The One Where I get Pulled By the Police!

policeYes me! Miss Law Abiding Citizen, ex- driving instructor and wife to a……………POLICEMAN!!!

It happened just before Christmas. I had been visiting a friend and had stayed most of the day and had dinner there. A festive fab time had been had by all- although I stayed completely T-Total as I was driving home.

It’s a journey I have done hundreds of time and to be honest on those sorts of journeys it’s almost driven on auto pilot. It wasn’t busy on the roads and I was tired from the noise and activity of the day. To be honest i couldn’t wait to get back and get my pj’s on and have a good ol’ lug of mulled wine ( it was Christmas you know).

Anyway, I had gone through a junction when I noticed the flashing blue lights in my mirror. The car was typically steamed up from the cold and wet so when I noticed the flashing I just indicated, slowed down and pulled over towards the side so it could pass. when I checked again the flashing lights had gone so I indicated back out and started to drive off again. Suddenly the flashing lights where there again and my 13 year old suggested they may want me!!! Me??? Me??? Why would an ambulance want me.

So reluctantly I stopped and rolled down my driver side window to find A POLICE CAR next to me also with their window rolled down.

‘What colour was that red light you just went through then?’ said the officer in the passenger seat.

Well this sentence took a few seconds to sink in………red light……went through…….OMFG!!

So uncontrollably I went into a full ‘Tracy moment’ as my friends and family know it- that is me in full shock mode including very loud and sharp intake of breath and my hands both coming up to my face ( really I should have been an actress you no- so natural!) At this point the officer in the passenger seat started to laugh after a slight startle. I went fluently into auto babble saying how sorry I was, how I had been past there hundreds of time, how sorry I was, how I thought they were an ambulance so didn’t mean to drive off, how sorry I was………..

Now the driving officer had started to laugh and explained that obviously they had to stop me as I went through a red light but he could see it was unintentional and that I should take care on the drive home. Thank God for nice people eh- no ticket, no points on license, no arrest for failing to stop ( on the first occasion) and I even got a ‘Merry Christmas’ from them.

I was still babbling at this rate, how sorry I was, how it wouldn’t happen again, how sorry I was………

Talk about being reduced to a complete wreck. I should be hardened to a police stop, my husband tells me stories of what goes on all the time, I should have known it wasn’t crime of the century, no one was hurt, there was no near miss, I did (eventually) pull over.

But I tell you one thing. I could NOT be a professional criminal. I couldn’t take the pressure! I was guilty before I had even known I was guilty. Those poor officers must have thought I was a complete nutter, worryingly in charge of a car and children!

Still, I provided them with their entertainment for the evening, I’m sure the rest of their stops that evening where no were near as apologetic as myself.

Oh and my OH thought it was hilarious, no chance of keeping it secret with a 13 and 15 year old in the car.

 

 

Financial Haemorrhaging!

That’s certainly what it feels like this month ( and last month). Now I know we are not the only one’s in this predicament and that there are lots of people a lot worse off than we are.

However, it is difficult to stay positive and not panic when you bank balance literally disappears before your eyes. This month alone has been my youngest’s birthday. Something I normally budget for and this year although I frugally sourced everything it still was difficult to cover. That was because we had so many things to pay for!! There is no other way to say it but we just had loads to pay for!!

So on top of the birthday we had……

*£90 for drama term for youngest.

*£40 for an Explorer weekend camp my eldest really wanted to go on.

*£90 to have my poor ‘Gorgeous George‘ cremated after a shock unplanned pet death.

*£15 for a 1/2 day Geography school trip.

*£20 towards expenses for my eldest’s PE trekking trip.

*£70 for a boiler service.

*£150 for my OH’s motorbike service and MOT.

Ok, so we have not yet overdrawn and I know a LOT of people live via their overdrafts. That is just something I couldn’t do. I wouldn’t sleep ( or get even less than I get now!).However, we have no savings to dip into either. At the end of the day we always pay what’s owed, then live on what’s left. I am extremely frugal with food and have recently made the leap to Aldi where I have found we have been saving at least £10 a week easy, if not much more, on our food bills.

But then there is NO extra!! I mean none!! I don’t go out except for the odd coffee and catch up with friends. My OH never goes out- ever!! He works hard, tries to get as much overtime as possible and then comes home. He never moans about it, that’s just what he does. The kids earn their pocket money by doing chores- it’s not just handed to them.

I’m left feeling worse about not working. Regulars will know I have M.E and this week alone I have been unable to do anything- I mean anything! I have been hit with exhaustion that has made it difficult to function, shower and make dinner- let alone anything else.

If I worked I could help financially, I could relieve the pressure and possibly make things easier. But I cant!!! It’s so frustrating. Frustrating beyond words.

And so I now look towards next month and the run up to Christmas. Thank goodness we pay into a ‘Christmas Club’ via family, it means we get get our money back in November in plenty of time to organise Christmas.

