Wolverine wallows beneath weight of the world
Published 26/07/2010 | 05:00
Your daughter is fat, she wails. She has this huge spare tyre. She has fat arms and her legs are fat and her face is getting round and fat.
You stare at your slim, attractive child in bewilderment, utterly at a loss as to whether you should hug her and tell her not to be so darn silly, or berate her for such cosmic ingratitude.
And, continues this willowy, blonde 16-year-old beauty with the heart-shaped face and the wide grey-green eyes, she is also ugly.
She is definitely the ugliest person she knows. All her friends are thin and pretty.
She is, you tell her, both gorgeous and intelligent.
You enumerate her assets: long honey-blonde hair, beautiful skin, long legs, fabulous eyes, a wonderful smile, not to mention intelligence, compassion and oceans of talent.
However, you say, she is not a stick insect.
You explain that some women have small, thin, bird-like frames. But your daughter, you explain, choosing your words carefully, has a taller, different, stronger physique -- she could be a model.
However, should she choose to pursue what would most definitely be an international catwalk career, you'd prefer that she attend university first, and did the modelling on the side, just so she had a qualification when she got tired of all that jet-setting around the world.
For a moment the Wolverine looks pleased, but then holds up a commanding hand.
You, she declares, are the mother, and as such have an obligation to say nice things about the daughter. If you didn't, you wouldn't be a good mother.
Mothers always think their daughters are wonderful, she intones despairingly. They have to. It's their job.
Now, it seems, is the time to choose whether, as a person, you're stupid or dishonest.
Well, you say consideringly, you don't always think the Wolverine's wonderful -- a lot of the time, you feel she can be a bit of a pain in the butt, really. But she's not fat.
On further discussion it emerges that the Wolverine believes she may have a bit of a belly. You are invited to pinch an offending fold of skin.
Nope, you can't feel a thing you declare, but if it would make her feel better, you can both go for a walk or jump on the trampoline. You need some fresh air anyway.
It turns out she wants to watch 'Glee' on the telly.
OK, you say, but dinner is nearly ready.
"What is it tonight?" she asks.
"Lasagne," you say, crossing your fingers.
Oh, yum, she loves lasagne, and, Mum, is there any chance of a bit of garlic bread?