Goodbye sweet daughter, hello Kevin!

Even if you don’t mean to, it’s hard not to feel a bit smug when your little one is an angel; when you wake up to find she’s tried to get not only her own packed lunch together (be it a bruised banana and packet of crisps) but has laid out all the contents for her siblings lunches too. Or when you get a work of art presented to you (for no particular reason) of a splodgy glittery Princess all yellow hair and spidery lashes with the words to ‘the best mummy in the world’ written in┬áher best curly handwriting. And it’s impossible to stop your heart from swelling with love and pride when she’s chosen for the main part in the dance show because her teacher says “she tries so hard and shines out on the stage.” All of these things and more make you feel that somehow you got it right. Even though you forgot to sterilise the dummy that time; sat her infront of tv all day while you nursed your hangover instead of getting some fresh air at the park; realised you’d driven all the way home down the motorway at 70mph and had forgotten to fasten your newborn baby’s seat belt. Despite the bad mother in you, you look at her and see you did just great. But then…


She wakes up with a snarl and skips breakfast “I’m NOT hungry!” Leaves clothes and wet towels all over the floor – of every room in the house, wears stressed husband’s favourite jumpers and gets foundation on the cuffs and collars “So what. You can wash it can’t you?” Scuffs your favourite L.K Bennett’s (fate has it that she’s exactly your shoe size) “God (rolls eyes) Well buy some more then!” Ignores her little sister excitedly recounting her day at school “Ok, shut up now and can you get out of the way, I can’t see the computer.” And that’s on a good day. I won’t even go into the vodka bottle under the bed and the fags in her handbag. They’ve been dealt with, punishment taken and promises made – to be broken? We’ll just have to wait and see. And boyfriends…when you’re not quite 15 yet you look 20, there’s bound to be trouble.

So, I’m mum of a teenage daughter with My Boy coming up 13 at the end of this month (yes, I’m toying with the idea of valium – those flower remedies just don’t cut it with teenage angst!) and even though I’ve been a teenage girl myself (not that she’ll ever believe I’ve been anything other than an uptight, annoying mother from birth) it really is different nowadays. I shouldn’t fret though, good friends have told me that they know mother’s of older teenage girls who were just as challenging as mine, but are now the delightful young women their mums always hoped they’d be. Yeah. And i’m just praying that’s not some urban myth spread by stressed dad’s to give us mums hope so we don’t run for the hills leaving him with the daunting task of bringing up the Mean Teen by himself.

Be afraid. Be very afraid…


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