The Battle Weary Hymn of a Year 9 Parent

I don’t often write about my kids anymore because their stories are no longer mine to tell. In having said that, my yarns are free game. And in this ever-increasing world of social media, in which people love to show off their glossiness, this ain’t one of those adorable posts.

My name is Mrs. Woog and I survived being the parent of a kid in year 9. Only just.

I remember being in year 9. I was particularly good at it, being that I was forever in trouble, cutting classes, sneaking out of the Boarding School with my friends to catch the train into the city to hang out with American Soldiers in seedy, underground bars. I was that kid who never really applied themselves to anything, but got by on my sense of rat cunning instead.

So I know a little bit about how to bullshit when you are in year 9, and if they gave out an award at the end of the year for it, I would have been victorious.

I have passed my rat cunningness onto my oldest son, which is unfortunate for him, because as they say, you can never bullshit a bullshit artist.

I am not going to sugar coat this my friends. Having spent the first two years of high school specialising on Class Clown 101, I knew that I would have to dust off my Rat Cunning Handbook and send in the big kahunas. I got the prospectus of every Country Boarding schools in NSW, and presented them to him. I told him to take some time to go though them and tell me which one he liked the look of the best.

Turns out, he didn’t like any of them and promised me he would pull his finger out in Year 9.

Year 9 is often described as the worst year in high school. And this has proven to be true. Thankfully, our local public high school are very well equipped in dealing with this age group. I had to go to several meetings during the year do deal with situations that resulted in some very dim decisions. But it has always been two big steps forward before having a brain fart. We also had to travel the terrible journey of losing one of his classmates to suicide. That is a lesson that you are never prepared for, no matter what your age.

His boundaries were adjusted as required, and although sometimes I wanted to sink tequila and scream into a pillow, I learnt to choose my battles and walk away at times. For me, yelling doesn’t work in our family. It just makes a tense time much worse. Offloading to my gorgeous girlfriends was enormously beneficial, as was the support my got from our extended family.

Oh and the hormones, the mood swings (I CALL DIBS ON ALL THE MOOD SWINGS IN THIS HOUSE BUDDY), the constant objections and the fact that most sentences I got out of him this year was WWHHYYYYYER. YER needs to be on the end of every phrase. If you are the parent of a year nine child, past or present, you will totally know what I am talking about.

“I don’t want tooooo-yer”

“Darling please have a shower…”

“Why don’t you have a showeeer-yer.

But with the lows came the great highs. Watching him drift from boyhood into manhood, there have been moments that my heart burst with pride. He has amazing male and female adult role-models who he speaks comfortably with, and I am very grateful that he has them. His mates are a group of divine humans, who treat my house like their own. They are always bringing in the bins, and unpacking the dishwasher. They tell me their secrets and ask for advice. About girls, and how to get rid of their mono-brows. I gently suggest to them when it is time to acquaint themselves with a razor, and I am constantly eaten out of house and home.

Yet. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I think my reward for getting my son through Year 9 will be watching him tomorrow, as he gets onstage to receive his own reward of topping his maths class! No country boarding school for my boy! I am not under any illusion that there will not be more dips in the road, and despite my personal suspension having to be replaced several times over this year, I think we have all done alright.

That’s the best we can do hey! The main thing that I want for my children is I want them to be happy, learn from their mistakes and graduate to be a stand up, fully paid up member of the human race. And if I we can do that, then our work will be done.

How did you go parenting a Year 9 Kid?

Smooth sailing, or was the road a little rocky….