The most accurate way to describe the experience of raising teenage and pre-teen daughters is to say it’s like walking a tightrope across a minefield.
One slip and you’re toast. It may have been a few years since you and I were teenagers but the last few weeks have brought it all rushing back in glorious Technicolor with Dolby Surround Sound and in 3D – because it costs a bit extra.
Nothing’s right. Everything’s wrong.
And if it isn’t their fault then by definition it must be yours. Sound familiar?
Last half-term daughter #1 kept the same hours as your average vampire or domestic cat.
Awake until stupid o’clock and then unrousable from her pit until gone noon.
The boss and I woke our 14-year-old for lunch at our peril.
That minefield I mentioned earlier? Nowhere near as noisy and explosive as waking a slumbering teen.
Maybe she’s training for those mad mates holidays you went on back in the early 90s when you could buy a last-minute week in Tenerife for £49, only saw about 10 hours of sunlight and came home paler than when you set off.
Put it this way, the shock of getting up for school at 7am on Monday was akin to the first five seconds in an ice bath, or trapping your fingers in a door.
And to pour misery upon misery, some of her precious time off was spent revising for exams this week. And when you’ve got exams looming, if you’re not physically doing revision then the thought of it nags away like a bothersome toddler pulling at your sleeve.
But from bitter experience, when exams are on the horizon the last thing you need is mum and dad going on like a demented parrot which has been taught to repeat one single phrase.
Have. You. Done. Your. Revision? Bwaaark!
Which is why I took a pledge some time ago that I would keep my trap firmly shut on all things homework/exam related.
All that was said was this: If you don’t do it, that’s your business.
But it’s the only time in your lives that you’ll be taught things worth knowing for free.