So, in a few weeks’ time my baby daughter will turn thirteen.
Thir-fucking-teen?? How’d THAT happen??
Oh never mind, just pass me the gin…
The arrival of this horrifying news at my maternal brain merited, quite naturally, an almighty AAAAAAAAARGHGHGHGHHGHGH. Not just because it means I must be one of those Old Mothers I used to wince at when I was still pertish, or because it means entering the dreaded Age of Boyfriends and sex chats and king-size strops, or because it means I am soon to be officially the parent of a TEENAGER – *holds head in hands, weeps, buys WTF Is My Teenager Talking About Dictionary*.
No, the AAARRGHG is merited because for her party my daughter would like….wait for it….
Of course. A disco.
Not a tea party, or a swimming party, or a trip to the cinema, or skating, or anything else I could cobble together in an afternoon and wouldn’t have to rob a bank for, and used to work perfectly well for the last, erm, twelve years.
Hell no! She is going to be a TEENAGER, and this obviously means celebrating the joyful teenager-y event by spending our entire summer holiday 2011 budget hiring the space and equipment that will enable 40 children – sorry, teenagers – to exchange teenage sweat and nits and spit, and jig about in uncoordinated, zitty teenage fashion to Top X-Factor Tunes until they’re too full of sugar and hormones to stand up any more.
To be fair, this news hasn’t come as much of a shock to me. Always an astonishingly determined young lady, she first started campaigning for a disco back in Spring 2002, at the grand age of four (although then she called it a ‘dithco’ and thought Bob the Builder was a Pop Thinger). By 2005 she had started designing the invitations, and some time in mid-2008 the final touches on the table-decorations were all in place.
Two years of patient waiting followed, allowing her guest list to be updated every five and a half days as Best Friends bounced in and out of the running, and now, approaching January 2011 and the Big Day, she is ready.
As the reality of what was to come sank in, I tried the art of delicate dissuation, Liz Fraser style: by saying ‘NO.”
And then ‘Absolutely No Way’, followed by
‘But discos are so loud and noisy and….well, LOUD!’ and finally
‘Do you think your father and I are MADE of money??’
These last two caused a two-day stand-off between me and myself, for sounding so horribly like my mother. I’m not sure who won…My pride certianly didn’t.
Needless to say none of the above worked, resulting instead in much door-slamming, shouting of ‘I HATE you mum!’ and further teenage preparatory activity. (She’s pretty damned good already. This bodes badly.)
After a few weeks of such harmonious interaction and an evening in the company of a bottle of wine, I decided that I was being completely ridiculous, and of course she should have a disco. She’s a lovely girl, she’s waited nine years for a disco and anyway, once we’ve had one that’ll be the last of it. Probably.
So after a few phone calls and some bribery we now have the hall booked, the DJ booked and all the invitations ready to hand out. The disco to end all discos is ready.
And what did my angelic still-twelve-year-old say to me last night as I tucked her in??
“I don’t really want a disco for my birthday any more. They’re so loud. Couldn’t I just have some friends for tea?”
Oh boy. Welcome to teenagehood.