I'm one of three, but my Mother's partner has 4 daughters, so often it feels like I'm competing against six other offspring. This was most recently brought to my attention when my Mother took me and one of her partner's daughters to her neighbour's party. 'This is my daughter,' She said proudly, gesturing to the other girl. 'Oh, no,' She corrected herself sadly. 'That one's mine.' I stopped stuffing cocktail sausages into my mouth and hastily introduced myself. But I had heard. I knew I had to up my game.
I have spent the last month thinking of ways to usurp the others in my Mother's affections. I carefully spent entire minutes of my life on www.moonpig.com making her a Mother's Day card. My little sister sent her flowers. I baked a cake, and took a slice over to my Mothers. 'Oh, darling,' She said regretfully. 'That looks lovely, but I'm very full from eating the millionaire's shortbread I have been making for your little brother.'
Last week, I realised I was going to emerge victorious. (Or at least, not last). Amy Roberts (former head of Womenswear at Mulberry) and Minoj Malde (also a former fashion designer) were presenting their indoor gardens at Daphnes, the Italian restaurant in South Kensington. 'This is perfect!' I thought gleefully to myself. (And also out loud on the phone to my siblings). My Mother loves fashion, and is delighted by gardens, as long as they are looked after by someone else. An award-winning indoor garden would ensure my rightful place at the top of her affections. (Especially as there was going to be food and champagne at the launch party). 'Yes,' I explained carefully to my Mother. 'The garden is already made. Amy Roberts and Minoj Malde are recent graduates from the English Gardening School. I'm certain no-one expects you to do any gardening. And there's prosecco jelly. No, that's made by the chefs at Daphnes. You don't have to do any cooking.'
All the minor details were worked out, and I was pretty pleased with the new card I had created on www.moonpig.com- 'Ha ha now I'm the favourite', when my Mother emailed. 'Darling,' She said. 'I cannot come to this. Terribly sorry. Do not let it prevent you from inviting me to other things though.' 'Well,' As I pointed out to my little sister later that day. 'I think she's made it pretty clear that she likes me best.' 'I'm not really sure that's true,' My sister replied unhelpfully. 'Well,' I replied slowly. 'Perhaps I'm not the favourite yet, but I think we can see that she wants to spend time with me in the future.' 'Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow,' My sister sang tunelessly down the phone. 'You know what?' I asked her abruptly. 'You're right. I would have been better off as an orphan.' 'I'm pretty sure you mean 'only child', ' My little sister corrected me. 'You're completely right,' I said to my little sister in astonishment. I have been going about this all wrong. Instead of trying to impress my Mother, I should have been attempting to get rid of my siblings. I'll let you know how it goes next week.