The Fab Five...Deal With An Embarrassing Mother

11/11/2009 16:49 | Updated 22 May 2015

This week gardener, writer and mother of five Debbie Webber realises that perhaps she won't be appearing on X Factor any time soon.....

I am convinced that whoever reckons having children keeps you young is child-free. I can think of nothing that will age you quicker. Well, ok maybe sunbathing. And smoking.

But children? Definitely ageing. And it starts from the moment you pee on the stick.

It's not just the sleep deprivation, worry and work. It's as they get older and the generation gap elongates to probably it's greatest point that you think "Wow, in their eyes I'm really old. I still only feel about 16."

And it all boils down to music.
I admit I do favour Radio Two, which my 13-year-old hates bordering on a passion. So the kitchen radio gets switched to the Chris Moyles show because he cannot stand to hear Terry Wogan for a nanosecond.

But woe betide me if Radio One actually plays something I recognise and, more importantly, like.

I start singing, he starts groaning. I start dancing, he starts shouting.

While watching X-Factor recently I had to explain to my 11- and nine-year-olds who Whitney Houston was and where she'd been to warrant a come-back.

One of them has been practising a medley of 80's hits for a school production and is particularly enamoured with Culture Club's Karma Chameleon.

She is shocked to learn that I'm not (although I enjoy her version). She forgets, although I do remind her, that the song isn't new to me and really, I didn't love it the first time round.

The problem is there is no real generation gap now. Teenagers and their parents wear the same kind of clothes, watch the same programmes and like similar music.

Age is more like a state of mind. It's very confusing. Children grow up quicker, young people stay at home longer and middle aged people think numbers are irrelevant - and anyway, isn't 40 the new 30?

I shouldn't be surprised at my brood's newly expressed horror at me in general. After all, children are conservative creatures and mine are only being traditional in their embarrassment of me.

Or maybe I'm just a really bad singer....

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