When I wrote A Tale of Two Photos in July 2019, I seemingly ended it with a prophesy. I wished for a vocal, determined and stubborn teenager. And I got one.
The forced smile of the first photo has returned but for many different reasons. (It’s actually an annoying pout.)
She doesn’t think I’m funny anymore. We now have irritating eye rolling instead of infectious giggling. I’m embarrassing more than amusing. If she does laugh, it’s at me, not with me.
She doesn’t want to spend time with me anymore. She walks slightly to the side and behind and almost shrinks away completely if someone she knows comes into view.
She doesn’t like the clothes I pick out for her anymore. In fact she doesn’t like any clothes anymore. Anywhere. Shopping with her is an ordeal not to be recommended. Nothing fits and that’s my fault because she has my petite DNA. I should have married someone taller apparently. I should have married someone richer but there you go.
She doesn’t want to please me. She takes pleasure in telling me how little effort she puts into schoolwork or how she was cheeky to a teacher. She is soooooo not my daughter.
We’re currently both in self-isolation due to her surprisingly being close enough to me at some point to pass on Covid. (Nothing to do with me running into her room and hugging her whilst declaring, “I want Covid. I can’t face another week at work!). But it feels like she has been in self-isolation for the past 18 months. She’s like a dog. She emerges from her self imposed lockdown only when she has needs – toileting, nutrition and exercise (lifts to dancing).
But there are still signs that she likes me.
She still comes into my room every evening to tell me she she loves me to the moon. Invariably I’m asleep before her nowadays, but she will insist on waking me up so I can reply ‘and back’.
She won’t let me out of my sight when we do actually venture out to the shops. She still needs to be able to see me at all times. Or maybe she doesn’t trust me. Maybe she thinks I’ll do a runner and she still needs me to pay when she does miraculously find an item of clothing that suits. And fits.
I’m sure at some point she will come back to me. And then I’ll probably wish she’d just bugger right off again.