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Archive for the ‘Daughters’ Category

… to this earth I do not want to be the oldest child, the only daughter or a big sister.

Known as the Oldest Child Syndrome, the eldest is expected to be ‘responsible’, doesn’t make a fuss, takes charge over the younger ones.   I think there is too much responsibility put on and too much expected of the Oldest Child.

A little bit of tranquility in an otherwise hectic life.

As the eldest I have taken on the responsibility of my Mum.  She is 92 and lives in a Care Home near me.

I am almost 60 and even now, when enjoying the first evening out for a very long time, it was spoilt by a parent.

Not that it was my Mum’s fault.  She was unwell last night and the Home saw fit to call an ambulance.   So, at 10:00 pm, the first time I looked at my mobile phone all evening, there were a number of missed calls.   The Home x 3, the hospital x 2 and my daughter x 1.

Not only is it almost impossible to find a quiet place, in a house full of partying  people, to make a phone call.   Have you tried using a touch phone as a phone in an emergency?  It is new, takes brilliant photos and is great for Twitter and games.  I have yet to get to grips with using it as an actual phone.  I was dialling the wrong number, couldn’t end a call, and worse still was the number of times I redialed the wrong number.  The frustration was mounting and the phone was nearly launched out of the window.  Oh, how I yearned for a proper telephone.

Mum is, fortunately, ok.  They can’t find anything wrong with her and she will be discharged today.  They couldn’t find anything wrong the last two times she was rushed to hospital either.   She is elderly, even if they did find anything, what are they going to do at her age?  Leave her be, hospital is not the place for her.  She is happy and contented in a wonderful care home with nursing staff on hand.   I suppose they are only doing their job and can’t run risks.

This morning I sat down with my late breakfast, relaxed in the knowledge that I don’t have to spend all Sunday sitting in the hospital, when the phone rang again.

This time it was my brother – he suffers from the Youngest Child Syndrome.   He is 58 and has Aspergers.  He called to say he was going to the hospital tomorrow for tests.   Usually he has a Community Nurse to go with him but she is on holiday and he is going on his own.  He wanted to talk to me about the tests, and anything else in general I think.

It was all too much this morning, my tea had gone cold, my toast had gone soggy and I just wanted to be left alone.  I am afraid I kept the call to a minimum.  Now I am sitting here wracked with guilt.

Was I not sympathetic enough?

Should I take tomorrow off and drive to the other side of  London to go with him to the hospital?

Should I go the hospital to wait with Mum until the ambulance collects her to take her back?

Should I wait at home and not go out so when the Home ring to say Mum is back, I can go and see her?

Should I have told my brother about Mum being in hospital, which would only serve to worry him unnecessarily?

So, if I do come back to this earth, I want to be anything but the eldest child please.

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You will have gathered from D for Discretion in Dealing with Daughters that daughter #2 is getting married.

Late last year, on a shopping trip, she and I called into a dress shop for a browse.  A beautiful dress and jacket caught our attention.  This was an expensive shop; the outfit cost almost £400.   So we decided to be sensible and wait a few months for the sales.

For Christmas, Daughter #2  bought me a money pot, the kind that you have to smash open to get to the cash. The intention is to save as much as I can until May and then we can go shopping together for my wedding outfit.  I have religiously filled it with 20p pieces and £2 coins.

Money Pot

Just over a month ago, I bought my wedding outfit without said Daughter and without breaking the money pot.

There, on the rail in the shop, beckoning: “I am here, I’ve been waiting for you. Come and buy me”, was the dress and  jacket – IN MY SIZE reduced by 70%!!   Well you can’t ignore a bargain like that can you?

So I bought it.

Daughter #2 was not happy because she wanted to come wedding outfit shopping with me.  I think it was to make sure I didn’t buy anything dreadful or embarrassing.   However, the dress and jacket has got her seal of approval despite me daring to venture out on my own.

The dead bird fascinator

I bought a fascinator at the same time.  A smart collection of feathers, bows and veil.   I liked it until last week when I tried it on again and all I could see was a dead black bird on my head.  I just couldn’t get that vision out of my head.  The fascinator had lost its fascination.

When Daughter #2 came to stay this weekend,  I told her about my dead bird.  She said she would rather I wore a proper hat anyway.   So, Saturday and Sunday became hat shopping days.  What comes first?  The outfit or the hat?   There is always going to be a problem no matter which way round.

Eventually we found a hat in Marks and Spencer.   The trouble with buying anything from M&S is that you stand a very good chance of meeting up with it again.   As Mother of the Bride, I don’t want to see someone else at the wedding with the same hat.

We both looked at each other and the same thought flashed between us…….. take the fascinator apart and add it to the hat.  What a brilliant idea!  That way there will be no one with the same hat.  My very own millinery masterpiece.

Voila!  An Incredibly Ingenious Individual wedding hat.

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My daughters

I have two daughters who I love dearly.    Both are high powered career women in their early 30s.  One is married with two children and the other is getting married in the Summer.  Both are trained in man-management and dealing with difficult situations.

So why, when it comes to planning a hen night is there such an issue?

Do they speak the same language to each other, I ask myself.    One tells me one thing and the other says something different.  They have clearly had the same conversation, but each has an alternative slant.  Perception is how we see and hear a situation often in different ways – this is a clear example.

Daughter #2, the one getting married, has her bridesmaids arranging the hen night.   She knows what she wants but also wants to ensure that whatever is arranged, everyone invited is happy to do.   Did I not teach her that you can’t please everybody?

She is not prepared to say “I want to do this and please arrange it”.

Daughter #1 can’t understand why it has to be a weekend away.

“What is the matter with going to the pub?” she asked.

She was married 10 years ago, things have changed since then.

Daughter #2 says “All I want is for her to say she will come for the whole weekend, I don’t know what she is doing”.

Daughter #1 says “We have spoken at length regarding the weekend”.

Wiser friends are adamant that a mother MUST NOT get involved in daughter to daughter discussions, as it is the mother who will come away with egg on her face.  She only has to get it wrong and mum is the one who is the villan.

I know, I do listen,  I have tried to keep my own counsel, but when daughter #2 asks if I would speak to daughter #1 to say how important is it to her that she comes for the whole weekend, it is very difficult to say no.

So when daughter #1 responds  that she values her weekends with her children,  and doesn’t really want to be away all weekend, when she could just go for the Saturday and take the late train home, what can I say?

I can see both sides.  I just want to sit on the fence please.

It was so much easier when they were little.  I would sit them down and explain both points of view  (probably  biased towards my point of view, because that would make life easier).   I was the tough one, “The Mum”, the one who said what was what.   Hugs, cuddles, gentle words, a drink and a biscuit would solve almost all differences of opinion.  Now I tread lightly and meter every word for fear I have misinterpreted their words and make things worse.  They still need me, though,  mum is there to sort out problems no matter how old you are.  The phone will always be answered, text and emails will always be responded to, and no plea for assistance will be refused.

The bottom line is that my two toughies are just jelly babies inside.

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