Tuesday 6 December 2016

Diary of a demented mum: A birthday party with boys and booze but Wolverine promises to abstain

Published 01/08/2011 | 05:00

NEEDLESS to say, the Wolverine waits until 10.30pm, when you're in bed drowsing over a novel, to barge in and start a row about a bonfire.

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She'd have said it earlier, but Jeez, Ma, you're, like, impossible to talk to.

As you wonder fuzzily what you could possible have done to deserve this -- you've a 7am start -- the Wolverine, who is fizzing with energy as a result of snoozing 'til noon, launches into a lengthy diatribe.

It's Suzanne's 17th birthday and they're, like, all going camping with a bonfire and everything.

There will be boys, and possibly some alcohol, but the Wolverine pledges, eyes wide and radiating sincerity, she will indulge in neither.

She's being really, really, honest with you, Ma, so for God's sake, the least you can do is hear her out.

Sighing inwardly, you lay down your book.

The Wolverine talks about the lack of freedom she is daily forced to endure; she feels like a bird in a cage. It's like you and Dad are keeping her in a box! On a leash! That sort of thing.

In contrast, her friends' parents are so laid-back -- Muireann and Sophie won't even have to request permission to attend, while Eva and Julie will definitely be there. Plus she deserves it; she's been stuck at home doing chores around the house all summer when she's not, like, downtown or working at the crèche.

Your head clears rapidly as you realise your 16-year-old daughter is demanding to stay out all night at a bonfire party in some field, at which there will be not only boys, but drink.

"No," you say. "Absolutely not."

You suggest she attend, but is collected at what you regard as a reasonable time.

The Wolverine moves the protest up a notch or four, arguing, accusing, shrieking, begging and weeping.

"Go away," you say, exhausted, after an hour. Afterwards, you sleep badly.

When you return from work the next day, your daughter says sullenly that she has reconsidered. If you drop her off at 7.30pm, she will agree to being collected by Dad at 11pm.

The party was "alright", she reports later. Eva and Julie didn't make it in the end and Muireann was collected by her mother. It took them ages to get the bonfire going. She only, like, had time to eat some burned chicken before meeting Dad.

You try to say you know how it feels.

"Didn't think you could remember that far back," she snaps, and disappears into her room.

Ouch.

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