Hostage situation

Living with teenagers is like being in a permanent hostage situation. There is a constant stand-off between the terrorist (teenager) and hapless negotiator (parent). There is a perpetual threat of violence in the air or, if not actual violence (my girls are lovely girls!) then at least of outbreaks of major door slamming and a teenage face wearing a look of total dejection, scorn or scowling anger. They have no fear of wrinkles yet, with all that lovely collagen at their disposal, and can contort their pretty features in the most alarming way. Whereas I now refuse to squint at my art class, even in if the perspective is really challenging. The wind might change, then nothing would go back to where it’s supposed to be, and that would mean I’d finally have to resort to botox.

There are quite a few major areas of terrorist activity. 1. Going Out, 2. Homework and 3. Clothes. To sum up briefly, there is not enough of 1, there is way too much of 2, and there are absolutely none at all of 3, or none that suit any possible given occasion or mood.

Only yesterday I was greeted with simultaneous demands to go out with friends, to forget about homework as it was ‘optional’  and for list of clothes including a green V neck jumper, boyfriend jeans, two skirts and a coat. That was within five minutes of picking up one of the teenagers. We were half an hour from home and I spent the rest of the journey trying to avoid thinking about the glaring crevasses in the teenager’s wardrobe and concentrated, instead, on visualising myself lying on a sun-drenched beach reading a thriller and sipping a pina colada. Alone.

At times like this I need all the help I can get. Yes, I do occasionally shop in Primark. I know that the amazingly cheap and occasionally chic bits and bobs are probably stitched by children younger than mine, and I do feel awful about it, but sometimes needs must when the devil doo-dahs. And, if I’m shopping online, I always check for shopping vouchers first. There are currently some New Look vouchers from which are definitely worth a go.

Phew. The girls’ wardrobes can now be safely restocked and the standoff is over. For now, anyway.

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