There are few more stressful times than VCE final year exams. Two weeks of nerve-jangling anxiety, of unbearable pressure, and of headache-inducing tension. The students, of course, have it a lot easier. That's right, I'm talking about the stresses inherent with being the parent of a VCE student, who - being a teenager - has a general expectation that the world revolves around them but, during VCE exams, amps this expectation up to the max. Here in my household we (and I use the term 'we' with reluctant accuracy) still have three exams to go and I'm not sure if we (i.e. I) will be able to make it. I've decided there should be another holiday concurrent with 'schoolies' that should be called something like 'school-parenties', even though I admit that doesn't have quite the same festive ring (and, if you repeat it really quickly, sounds a little like 'skull panties', which may attract an undesirable element. And wouldn't they be disappointed). My point is that when there is a VCE student in the family (aka the Chosen One), the whole household suffers. Some of the ramifications include:
- Absolute silence while the Chosen One studies (ours turned into a banshee for a brief period yesterday, sort of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Heather Mills. All because her sister and I engaged in a somewhat loud conversation - about evolution if you're interested).
- Constant cleaning up after the Chosen One's frequent forays into the kitchen for sustenance (cleaning up after themselves might break the concentration).
- Being there to provide feedback and/or a politely listening face whenever required. No matter what you were doing or whether Elle was trapped in a well with a man other than her fiance on Neighbours and rescue was looking decidedly shaky.
- Bacon and eggs or some such every exam morning as several experts (thanks, guys) have informed the Chosen Ones that a hearty breakfast is essential.
- Not 'loading' anything on the Chosen One as (apparently) they have enough to deal with already.
One of the ironies of the situation is that our particular Chosen One keeps talking about how she can't wait to move out while the rest of us concur so heartily we're putting together a petition. Even the dog has signed it. Twice. Fortunately tomorrow is Melbourne Cup Day, which means that I shall have a socially-sanctioned excuse to down a bottle (or two) of champagne. Even a little temporary oblivion may help recharge my batteries. The Chosen One has announced she will deign to join our celebrations for the better part of the day (i.e. probably until clean-up commences), as she could do with a break anyway. So have a good day, everyone, and I'll have a drink for each and every one of you. Hope you all pick a winner!