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My name is Tracy Beaker and these are my Survival Files.
Your essential guide to the ups and downs of growing up.
Life in the Dumping Ground has taught me a lot about stuff.
Stuff that can make you want to scream.
If you can cope with the stuff that goes down in this place,
you can cope with anything.
I've spent most of my life here.
When I was a kid and now it's where I work.
I've learnt a lot about friends.
About what life can throw at you.
It's not always been pretty.
But it's made me who I am today.
Now, I'm passing on my wisdom to you guys in a video blog.
Pay attention. I've lived through all of this, so you don't have to.
On the Tracy Beaker Survival Files, this time. First love.
Dealing with dates and coping with crushes.
How to handle the strange and scary world of love and romance.
Young love. One of the weirdest bits of growing up.
It's like your personality changes over night. Well, sort of.
It's complicated. Boys are smelly, noisy pests
and some girls can be irritating and giggly.
But it doesn't seem to matter any more.
Cos, just when you least expect it...
someone walks into the room.
-Lol, Lol, are you all right?
And you're smitten.
# Please don't tease I'm begging you, please
# I'm down on my knees You're holding the keys
# To my heart. #
Yup, it's powerful stuff.
But then we hit trouble.
Most people can't come out and say they like someone.
Which is hardly surprising, cos love's unpredictable.
People are always falling for people who are totally wrong for them.
Or just wrong, full stop.
Like when Crash decided that he fancied Justine Littlewood.
Yeah, THAT Justine Littlewood. I know!
I never had a problem telling Justine what I thought about her.
But, for Crash, it was different.
I just came to ask.
I mean, if Elaine's really making us pair up for this party.
-What I'm saying is...
-Will I go with you?
-As mates, yeah?
-As mates? I mean, yeah.
-All right, then.
Was there something else?
-No, nothing else.
-See you later, then.
Crash couldn't tell her how he felt.
Maybe he was embarrassed that he fancied Justine.
-What's up with you?
-Er, pff, nothing.
Can't think why.
When love is in the air, often people can't express themselves.
They try to show their feelings in different ways.
That can produce some interesting results.
Like the time when Bouncer fell in love.
Hey, everyone, I'd like you to meet Jane, she's a student care worker.
It started when a new student care worker turned up.
-Hey, Norwich City, you like football?
-Oh, that's Lol.
And this is his brother Bouncer.
Bouncer? You all right?
Suddenly, our big,
lovable Bouncer fancied himself as a romantic hero-type.
Or a poet.
Jane, you are to me, what Norwich City would to me be,
if I were to see, in every Satur-dee.
Or maybe a style icon.
-You look like a fruit salad.
-It's to impress Jane.
I'm going to impress her now by doing a scorpion kick.
A scorpion kick?
What's wrong with this picture? Everything.
Bouncer was trying too hard to impress.
-Lol, chuck it up.
Bouncer! Are you OK?
That's a classic example of how not to get the woman of your dreams.
What should we do?
Let's ask the girls, how do you get a boy to like you?
Um, make sure you look your best. Oh, and give them a nice smile.
Pay them a compliment. That's what all boys want to hear.
How amazing they are(!)
Laugh at all their jokes. Especially the rubbish ones.
OK, well, the golden rule is don't try too hard.
Let the boys do the work.
It's the only way they'll learn to do what we want.
-Elektra, how do you get a boy to notice you?
Take down the hardest guy in the group.
Then you've got everyone's attention.
-Actually, I meant romantically.
-Even easier. I don't.
They only let you down anyway.
Hmm. Lots of different ideas there.
The different advice can be confusing.
But it's important to get off to the right start.
Exactly what I didn't do with my first crush.
A boy called Wilson, who'd come to the Dumping Ground
while his mum was in hospital.
-You must be the new guy. Wilson?
-Nice to meet you.
'We didn't exactly get off to the perfect start.'
-Take that! Argh. And that!
-This must be my initiation test.
-It's exactly how I pictured it.
-No! This is payback.
-Payback for what?
'I told you. Love can be unpredictable.
'It was case of mistaken identity.
'I thought Wilson was Adam, Louise's boyfriend, who was always
'playing tricks on her. And needed the Beaker treatment.'
-This is Adam.
'I realised there'd been a misunderstanding
'and let Wilson out just a few hours later.
'And he was just fine with it.'
-Aren't you going to thank me?
Do you realise how long you left me down there?
-I could have died!
-But you didn't.
-That's not the point.
-Um, you must be Wilson.
