Spent the weekend at Wellington Education Festival exhibiting Stuck on homework and listening to some inspiring speeches by Sir Bob Geldof, A.A.Gill and Sir Terry Leahy. My friend and ex-child minder K came to stay to babysit the children and the house, despite my DD’s requests to be left alone ‘ You can trust us, it’s not like we’re stupid enough to have a party or something ‘. This is not all reassuring as DD has clear criteria as to what constitutes a party and apparently anything under 20 teens is ‘ A Gathering ‘. If you have ever seen 20 teenagers in one normal sized house you will know that it is more like a Viking raid than a bloody ‘ gathering’, so K stayed over to supervise.
I returned last night to find the house clean and tidy apart from a crate of empty beer bottles next the sink and my DD with what seemed suspiciously like a hangover. It turned out the empties were the result of DS and a few of his mates spending the afternoon in the back garden wearing flat caps and sunglasses drinking ‘like northerners’ in celebration of the visit of J’s Manchester cousin. Only a couple of lads were still there and no one was the worse for wear so northerners are clearly a good drinking role model. DD on the other hand looked decidedly ropey. She had spent the previous night at a party .‘ Yeah, about 50, definitely a party, L’s parents are so cool they didn’t even mind when P was sick in the pond. There’s, like, fish in it ‘. ‘ Not anymore ‘ I tell her. ‘ So, you appear to have a hangover…’ “ It’s not a hangover, I just drank a bit much and I don’t feel very well today ‘ . ‘ That’s what a hangover is. And you’re too young to have one so no more parties for a month ‘. I ignore the immediate rise in decibels as DD berates me for my meanness and lack of understanding as to what it’s like to be young – she’s wrong of course, it’s because I remember only too well what it’s like to be 15 that I can see through DD’s flimsy attempts to pass off her first hangover. She slams the kitchen door loudly behind her as she leaves the kitchen and I put some washing on, empty and reload the dishwasher and debate whether to go out for a bit with the most low maintenance and easy going member of the family – the dog. DS enters the kitchen. ‘ What’s for supper, I’m starving? And can you take me to rugby tomorrow and I need to get some new shoes…’ ” I kneel down beside the dog and whisper in his ear ‘ I like you best ‘.