Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Burning the candles at both ends

Husband was away this weekend. He went to Dorset with two of his brothers to do maintenance tasks.
Since we didn’t need to watch the rugby, we girls spent Saturday afternoon and early evening in front of the TV. We watched An American in Paris and the dancing was sublime. Rather less so in Strictly: we cringed and cheered. And we relished Dr. Who’s ‘season finale’; we’ve got to wait until Christmas for more! According to Youngest watching TV together counts as quality time and she didn’t think I should do the gardening instead.
Eldest went to an 18th birthday party that night (she took this cake*, which she made, to school to give to her friend on Friday), and Youngest went to The Big Gig, a Guide event, at Wembley Arena early Sunday morning. Despite the need to wake early (for a Sunday) I said I’d collect Eldest, and she didn’t demur so I think she was pleased not offended.
Did you see how I breezed over Eldest’s evening entertainment? Aren’t I the cool calm mother taking her Eldest’s trip to a party in a friend’s car so lightly even if I did chicken out of letting her come home the same way?

I went to boarding school. When I was at home I rarely went to anything that didn’t involve the whole family. At school I am afraid I was just as unlikely to be invited anywhere. But my first teenage party happened when I was 16. (As far as I know it was the only occasion on which I was offered drugs, but I was so dim I thought they were cigarettes and I was far too good to smoke!) I moved from my all girls’ school to do sixth form at a co-ed, and there we had regular school discos. So, at Eldest’s age I may not have been cool, but I had managed a bit of partying and a boyfriend or two (OK, one boyfriend). Not so my big girl. Since she stopped being of an age to have a children’s party, she has refused to hold her own parties and she has ceased to be invited anywhere.
I’m sure you will understand that this is a mixed blessing. As a general rule I do not need to worry about what she and her friends might be getting up to, nor have to plan and host suitable parties that won’t let her down. On the other hand: what’s wrong with her?! She’s pretty enough, dresses well, has a wonderfully cynical sense of humour… aah! And is clever! Does she put the boys off asking? Or maybe she really is just not bothered? She once said it was more interesting sorting out other people’s love lives than getting involved herself. I do hope she really believes that – this unkissed 16 year old was mortified!

“I’ve been to a proper big girl’s party, Mummy!” she said in very pleased tones.

*I don't know why the photo won't be the right way up and I've got bored with trying to sort it out - sorry!


Sarah said...

My eldest has just turned 15 and for the last couple of years has been refusing a party, but takes a bunch of friends to the cinema or Laser Game, and they go out for a MacDonald's too.

I'm dreading the day he asks to have a party at home (with loud music, disco ball - gift from his dad... - mess etc).

I'm Crayon said...

"Girl Time" is lovely, isn't it? And congratulations on your Cool Calm Mother performance! We should ALL win Oscars. I do a very nice Off Her Nut Mother, too.

Curry Queen said...

This party business is a minefield isn't it? The rules seem to change daily. I'm grateful that my daughter has so far refused to have a party chez nous "because everything will get stolen". Hmmm

hausfrau said...

When they were very little I used to hire a magician and feed them in the garden (for Eldest's summer birthday) or a hired hall (for Youngest's Christmas birthday). When older we did cinema trips, swimming and meals out: no mess at home! I'm dreading the possibility of music, alcohol and 'cool'!