Diary of a demented mum
It was going to happen sooner or later, but this was one bridge you weren't crossing till you had to.
Wolverine wants her own key.
She's 18, she mews.
She deserves the privileges of adulthood!
This, you acknowledge, would not be a problem for the common-or-garden 18-year-old, but Wolverine's carelessness about security and her penchant for losing things has made you wary.
You've been leaving a key out for her each night all summer long – but now you've discovered that, for an as-yet-unspecified but lengthy period, that spare key has been abandoned under the back-door mat, a sitting duck for any passing burglars.
Anybody, you lecture, could have simply strolled up, let themselves into the house in the early hours of the morning and taken everything while the family slept.
And not only that – the potential for harm to everyone concerned is enough to make you shudder, you rant.
Doesn't she know about the rise in burglaries, particularly in rural areas?
Doesn't she ever read a newspaper?
Yeah, well, like, it's not her fault!
She's been coming in earlier at night lately so Dad's always been up, so the door's been open when she got in so . . . like, sor-ry, but she didn't think about bringing in the key; she'd gone straight to bed.
And isn't that what you want?
Jeez, you're always giving out about her coming home too late!
And here she is, doing her best to be sensible because she's on the early shift at work for the last few weeks, and her boyfriend, Andrew, has to be at his summer job by 8am.
God, Ma, you're never happy!
Following intense interrogation, your daughter finally admits that the key's probably been lying out there for, well, about two weeks.
God, Ma, it's no biggie.
God, Ma, nobody outside the family knew where the key was hidden!
God, Ma, you're such a drama queen!
God, Ma, don't have a heart attack, it's not like there's gangs of thugs and junkies hiding in the trees to see where you put it so they can come in and slit your throat!
God, Ma, wouldya get off her back!
And anyway, it's really all Dad's fault, actually, 'cos he hadn't even reminded her to go back out and get it!
Your husband hears and tears into the kitchen.
He's not letting her away with that, he roars.
He told her to put the spare key back in its box!
Disconcerted, Wolverine heaves a put-upon sigh.
She supposes there's no chance of getting her own one then?