Friday 19 January 2018

Diary of a demented mum: 'You! You're a terrible mother. You shouldn't be a mother at all!'

It's seriously crucial that, for once, you don't let her down! She begs you, she wheedles, she gazes pleadingly through eyelashes flecked with your best mascara.

It's her best-best friend's sweet 16th birthday and the Wolverine has a measly €30 to call her own; not enough to buy a present and put €20 credit in her phone.

Thing is, she needs at least €20 to contribute towards a new digi-camera for Saoirse.

Everyone's contributing, but the Wolverine's in a bind -- once she pays for her phone credit, there's only, like, a tenner left over for Saoirse.

And she'll look, you know, sort of mean and stuff.

You consider the daughter who unhesitatingly gave her father a hand-written IOU for six shed clean-outs at Christmas because she'd spent all her money on her friends.

How many shed clean-outs had she done for dad since December 25, you enquire? Two, she admits.

One, your husband interjects sharply -- plus one half-hearted attempt that left his workroom in even worse shape than it had been. Missing clamps. Screws thrown willy-nilly into nail-only jars.

He wouldn't let her in there again if she paid him for the privilege.

Her brother's birthday is in 10 days' time, you say. You suggest the Wolverine sacrifice her phone credit, pay €15 towards her friend's birthday present and buy her brother a gift with the remaining €15.

You will stump up the remaining fiver for Saoirse if she weeds the garden path and the shrub beds. And sorts the laundry.

The Wolverine's face crumples. But she can't do without her phone for a whole month! It's just not possible!

How can you and dad hate her so, so much? She can't understand it. None of her friends' parents hates them!

Their mothers are so, like, lovely -- happy to do everything around the house, happy to buy their daughters as much phone credit as they want.

But you! She just doesn't get your selfishness. You're a terrible mother. In fact, she squeals, you shouldn't be a mother at all. It's not your calling.

Your husband interrupts. "Enough," he says forcefully. "Behave. Weed the beds. Weed the path. Sort the laundry.

"Lose your phone for a month and put €20 into Saoirse's birthday pot. Or keep the phone, do no chores, contribute €10 and suffer the consequences."

He eyeballs her. Minutes later you look out the window and see the Wolverine's bum sticking up between the rhodedendrons.

How, you ask, mystified.

It's simply a case of who she's most scared of, your husband explains.

You look at him. Guess, he says, smirking.

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