-W-When did you arrive?
-A while ago.
And why are you covered in... What is this?
Mainly flour and rotten egg.
I see. Tracy, I thought we had an understanding.
-Why is it always your fault?
Actually, I did this to myself.
See, I love pouring flour over me and I LOVE the smell of rotten egg.
I didn't get it.
I'd always been getting into trouble,
sometimes for things I'd not done.
Here was this boy, taking the blame for something that
was probably a little bit my fault.
What was up with that?
'What was up was the poor boy was desperately in love with me.'
-Well, it's, um, definitely an improvement.
Ah. Tracy. Help me get this junk out my hair.
Touch your hair? I don't think so.
Please, my mum won't be impressed if I turn up like this.
'And the thing is,
'I wasn't 100% sure that I completely hated him too.'
So, you're visiting your mum tomorrow?
Yeah, but I'm not looking forward to it.
Well, I am, it's just the first time I've seen her since...
Don't worry, I'm sure she'll be pleased to see you.
Never thought I'd see the day Tracy Beaker had a crush on a boy.
-What? I don't, I don't even like Wilson!
-Thanks very much.
-It's sickeningly obvious. Tracy Beaker is in love.
-I AM NOT IN LOVE.
-I... He's an ugly, boring geek.
-It's OK, I'm not offended.
Well, you should be!
'I couldn't get my head around what was happening.
'Cool, calm, collected me getting all hot and bothered about a boy.'
-Tracy! See you later.
-Yeah, bye, whatever.
Now, look what you made me do. Just...leave me alone!
-Are you OK?
-I was distracted.
N-Not by Wilson, by the sun, it was in my eyes.
'This boy was getting to me. Act normally, I thought.'
I was only saying bye to Wilson because he said it to me first.
It would've been rude not to.
'No-one must guess what I was really feeling.'
I wouldn't have minded if I said goodbye or not.
I'm going to see him later.
I think he's feeling a bit emotional, his mum's in hospital.
I'm not worried about this mum.
I haven't even met her. He's the one that's worried.
He plays guitar, did I mention that?
-He's made quite an impression on you.
What do you mean?
'She is amazing sometimes, Cam.
'I never said anything to her, but she knew all along.
'It's like she could read my thoughts.
'Finally it happened. Wilson and I were alone.
'He was giving the toilet bowl a good scrub, I remember.'
-Would you come to the hospital with me tomorrow?
Do you want me to come and see your mum?
Only if you want to. It's just, I don't want to go alone.
The truth is, I really like you, Tracy Beaker.
That's nice. But there's really no need to say it out loud.
-Maybe if you go this way and I go this way?
OK, I like you.
We thought we were alone, but we weren't.
The wicked witch of the Dumping Ground had seen.
She got on her broomstick and spread the gossip.
Talk about romantic. They were stood next to the bog!
Maybe the bleach fumes confused Wilson's poor mind.
Give it a rest, you rotten lot. Let's go dig.
'The last thing I needed was people taking the mick.
'But I kept my dignity.'
Go back to the hospital for some more secret snogging.
-Prepare to eat a knuckle burger.
'Shelley was the head care worker and she had news.'
-Why are you going to the hospital?
Wilson asked me to go with him to see his mum.
Oh, she was discharged this morning. Nathan took Wilson home first thing.
So, he's gone.
-Some boyfriend(!) He left without saying goodbye.
I'm really not in the least bit bothered.
Why should I be bothered?
I'd agreed to go with this boy to see his mum,
who I'd never even met.
And now, I didn't have to go after all.
It felt like the world was ending.
'Yeah, it bothered me. It bothered me a lot.
'The thing to remember is, that's normal.
'At some point, this sort of thing will happen to everyone.'
-You left this in the dining room.
-Shelley, you're so predictable.
I know why you're here, but I really don't care about Wilson at all.
-He's gone. So what? Kids leave the Dumping Ground every other week.
'When your heart is broken, don't expect anyone,
'especially adults, to say anything helpful.'
There'll be plenty of other boys.
That first kiss is always the sweetest.
'Careful, Shelley. Memories of your first kiss
'is getting close to too much information.'
I remember my first boyfriend.
'Oh, no, sorry, I'm definitely going to have to stop you there.'
What have we learnt so far to upload into my Survival Files?
That, unlike Shelley's romantic tales, won't make us feel queasy.
Feeling differently about boys or girls can take you by surprise.
It's a big change in your life, but one that is perfectly normal.
