Mum’s the word column: Family - Janet Christie

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Our house is a party-free zone, unfortunately

I’m dozing with a box set when Middle appears at the bedroom door.

“Thought you were round at your friend’s?” I say to him.

“I was. He had an empty!” He smiles.

“Oooh. Hope it wasn’t too wild.”

“No, it was just me and him. We sat with the dog and watched David Attenborough.”

This is actually true. Comforting, yet somehow slightly disappointing.

“Have you got your car keys?” he says.

“Sure, why?”

“Youngest wants me to collect her. She’s at a party but she’s had enough.”

“Hmmm. I’ll go.” I’d like a neb.

“No, she wanted me to go,” he says and disappears quickly.

Half an hour later they’re back.

“Hello, was that fun?” I say, fishing.

“No. It was not fun. Not fun at all,” she says. “Uninvited people were trying to get in and the ones who were invited were being idiots. That’s why I left.”

Just as well she’d gone dressed up as a Purge person with a handy baseball bat. Foam of course, but still...

“That’s someone’s house and it made me so angry. The light fittings...” she fumes.

“Nightmare. I don’t understand why people let their kids have parties. Anyway, it’s your birthday soon, would you like one?”

“Definitely not. Not in OUR house. No way,” she says.

“OK, we could hire somewhere and…”

“No, couldn’t risk that either, no, no, no.”

Aw. Why won’t any of my children ever let me organise a party for them? We’ve not had one since Middle was at primary school. Admittedly the guests were all kept corralled in the garden and he had to carry someone home, but I thought it went off very well. Middle thought: “Never again. She was much taller than me.”

“Do you really not want a party?” I say to Youngest again.

“Mother, I’ve just been telling you about the latest party I went to that got out of hand!”

“Oh yes.”

“So I might just go out to a restaurant with a couple of friends. Maybe do something with just the family.”

Maybe we could borrow a dog and sit and watch David Attenborough. Sigh.