GOD almighty -- not another bloody lecture, gripes the Wolverine, as you try to show her how to clean a toilet. She had offered to clean the bathroom, the WC and your ensuite in return for being driven to a post-Christmas girly rendezvous with her friends.
You had offered to show her how to clean the loos, the showers and the bath properly.
God, Ma, she snarls, how did you ever get to be such a control freak? Seriously. Cleaning toilets isn't exactly rocket science. Jeez.
Silently, you leave her to it.
A while later you return to find the bathroom full of steam, the toilet and part of the floor liberally sprayed with strong-smelling toilet cleaner and a big clump of dank blonde hair floating in the bowl.
Had she used the toilet brush?
No, Jeez, wasn't that what the bottle of toilet cleaner was for?
You grit your teeth. The toilet brush is there to manually scrub the toilet, you tell your almost 17-year-old, who, in another part of the world would probably already be responsible for the welfare of an entire household including children.
The toilet-cleaner, you explain patiently, is supposed to be a help but it can't do the job by itself.
"Where did that hair come from?" you shriek.
The shower filter, she snaps, snatching the toilet brush out of your hand and shoving it impatiently into the bowl, where it becomes tangled in the hair clump.
As the Wolverine gives a put-upon sigh and starts to pick strands of greasy hair from the bristles, you glance into the shower.
It's still pumping out steam because she's been using the shower head to wash the filter and forgotten to turn it off.
That. Is. A. Disgraceful.Waste. Of. Electricity, you say, clenching your teeth.
Jeez, Ma, she didn't think. Anyway now she needs a rest. It's time for her lunch, like.
You clench your fists. No, you tell her, there'll be no lunch until she has completed this job. She is outraged. Are you refusing to allow her to eat?
Yes, you say firmly.
You are, she wails, a psychopathic control freak. You are treating your only daughter like a slave.
She threatens to ring Childline, the Gardai, the social services.
Maybe she'll get put into a foster home.
Marvellous, you say. You'll make her a nice packed lunch for the trip.
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