Mum about town

Christine Kempell braces herself for the teen years

I am now the mother of a teenage girl and therefore officially old. While my daughter is taking her teenage-hood in her cool, Khol-lined style, perfecting her new text-talk vocabulary and eye-rolling techniques, I, on the other hand, am finding this transition a little unsettling. Almost overnight, my sweet little baby girl has emerged as a young woman and, like a newly-made vampire, she’s a melting pot of uncontrollable impulses and inquisitive about when she will taste her first blood.

She has become curious about boys and keeps asking all sorts of prying questions about my past conquests. This has resulted in lots of time spent in the apparently hilarious pursuit of looking up ex-boyfriends of mine on Facebook, which serves only to make me feel even older, particularly as they have all let me down by embarrassingly turning into fat, bald, old men. Despite my protests that ‘they used to be gorgeous,’ my Mum-cred has taken a serious battering. How could they do that to me? No wonder those relationships never lasted. My husband finds this very amusing, and keeps snooping over our shoulders while we’re hunched over the PC, tutting and muttering about ‘lucky escapes’.

What morsel of credibility I had left went completely out of the window when questioned about my first kiss. No amount of protesting about there being ‘plenty of time for all that’ could deter her from her cross-examination, so I quoted the Girl Guide motto and told her to ‘Be Prepared’. An honest answer to an honest question, I say. Although maybe it was a mistake to confess that I used to practise on my toy Muppet, Kermit.

I know that we’ve got some testing teenage times to come, and I’m faced with the fact that my young vampire wants to meet other young vampires who are also raging with irrepressible urges and hormones. These are dangerous times. I must resist the urge to don my skintight Vampire Slayer costume (it’s a very unforgiving fabric and a bit snug, so she’d only roll her eyes at me if I attempted to squeeze into it) and swoop out when needed. ‘He tried to do what?! Stand back and let me stake him through the heart!’

Instead, I’ll act as the old advisor in my dressing gown and slippers and ultimately she’ll learn by herself. At least I’ve taught her that you have to kiss a frog before you find a prince.

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