Janet Christie: ‘Scouring for moustaches on paintings’

Janet Christie.  Picture: Neil Hanna
Janet Christie. Picture: Neil Hanna
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“BY the way,” says Eldest Child as the other two and I step over the threshold for a weekend away, tripping over inflatable mattresses, duvets and plastic bags stuffed with snacks, “I’m having a couple of friends round.”

I stop in my tracks. “No parties!”

“Definitely not. Just a couple of people. Don’t worry, it’ll be fine,” he says.

Oh God. It’s too late to cancel. “Ok. A couple of people. No more or I will remove your eye with a spoon. Love you, bye.”

Two days later we’re back. Nothing seems amiss, but that evening Middle Child returns from the ’hood with news. “He had parties. Both nights. House was heaving.”

“Right.” I storm around looking for evidence so I can get to work on Eldest Child’s eye socket. Sadly there are no discarded empties, leaking into the rug. Merely slightly more recycling than usual. Dammit.

Next I spot that Youngest Child’s freakish papier mache self-portrait head and Middle Child’s woodwork spatula (our version of ornaments) have been lifted carefully onto high shelves for safety. How annoyingly sensible.

I scour the place for syringes, moustaches on the Rembrandts, vomit. Nothing.

At last I have it! Someone’s been making pancakes in the kitchen! And the Twister hasn’t been folded away properly.

Teenagers! What’s wrong with them these days?