When the chips are down

Do you ever get the feeling that sometimes the cards are just stacked against you, no matter what you do? You even make sacrifices thinking: ‘ha, that will teach you’, only to have the whole thing backfire quite spectacularly. All I can say; it’s just as well I’m not playing the casinos right now ’cause the chips would be flying off the table.

It’s exam time right now and my teenage daughter – to her credit – is flying through them gaining straight As and A:stars, don’t know how she does it as she’s nearly always viewing something on her tablet whenever I check to see what she’s up to.  Over the next two years,she has her A-levels to study for in order to go to University, which means finding another school which she feels confident will provide her with the best opportunities to achieve the necessary grades.

Her mother – aka ‘Ms Jean Brodie’ – is in her element. Still unemployed, from what I can gather, but spends most of the day and night trawling through all the schools and college prospectuses etc, which is no bad thing of course.  However, the other day my daughter informed me just as she was about to set off for school, that she had an interview with another school just down the road that evening. ‘Fine’, I thought. What I didn’t know until she came back some time later, was that her mother went with her.

Yes, my nose was put out of place. I was more than a little annoyed. How dare she – ‘Ms Brodie’ – accompany the daughter I raised to a school meeting without informing me. Its like a competition when we do all go together. My daughter and I will wander around chatting, looking at the facilities whilst her mother pins down and interrogates some poor hapless teacher for 20 minutes or so. Does it every time. To her credit, she will have done her homework. She will know everything there is to know about the school and its teachers or as much as she can glean from the NET.

My problem with all this is quite simple however. Whilst expressing a desire – a strong desire to ensure one’s children have the best possible starts in life – or at least the best one can afford – it is virtually the only interaction her mother engages with. So long as it has an educational slant, she is there.

So, this morning I was informed of another school visit, this time a little further away. In fact, much further away and it suddenly dawned on me that she – ‘Ms Brodie’ – wants a lift, that’s why I have been told in advance. So I made the painful decision and said I couldn’t go. Thinking ‘that will teach you. You will have to use public transport now. I’m no one’s lackey’. I did feel terrible for my poor suffering daughter and the fact that I would not see the school either, but I had to make a stand.

What I didn’t bank on was that Ms Brodie had contacted a mutual friend whose own daughter was also going to look around the same school and managed to hitch a lift. Talk about brazen, landing on ones feet. So, off they go and here I am. The mother of my daughter is now happily chatting away to out mutual friend, spinning her all kinds of white lies and stuff and nonsense, as though she hasn’t a care in the world whilst I’m left fuming.   One thing is for certain. She can cook her own bloody dinner tonight! Lets just hope she doesn’t set fire to anything!!

As a post script: Upon their return, my daughter was sent up to ask if I was cooking tonight? No!

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