Annoying Words

‘Whatever’ is not the most annoying word in our house.

Don’t get me wrong, it is pretty annoying; especially when used by a teen or tween who is determined to have the last word and thinks they know it all.

It is used as a last resort word though, mainly when things have not gone their way but they want it to look like they have the situation totally under control.

So let me tell you, if your child is using ‘Whatever’, you have won and they know it. You don’t have to have the last word.

Another really annoying word in our house is my eldest’s sudden adoption of ‘Yikes’.

I know this doesn’t sound that annoying but she manages just the right mix of rudeness and condescension when she uses it. I don’t much like the word; she knows it annoys me and I’ve asked her not to use it. but you have to pick your battles when they are 14.

Most of the time I ignore it, but DD2 HATES the word and is often reduced to tears by her older sister’s use of it. DD1 is totally aware of this, of course…

But the most annoying word used in our house is..are you ready for this, it’s a four letter one…’Wait’.

‘Can you turn the TV off?’-‘Wait’
‘Can you get off the computer?- ‘Wait’.
‘It’s time to get ready for school”- ‘Wait’.
‘Time for bed!’-‘Wait’.

My children seem incapable of hurrying when asked, but just casually put one hand up and drawl ‘wait’ while they finish what they are doing. And this is after 10 and 5 minute warnings of the need to cease and desist. The seem to think that time stops when they do!

What’s the most annoying word in your house?


My Sunday Photo

Mouse in the house
This was the scene in our kitchen on Wednesday night.

Our cats are always bringing in small furry things and dropping them as soon as they get in the house. The said furry thing then makes a beeline ( or should that be mouseline?) for the nearest large appliance and this results in very frustrated felines.

On Thursday night, it was obvious the Furry Thing had relocated to the living room. We had cats in cupboards, up the chimney, behind the TV- they were definitely on the prowl.

When we went to bed, we shut them in the lounge and let them get on with it…

This was the sight that met our eyes on Friday morning. The scene of the crime has not been altered in any way.

Mouse on the piano

Do you think our cats are trying to tell us something?

Sunday photo

Did You Watch ‘The A Word’ ?

Last night, like thousands of other people in the UK, I tuned in to watch the BBC’s new Drama ‘The A Word’. Actually, if I’m honest, I watched half of it last night. I fell asleep halfway through it and watched the rest this morning.

The falling asleep is no indication of the quality of the programme by the way, I’m just tired and not very well at the moment.

Before I watched the first episode I didn’t know much about it, just that one of the main characters is a young boy with autism. The A Word is the story of a family who have been working around their young child’s differences for so long that they find it difficult to admit that he might have a significant problem. When Joe’s parents are forced to entertain the possibility that there might be something ‘wrong’ with their son, their reaction, and those of their friends and family, make for an emotional drama that will feel familiar to many of us who have first had experience of neurodiversity.

Joe’s story is very different from that of the autists in our family but I recognised some of the emotions, behaviours and situations.

The boy who plays Joe is a very good actor; he’s not autistic himself but he is very convincing in his role. One thing to remember though is that if you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person, They are all so different. Not many people would pick out my daughters as autistic but one has a diagnosis, one is in the process of getting one. In fact I have had many people express surprise if I mention it. ‘Are you sure?’ is an often asked question. There are less girls with autism than there are boys, and they are harder to spot, but they are out there.

Joe is shown as a musical genius, listening to music through headphones at all times and having an encyclopedic knowledge of songs and lyrics. Not every autistic person has a special skill. Some children with autism are savants and have these ‘special talents’ but many others don’t. Some have below average abilities, some are average, and some are above average.  Special skills make for good TV in this case and do allow the use of an excellent soundtrack for the series.

I  also thought the process of diagnosis was portrayed unrealistically as most families I know have had to wait for months, or even years, for a diagnosis. We were turned down for assessment twice for DD2 before we had to get CAHMS involved. From there we were granted a referral and then a diagnosis. And for us, it wasn’t actually a shock  at that point, it was more a relief that we could get some help.

Of course, what help is available depends on where you live..

It’s going to be a good series, I think and well worth a look even if you don’t think you know anyone with autism. Because actually, you might one day, and more importantly you might learn something. And with knowledge comes tolerance.

Did you watch The A word? What did you think? Did it remind you of your experiences?

The A word shows on BBC1 on Tuesdays at 9pm or is available on iPlayer.

