The Summer holidays are with us once again and once again, the challenges of how to entertain the young ones takes on even more urgency as they grow older. When my daughter was very young, it was never an issue, she had no choice but to accompany you wherever you went and whatever you choose to do.
However, as every parent knows only too well, once they hit their teenage years, they begin to find their own voices and start to develop an opinion. Its even worse once they are in their mid teens, not only have they found their voices and formulated an opinion they have the temerity to air them!
But something odd happened the other day. My fifteen year old actually agreed to come out to a dinner party with my partner and I and as anyone who has trailed my tribulations here knows all too well, this is something of a minor miracle. My stay-at-home child actually volunteered to venture out of the house and meet new people. Even more astonishing, she also agreed to come away for a week and stay at a friends house in the country. My goodness, she must be bored and we were only two weeks into the summer holidays…
Needless to say, she was the centre of attention after so many years of refusing to come out and meet our friends socially. I was a very proud father that particular evening and our week away was spent hiking, exploring and taking part in our very own archery competition…I lost.
We are now preparing for a break in Croatia which may or may not go well as she will not have her cousins to entertain her for the first time and I’m not convinced there is much for a teenager to do. Having said that, I seem to remember also being bored rigid at her age as I was dragged around Europe with my own parents. She doesn’t like the sea, doesn’t like swimming pools – obviously body conscious – does not enjoy the heat, so all in all, we’re in for a great time!
Back home, her mother aka Ms Jean Bro die is still out of work or maybe not as she spends most of the day on the PC, doing what? Who knows? But what is becoming apparent, spending time alone with my daughter is becoming almost impossible. If we’re in the kitchen, her mother will suddenly leave the computer and come in and start pottering around the place. Clearly this is out of jealousy and she doesn’t wish to be excluded. In the past when she was employed or when she had employment that took her out of the house, I could enjoy spending time with my daughter when she came home from school and if I timed it right, I could get dinner sorted before her mother came home.
All that has changed and whilst I find it infuriating that I am obliged to cook for her mother as well; I can hardly cook for my daughter and I and exclude her mother much as I would like to, having any time alone with my daughter is becoming a premium. Roll on Croatia.