If you want something doing…..

As the mother of two mid and late teens you would think life would be pretty easy right? All those extra hands to share the chores, a cup of coffee made for me when i am studying or extra busy?


These two delightful offspring of mine barely know one end of a duster from the other and never would it occur to them to lend a hand. My son, the elder of the two, will do something for me if i ask but at 19 and Autistic the degree of effort depends on how quick a chore it is and how boring he considers it to be. Dear son has sarcastic grumbling under his breath down to such a fine art that we nicknamed him Victor Meldrew!!

Dear daughter number 2, the youngest at 16, is very reluctant to do anything unless the question of remuneration should arise. If i come home and she has voluntarily done chores i am instantly on my guard since i can pretty much guarantee that some request for funds will follow in the near future. Welcome to Bank of Panda..please insert your card!!

I have pondered the fact that is my own fault for being so exacting, for i tend to be rather fussy and if something isnt done perfectly i tend to go and do it myself, i hate mess it drives me crazy. It is a long running joke in our family that when someone claims something is clean the retort is always

”Would that be your kind of clean, or my kind of clean??” 

So today as a strange yellow thing was shining in the sky i asked Dear Son to cut the front grass for me since we were in danger of being listed as a local nature reserve and the resulting sigh from upstairs should have easily shaken the rafters. My excellent hearing picked up the muttered grumble which preceded a delayed emergence from its source. To his credit Dear Son did actually cut the grass although the result looked rather like it had been chewed by a herd of Wildebeest. As he plodded back into the house a trail of grass followed prompting me to go outside and look. Grass everywhere!! From my front door to the bottom of my driveway looked like a grass bomb had exploded, a far cry from the immaculate frontages of the neighbouring houses. 

To say Dear Son was most unimpressed when i asked him to go outside and sweep it up was an understatement and watching his half hearted effort prompted me to open the door and say

”SWEEP it dont tickle it”

”I AM sweeping it!!”

Hmmmmm. Yes again fussy me took over and i took the brush, rapidly sweeping the pathway to the door informing very impatient son that THIS is how you sweep. Back in the house i noticed yet again half hearted sweeping and called for Dear Daughter 2 to assist her brother. Well have you ever seen a fairy sweep a garden?? Picture one and you have the right idea. Tiptoeing carefully around the grass with brush held delicately between fingertips she flitted around managing little better than Victor Meldrew who was at this point rolling his eyes and tutting. 

Cue Panda impatience and brush was whipped from Fairy fingers and rapid sweeping of the drive was undertaken with the announcement to said children that there was this strange thing called EFFORT required. 5 minutes later MY eyes were rolling as i sighed and swept it up myself before retreating into the house for coffee leaving grumpy and fairy to bin the pile of rubbish i’d made. Surely they could manage THAT!!

I have rapidly come to the conclusion that for the most part if you want something doing in my house it is far better to do it yourself unless you are prepared to live with less than perfect results. I dread to think how these little darlings will live when they leave home and i have already informed them that i will most definitely not be coming to their houses for tea until i reach the point where i am considering euthanasia and need a quick exit from this world. 

Ahhh well i made my bed i guess i have to lie in it, perhaps i should have been far stricter when they were small and set a regimen of chores such i had myself when i was young. Logic tells me that even had i done so this would all have gone out of the window when my little angels mutated into carnage evoking teen demons so perhaps i can console myself with this. So as fairy skips off down the street and Victor retreats to the safety of his room and the computer games within, i make my own coffee and comfort myself with the smug knowledge that one day they will be parents to teens of their own and mommy will sit and have a little chuckle. Revenge will be very sweet!! 


Charity begins at home

I’m a hoarder! there i said it.

Actually perhaps that would’ve been more effective in some addicts group where i stand up and say ”Hi i’m Amanda and i’m a hoarder”

The truth is i’m actually a bit of a contradiction for although i like to hoard i’m also exceptionally tidy and get rather obsessive about clutter being on view. Mess bugs me, i mean REALLY bugs me in a ‘hey i’m going to spoil your day’ kind of way. So You’d never guess that somewhere lurking away i have a zillion things waiting to tumble from cupboards and crammed so high under the bed that it barely stands on its own four feet. I know i dont need 40 pairs of jeans and 50 pairs of boots/ shoes but i like them! Sure i have a kindle and i dont need the hundreds of books tucked into dozens of small spaces around the room and nor do i need my own personal blockbusters store but who cares i want one!!

But sometimes even i have to admit that things are getting out of hand and stuff just isnt going to be used, hey if it was i wouldnt have replaced it with something better right?? So yesterday i decided a really good clear out was in order and figured i’d have a ruthless sort through and donate to charity. Some time later with a large pile of belongings building small walls around me i cringed in horror as i sorted through a long untouched CD collection. All of my music is on my pc so none of them ever get played. More to the point did i really go out and buy some of this stuff??!!. Backstreet boys, nsync, kylie minogue, steps(okay that one,  that’s definitely not mine!!) Okay one big charity bag coming up!!

Movie promo tshirts, competition prizes from my comping days, books, old mp3 players, the list goes on and on and the bags steadily grew. That bed throw i hated( well it looked okay in the store!) pretty but redundant laundry basket cluttering up the bottom of the stairs and that lamp i replaced ages ago. Oh it grew and grew. Coming down for lunch my son tripped over a playstation cable and surveyed the mess before exclaiming loudly ”i didnt hear the bomb drop!” 

Don’t you just love sarcasm!! Actually confession time i think he gets it from me, sarcastic humour seems to run in our family and irony whilst bypassing many is definitely not lost on us!!

Hours and hours later i had the mini mountain sorted and the ‘okay i’ll part with it if you prise it from my grip’ pile was barring the way out of my front door. Having wheedled darling son into volunteering to take it to the charity shop i did make a concession and agree to let him go when it was dark and give in to his refusal to carry a large dried flower arrangement.Okay i can see his point a teenager doesnt want to be seen wandering through town with mummys dried flowers, im not that harsh. 

So as my contribution to charity disappeared up the road i sat myself down with the only trunk in the house that will never be cleared out. My memory chest. Years and years of special memories,  love letters, gifts, even train tickets from special days out with special people. My ‘something to look back on when i am old’ box.  And as i cleaned off the dust i had to smile at an old painted hand print from when my youngest was small, poem about sticky hand prints all long ago faded as she leaves in a cloud of perfume calling a goodbye over her shoulder. But i have only to open my trunk and remember, a lifetime of special memories.Some things are just worth hoarding..arent they.