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What to do with 18yo girls on holidays

(10 Posts)
AussieSim Wed 17-Sep-03 19:10:43

My half sister is 18 and is bringing two girlfriends and staying with me for 10 days in November. They are celebrating the end of their exams. I don't live in a particularly exciting city in Germany and I have a 7.5mo DS. None of the girls have any German language. My sister says not to worry about planning trips etc, but I think it will be a must. Any ideas of how I can keep them occupied will be gratefully received.

Plus: I am also worried they will be expecting me to cook and clean for them, but don't want to seem like a stodgey old bag for sitting them down the moment they arrive and explaining that I will not be 'mothering' them during their stay.

janh Wed 17-Sep-03 21:41:51

Do you have satellite/cable? MTV fills a good few otherwise empty moments in our house. (Also Friends etc.)

Your city may not be very exciting but I bet there are a) interesting "exotic" shops and b) lots of places where teens hang out, and the German ones should have good enough English to communicate with your sister and her friends. Also they will love your DS and will probably be happy to take him out to parks etc for a bit. And just not being at home, and being in a new foreign place free from parents, will be so chilling they should be really happy!

If you don't want to have to cook and clean for them, tell your sister that *before* they arrive - anyway in 10 days they shouldn't need too much laundry doing (my teenage DDs have had 14-day holidays in Spain when no noticeable laundry took place!) - but am assuming you will cook one or two evening meals while they are there? And maybe they could babysit once or twice so you and DH can have an evening out? Then maybe a couple of visits to interesting places that you would like to go to and that you think they would like?

10 days does sound like a scarily long time but it isn't really...hope it all goes smoothly!

AussieSim Thu 18-Sep-03 19:14:03

Thanks JanH, some good ideas. I should start to relax I guess, but November is such a crap weather month here. I was toying with the idea of asking a friend of my dh's to take them out on the town, but would die if anything happened - u know. I might drop a subtle e-mail to my sister about the cooking & washing thing.

I was actually thinking maybe they would have fun selecting some recipes from my cookbooks then shopping for the ingredients (no mean feat in another language) and then cooking it up, or am I just hopelessly out of touch to think that might be fun?

Mooma Sun 21-Sep-03 12:45:05

AussieSim - teenagers vary so much. Some are very helpful and unobtrusive, others are like an alien life form. If you don't want to skivvy for them, don't. They will ask to use the laundry facilities if they need to. As far as cooking goes, I would find it hard not to offer meals to guests staying in my house, but then my kids say I try to feed everyone!
Don't look in their rooms while they are with you...it will only upset you! Make sure they strip the beds and put bedlinen and used towels in the laundry before they leave.
Perhaps you could suss out local transport links, get hold of timetables and local info so they can plan days out.
You will probably find they are delightful...I really like my 18 yr old dd's friends, and I'm over twice their age.

AussieSim Mon 22-Sep-03 14:45:17

Thanks Mooma! I know my sister is very helpful and says she is just looking forward to spending time with my ds and I. I also know my sister doesn't do a thing for herself at home. I have no idea what the other two will be like and what there expectations are. I think I am pretty groovy for a 34yo mum, but can't be sure ...

I am hoping I can talk them into a brief trip to Amsterdam - only a few hours away by train, plus some day trips to Cologne and Münster.

I must sound strange over the cooking but have gotten out of the habit since I was bedridden during my pregnancy and my hubby got into the habit of cooking on the weekends (the only time he is home). I heat up his fab leftovers, or have something very simple - I never could be bothered cooking for myself. Poor ds thinks that everything that tastes good comes from a lovely colourful jar. Every week I promise myself I will start preparing his food myself - maybe it will happen this week.

janh Mon 22-Sep-03 16:25:53

Mooma is probably right that they will be delightful - other peoples' daughters always are!
Couldn't possibly second guess on the cooking but out of 3 I would have thought at least one should be able to cook a bit - even if it's only pasta. (And there's always McDonalds.)

Do they have readymeals in Germany?

Amsterdam, Cologne and Munster sound great - they will enjoy going on European trains I think!

They will just really enjoy being free from parental supervision for a bit. It's nice of you to have them and they will appreciate that.

AussieSim Wed 24-Sep-03 19:14:23

Thanks Janh. They aren't that big into ready meals over here - very big into cooking large hearty meals mainly consisting of meat (read pork)and potatoes. I am starting to relax and think I will just have to play it by ear.

AussieSim Mon 01-Dec-03 19:03:15

I just wanted to close this out with an update of how I got on with the three girls. At first they were quite jet-lagged, so not much pressure for night time entertainment for the first few days. On their first night I prepared Tacos, easy and popular. On their first full day I took them to Düsseldorf, which is a reasonable drive. My ds was well behaved as we strolled around the old section of the city, checked out the christmas markets and went to the art gallery there which is fabulous. On the Saturday night (their 4th day here) I took them bowling with an expat group from the area (while my dh baby sat). It was quite a cultural experience as it was quite different than home (mirror balls, loud music, waitresses taking cocktail oders, very smoky and men dropping their duds when they didn't get at least one pin.) My dh was very helpful - preparing breakfasts and helping them plan a quick whip around Germany by train (as suggested by Janh) and staying in youth hostels. In five days they saw Munich, Berlin and Hamburg and got a much more independant taste for the country and had great fun. When they got back I took them to Münster which is a lovely old university town/village which also has a great Picasso Museum which had a Tolouse Lautrec exhibition on as well. We did other stuff as well and all in all I think they were pretty happy with the experience.

On the downside, I said I would do their washing, as I am always washing for ds anyway, and so they were putting woolen jumpers (worn only once) into the basket - I explained that I didn't have the time or inclination to do handwashing, but I would hang them to air out. Only one of them (not my sister) was even vaguely house trained (youngest of 5 siblings). There was quite a funny scene when I asked the other friend to peel a carrot (quite obviously not an experience she had had before).

Janh - MTV certainly did get a run (the osbournes - how ridiculous and uninteresting is that show).

Mooma, I planned their local trips - and didn't look into their room or bathroom till they left (thank god the cleaner was here today).

I'm glad they came (and glad to have the place back to myself and ds back in his routine).

codswallop Mon 01-Dec-03 19:41:39

wow tho As ,i bet they wont forget that in a hurry - well done!

I think you coped really well and went out of your way.

Ok Iam coming next week with three boys under 5 ...Ok?

janh Mon 01-Dec-03 21:39:21

AussieSim, thanks for the update - you did brilliantly! Congratulations! And you coped so well with the cooking/laundry/messy room stuff - well, it *sounds* as if you didn't get stressed about it (I don't do handwashing either. If my dds buy handwash stuff, they do it themselves or it goes in the machine.)

Glad you enjoyed having them too - what a nice sister you are - I loved the bit about the bowling alley (the men dropping their duds - eurghh!) LOL about peeling the carrot. Well done!

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