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.
He's got a long way to go.