Forget childhood, our kids are suffering from accelerated maturity!

Regular readers will know I’m a doting grandmother, however, it occurred to me this week that my eight- year-old little cherub is alarmingly now on the cusp of puberty.  Yes, I said puberty because worryingly, according to a report in ‘Puberty starts on average in girls between ages 8 and 13 and in boys between ages 9 and 14.’

  Now I don’t know about you folks, but from where I stand, this makes for pretty unnerving information. As the onset of puberty, i.e. entry into adulthood, happens at a younger age, it means my innocent little angel, who is the light of my life, and whom, last week when I telephoned her, instead of answering the phone with her usual, “Hey Nana, wassup?” in front of her pals growled a bored “What!” down the receiver; is now feeling the pressure of adolescence where it’s no longer cool to have cosy chats with the aul wan who’ll always have her bail money stashed away…just in case. However, as my granddaughter’s accelerated maturity breaks my heart, leading me to want to jump in the car, drive to Dublin and attempt to reclaim her innocent, fast-fading childhood, our ‘phone call’ reminded me of an article I read in last Friday’s regarding the death of a 16-year-old British girl who tragically succumbed to a rare blood clot disorder which, according to the piece, occurred “after her contraceptive pill gave her deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on a family holiday in Gran Canaria.”

  An article in reports the teen’s mother saying she had “accompanied her daughter” to her doctor where she was prescribed the pill.

  Now I’m making no judgements regarding this poor mother for putting her daughter on the pill at such a young age, nor am I making judgements against this tragic young teenage girl; in fact I applaud the mother in her quest to be a responsible, nurturing parent and firmly believe that the decision as to whether or not you place your teenager on contraception is both a difficult and personal one that should start with a discussion at home and conclude down at your doctor’s surgery.

  When my girls were teenagers with boyfriends, knowing how easy it is to get pregnant and how hard it is for peer-pressured teens to remain innocent, I discussed the possibilities of contraception with them and the conclusion was, as having sex appeared to be on the cards, prevention was better than cure; especially when, in this day and age, many teens tend to think that ‘abstinence’ is something they only do at Lent!

  To be honest readers, these are probably the kids who’ll aspire to heading to KFC rather than UCG if you get my drift; (and there’s nothing wrong with that either), but still, if a parent can help their child avoid a crisis pregnancy, (and it appears that’s what this grieving mother was trying to do) then who can blame them?

  A parent’s job is to get their kid through life, through school and hopefully through college until they’re at an age where they’re mature enough to decide if they wish to have babies. A parent’s job is to be sensitive, caring, understanding, guiding, and to anticipate the dangers and the pitfalls. Let me tell you threatening, screaming and grounding will get you nowhere. And remember, while I would always advise you encourage your teen to explore alternative routes of interacting with her boyfriend, and while the pill doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases, do bear in mind that discussing the possibility of contraception with your daughter is NOT, as some accused me, giving them a licence to have sex, rather it’s…and big picture here…protecting them, educating them and preparing them in the best way that you can.

Poisoning us, pilfering our land and charging us for it!

I’m a strong, proud North Dubliner whose been living among you for nearly four years now, and, having experienced this county’s floods, snow, ruinous effects of unemployment, hospital A&E closures and a slew of shattered promises made by our government, I have to say, despite the fact we’re all up against it – I hope you don’t mind me including myself as one of your own; after all, I have the honour of writing for your favourite newspaper, and you’ve all been so welcoming to me – the quality I’ve noticed most about you, the lovely people of Roscommon; is your endurance, your stoicism, your friendliness and your ability to down tools and fight the good fight.

  So, let’s stop Enda and yer wan with the Thatcherite idiosyncrasies – iPhone Joan – from pilfering part of our county with a swipe of their pens, (again, hope you don’t mind the ‘our’). 

  Earlier this week, it was revealed, that once again, Bonnie & Clyde had placed their seedy, greedy, gluttonous, pickpocket politics before people by rushing through a Bill to steal payment for water charges from our wages and welfare – water which, according to a report on  contains a ‘chemical linked to cancer,’ meaning  they’re now charging us to consume toxins!

  However, while I’m no solicitor, my understanding of The Sale of Goods and Services Act, 1980, is that all goods we purchase, (and we are being forced to purchase water), ‘must be fit for their purpose’ – in the case of water, it MUST be safe to drink. It’s clear to me folks, given this week’s damning findings by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) that the water in Roscommon is NOT safe to drink; that there are serious compliance issues associated with these scandalous revelations and, the irony is, as consumers, despite the fact we are meant to be protected by Irish and EU laws, our government, the very ones asking us to re-elect them, is slowly lacing us with poison through our kitchen taps. 

  Yep, they’re bumping us off, stealing our land and charging us for it. Perhaps I’m being paranoid here, but the term draconian holocaust keeps springing to my suspicious mind.  

Kristina and Ben to have a Tiny Dancer

The rumoured romance between dancer and CBB evictee, Kristina Rihanoff and the then-married rugby player Ben Cohen was possibly the most scandalous allegation to come out of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing TV series. However, with the self-named ‘Strictly Siren’ Kristina’s recent impending motherhood revelations, it’s clear dancing is no longer her priority…er, sorry, but when was it ever, love? I thought publicity-seeking was top of your agenda; but I digress.      

  So what next for Kristina, I wonder. Will she and Ben now star in their own gross out reality TV show dazzling us all (including Ben’s poor former wife) with how Kristina can slip into her rightful place at the centre of domesticity? Will Kristina hang up her compact dancing cossies, fake tan and G-strings in favour of a gingham apron, fur-trimmed marigolds, wall to wall smelly nappies and cracked nipples?

  Watch this space folks because personally I fear the flagging diva is too immature and wrapped up in her own self-importance to cope with the trials and tribulations of motherhood. Still, nice to see she’s managing to hold onto that trailer park trash image!