In case you were wondering where I’ve been for the last week or so (and I trust that you were wondering . . . in a distracted, Earthpal who? kind of way), well I’ll tell you.
We’ve had a birthday in our house. An important birthday. Dancing Queen became a teenager this week and me laddie, I have to tell you, is beside himself with horror because he now has to live with not one but two moody teenage girls whose sole existence is to give him the hardest time possible. Seriously! The boy can’t even take a pee without them standing guard outside the door to make sure he flushes the loo and washes his hands – for three whole minutes – with warm water and soap. He tries his hardest, bless ‘im, to get away with a quick swill under the cold tap but my girls don’t miss a trick and they march him straight back into the bathroom and don’t allow him out until he’s followed the correct procedure. In addition to their self-appointed toilet duties they’ve also given themselves another role. Yes, they’re the household’s Nutrition Fascists and the poor kid gets grief every single time he opens his mouth to eat anything that doesn’t resemble a carrot or a spinach leaf. He gets away with nothing. Even when I conspire with him and try to sneak a digestive biscuit to him, hidden behind a wholesome mug of milk at supper-time, their sugar radar alerts them and before you can say . . . for goodness sake, it’s only a digestive biscuit . . it’s got oats and things in . . . as biscuits go, they’re healthy!, the damn thing is confiscated and a boring, healthy apple is shoved into his mouth in replacement.
I’m not joking.
Anyway, Dancing Queen had a house party last night and me laddie spent the whole time sneaking party food out of the room while trying to avoid fifteen squealing, mid-adolescent marshmallows who probably wouldn’t have noticed anyway because the whole bunch of them were too busy trying to out-sing each other on Singstar. And to add insult to injury, the PS2 that they were using to play the game belonged to me laddie. The bare-faced cheek of it!
Fifteen giggling thirteen-year-old girls you hear me say but lordy-me, they don’t look so young! When I was thirteen I was still wearing pigtails and doing cartwheels all the way to the playground but folks, you’d be hard pushed to find a thirteen year old girl anywhere near a playground these days unless she’s meeting up with all her “gorgeous bmfl’s” to talk about Lady GaGa and make-up and stuff. Boys are different of course at this age. They are slower to reach puberty and at thirteen, boys and girls are physically and emotionally worlds apart. Unless of course your name is Alfie and you have a fifteen year old g/f. Does anyone actually believe that this boy has fathered a child? His wee voice hasn’t even broken yet. Dare I suggest some parental exploitation is at work here. Well we all know that the Sun pays good money for stories like this. Who knows?
Anyway, where was I? It sounds like a cliché but girls really do grow up too soon these day. Or at least they seem to. I suppose all generations have a different story to tell but like I said, at thirteen, I was still skipping and dressing up dolly’s. Now, at thirteen, their feelings are divided. The mirror is as essential as the mobile phone and GHD‘s but they can’t bring themselves to get rid of their My Little Pony’s and Animal Rescue sets. They want their belly-buttons pierced but would cry like babies for their mums when it hurts. They learn quickly that sarcasm is a useful WMD to be used against parents and younger brothers. Silence, withdrawal and loud music is also used as a means to punish parents who have, overnight, become excruciatingly embarrassing and uncool hence oft-used sarcasm against them. Parents soon learn how to walk on eggshells in order to avoid a fraught and stressful life although total avoidance of such is completely impossible no matter how much you tiptoe around their feelings, because those mood swings are as unpredictable as they are guaranteed.
It’s traumatic folks. It truly is.
In all honesty, my lovely, sweet-natured middlie hasn’t even begun to fulfill most of that teen criteria and it seems impossible to me that she ever will but it’s early days and I guess all parents say that. Either way, I will always be proud of my kind and considerate (if it doesn’t involve younger brothers) girl. She was the perfect hostess at her party. She looked beautiful and it was wonderful to see her comfortably sociable, excitedly interacting with all her friends on her special day.
Happy Thirteenth Birthday Middlie. I hope you dance and smile all the way through your teenage years.