having several bodies to spoil them.  I went to visit the teens – we even had dinner with them – I did phone to say we were going to be late tho (please note boys!) and they should start without us if they were hungry.  We had a lovely bolognaise.  And fb’d since I’d brought my computer lol – well really,  100 G’s it’s obscene (I know jealousy is a curse.)    The boys rang at times, or dropped in occasionally to collect something they’d forgotten;  and to organise the next food drop 😉  But it was all so serene and enjoyable.  It was a bit annoying though that they kept the place so spotless when they can’t even be bothered to put a plate in the dishwasher without being asked at home!  Not fair! 

Then they went camping.  We have a Folk Festival every long weekend in January.  So just before school starts.  We just have basic camping site with toilets and cold showers.  But loads of people come, the community provides food and some alcohol, and lots of soft drinks and water at the local hall.  There’s music and dancing, and markets on sunday morning.  Its an old fashioned festival, not lots of advertising, not lots of hoohaa, just music and dancing and fun.  The teens wanted to campout again this year.  So one of them organised to mow the area they had chosen.   I’d bought camping gear for boys for Christmas so they were set.  They even made a shelter out of old tree limbs, poplar branches, tarps, a lot of rope and an old loungeroom rug on the ‘floor’.  They had a saucer chair with no legs, so hung that from the tree by rope – they looked so funny it reminded me of those swinging chairs that they have for babies that hang by rope.  There was a hammock further up the tree.  First night they were sitting in the dark (they’d only taken the two solar garden lights from the front gate)  when one of them used the torch to look next to him a little possum was sitting there stuffing sunflower seeds in.  It ransacked everything that wasn’t shut up in the chest of drawers they saved from the tip.  It tried to open the water container and only succeeded in spilling it all. 

Something you need to know – teenagers eat much much more per person when they are not occupied doing something they dont enjoy (ie school etc).  It didn’t cost me anything for the teens to have their camping holiday as far as travelling costs and accomodation…but food!  I could hardly get a break from driving into town for more supplies!  It’s really amazing how they can open a packet of almost anything and just inhale it!  It’s an awesome skill – awesomely expensive.  TG for Aldi.  Was lovely to visit them.  They did keep coming home tho – one would just duck up (to have a shower, get something else to take down, have a quick fb).  I did say ‘What are you doing here’  to them at one stage – ‘where’s my privacy for goodness sake! ‘

Then they came home.  Remember, I said they were so nice when they were away?  While they were away I had a chuckle from time to time, listening to them bickering with each other.  Then they came home.   And yes, they immediately got their solidarity back and started bickering with me!  And stopped doing things!  And whereas they got up early when camping – they once again begin the day sometime in the afternoon. 

Oh well I guess at least I have gained something.  Now I have two more alternatives to offer them as well as ‘Well go live with your other parent  if you don’t like it’ .  There’s now ‘Go camping’ or ‘Go mind someone’s house!’ 

So, anyone looking for house and pet sitters?  Do you have internet access?  And would you like to borrow my teens?  They’re lovely – honestly!

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