Then I hear people saying hey are going out, going for a weekend away, buying new clothes, going for meals etc and just wonder……….HOW DO THEY DO IT?

I REPEAT……………..HOW DO THEY DO IT??????

 

The Teenager Manual

No I’m not kidding I actually found this in the library today!

Yes the Haynes Teenager Manual!! So I couldn’t leave it on the shelf. I have 2 boys aged 12 and 14yrs and dealing with them is a complete minefield. They are both VERY different in character and also deal with similar situations in different ways. It is true that they cannot breathe the same air and DO NOT get on in any way!

I don’t want them to grow into delinquents or become estranged in any way and yet I do believe that it comes down to us as parents to do something about it.  WE must be doing something wrong if that were to actually happen and  to be fair I would be distraught.

So, in true fashion of ‘prevention rather than cure’ I saw this and thought………………well it worked out OK for cars didn’t it.

Well it can’t hurt can it?

 

 

 

Parent Fail……………….or Just Life as we Know It?

Recently I have been asking myself this question virtually everyday.

I have two boys, one aged 13 and the other is 11. THEY DO NOT GET ON!!!!

They are very, very different personalities, which I think is great. They like different things but also like some similar things too. So why can’t they get along together?

I truly do not know!!!

Now I don’t just mean a bit of sibling rivalry, or fighting one minute and then friends the next. NO they are never friends…………………….EVER.

My youngest is a very loud and outgoing character. He has a lot of personality and loves to be centre of attention. My eldest is quieter, more mellow generally and tends to go with the flow (until it involves his brother).

But it is starting to affect the family dynamics. A family day at home or out is just horrendous. We know it will end in tears (namely ours!!). It seems as a family we cannot simply enjoy time together, just chatting, laughing and having a joke. My eldest can get very stressed by th whole thing.

At the moment our family life is generally our boys taking themselves off to their separate rooms and shutting their doors to be away from each other.

As parents we try to be fair with their disputes. However, we have noticed more and more that it generally stems from our youngest. He makes fun of his older brother and although we all have jokes at each others expense, his delve into what we believe to be bullying!

Whenever my eldest says anything, and I mean anything, he will be sneered at, or laughed at or belittled as though what he says has no relevance.

We have approached our youngest and explained  how he is behaving. What makes it worse is that our oldest has very mild Asperger traits ( not fully diagnosed, but noticeable). Again we have tried explaining this to our youngest and have used some books to show him how his brother thinks. IT DIDN’T WORK- IN FACT IT MADE IT WORSE.

Now I know you will all be thinking he must be attention seeking. However, he gets a lot more time devoted to him on a 1 to1 basis because of his acting. I am always with him for auditions and shows. Everything tends to revolve around what he is doing, our Christmas this year was dominated by the fact he was acting in Panto everyday of the holidays.

So I need help. Where are we as parents going wrong?

I cannot see any other reason for it other than our total parent fail!!!

We try everything, we take things ie: Ipods / TV away. We stop him sometimes going to a party or to friends if he has been particularly bad. We also stand by our word and if we threaten something, we ALWAYS carry it through. So you would think he would get the message.

Our main concern is how he treats his brother.

TOTAL PARENT FAIL…………………..surely there is no other explanation.

Where do we go from here…………….it’s quite depressing, for everyone apart from my youngest son!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A nervous day!

Yes, it’s a very nervous day in my household today. It’s the day my youngest son’s 11+ results arrive on our doorstep!!

As the day has drawn closer I have noticed him getting more and more concerned about it. He is hoping to pass but we have tried to warn him that it doesn’t always go to plan and not to be too disappointed if he doesn’t get through.

However, what makes it worse is that he is a bright boy, he has the potential to pass, he has done some work towards it………………but there is never any guarantee.

Going on his work at home, if he finished the practise papers on time he then didn’t do very well. But if he concentrated and didn’t finish the paper on time ( quality rather than quantity) then he tended to get a good score!!!
On both of the test days he came out saying that he had finished the papers…………..not a great sign!!

But you just never know. We are not holding our breath as parents however, we are trying to prepare for the meltdown that will be if he doesn’t ‘pass’ the test. I know he will feel a failure, I know he will feel resentment against his brother ( who did pass a few years ago and attends the school my youngest really wants to go to) and I know tomorrow going into school will be hellish for him!!

You see most people have the opinion that he will pass, I’m afraid that they mistake his confidence (which he has in abundance) for ability! I think he feels under pressure because of this!

These are children who are only 10 or 11 years old. They are too young to have this much pressure. I know of many parents who openly talk about it all in front of them and therefore, the pressure of not being a ‘failure’ is all too apparent.

My post does not arrive until lunchtime…………………….my nerves may not stand it!

Little does he know that I will be steaming that letter open to find out the result before he opens it on his return from school!! I need to be prepared in order to deal with any of his disappointment straight away!!

On the other hand he may pass and be overjoyed……………………………who knows what the day holds.

Either way we will be treating him to dinner out to at least celebrate the fact it will all be over!!!!