The downsides of beautiful daughters

Friday 23rd – in the morning

End of term, hooray! Means that for the next two weeks I do not have to get out of bed at ungodly hour of 6am and stub toes en route to kitchen, because I cannot see the step I have stubbed it on every morning for the past five years as sun not up and power not on. School holidays means I can drink coffee in bed whilst I read and my toe has a chance to mend.

Particularly exhausted this end of term since last week included, in no particular order, three evenings of school production of Grease (Amelia was Frenchie which, she insisted, necessitated having blonde highlights which means she now has a head of hair her mates would die for whilst their mothers regard me with obvious disdain for I have indulged my 13 year old daughter with expensive hair treatment); a swimming gala (Hattie); Parent/teacher meetings to discuss success or otherwise of children’s performance this term (I shall not reveal what was said about own trio but I will comment on how diplomatic I think teachers are: imagine trying to present parents with the fact their child is thick beyond hope without offending?); a dentist appointment for all three and inevitable twice daily school runs, most of it on dirt roads dodging chickens, goats, cyclists, pedestrians who are clearly deaf or blind for can neither see nor hear approaching car and – obviously – potholes you could lose your car in.

Is it any wonder, then, that I get confused about school run on this – the last morning of the term. Means I am forced to beg, with some embarrassment, for a lift for kids from a neighbour whom I do not know well and who has never met my children.

As I bundle kids into her car she comments ‘how beautiful’ Amelia is. But she doesn’t just comment the once. No. She asks about three times whether I’m sure Amelia is actually my daughter. I’d like to think that because she’s foreign, and English not her first language, she has trouble understanding my response, in the affirmative, the first time that, yes, believe it or not, the beauty I have just parked on her back seat is – in fact – spawn of harried, lined, old bat who is now madly nodding and gritting her teeth (the few she has left in her really ancient, ugly head) bundling children crossly into car.

If I had had as much sleep as Amelia in recent weeks and if I’d had enough money to indulge self in same expensive hair treatments (rather than sporting a high tide mark where greying roots show through 3 month old highlights) my apperance might at least bear passing resemblance to that of my daughter and silly woman in front of car my daughter is now sitting smugly in would shut her mouth, drag her chin off the floor and stop saying, stupidly, ‘Really? Your daughter hey? Beautiful, no?’

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