Don’t ask Google, my 13 year old knows EVERYTHING | Simply Marcia

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Don’t ask Google, my 13 year old knows EVERYTHING

Other browsers are available of course, however it becomes irrelevant when you have a 13-year-old in your house as they will know absolutely everything about everything. It’s just the way it is – accept it dullard parents.

So basically, a typical sort of conversation in our house:

Me: ‘It’s pouring with rain and super-cold – you need to wear your football thermals for football training tonight.’
13-year-old (know-it-all): ‘Oh, god, you’re such an idiot. I don’t get cold. You know that. And it’s going to stop raining by the time I train. Umm hello – like, check the weather forecast. Goddddddd. You’re so sad.’ Que lots of muffles and (probably) swearing under my/his breath.

The transition from wide-eyed child believing you know everything, to 13-year-old know-it-all takes place around the end of Year 7 at secondary school. They’ve now (finally) settled in to secondary school life, they’re about to head in to Year 8 (no longer the Year 7 bully targets that they were) and basically, they change. They’ve moved on from primary school believers-of-everything to secondary school believers-of-nothing-their-parents-advise/tell/inform them. It’s the ‘becoming a teen’ thing – and if you think 2 or 3 year olds having tantrum meltdowns are bad, you really, really haven’t seen anything like it (naturally though, a 13-year-old’s meltdown will only happen in the comforts of their own home (usually their bedroom because the Wi-Fi has STOPPED wtf wtf wtf) with zero chance of any witnesses …). And 13 year olds are BIG. So their tantrums match; they’re wild, snotty, sweary, dramatic, emotional, draining.

I used to verbally fight and resist 13-year-old know-it-all but have come to realise that most of the time, there’s no point and (to avoid regular conflict of gargantuan properties) it’s wise and advisable to pick your battles. The best starting point is getting it; it being the fact that your 13-year-old basically thinks you are fundamentally thick/stupid/an idiot. Their mates’ parents however, are, like, amazing and (probably) you’ll be told on a regular basis how your 13-year-old wishes that they:

– were born in to another family
– weren’t born at all
– could swap you for so-and-so’s mum who is lovely, cooks nice food, has no rules and has loads of cash.

They will also regularly remind you that:

– their life is shit
– they hate their life
– the Wi-Fi is shit
– you’re really boring
– everything you cook, go to, do is boring
– their siblings are shit
– school is shit

(There’s a bit of a theme.)

For info, 13-year-old’s do have some not-so-shit things in their life:

– their friends
– social media
– their playstation/X-box
– hot chocolate
– Nando’s
– football training (mine’s a boy)
– being away from you (mine engineers sleepovers away from us as often as possible)

Back to the battles. When needing to give information/advice/instructions to 13-year-old know-it-all this is how I now tackle it:

Me: ‘Oh blimey, it’s so cold and yucky out there tonight. Thank god for thermals’. This has to be said in a nonchalant ‘whatever’ tone of voice. Usually snuck in amongst some other random conversation with all the kids and not given any sense of importance, or to be misconstrued as ‘advice’ by 13-year-old know-it-all.

I’ve come to realise that I can offer all the advice in the world about everything and anything to 13-year-old and he will pretty much never, ever take it/listen/agree/think ‘oh yes, mum, you’re right of course’. Instead of reacting to his ‘knowing best’ conviction and his kneejerk ability to do absolutely the complete opposite of whatever I suggest, I now just let him get on with it. The less hung up I am about some of these battles, the easier it is (btw, some battles are non-negotiable like bedtimes and mobile phone use at 2am!).

I now think:
He’s 13 (he’s actually almost 14).
He’s not a baby.
He’s been given options.
He’s made his own decision.
He thinks he knows best.
Ok then.

I just make sure I’m on standby with a warm coat and /or hot chocolate at football training pickup time when he clambers, shivering, back in to the car. No words needed 🙂


Furniture revitaliser :)

It’s not only our faces we can transform with a spot of makey-upy ‘painting’, but our sad or drab or child(pet)-wrecked furniture too.

I admit it; I’m a late convert to the whole upcycling, repainting and resusing or reimagining-of-furiture-movement. I’d never really understood the whole second-hand thing (eughh!) and charity shop browsing (what?!) until divorce sent my budget spiralling in the wrong direction … I am now a fully paid-up-member of second-hand furniture and bric-a-brac purchasing. In part, due to said spiralling-out-of-control-in-a-downward-fashion-budget but also because it’s very ‘of the moment’ – antiques and arts and crafts markets are springing up everywhere and are big business (my fave is the monthly bohemian and brilliant people-spotting Frome Independent Market ) – and I love them. I now totally get a buzz from a second-hand (ahem vintage!) bargain and owning something a bit different and unique and (sometimes) a bit battered (pre-loved!).

Some things however cannot be easily replaced when budgets are squeezed (think kitchen cupboards and built-in wardrobes – unless you’re a bit handy with a sledgehammer and your carpentry skills are top notch). This is where a spot of easy(‘ish) DIY but super-impressive repainting comes in (hooray). All hail then, Annie Sloane – the queen bee of repaint jobs 🙂 This great woman knows a thing or two about breathing new life in to old stuff. She is the furniture revitaliser! If anything (that doesn’t move) in your home is looking a bit tired, despondent, boring, grubby, non-sparkly … then consider a lick of furniture ‘make up’. Head over to Annie’s site for loads of inspiration, top tips, video ‘how to’s’ and stockists, and get creative. 

The thing I love most about the whole process of (re)painting is that for me, the rythmical and repeated actions have an almost calming effect (as long as a) there are no children or pets close by and b) I have sensibly covered stuff that’s most definitely not to be painted). My focus is purely on the action of painting, therefore temporarily parking all the day-to-day stuff whirring around my brain. Brilliant. And, at the end of the process I have a beautiful and bespoke piece of furniture (plus the ‘I did that’ satisfaction).

My project this weekend – to breathe new life in to two pine bedside chest of drawers (picked up at Bath artisan market for £25) … Happy repainting!