Getting teenagers out of bed

Teenagers sleeping


Today is daughter one’s 18th birthday. Despite the fact that she is not prone to undue moments of excitement generally, she is more laid back than normal about her birthday. She doesn’t want to be 18. She associates it with adulthood, something that does not fill her with a great deal of anticipation. I kind of feel responsible for her negative view of being a grown up. I may not be making it look all that fun.

Daughter two is also moping around of late, moaning about the GCSEs blighting her life, even though she has over a year to go. “What’s it all for?” she asks every five minutes. She’s not even enjoying drama which is a bad sign.

Meanwhile daughter three has been having career counselling, even though she has no idea as yet what she wants to do or even what she wants to study for GCSE. “What is your passion? What do you enjoy studying?” I asked her the other day. “Nothing,” she replied. Oh dear.

And only son has taken against David Attenborough, of all people, possibly because I have been trying to force him to watch Blue Planet II. “We had David Attenborough for golden time,” he said, looking very unimpressed. “I chose to do mindful colouring instead.” This is the boy who could quote me all sorts of information about fish gleaned from Octonauts when he was three. What happened? I blame Geometry Dash and the guy with the purple hair. Only son would rather watch some random kidult playing a computer game than Blue Planet II. The world is doomed. In revenge, I have been forcing him to listen to me reading Paddington books.

I’m very glad it’s the holidays, not because I get a break because, of course, it is not yet holidays for grown-ups [sorry, daughter one]. It’s more that I don’t have to get teenagers up in the morning which is proving an increasingly difficult task. The only person who is remotely likely to move when I shake her in the morning is daughter two. I virtually have to divebomb daughter three and drag her out of the bed. Daughter one doesn’t even respond at all. My partner seems to think I have some magic powers to get them moving, but, if I have, they are ebbing fast as the mornings get colder and darker.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of 

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