Don't be surprised if it feels a bit weird at first.
And it can be confusing.
You can't think of anything else, but you don't want
others to know about it, in case they take the mickey.
And it can be hard to say what you mean. Don't panic.
The other person might be feeling the same way too.
I'm afraid I've got some bad news for you guys.
It doesn't get any easier as you get older.
Even for someone as sorted as me. When you start to like someone,
you try hard not to let anyone notice, but it hardly ever works.
I'll admit it. When a gorgeous social worker called Seth turned up,
I was a tiny bit smitten.
# It must be love, love, love... #
He was funny and the kids loved him. Plus he was in a band too.
What was not to like?
I tried to play it cool,
but it often turns out that you're the only one that doesn't know that
everyone knows that you're trying to make sure that nobody knows.
I think that's what I mean.
-You going to buy a drink, if I'm right?
-You'll so buy me a drink.
-Bring it on.
-Come on, Seth.
-You're going on a date with Se-eth.
-I am not.
-We're just friends.
-Yeah? Is that why you took an hour to get ready?
-I like to look smart for work.
-So that's why you're wearing that top,
the one he said that he likes?
-Tracy's worn the same top for Seth's last four visits.
-I don't like Seth. OK, I like him, but I don't...
'The thing is, I thought I was being so cool and secretive.'
Cool and secretive? You couldn't keep your eyes off him.
You have to admit, you did make some lame excuses just to be with him.
Like showing him how to use the dishwasher for the sixth time.
And that silly smile was always on your face whenever he was around.
And all that extra make-up and perfume on Seth's visit days.
Oh, yeah, and there was usually that tiny bit of dribble
coming from the corner of your mouth.
So, my big secret was never a secret at all.
They could have broadcast it on the six o'clock news.
"This just in. Tracy Beaker likes a social worker." I know.
I never thought it would happen either.
Then history repeated itself.
Another almost boyfriend. Another disappearing act.
At least this one managed to say goodbye.
-I'm leaving social work.
-I thought it was what I needed to do.
I wanted to be here for the kids. Growing from places like this.
-I think I was looking backwards. There's other ways.
Tracy, come with me.
It'll be an adventure. You, me. Life on the road.
Freedom to be who you want to be.
And who would I be?
The lead singer's girlfriend?
Sorry, Seth. This is me.
Good luck with the band. I hope all your dreams come true.
I've got your number. If I change my mind.
We parted as friends. Seth went to look for fame and fortune
and I stayed at the Dumping Ground, helping the new
generation to come to terms with the problems and pitfalls of romance.
The thing about Cupid's arrow is you never know where it
might strike next.
-So, if you were a girl.
-Which we are.
-What would make your perfect date?
Well, looks are everything, you've got to dress to impress.
-Err, what about a present? Something really special.
-Hmm. A present.
Put it down.
So, why was Gus asking all these questions?
I met Jenny at my orchestra, she shared her lunch with me.
She had ham sandwiches with mayonnaise, not butter.
Cut square, not diagonally.
She had six pieces of apple and three squares of chocolate.
-She gave me the extra square.
-And what made you like her?
Her hair, her flute-playing, she's very good at counting.
When Gus announced he had date with Jenny from the orchestra,
he was determined to do things right.
He took all the advice he could.
-Mike, what's the most important thing to remember on a date?
Always have a sense of humour. It's essential.
And always smell nice. Bad smell, bad date.
Change my smell.
And being Gus, he pushed every single piece of advice to the max.
-Gus? Is everything OK in there?
-Yes, Mike, I'm getting ready for my date.
Dress to impress.
-She's not due till teatime.
-That's right, Mike.
I've got five hours and 39 minutes to go.
OK, well, there's nothing like being prepared, eh?
Easy on the aftershave, mate.
So what do Mike and Gina remember about Gus's big day?
Whatever Gus is doing, you can rely on him to give his all.
Yes, he certainly pulled out all the stops to look
his best for his big date.
And the good news is that the smell of Tiger For Men
is finally fading from Gus's room.
Yes, and when he finished getting ready, well,
I will never forget it, for as long as I live.
Jenny should be here in exactly two minutes.
-She's at the...
-I'll get it.
-No, don't. Gus will get it.
Gus never does things by halves.
He believed that if he worked hard enough, he'd have the perfect date.
-Oh, what's that smell?
-His girlfriend's here.
-Oh, come on.
-It's about time for your special present.
-That was my idea.
-It's a desk tidy.
-Oooh, how romantic(!)
