But as for her mother, well I leave you to judge.
Picture daughter No 2 as an angelic, cherubic blonde ball of fun aged three and a bit. Then picture her equally angelic, cherubic mate R, also three and a bit and her early childhood pal, despite being a boy. Their mums were friends and so their little angels became mates too, playing together, even bathing together, just generally having fun in the way three-year-olds do. Living just two doors away from each other, and their mums developing a coffee habit, they became very good pals indeed.
Then the mums had a brilliant idea. So devoted were the little couple – vowing never to be parted no matter what the slings or arrows of outrageous fortune might bring – why not stage a wedding? Daughter No 2 and R could dress up – he in a lovely little brown waistcoat and dickie bow and she in a beautiful white fairy dress – and they could plight their troth while mums took photos. Young R is even pictured puckering up to Daughter No 2 and planting a chaste kiss on her plump pink cheek. By the look on her face, it looks like she, at her tender age, had some doubts about the wisdom of all this.
Needless to say, the little cherubs grew up. Although there is a picture of them walking to school on their first day, hand in hand, the body language suggests divorce was in the offing. As they grew older, the ‘marriage’ crumbled and they went their separate ways. Daughter No 2 is 19 next week and R is now a strapping lad making his way in the world.
However, photos of that innocent ceremony still have pride of place at home, despite my attempts to remove them in case boyfriends of today wonder what was going on. Well, no need to wonder any more. A couple of weeks ago, Daughter No 2 was in a club when who should pop up but her old ‘spouse’. As he passed, he engaged her in animated conservation, putting a hand on her shoulder as they talked. Cue her boyfriend, ignorant of the history of this encounter, spotting another male moving in on his girl. He reacted like most boyfriends and, shall we say, began to challenge the situation. Apparently, R laughed, turned away and, with exquisite timing, couldn’t resist the parting shot – “We used to be married, you know!” – as he disappeared into the crowd. Daughter No 2 had some explaining to do but she seems to have done a good job.
The things you inflict on your children.