So after a month of grounding, Youngest Child is about to be released back into the wild, free to spend her reinstated pocket money.
I’m sad because I’ve enjoyed our enforced mother/daughter time hanging together. Making brownies, having interminable arguments about the politics of body hair, even going out and about in public together like we did in the old days when she was my wee pal. OK, she only agrees to come because she’s bored to distraction, but still...
There was our theatre trip to Of Mice and Men, a roaring success of an evening, apart from the car breaking down and her having to push. To be fair, Annie was less of a hit, on account of “the singing and the children” as she put it.
“A child and her dog giving the president the idea for the New Deal, then all that singing in the White House. Too far. And a man inviting an orphan home for Christmas. Not good,” she said on the way home.
“It’s a musical!” I said.
“Yes… a musical.” (Delivered with the disdain that Lady Bracknell reserves for handbags).
My final grounding outing was the art school fashion degree show. True to form we’re late, it’s starting and oh no, our seats are front row. Clatter, clatter down the steps in the dark, disrupt everyone, create a kerfuffle, but what a brilliant view. We’re so close we can see every stitch and Youngest gets a downy barb from a wafting purple feather stuck in her eye. Long after my bum has numbed, I realise that next to me she is entranced, rapt. She doesn’t even whine about the eye.
“That was brilliant,” she says as the last claps fade. “I want to do that. I want to go here.”
“Well, you have to work very hard at school to get into art college,” I say.
“OK. I will.”
“Oh. OK then.”
“This has been the best grounding ever. Thank you mum.”
“My pleasure. Let’s do it again soon.”