The A word

My Sunday Photo

This week DD3 was invested as a cub. She’s a bit old as she’s already turned 10, but her Brownies group closed down at the end of last year and one of her friends asked if she’d like to join her cub group so they could go on a camp together!

She’s been attending the group since Easter and enjoying it very much. Last week she made her ( non religious) promise and joined the group properly.  She also attends Guides with her sisters on a different night but come September she’ll have to decide which path to follow, Scouts or Guides, as both are on the same night.

I have to admit I am hoping she will choose Guides as I haven’t worked out how I will clone myself for pick ups yet!

As you can see, our dogs had to be in the photo too. F loves to smile for the camera!

F and L cub


My Sunday Photo

My Sunday Photo

Last week I shared a photo of one of our cats who gets possessive of anyone who sits on the sofa.

This week, I’d like to introduce you to his brother who allows the kids to hold him in all sorts of weird positions. Here he is being used as a phone rest by my eldest. He doesn’t  seem to mind at all

Phone rest cat

He also tries to follow the little two to school each morning, which scares me as we have to cross roads to get there. I would hate for either of the cats to get run over but I don’t feel we’d be being fair to keep them as indoor cats.

The local wildlife would probably rejoice if we did. For the first couple of years, these cats only brought in frogs but have since graduated to mice and birds. Along with the odd camellia.

Look. My cats bring me flowers!

Things cats bring in

My Sunday Photo

Knowing What You Want To Be

We are in the middle of GCSE-choice hell here.

DD1 is 14 and in year 9, and it seems so young to be having to choose subjects to specialise in.  It seems like such a big thing right now and a lot of the advice is along the lines of keeping your A level choices in mind!

This hasn’t helped. My daughter has only a vague idea of what she’d like to do ‘when she grows up’.  She tells me a lot of her friends are quite sure and I can tell she is getting anxious about not knowing, but surely it’s not unusual?

I can’t help because I always knew what I wanted to be. When I was four, I asked my mother if animals had doctors. It’s probably indicative of my family’s life style choices that I didn’t already know that vets existed , as we always had plenty of animals. But once I knew they were a thing, that’s what I decided I’d be. I never wavered from the idea, despite less than encouraging adults in my life, and eventually I did become a vet. Whether or not it’s a career choice compatible with family life is another debate for another day.

The point is that it’s hard to be closing doors on subjects if you don’t know if they will ever be useful to you.  DD’s school is very good at making sure all the girls get a well rounded education no matter what choices they make, so I’m sure it’ll all work out in the end but if you have a child who is 14 +, do they know what they want to do for a job?

How old were you when you decided? Or do you still not know?

career choices

Choosing GCSEs. Can You Help?

DD1 is 14 and in Y9 of school and it’s time for her to make some choices.

Those of you who have children in Y9 or above will know exactly what I’m talking about; she has to choose what subjects to do for her GCSEs.

And this year it’s especially difficult as the curriculum is changing and she will be doing the ‘new’ GCSEs. No seems to know exactly how these are going to work, or what they will entail yet. Just that they will require more exams and less internal assessment, and they will be much harder. This knowledge is not doing anything for DD’s anxiety.

One of the confusing things ( for me, at least) about GCSEs, is that different schools require their pupils to do different subjects. At our school, the kids have to do the core subjects- maths, English, science-but aren’t required to do the exam component of PE and RS. They do have to choose a humanity ( RS, classics, history or geography) and a language ( French, German, Spanish or Latin), and then they get two ‘free’ choices.

DD has decided to do RS as her humanity as she enjoys the philosophy component, and is pretty sure she will take Spanish as her language but is struggling with her two free choices. Our secondary school is academically inclined so the list of other subjects is possibly not as comprehensive as it is at other schools.

DD feels that part of her problem is that she doesn’t yet know what she wants to do ‘when she grows up’. She’s a bright girl with good work habits and could pretty much do anything she wanted to. She’s not especially drawn to maths or languages but gets good marks for all her subjects.

She likes kids and animals, and likes helping people. She’s good at science, but doesn’t want to do a science for an A level and is good at music, but doesn’t want to do it for GCSE. She thinks she could possibly teach, or become a therapist of some sort but she doesn’t know.  And I can’t help as I wanted to be a vet from the age 4, and had my sights set on that throughout my school career.

A lot of her friends know what they want to do already, and this adds to her sense of unease. But surely at 14, it’s not that unusual to not know what direction you are going to go in as an adult?

Do you have older children who were in the same situation? Maybe you didn’t know either? Has anyone got any advice for my worried daughter?

choose subjects for GCSE