Who’s the Daddy? column

What’s the biggest compliment a teenage girl can pay to her mother?

Breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day?

Hoovering out her own hutch now and again? Telling her that she loves and cherishes every waking moment together?

None of the above, I’m afraid. The one simple act by a fashionista teen that puts a spring in the step and a glow in the heart of her mum is this – asking to borrow and then wearing an item of mum’s clothing to go out.

The boss felt 10 feet tall when daughter #1 asked if she could wear her bright red hoodie, even though she said: “Er, I’m wearing a jacket over it,” before marching out the front door to hang around town with her cronies.

Thankfully the conversation that ends with the immortal line ‘You’re not going out dressed like that’ hasn’t been necessary yet, although I fear it is only a matter of time before yours truly is standing at the bottom of the stairs on a Saturday night, arms folded, looking cross and shaking my head from side to side.

Her debut at a recent teenage party could have been cut short before it had even begun. When she shouted down from her room to ask us what we thought of her new outfit my blood ran cold.

‘Please don’t look like an extra from a rap video or a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader’, was the only thought running through my head.

But me and the boss were pleasantly surprised by her modest, yet tasteful, get-up. Although we weren’t daft enough to say it out loud we looked at each other as if to say ‘I approve’.

When our kids were little all we craved was a night of unbroken sleep, even midnight til 6am would have been fine. These days on school nights we’re often tucked up with a book before our girls turn in for the night.

Times change and roles get reversed all the time. Never ones to stick to gender stereotypes in this house, as I type this the boss is wallpapering the entire hall, stairs and landing with some very tasteful geometric paper while a chicken tikka masala made from scratch by yours truly with 23 (count ‘em) separate ingredients marinates in the fridge.

In life, you’ve got to play to your strengths.