Surviving Teenagers: When They Laugh At You

Surviving Teenagers: When They Laugh At You


The trouble with teenagers is that they laugh at you. They've lived with you for a long time. They know you too well. This is not good.

They've grown out of that 'I love my Mummy because she's beautiful' phase that they had for five minutes when they were two-and-a-half.

They've grown out of that phase of deeply cynical resignation they had when they were twelve and you were beginning to embarrass them.

Now they see you as a figure of fun.

My views on healthy eating, for example, are open to frequent ridicule.

"What's for tea?" says my daughter.

"I'm not sure," I say. "Something quick and easy."

"Oh, good," says my daughter. "Does that mean cabbage?"

It is generally held, by all three of them, that I have some kind of obsession with invisible dust. Every night, I lie awake worrying about weirdly non-existent problems. On sunny days I go outside and peer into the earth for weeds that no one else can see or dig up plants that clearly haven't died.

My taste in films, music and TV is so ridiculous no one can take it seriously.

"What are we watching?" I say, rushing in breathless from putting on washing that isn't dirty or emptying a dishwasher that wasn't full.

"'s a rom com," says my younger son.

"Is it?" I say, astonished, staring at a screen that seems to be full of explosions.

"Yes," he says. "With Sandra Bullock. Or maybe Jennifer Aniston."

I look at him. "You're lying," I say.

"Maybe about Jennifer Aniston," he says.

"Or Sandra Bullock," he says, after a pause.

I don't wait for the next bit. They're all lying on the sofa, laughing.

Ha, ha. Ha, ha.