KIDS (OF ALL AGES) FROM HELL

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Maybe I can have a cuppa out in the back yard. You may be forgiven for thinking we're both in dysfunctional relationships with men, and in a sense we are - with our sons! Our sons in their 20s, who are forced to live at home because their wages won't cover London rents and I mean just the rents, you can forget other bills.

These are our kids. The ones who aren't privileged enough to enjoy the services of the bank of mum and dad, but are privileged enough to enjoy or not the lodgings of mum and dad, at a hugely subsidised rent. I have to say at this point that my son Morgan is not lazy.

Hard-working, driven, determined to earn money and get on in life - how else would he pay for his trainer habit? I feel for him too. After three years living in Manchester, enjoying independence, spreading his wings, leaving dirty dishes in the sink and festering towels on the floor, to have to come back to a small room in a terraced house where all your conversations - your every breath - can be overheard… that must be desperate.

Morgan Elliott comments : This Moncler jacket that I basically spent my whole student loan on isn't proving enough for the Arctic conditions I've found myself in recently. I don't even think Bear Grylls would be able to survive the temperatures that my mother chooses to put us through.

Why the hell do people have kids? - renegade mothering

It's ironic that she spends literally a tenner a day on coffee but she can't afford to heat up the house for her dear son. There are glasses in the dishwasher full of dirty water because they have been loaded the wrong way. He has a university degree, how can he not know how to put a glass in a dishwasher?


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The luxury chorizo sausage that was meant for a family tea has been demolished. Maybe I can use the chicken breast instead? No, apparently not. Or the lamb chops? All gone.

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Morgan comments : Seeing as I'm her son, it makes sense for my mum to want to feed me. However, this doesn't seem to be the case. Sometimes I'll spot a bit of chicken in the fridge and I might just decide to cook it up into a wholesome meal. Mum's phone's off but I'm sure providing her son with something to eat won't be too much of a problem.

This is always a big regret though.


  • 12/06: – GAZA / CODE ORANGE KIDS / FULL OF HELL.
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  • This small decision of mine has now somehow become a case of me potentially being kicked out of the house, and this isn't even an exaggeration. And a year-old man needs to eat! If it's cold when I'm working at home I light the fire in one room, Ebenezer-Scrooge-like. Imagine my wrath when I see him flitting about the house in a T-shirt and boxers with all the radiators full on.

    Option 3. Let it go in a Zen-like fashion and pay the extra heating bill, ignoring the nagging voice that tells you what a mug you are. It's the hidden expense that Morgan doesn't see. I noticed one was missing, then an almighty scream. Quinn decided to wear one as a ring and, predictably, had gotten it extremely stuck. Thankfully my wife added some dishwashing liquid, ran Quinn's hand under a cold tap and managed to wriggle the thing off.

    I am alone, legs crossed on the hard wooden floor, folding insanely intricate pieces of cardboard in an attempt to make handlebars for a video game motorbike I can barely comprehend. How did it come to this? I was certain Labo would instantly win over my nephew, Elijah, 7 years old, creative and razor-sharp. That he would sit next to me as we huddled around the Nintendo Switch and folded meticulously. When I took this photo I was still blissfully unaware my son had totally wrecked the Labo motorbike. Two minutes and he was off with his cousin Quinn playing Beyblades, dressed up in a bedsheet that doubled as a superhero cape.

    It immediately became apparent I would be building everything Labo had to offer on my lonesome. Adult family members darted in and out of my house. Eating lunch, having conversations. In an imagined time-lapse I sat still in one exact spot as the world spun in orbit, folding cardboard, attaching elastic bands. The fishing rod was a smash hit with the kids, but the motorbike?

    Want to have an adventure with kids? Plan the hell out of it

    Less so. We found it difficult to control and the game was a little uninspired. It took me roughly two hours to build Labo's bike and the kids were bored and frustrated within minutes. They asked for the fishing rod game again. I was happy to oblige. Eventually the older kids were gone. Lincoln, the 2-year-old hell-dwarf, waddled up. Sure, why not? I set up the fishing rod and left for a quick minute break. I took some deep breaths, made a cup of tea and sat on the couch scrolling through Twitter.

    When I returned my son was still going buck wild on the fishing rod.

    He wasn't looking at the screen. Left for 15 minutes and 2YO got his hands on Labo. Nice work. Ah yes, fantastic. The motorcycle I had spend two long hours crafting had been mindlessly shredded by my 2-year-old.

    It doesn't look like a lot of damage, but some context: The right handle bar is where you slot in the controller. The other ripped part is where the Nintendo Switch screen goes. It was almost as if my son had deliberately targeted the key part of the cardboard required for the game to function. I thought about the reviews I'd read, a significant percentage of which were clearly written by men in their mids who probably hadn't even seen a child in months. I thought about the words they'd lavishly used to describe Labo: "It could well be the most exciting thing to come along from the games industry since Minecraft".

    IN NUMBERS

    I thought about the words used by Nintendo, which had cheerfully told me during a preview, "We want people to troubleshoot Labo themselves if things go wrong, that's part of the fun! Presumably all households have a spare Mary Poppins at their disposal to wave magical umbrellas at torn-up Labo kits, but I certainly don't. Sure, I could tape the motorcycle back together with some electric tape -- but I am not MacGyver.

    Ikea furniture sends me into cold sweats.