Friday 14 November 2008

I'm no good

I've done a truly terrible thing.

I've taken the boy's laptop away from him.

What I hadn't realised was that this is the equivalent of making Amy Winehouse go cold turkey.

For me a computer is just something to write my blog on, watch iplayer, listen to itunes, play a few rounds of solitaire, check office e-mails. So if I couldn't use it, it would be a shame, I'd miss it, but it would be no more of an issue than if the TV went on the blink.

What I didn't appreciate is that the lap top is the boy's primary means of communicating with friends, near and far, and by not having the use of his Dell, I was effectively ostracising him from society. Judging by the reaction I got, summarily chopping off his legs with a bent rusty butter knife would have been less painful and more appropriate. The promises freely given in absolute desperation to keep this device sent me reeling - and the comparison with Ms Winehouse's addiction seems entirley appropriate...I wonder what she would promise for the next hit.

So suddenly the punishment seems somewhat disproportionate to the crime, but I'm not sure of a route back. Supper tonight should be fun...uuurgh

Thursday 13 November 2008

Do you wanna touch?

"World of Warcraft is the worlds biggest peadophile ring" said the boy when the second episode (?) instalment (?) was announced on the radio news this morning (we wake to either Q radio or Absolute Extreme, so sometimes minor economic or poltical matters get pushed down the agenda). Naturally enough, I coughed and spluttered into my porridge and tried to think of an appropriate reply, but at 7.00am and even before I had my wake up shower, I could manage no more than a "Err, right. Yeah sure."

Somehow, I feel this wasn't the response required, but equally I suspect that I've missed my moment. I certainly would love to know where this playground comment came from.

And who knows, whether he's right or wrong...much of the on-line world is a mystery to me...but having read on the news today that a woman is divorcing her husband after she caught him cheating on her in a 3D virtual world, I have a feeling that I need to be much more on the ball than I am. I did discover that if you child has been using a website called, then they're probably seeing things or doing things that they shouldn't.

The boy does manage to produce really good grades for his homework even though he seems to be on-line messaging friends with one hand whilst he does a maths equation with the other. So I guess on-line is not all bad for teens...but for a parent it does add another worry, to the already extensive list.

So into battle...

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Schools out

Last night was School House family evening. And a jolly affair it was too. The evening takes the form of a series of performances followed by food and delights, topped off with a rather fabulous fireworks display thanks to Mr and Mrs Patel (evidently).

I was immeasurably impressed by some of the talent...and where the performers lacked talent, they more than made up for it with enthusiasm. I think my X Factor vote went to the Turkish belly dancer, who not only made more than a few middle-aged parents look distinctly uncomfortable - should they watch or should they politely avert their eyes...but also managed to keep move perfect even when the music system decided to give up the ghost. But there were also plenty of excellent pianists, actors, rock bands and soloists (though I couldn't quite go for the admittedly extremely good renditions of songs from The Little Mermaid and Pochahontas).

Inspite of a natural talent for playing the guitar (evidence enough that his musically inept mum and dad are in fact not his parents), the boy had other priorities - running one of the stalls selling sweets (how many should you buy and be seen to be eating before you just can't face another penny chew...).

Loosely speaking, the evening was the themed around around fairytales, so one of the stalls was 'Pin the wings on the err fairy whilst blindfolded' The fairy as it happens was a photo of The Boy which seems to have taken him and his mate about three hours to take at the weekend. Whilst most people couldn't get within a mile of the 'spot', uncannily I managed it straight offf...and for my prize I got (oh no) another sweet. mmm delicious.

His third contribution was giving lessons on his X-board. It seemed to down well, so I kept my "Public liability insurance?" down to a mutter.

Thank heavens for the fabulous fireworks, as our own display on the 5th consisted of no more than half a dozen sparklers in the back garden.

Well that's it...I enjoyed it all.