Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Fun and the Fury

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Fun and the Fury

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alison Ferst Evening Gazette

Four teenagers and an 11-year-old adds up to a noisy, loud, sometimes traumatic, often fun household for one Teesside family.

When Wendy and Andrew Tucker came together and married six years ago they brought together a family of five.

Now Daniel is 19, Michael, 18, Ben, 17, Holly, 15, and there's 11-year-old J.J. rushing to catch up with his siblings.

And it can all spell heaven and hell for the Stockton family who have had to cope with many things including a drugs problem as well as all the usual teenage angst.

Says Wendy: "One morning they wake up and suddenly they are moody, they smell and they grunt."

It's led to huge blow-ups which they have had to cope with but also a great deal of fun.

Instead of a family car, there is a 12-seater minibus parked in the driveway: "We know the kids want to take friends with them when we go out for the day which is only fair so we bought a minibus," Wendy grins.

They all piled in it one summer for a holiday - well they took four of the children and left one at home.

Wendy can laugh now at the memory: "When we got back it was like Beirut. There'd been about 20 people sleeping here every night. Some of my ornaments I've never seen since."

Andrew adds: "Every plum on the tree outside had been squashed over the garden. The neighbours could hardly bring themselves to look at us."

To make matters worse, the family had borrowed the school's PA system and it had been used for parties which had more than just the neighbours complaining. "People were coming from right the way down the road," Wendy reflects.

A pounds 250 phone bill was the final straw: "We made him pay it," Wendy says grimly.

Wendy and Andrew, both 44, admit raising teenagers can be exhausting: "There are times when you're on your way to bed and they suddenly decide they want to talk and you have to sit up until one in the morning and listen," Wendy admits.

It's also physically tiring so the couple have some basic rules - all the children are responsible for keeping their own rooms tidy and mum and dad refuse to do it. …

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