Friday 24 February 2017

Wolverine's sickly habit finally pushes me over the edge

The Wolverine is sick again: eyes streaming, nose running and a sore throat. You feel like tearing your hair out.

She won't eat a proper breakfast, leaves her lunch in her schoolbag, waves away the daily cod liver oil tablet and refuses to wear a coat even in the pouring rain or below zero temperatures.

"Look," she says in exasperation, "if I get a temperature you can just bring me to the doctor for antibiotics for God's sake!"

Oh really, you think. Only a solid hour sitting in the surgery waiting room, only €60 for the consultation and only another €20 or €30 for the antibiotics, depending on what kind the GP prescribes. No biggie.

Visiting the doctor costs a fortune, you point out. Why can't she just eat her food and wear a coat like the rest of the family? The Wolverine glowers.

That's all you and Dad care about, she howls -- money. You don't care about her health one bit.

Slam, stamp, wail.

Later, when peace has resumed, you try to be clever. You offer to treat her to the latest style in teen rainwear -- her choice.

On Saturday the two of you tramp through the few shops she deems acceptable.

This coat is the wrong colour. That jacket bags out at the ends and makes her look fat. The fur on the hood of the other one is pathetic. In the end you give up.

On the way home, she tells you the coat is actually not the problem -- if her family lived, say, in the town, like her friends and not out in the sticks with the hicks, she'd be fine.

Grand, you say, all patience gone.

"Ring up Melanie's Mum and ask her to let you move in for a year or three.

"Tell her that you don't believe in eating breakfast, making your bed or putting dirty clothes or used towels in the laundry bin.

"Point out that you become highly aggressive if spoken to before noon.

"Make it clear that you retain the right to enter other peoples' bedrooms and borrow their belongings without asking and without returning them.

"Tell her you don't believe in good food, chores or fresh air and that you require at least 15 steaming hot showers a week. And see how long she'll keep you."

For once, the Wolverine is rendered speechless.

Irish Independent

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