Monday, December 5, 2011

Independence? Not yet.

Adulthood brings a whole 'nother set of problems. All of a sudden, Mummy can't step in and fix things.

"I'm sorry, I need to speak to Dreamer" the woman on the telephone says.

I recognise that tone of voice. It's the same one I get when, as Chief Financial Officer of the house, I stupidly try to do business with whichever company and forget that the account is in my husband's name.

Damn. Dreamer is 18. I can't do things for him any more. Officially.

This time, his memory-deficit had adult financial implications. He had a pre-paid mobile phone, which he continually forgot to buy new credit for. He was always out of credit. So I suggested he move onto the great plan that the rest of the family have. It's bundled with our household internet, so I'd set it up on my credit card, and he could pay me back with a monthly bank transfer. Dreamer agreed that it was a good idea.

So I set it up, paid for the new sim card, which duly arrived, and he duly put into his phone.

Next day, the woman phoned. She was from his old phone company, and wanted a copy of his bank statement.

Huh? What for?
I'm sorry. I need to speak to Dreamer.
Uh, he's not here. I'm his mother. Can I help?
Please get him to phone me back. Goodbye.

Oh yeah, said Dreamer. Last time I went to buy credit for the phone, they suggested an account, and it seemed like a good deal.
But what about the new sim that we talked about, and you agreed to?
Oh, I forgot about that.

Shit. Shit. Shit. Has he signed up for a 2 year phone contract?
What did you sign?
I don't know.

He was lucky. This time.
A website search told me that for a BYO phone, the contract could be cancelled anytime without penalty. A phone call to cancel was all that was needed. He'd have to pay for the first month.

He kept avoiding making the phone call. I kept reminding him that he would continue to be billed monthly for a phone plan he wasn't using until he cancelled the contract. The stand-off lasted a week.

In the end I sat him down, and I made the phone call. I was the one who had to explain what he wanted. Then I handed the phone to Dreamer for him to officially agree with me.

The whole episode left me numb. The way his memory problems led him to having two phone accounts. The way his communication skill level meant refusal to make the phone call to fix the problem.

Simple, important life skills for independent adults. He doesn't have them.
I'm gutted.
He's got a long way to go.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sanity vs Holidays

And I said that I will not tolerate seven weeks of him sitting there on the computer, whining and yelling about how unfair it is that he doesn't win every, single, time.

OMFG it's the school holidays. He has no friends. He doesn't intend to leave the house. His idea of a holiday is to be on the computer for 18 hours a day, eat occasionally, and sleep sporadically.

Young Curly has been a teenager for one.whole.month and already I've had enough.

I've threatened a camp. Just to get him off the computer and out of the house. To get him out of earshot, mostly.  In my most vengeful moment, I've imagined a SPORTS camp. Bwahahaha. No. I couldn't really do that to him.**


Nothing has really interested him at school this year. Hopefully Year 9 with a few elective subjects will be better. As for the lack of friends, he's doing exactly what his big brother did - attempting to hang out with big bro's friends. Why are they never satisfied with age peers? Why are the older kids always looked up to? OK, don't bother answering that. I know. I know.

At least the olders aren't bad role models. They just enjoy, well, being older, and proving it by giving the youngsters a hard time. Then the youngsters try harder to fit in, and oh. damn. Why do the youngsters make it hard for themselves?

Anyway. So Curly's idea of being grown up is to win on computer games.

He is actually good. Even the older group grudgingly agree about that. It's just the tanties when he doesn't win that nobody likes.

At what age do people*** realise that 'winning' isn't everything? That being a good team member is important too? That having a go and improving is a worthwhile goal? That internet gaming the world is not a level playing field, and you can't expect it to be. That you often 'lose' for reasons beyond your control? That 'get over it' is a fair comment.

Right. Seven. Long. Weeks.

I can picture it being an endless loop of me talking myself blue in the face trying to get through to him, and he telling me that I know nothing.

I know that one day it will sink in, so I have to do it, and keep doing it.
Will my sanity last the distance?

** Medical reasons - mono vision means crap at ball sports, and heat is a major eczema trigger
*** People. Not kids, not teenagers. People.