Another weekend spent hacking away at the coalface that is family life. A simple shopping trip turned into the usual nightmare. We started out civil enough. Got the bus ok (sort of..see below...), got off the bus ok, had lunch ok....and then PRIMARK. Stuff everywhere. People, mostly large with stupid hats or hair or earrings, everywhere. Stupid people with buggies, in which nestled toddlers eating chips/crisps/sausage rolls. Added to this, my 15 year old in a major strop, because I wouldn't spend £25 on 6 inches of parachute silk, masquerading as a skirt, in Topshop. May God forgive you Kate Moss.
I thought that having suggested a day out shopping, my daughter would at least take the teenage sneer off her face long enough to say, 'ooh yes mummy, that would be lovely!!' Instead, I got a grunt and then an hour long, low level whinge about how crap her life is having a mother who wants to go shopping on public transport. ' I mean, dur!! How gay are you mum!! The BUS! I'm not a CHAV you know!!' Instead of smacking that sneer off her face, I took my sainted mother's advice and offered it up to the holy spirit. Heroic self control. She hissed at me, eyes like slits, that her bad mood was because she was about to 'come on' and OMG MUM, I NEARLY DIE OF PAIN EVERY MONTH. IT'S NOT CALLED THE CURSE FOR NOTHING!!SOB.. I was slightly hormonal myself...but hey! Who cares! Not her! She thinks I am far too old for a period and I should just do the decent thing, and have the menopause,' cos mum, you know , it's a bit disgusting you being on at your age' (43..) Deep breaths,large merlot....sit on your hands so you don't WRAP THEM ROUND HER THROAT. Grrrrrrrrrrr..
In the end, we had a reasonable day - we even came back home on the same bus - a major success. The stress involved in raising a teenager really gets me down. I know it is a cliche but I would never have been as rude to my mother as my daughter is to me. Downright rude in fact. Her response to me not allowing her to go to a mixed sleepover was to call me ' A FREAK OF NATURE!!!!!' Her capitals and exclaimation marks. Some days, I really cannot face going home. I am not sure quite what mood she will be in, whether it will be all sweetness and light or a Linda Blair special. Or a mix of the two. 'Your mother sucks prozac in Asda' .....hmmm.
The shopping trip was to buy my darling daughter a frock for her Confirmation. Now that whole Confirmation thing requires a posting all to itself - all I'll say at this stage is that we had a party where my ex hubs family came en-masse - think extras in the Sopranos, but not in a good way.... I felt slightly out numbered as it was just me, my sister and lovely boyfriend on my side. Both my ex-hub and lovely boyfriend spent the evening with their stomachs pulled in and chests puffed out. I could almost taste the testosterone. They circled round each other, chatting (!) politely, trying to out 'bloke' each other, both obviously thinking 'wanker' as they chatted through gritted teeth. Hillarious! I surpassed my self in my utter loveliness and chatted merrily away to the WAGs of ex hubs cousins...as they all got sozzled on white wine, while their various offspring caused havoc, and I stayed annoyingly sober, being the deignated driver. Smug, moi?
I love my daughter dearly and I know in my heart that this will pass and my lovely girl will re-appear. However, until that happens, I am battening down those metaphorical hatches and hitting the merlot....pray for me Mother...