Conversations With Lily
Wednesday 5th December 2012
(It’s fine. I guarantee that no matter what she says, she never reads this blog ‘cos it’s like ’bout knittin’ innit? Well, no actually, to the disappointment of many I assume, it is rarely about knitting. But anyway, Lily doesn’t read it).
Lily: Mercedes Buoyancy-Aid is having a party next weekend.
Me: Are you going?
Me: Why not? Not invited…?
Lily: Yeah, I was invited but I just don’t want to go.
Me: But why?
Lily: *sighs* Because – well if you want to know, yeah?
Me: Yeah. I mean yes.
Lily: Because I can’t face the humiliation.
Me: *getting angry with the possibly entirely innocent Mercedes Buoyancy-Aid* Humiliation?
Lily: *with some feeling* Yes! The utter humiliation of you, having agreed that I can go, then ringing up Mercedes Buoyancy-Aid’s mum and interrogating her about alcohol, boys and – and – stuff! *warming to theme* And then, ringing the mums of anyone else you know and asking how they feel about it all. And then getting out of the car when you drop me off to question any adults in person. And THEN making me leave the party at lame-o’clock anyway.
Me: *hurt silence*
Lily: Remember that? Remember those times?
Me: No. It’s not like that. It’s just that, as a responsible parent I feel it’s my duty to check that some basic safeguards are in place. I don’t always do that.
Lily; No. Sometimes you make dad do it if there is A Man in the household.
Me: That is true.
Prolonged and tense silence.
Me: Well, darling, how would you like to have a party here?
Lily: NO! Oh for God’s sake, just NO!
Me: *genuinely startled* What? Why ever not?
Lily: Because I know you’d ring up all my friends’ parents beforehand to spell out your policy on alcohol and then frisk all my friends and search their bags. And confiscate anything that didn’t say Appeltiser.
Me: I would not! I’d never frisk anyone, let alone a child!
Lily: *with heat* They are not children! They are 16!
Lily: And, do you remember when Florence had to drop me off at Cherry’s (an alcohol-free nightclub for teens in Bridgwater) ‘cos you were away and you made Florence come in with me and talk to the door staff and *almost weeping* ask them to take personal care of me?
Me: No. That didn’t happen. (It did)
Lily: *makes noises I cannot express with a keyboard*
Me: *calmly* This is getting us nowhere. Look, do you want to go to Mercedes Buoyancy-Aid’s party? If so I will promise not to ring her mum. And let you stay until, um…11.00…?
Lily: No. It’s OK.
Me: I promise.
Lily: Nah. It’s the final stages of Strictly now, I’d rather stay in and watch that.