My sisters, trailing the over excited Minx behind them, were nearly two hours late for our Birthday Girl Treat Outing. Because they’d been out at a party the night before. And because they were so late, we didn’t get to go to the cinema (which was the one part of the outing Grouchy Aunt May was really looking forward to, because everyone would have to Shut Up and Sit Down for a while).
Minx actually behaved pretty well, considering she was wildly excited and high as a kite on pumpkin-orange cake-icing. But I do think seven is too old to bite people when getting tired and irritable. Especially when the seven-year-old can use words like ‘deliberately’, ‘multitude’, and ‘continuous’ correctly.
At one point Minx was running about in the street (in the street! With cars!) while Auntie May had one heart-attack after another and Trouble chose this moment to tell me how awful it was, having a kid. All this incessant worrying. She actually found herself having to go and look for Minx one afternoon because she had been playing outside for over half-an-hour and there was no sign of her! The horror! The anxst! It was so dreadful! Auntie May muttered something about ‘that being parenting for you’ and when she had locked herself safely in the loo, later, bit through a wad of toilet-tissue to stifle her bellows of outrage. H said later that he’d been vaguely relieved by the conversation – it was nice to know that Trouble does have some parental instincts. Harrumph.
On F*c*b**k, my sister’s profile includes no mention whatsoever of her daughter. At all. Anywhere.
The thing is, Minx is healthy, clean, appropriately dressed, clever at school and popular with her peers, affectionate and (when not tired) cute as a button. So I may sit about tutting and muttering ‘oh for the love of…’ under my breath a lot, and occasionally whisking Minx back from under the wheels of a passing Volvo, but I am, probably, wrong. Minx is more-or-less fine. Trouble is bringing her up much in the same way we were brought up. We, Trouble, Diva and I (and, to be honest, most of my other brothers and sisters (to whom I am less close and who don’t really appear much in these chronicles)), are all as neurotic as bags of wet cats, but we’re none of us hopelessly broken and useless human beings. Hell, I’m even happily married and gainfully employed.
But I still think H and I would make better parents than Trouble and her appallingly annoying Ex.