Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Daughter At Large

I love my daughter.

She is the best.

But she is 13.

As a matter of course recently, her room looks like an explosion in a laundromat. Her school diary is suspiciously empty. There is never any ice cream in the house, although there is frequently an empty ice cream container in the fridge.

The other day as we reached that existentially tenous moment that exists as you are dropping a child off for a bus that is sitting on the other side of the road waiting for you, I asked her (sounds so measured............it was nothing of the sort)
"Wait! What about train fare? Have you got your train fare?"
After a brief, frenzied scrabbling around we determined that neither of us had the $2.00 for her train fare.
"Don't worry Mum, I don't need any money. Lots of people catch the train without any money!"
'YOU WILL NOT BE CATCHING THE TRAIN WITHOUT ANY MONEY!!!!! I'll pick you up; just stay put."
She gave me the kind of smile that says you are such an old, rigid, box Mum but I love you.

When did my child begin to think it was ok to catch public transport without a fare? I mean, I did it all the time but THAT IS NOT THE POINT!

Actually, that is not strictly true. I had the money. My mother gave it to me in the same trusting fashion that I hand over $2.00 and expect that it will be spent on the fare. In those days, there were conductors on trams and the trams were often busy at 3.30pm when school came out. It was not difficult, especially at 5' 2'' and dressed in the same uniform as 30 other girls, to manoeuvre yourself up and down the body of the crowded vehicle in order to avoid the conductor. Upon arriving at your destination, there was the deli right near the tram stop. It sold ice blocks and donuts and redskin chews and all manner of things that just happened to have exactly the same purchase price as a tram ticket. (20c)

But that is NOT THE POINT.

I am afraid my daughter is a teenager. And she is at large.

I give you Exhibit A.

This is a school sock. Look carefully now. Do you notice anything? That is not a shadow. That is muck. And not on the place you normally get wear and tear on the average sock. How, you may ask, do you get muck to that extent on the side of a sock. I will tell you my friends. You fold the sock down under your heel so that it resembles the popular, and obviously 'non-uniform', trainer sock.
(sports sock? you know the type I mean....)

Never mind that your mother ensured that you were wearing uniform socks when you left the house. These are after all, the uniform socks! No one can say that she wasn't wearing them.........

Here is another example.

This is my sink.

After dinner, my dutiful daughter clears the table and washes the pots and pans. She sets them to dry and roughly wipes down the benches. Sometimes I assist her and sometimes I do not. This was one of the latter times. I returned to the kitchen to find everything 'pristinely' dealt with and the sink like this.

I swear you could feed an Ethiopian family of five on what was left in that sink.

But our most recent escapade involves my computer.

I have an elderly (in techno terms) but perfectly adequate 80GB hard drive provided for me by my ever lovin' and dearly loved, dad. It has been chugging away happily since 2004. Recently, I acquired a sticky trojan and had to do a system restore which seemed to solve the problem.
This was fine except that I had downloaded a program to supposedly deal with the trojan. Even though it had failed to do so, from that time on, my computer operated as if it were running in treacle.

I blamed the new software program. I blamed some residual from the trojan. I blamed a need for defrag. Upon checking, none of these were the culprit.
"You need a new computer." announced Himself unhelpfully as I waited for 3 minutes for Firefox to load. "You need a ...,"
"Yes, yes I know. I need a Mac...."

I checked a few things on the 'old faithful'. One thing I checked was memory. It seems that out of 80GB, I am using 70!!! Where has this 'useage' come from all of a sudden? I will admit that my slightly defensive self wondered if blogging was the culprit. I decided to check all the major files.

As is to be expected, half the capacity of my computer is directed towards photos. 40GB to be precise. However, I have only been collecting digi photos since 2000, a further investigation revealed that my daughter's one single folder of photos contained 16GB of information!!!!! And she only got her camera last Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I copied her file to a slightly dodgy external hard drive last night. It took 6 hours.

Is it the computer or is there some nasty external virusy thing affecting us? Who knows. I just know that when you look quickly through her photo file there are 135 pictures of the BA and her friends making 'model poses' for the camera.......

* sheesh. teenagers*


Maggie said...

There is a special place in heaven for anyone who survives the teen-aged years with a daughter. But BA is too funny!

Ca$h McBuck said...

Try compressing and encrypting her files wih the most obvious password. Her name. Her DOB. The worldwide most popular: "Love".

HipMomma said...

Uh, I have a 7 year old and I'm getting similar vibes here. Am I in trouble?

A Free Man said...

She's an angel, your girl. I won't believe this slander against her. Where's her opportunity to reply?

Maggie, Dammit said...

I'm not ready for this. I'm just not.

Four more years? Four more years will fly, I know it.

I'm not ready for this.

Andi said...

Oh it just gets better and better... There are not enough hours for me to list ALL of the similar things that I have witnessed over the 19 years that I have parented my daughter....I am sending you so much sympathy!!! I promise you will smile, maybe even laugh outloud at the memory of all of this...one day. ;)
She's adorable, and that is what is so hard- the cuter they are, the harder it is to get really angry...besides, it is next to impossible when you pulled similar stunts at her age! (I sympathize with this too...really I do!)

Anonymous said...

It had to happen eventually. Your angel of a girl is a baby no longer. If she didn't do all this junk she wouldn't be normal. As you said, you did the same things, and you turned out just fine. :)