It’s almost a month since I posted that I was away for the weekend with some of my closest ‘mum friends’. It’s no coincidence that it’s taken me this long to write another post, since I have only just come through the recovery process.
Gone are the days of being seventeen with no hangover, or twenty-five and curing a mild headache with a McDonalds and more beer. Or even thirty-five and suffering for a day but by the evening knowing that a nice glass of wine will sort it all out. At the age of forty-seven, my brain has passed on an unwanted message from my body, which amounts to ‘By all means drink for two nights in a row. Just know that you will spend the next two days keeping Boots in the headache tablet business, followed by five more days of the bone-crushing tiredness normally associated with the slow approach of death’.
At the end of the weekend I announced my resolve to never drink again. Which was greeted by a certain amount of snorting, and ‘yeah right’s, and a large amount of advice. The advice boiled down to ‘you actually need to drink more, because you haven’t been training hard enough’. My friends, ladies and gentlemen. In an age of increased awareness of the long-term damage that alcohol can do, and at a time when people are trying harder to achieve a healthier lifestyle, their sound advice is to ‘drink more and power through’.
I do joke about it on here, but actually I don’t really drink that much. Don’t get me wrong, since my daughter became a teenager, the urge to drink is present during 99% of our interactions. Sometimes more. And sometimes I get a hankering for a vat of wine when she’s not even there and I have to enter her bedroom and god forbid, look for something under the bed. I realise this is becoming a running theme, but genuinely last week I found sixteen Wotsits, a pile of sand (don’t ask), a broken photo frame, three odd socks and a bulb of garlic. I don’t know why the garlic was there. Honestly, I don’t want to know. At least I know she’s not a vampire – concerns had been running high at one point, since we see so little of her during daylight hours.
Hormone levels have reached crisis point lately. I’m very much looking forward to the time when my first-born, one of the lights of my life, centre of my universe etc. doesn’t greet me with an eye roll because I have dared to put my face into her line of vision. Conversations often run as follows:
‘Sweetheart, can you please put your towel back in the bathroom’
‘In a minute’
‘Oh my GOD, I SAID I’d do it in a minute. You don’t trust me do you?’
‘I do, it’s just that you’ve said that the last eighty-five times I’ve asked, so the hope of seeing it done is waning a little’
‘I’m DOING SOMETHING’
‘You’re on your phone’
‘I’m researching something for my English homework’
‘Since when did your English homework involve googling ‘hottest Korean boy band member 2021’
‘I can’t believe you’ve been SPYING on me. You’re the worst mother in the world’
The fact that it was a lucky guess on my part is something she doesn’t need to know about of course. I prefer her to think of me as omnipresent, and since she is already exasperated by my very ability to breathe, I’ve got nothing to lose really.
You really do have to develop a thick skin as the mother of a teenage girl. I don’t just currently hold the title of ‘worst mother in the world’ by the way. I am also credited with not understanding anything about anything, hating fun, being too old to know what I’m talking about, and of course deliberately trying to ruin both of their lives. I’m considering investing in a trophy cabinet.
Yet just when I’m in the process of googling ‘where on a teenager’s skin might you find the 666’ or ‘alcohol delivery within an hour, UK’ she will come and say that she didn’t mean any of it, and she loves me, and I will forgive it all, because for one whole minute she will drop her ‘don’t come within 10m of me’ restrictions and I will be allowed a cuddle. And I have my girl back! Until the next time I’m looking for the towel that is.
But it’s ok, I can cope with anything now that I have a simple mantra to live my life by. And that mantra is ‘sobriety is not for everyone’.
Bring on Bedtime!