Friday, 28 October 2016

Teenagers vs Zombies

Half term is nearly over *does faint cheer* and this only means one thing.  Halloween *doesn't cheer*.

OK so most people with children embrace this time of year, and believe me over the years I've tried. But I'm just not keen.  Sorry.

Anyway, it's half term which means I've been forced to spend more time than is normal with my teenagers and so I have come to the conclusion that I don't need to celebrate Halloween anyway.  Why?  Because I'm bloody well living it.  That's why.

Have you ever noticed just how similar a teenager is to a zombie?

I can't help but feel like I've entered some sort of Zombie Apocalypse over the past week.

My teenager's behaviour is hard enough at the best of times to understand but this is undeniably the most puzzling thing yet. I have watched as they have been spending large chunks of time inside their crypt bedrooms, not speaking to us and looking vacant.  It's like living with the undead.  In fact, the similarities between the teens and a pair of Zombies are uncanny (and I know because I've checked Wikipedia).

Maybe my teenagers have in fact turned into Zombies?  Maybe all teenagers go a little bit Zombie eventually? I'm pretty sure I'm on to something here, so let's consider the evidence...

1.   Appearance

Zombies are able to move but still technically dead aren't they?  Well, teenagers are kind of the same.  They have the ability to move (although often stay in the same YouTube watching position all day) and you might be forgiven for thinking that they are dead given that there are very few vital signs of life except for one thing. The eye roll.  Just ask them a question and you'll see it.  Come to think of it, Zombies also have that same glassy eye roll thing going on too.  Oh dear...

A Zombie or a teenager, who can tell?

2.  Groaning and single word answers

When I say that I've been spending more time with my teens recently, what I actually mean is that they've just been at home more.  The levels of communication between us still remain the same (if not a little bit less). Just wish a teen "good morning!" when they appear from their room and shuffle their way to the fridge for breakfast and you'll hear it too.  The groan. Followed by a single word, "fooooood".  A Zombie would use the more traditional phrase "brainnns" of course, which leads me on to my next point.

3.  Hunger

A Zombie's main purpose is to eat human flesh and in particular suck out your brains.  A teenagers main purpose is to eat the contents of your fridge and kitchen cupboards.  They are a bit less fussy at least.  Teens also suck out your will to live eventually too.  They are versatile like that.

We had these halloween donuts and the teens ate all my favorite
 smores ones *sulks*

4.  Lives in a decaying or rotting state

Dishevelled appearance (sometimes ripped clothing), discoloured skin and what is that smell?  Nope not just for Zombies, teens also rock this look too.  While the ripped jeans trend and the ability for teen girls to wear far too much make-up copy Kim Kardashian's contouring techniques can be blamed for part of this, there is still that awful rotting smell, which had no explanation.  I have lamented before on the state of my teen's bedrooms.  The smell is ingrained in every inch of those bedrooms, and I can't quite understand why.  The top notes of deodorant and cheap body spray don't add much to it either.

5.  They travel in packs

In the movies Zombies travel in packs, but then slightly more terrifyingly, so do teens.  If you've ever had the misfortune to find yourself outside a secondary school at home time you'll know what I mean.  They swarm together like some sort of unstoppable force.  Even if you happen to be in your car you will not be safe as they lumber across the road with a complete disregard for anybody else heading their way.  While Zombies are no doubt on the lookout for some nice fresh brains, teenagers are more than likely playing Pokemon Go or popping to the corner shop for yet more food, it's very easy to get the two things confused though.

6.  Contagiousness 

Now, most people know that if a Zombie catches you and bites you then you'll become a Zombie too. Teenagers though?  Well, they don't bite you (which is good at least - Christ knows when they last cleaned their teeth) but is their behaviour contagious?  I do believe so.  The clumsiness, the sometimes violent outbursts - one teen starts and another joins in.  And like Zombies, they often leave a trail of destruction in their wake.  Not dead corpses or anything so macabre, no.  In this house it appears to be a trail of endless washing up...

I took this picture and 10 minutes later there were another
3 glasses there too. The dishwasher is 2 feet away (true story) 

The thing is, I'm not sure how to change them back.  Can you even change a Zombie teen back into a human (wikipedia was a bit vague on this)?

I would quite like to have my normal argumentative teens back, even if it meant I had to listen to rows between them over who's in who's room or whether one looked at the other or not. *sigh* Halcyon days...

But hey, it could be worse I suppose.  At least after this holiday I'm well versed in what to do if and when the Zombie Apocalypse happens.  So that's good.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Kitting the kids out for the rain with GO Outdoors

If you've read my blog before, you will no doubt remember that my teenagers don't really like wearing coats all that much.  Yes, even in the depths of winter they'd rather freeze than wear a coat (that's if they were to ever leave their bedrooms, of course).

So, when GO Outdoors got in touch with me to ask if my children would like some of their raincoats from their back to school range, my initial thought was "well, that will be a waste of time, I'll be lucky if I can even get them to try them on!".

But, the teen girl was the first to crack.  It appears that sometimes, just sometimes, she gets a little fed up with a soaking wet blazer on the way to and from school in the rain.  I had suggested taking her umbrella, but those have been broken and lost *rolls eyes* and her regular coat is too big for keeping in her bag once she gets to school.

So I was really pleased to see that the range from GO Outdoors includes a lightweight packable raincoat that comes with its own storage bag, which is just perfect for stowing away in a school bag when not in use. Even more importantly for us, the sizing goes right up to age 15-16, so both teenagers could have one!

The stowaway jackets in their storage bags

When the jackets arrived I was pleasantly surprised at the quality considering that they were just £10 each. Firstly they come in their own drawstring storage bag which has a small carrying handle and mesh sides.  The coat itself has taped seams, two internal storage pockets, two zipped external pockets and a hood with a flap to secure it when rolled up and not in use.  The coats fasten with a sturdy zip with fabric that velcros over the top to keep things waterproof.  I was really impressed and the teen girl in particular loved the dark purple colour she had been sent.

Last weekend we finally got a chance to try the coats in the wind and rain at the Manchester Half Marathon (in which I was running!).  DH and the kids all came to support me and it came as no surprise that after watching a beautiful sunrise over Old Trafford as we arrived, as soon as I reached the start line the heavens opened in quite a spectacular fashion.  Just typical for Manchester.

My family had decided to stay close to the start to cheer on the runners and as the first three miles was a loop back to that point, this is where I saw them - and to my surprise, THE TEENAGERS WERE WEARING THEIR COATS.  The rain was really pouring at that stage (unfortunately I managed to dodge the official photographer at this point and so you'll never see a picture of me to illustrate how wet it was) and my husband was really soaked, but happily the kids weren't.

As for the sizing - the teens found that the jackets were pretty good, allowing for additional, and essential, hoodies to be worn underneath to ward off the cold.  I'm sure over half term they will be a very useful addition to their wardrobes because of this.

And when everyone returns to school the coats will also fit very neatly into their school bags, just in case the weather turns on the way home from school.

They hardly take up any space in a school bag

This of course means less nagging and a big thumbs up from me :)

We were sent two higear kids stowaway jackets form GO Outdoors for the purpose of this review.  All words and opinions are our own.
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