Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Happy birthday Sweet Sixteen

Today the teen is sixteen years old. For once I do my übermummy bit and make her breakfast before school.
Standing in the kitchen, munching on some sourdough toast spread with Brittany salted butter and Marmite XO, she looks at her mobile phone and says
"Only one happy birthday text."
"Shall I send you one then?" I reply wryly.
She rolls her eyes "Popularity is measured by how many happy birthday texts you get, how many pages of happy birthdays on Facebook. None of my friends have texted."
"Maybe because you will be seeing them face to face in an hour and they can say it verbally?" I suggest.
"You need happy birthdays in at least two ways...." she explains.
" Two platforms?" I venture.
"Yeah." Her phone beeps "Oh, got another one. Clearly this person doesn't know me very well, they can't even spell my name right." She ponders "It must be this boy I know that's dyslexic" She replies to his text...." Ah no, it's his friend " She laughs slightly "I'll tell him to stop stalking me"
She looks down at her phone "Another one. From Grandma. I'm going to look such a loser"
She's wearing incredibly high heels. I've been worrying about how she dresses recently. Men have been following her home. My teen says that happens to all her friends, not just her and it doesn't make any difference what she wears, men still harrass her in the street. But what can you do? You can't lock up your daughter.
"Are you taking flats?" I ask
"God you sound like a granny" she retorts "no offence. Anyway, stop worrying mum, look at me! High necked top, long trousers, every inch covered"
She caught me googling 'serial killers' and 'paedophiles' the other night.
"So what are you going to do today?" I ask "now you are 16"
"Fuck loads of guys, leave home" she whips back. "No, actually 16 is rubbish. You can't do anything. I can't even vote. I think the voting age should be brought down and they should do more politics in school. "
An election is coming up and she can't participate.
The teen "You adults can't imagine how frustrating it is not to be able to buy anything you like, go anywhere you like, clubs, pubs..."
She stops and nods, eyes shining "18 is the big one. That's when everything will change. I'm going to go crazy then"


  1. I love these conversations you report with your daughter! I'm always amazed by the number of happy birthday messages certain people manage to get on FB. I get 2 or 3 so I must be sad too.

  2. 'The teen "You adults can't imagine how frustrating it is not to be able to buy anything you like, go anywhere you like, clubs, pubs..."'

    Oh the unseeing eye of youth!

    As for what she wears - if she's paying for it, then she can get away with the lip; if not, it may just be too late for imposing your will.... but you could give it a go?!?

    Happy birthday to her, and fond thoughts of 16 years ago to you, when this day was full of joy, pain and hope. As it probably still is today. C x

  3. Send your teen many heppy returns from me, MsML. Well done for treating her by parting with some of your precious marmite :-) Also tell her that the number of cards, texts, Facebook messages she gets doesn't matter. It's the sincerity of them that counts. I sometimes get criticized for not sending enough greetings cards at birthdays or Christmas etc. "You scrooge!" I hear "You only sent 12 cards last christmas? Why didn't you send one so so-and-so (any one of a number of distant relatives or family friends I have)?" I reply: "Because I haven't seen him for 10 years and I don't like the bastard." The response I get is a look as if to say: "That's is not a reason to fail to send him a card", and that it's a dereliction of some strange kind of "duty" to fail to.

  4. Hope you both have a great day.

  5. I must admit, I was a tiny bit sad to find out I was having a boy - but then I thought about these very wardrobe conversations and now think I may have dodged a bullet there. Well, only to catch one in some other unforeseen way I'm sure.

    As for the heels, rollasoles have saved me many a long day and are very light and roll up small - if you want to encourage her to bring flats with her: http://www.rollasole.com/uk/shop.php

  6. Tell her I say "Feliz cumpleaños" - Now she's getting birthday messages on a 3rd platform.
    Surely that's cool enough?
    Facebook and text messaging are SO last year!

  7. It's my son's Birthday today too. He's 25. We sent him a card and prezzie but not a text, after all he still lives at home. Smart lad, saves his money. Too expensive to move out, proven by his sister who now lives in City Centre and has no money and huge overdraft. Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen, enjoy every moment of it.

  8. Bakelady: you need to cover at least another platform. I've done verbally, text and facebook now. Even though it's sad and makes her look like a loser cos I'm her mother.

  9. Did giving him lots of hugs and kisses class as a third platform, I doubt it.
    My daughter is 30 next year, I shall need every platform available then!

  10. Did giving him lots of hugs and kisses class as a third platform, I doubt it.
    My daughter is 30 next year, I shall need every platform available then!

  11. My daughter is sixteen and it is tough; I wish I did not have to go through this yet again! (her brother turned 20 and it was hell at 16)
    Oh well better laugh about it

  12. ah bless to be that age and only knowing how you really did appreciate on being at our age now.

    For me i like keeping it quiet. . .not because of getting old. Just like that day being mine if possible blocking the crazy world out.

    Those who remember know Im remembered n loved. . .x


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