Er, there's nothing wrong with a practical present.
-And now, for some humour.
You're supposed to say, "Who's there?" Then I say, Eype.
Then you say, "Eype who?" I pooh. Get it?
Right, OK, come on everybody, come on. Come on.
-We'll leave Gus and Jenny...
-I want to watch.
-..on their own.
When it comes to going on a date,
people try to behave like someone else.
Remember, it's you that the person wanted to go on a date with.
Why pretend to be someone you're not?
Well, Toby certainly found out the hard way.
It all started when he met a girl called Zara in a comic shop.
I saw you yesterday.
You were coming out of your house with your mum.
She looked cool.
Oh, yeah, she is, so cool, it's crazy.
-..she's always dancing, everywhere.
-What's your dad think about that?
Well, he plays killer guitar with my three sisters who sing.
It's like living in a bad musical.
It sounds really fun.
-So, what about you?
Actually, I'm an only child and...
-my mum's not around any more.
-Hmm. It's so sad. She died.
It's the worst thing in the world.
You can't imagine what it's like.
I can. I really can.
-Wow. Have you seen this? It's a classic.
Oh, yeah, I've got it back at the...back at home.
Toby hadn't intended to lie. It all happened in the heat of the moment.
But, once it had happened, he was stuck with it.
You are so cool. A cool guy with a mad, mad family.
I've decided, I'm definitely going to ask her out.
-But that means telling her the truth.
She thinks my foster parents are my real mum and dad.
And that they're mad. And that I've got three sisters.
-You told her that?
-But then I found out her mum died.
-She needs to know to understand.
She won't want to talk about that.
Compliment her eyes.
But never tell her you're a care kid.
Don't you think it would have been best for Toby to tell the truth?
No, I mean, all's fair in love and war.
He just needed to go with the flow.
Toby got himself into a right mess.
All he needed to do is keep calm, stop stressing, turn on the charm.
He had us there for support, what more could he want?
When Toby met up with Zara, the date turned into a disaster.
He couldn't relax and be himself
cos he was too scared she'd find out about his lies.
You have lovely glasses.
I sat on my good pair.
Clark Kent wears glasses like that.
-At least, when he's not being a super hero.
Do you like... Do you like haggis?
"Do you like haggis?"?! Toby could see that it was going wrong.
And it was time to 'fess up.
I don't live at Manor Avenue.
-Not any more. I was being fostered.
I don't understand.
I live in a care home.
-Is this a wind-up?
-I had to tell you.
When you told me about your mum, I realised we had so much in common.
No, cos you see, my mum died too. And my dad. In a car crash.
Oops. That didn't go exactly to plan. Tobes was gutted.
Fair play to him, though.
He wasn't going to let Zara go without a fight.
I just need to know.
Was it cos I'm in care? Or because I lied?
It was neither.
Zara, don't stand chatting on the doorstep.
Oh, is this the boy you were telling me about? I'm Zara's mum.
What can I say?
I thought you'd think I was too boring.
So, I made something up. Same as you.
We're not the same.
You made up you haven't got a mum. I wish I could do that.
I'm sick of made-up things.
Toby, I'm sorry.
Hmm. Maybe not such a disastrous date after all!
There you go, a lesson for both of them.
Be yourself and anything is possible.
What have we learnt about lurve to upload to
the Tracy Beaker Survival Files?
It's certainly a tricky business, this romance stuff.
Don't panic. It's the same for everyone,
even the person you fancy. It's good to make an effort for a date.
Dress in your best gear
but don't try and change your whole personality.
Just be yourself.
Whether it's Bouncer trying to be a scorpion-kicking, male model.
Or Toby playing at happy families.
Pretending to be something you're not is never a good idea.
If it all goes wrong and you end up splitting up, that can be tough.
You might well end up feeling sad for a bit.
But that does end, believe me.
And you never know what, or who, might be around the corner.
So, that's the Beaker guide to romance safely uploaded to
the Tracy Beaker Survival Files.
More gems of wisdom from my experiences next time.
That's one date you don't want to miss.
Remember, I've been through all this so you don't have to.
# In love with someone Ever fallen in love?
# In love with someone
# You shouldn't've fallen in love with
# Of fallen in love with
# Ever fallen in love with someone
# You shouldn't've fallen in love with. #
Tracy Beaker's video blog helps guide the way through the ups and downs of growing up. Tracy tackles the strange and sometimes scary world of love and romance. This is how to deal with dates and cope with crushes, Beaker-style.