PLEASE don’t try to be one of my girl gang
Olivia Becci, 17, lives with her parents anna-Maria, 47, a teaching assistant and Mirko, 50, an electrician, in North london. She has a sister amelia, 15.
1 APPARENTLY, everyone out there has a daughter who is really helpful, perfect and thoughtful. That’s the lecture I get every time I don’t clear the table after dinner or leave a bowl out of the dishwasher. Which is rare — honestly. 2 MUM, do you know how many times you’ve lectured me about ‘not leaving my drink unattended’ and ‘staying with my friends’? Every time I leave the house. Even when I’m just off to a friend’s house party. 3 WHEN I go out to meet my boyfriend I’ll be wearing make-up. When I come back and the lipstick has worn off, I get the same joke about kissing. Cringe. 4 THAT horrible screechy voice you use when you are shouting my name up the stairs sounds like the house is on fire. I’ll rush down to find you only wanted to ask me something. Imagine if I did that to you! It’s just rude. 5 MUM, you’re 47. You stopped being part of the ‘girl gang’ 30 years ago, so please stop trying to join in when my friends come over. 6 I’M TIRED when I get in from school. I don’t feel like engaging in a full appraisal of my day: what I had for lunch and what grades I got. 7 WHY are you so obsessed with my phone? You always want to know who I’m messaging and what I’m saying. It’s my life, and your monitoring is intrusive. 8 YOU want me to work hard and get good grades, so why can’t I have a desk in my room? Working at the dining room table isn’t practical — I can hear the TV. 9 EVERY night at dinner you tell me to eat up my vegetables. And I will have to remind you, again, that I am not five years old. 10 IT’S the same with bedtime. I will go to bed when I am tired, and I really don’t need you telling me it’s time for ‘lights out’.
OLIVIA is wrong on one point: she does need to be told when it’s bedtime. She will often head to bed at 11.30pm, with her laptop, all set to watch a film, and gets so annoyed when I remind her she has school in the morning.
Everyone tells me she won’t be a teenager for ever. Inside that stroppy little madam is a considerate woman, just waiting to be unleashed.