Allow me to continue the case for not having children, sorry I mean surviving the teenage years.
1. You will never be right again. Remember those dinner table discussions when they were going through that fairly irritating phase of asking why, why, why to everything? Well, you taught them so well to question the status quo and form an opinion that they can now whip you into knots of contradiction on any given subject from exam revision to Islamic State.
2. They are prolific liars. They will only be ill around 15% of the time they convince you to keep them off school. Don't try and cuddle them or fuss around them. Having royally duped you, all they want is to sleep til noon, Snapchat their mates, Instagram their mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows 15 different ways and catch up on back to back episodes of CSI and MIC under the covers on their iPad.
3. Your new name is Ladycabs. Pick-up time from a party (referred to as a gathering in order to lose the alcohol connotation) at 11pm is not cool, only post-midnight pick-ups are acceptable. Whatever you do, DO NOT get out of the car, speak to any of their friends or perish the thought, ring on the doorbell. Just sit in the car pressing redial until they finally deign to pick up. Bang goes your bottle of Gavi in front of Friday night telly but if you dare to complain, they will just ask for a Vespa instead.
4. Everything that goes wrong will always be your fault. Not to be confused with point 1. So if Jane makes you take a wrong turn on SatNav, someone crashes into the back of you in traffic, they need to start wearing a brace or Sainsbury’s runs out of chocolate coated Krispy Kremes, you will be to blame.
5. Imagine your wardrobe as a kind of free shopping experience where no money changes hands, no permission is asked and your most coveted pieces go missing for days, nay weeks at a time before resurfacing in a screwed up ball under the bed, covered in hot chocolate or the bottom reaches of their wardrobe along with old biscuit wrappers and dirty PE kit. If, however, you dare to borrow so much as one pair of bobbly tights, you will be branded the bitch from hell for not asking first.
6. Your precious little collection of make-up and skincare that has taken years to fine tune will start to go missing, a mascara or brow liner at a time, around the time they hit 13. It doesn't matter that you spent a fortune buying everything they needed from Rimmel London, they will still prefer your ancient old Lancôme Hypnose mascara and the brand new Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser that a PR has just sent you. Try not to lose the plot when they use your Creme de la Mer as aftersun.
7. When it comes to anything technical, accept that you are just a loser from another century while they became proficient on a PC before they knew the words to Pat a Cake. Expect a dramatic eye roll and a demand for hard cash if you ask them to a. Download photos from your phone, b. Make you a playlist or c. Make you a cup of tea while you try and fathom it out yourself.
8. Around 80% of the time, they will be hormonal, moody and have a face like a slapped arse. Smiles are index linked to being paid to walk the dog they begged and pleaded for, a trip to New York and getting everything on their Christmas list (even though they stopped believing in Santa at least five years ago).
9. Do not leave loose change or chocolate on any surface. The bottom salad drawer below a large stockpile of kale, broccoli and celery should work as a hiding place. They don't touch or eat vegetables in any form.
10. That 30 minute run they have suddenly started going out for on freezing cold dark winter evenings is a sneaky smoking break, snog/flirt or both with their latest crush up the road. Note the lack of sweat/red cheeks when they return, although in truth you will be grateful for the lack of sweat/red cheeks.
The Upside? Just as you have gotten used to being public enemy number one, at around 16, they suddenly realise that you're actually not that bad after all.