5.33 P.M. Matilda, my teenage daughter, has asked whether she can go to a party tonight at her new friend Tom’s house.
She also wants to stay over at Tom’s house as according to her that is what you do now with male friends.
According to her you can stay over at a boy’s house without there being any hanky panky.
5.34 P.M. I give her a straight ‘NO!’
My daughter is not going to a party with a bunch of older boys. No!
Sometimes I do wonder whether Matilda thinks I was brought down in the last rain shower.
In my experience hanky panky is never far away.
‘Don’t worry I can take my own bedding’ she says.
‘NO it’s not about the bedding Matilda!’ I say, shaking my head in disbelief at how she can:
a.) Ask to go to the party with a bunch of older boys plus stay over.
b.) think I am saying no because I am worried about bedding!
She screams ‘I HATE YOU!’
I shout ‘YOU ARE NOT GOING!’
She yells ‘GO TO HELL!’
Off she strides out of the lounge telling me her YouTube fans will be hearing about this form of cruelty.
6.10 P.M. Getting ready to go out on first date with Jake.
Phone bleeps. It’s Matilda’s Dad Jon.
She’s text me to say you are being cruel. She wants to live with me!’ (Jon).
She is not going to some house party run by a load of 18-year-old boys and staying over! You and Paul are welcome to her! (Me).
6.34 P.M. My best mate Shaz has turned up to look after the kids. Heavily pregnant and eating a fun bag of Snickers (pregnancy craving)
‘Alright Roxy what’s happening?’ says Shaz rubbing her huge baby bump.
‘Matilda is not speaking to me!’ I say painting on some bright red lip gloss.
‘Is it about that party?’ asks Shaz.
‘How do you know?’ I ask.
‘It’s all over Instagram’ she says showing me her phone.
There is a selfie of Matilda looking sad with fake tears rolling down her cheeks. Lots of hashtags #sadness #cruelmother #letmeout I notice it has over 100 likes already.
‘Right I am off’ I say picking up my clutch bag and phone. ‘The boys are in Harry’s room playing X-Box and Matilda is in her room complaining about me on social media!’
6.35 P.M. As I am leaving Matilda appears.
‘Mam I’m sorry’ she says.
I get emotional and we give each other hug.
Over Matilda’s shoulder I see Shaz shaking her head with disapproval.
6.36 P.M. Step outside feeling proud. She’s a good kid really and so grown up for realising she was in the wrong.
7.04 P.M. Am on the bus getting excited about my date with Jake.
Just checking my breath is minty when phone bleeps with a text. It’s Shaz.
Matilda has gone!
Room empty, window open and looks like she has climbed down drain pipe.
All pride for my teenage daughter vanishes.
7.05 P.M. Have complete mental breakdown on bus; call daughter’s phone, text her frantically, leave angry messages on her voicemail, breathe very fast, repeat ‘I don’t want to be a granny!’
7.07 P.M. Consider getting off bus and running back home but it is already in town. Drat!
7.08 P.M. I am so cross I am trembling. How dare she disobey me!
I never did this sort of thing when I was her age. Hang on….I did do this sort of thing. My mother told me I was a complete nightmare up until the age of 21.
Ok forget my wild teenage past.
7.10 P.M. Get off bus. Jake is standing waiting for me.
He takes one look at me and I know he can sense something is wrong.
‘Do you have a car?’ I ask quickly. First date etiquette is a thing of the past.
He looks shocked.
‘Can you help me find my teenage daughter?’ I say taking him by the arm.
7.16 P.M. Driving home. Jake looks pale and keeps rubbing his face.
‘The party might not be as bad as you think’ he says, after I tell him to put his foot down.
‘You don’t know Matilda!’ I say. ‘She will lead them all astray!’
‘Maybe she could go for a couple of hours?’ he asks.
‘Matilda will go crazy in a couple of hours, trust me she doesn’t need long’ I say.
7.24 P.M. I have no idea where this party is so I have to use my ‘mother ingenuity’ – an amazing skill.
I am running up to her friend Louise’s house. Jake is in the car.
‘Where is she?’ I shriek at Louise.
‘Dunno’ mumbles Louise, chewing and avoiding eye contact.
I hate loyal friends.
7.25 P.M. Lightbulb moment. I need to start talking the language of teenagers.
‘I am going I cancel those tickets to that concert you both wanted to go to’ I say getting out my phone.
‘What???’ shrieks Louise.
7.31 P.M. Pull up outside large house on posh side of town. Jake thinks this is where I live. Haven’t got time to destroy his dreams.
Run up drive screaming ‘Matilda!’
A door opens and I rush in. No time for pleasantries.
I fly into the lounge and there is Matilda sat next to Tom.
‘OMG Mam!’ she shrieks.
7.33 P.M. Yank teenage daughter down the drive and ignore her screams. Shove her in Jake’s car and tell him to drive.
7.45 P.M. Sat in the car, outside my house, with Jake. Matilda has been deposited inside and has been grounded forever. I am flustered and manic.
‘Are you ok?’ he asks.
‘Just kiss me Jake’ I say.