I think that the Teenager might be moving out.
I think that the Teenager may, possibly, have gotten the idea that his absence would be on the whole preferable to his presence, during a heated discussion that erupted at 10.14pm last night about dinner money.
His is that he never saw it, that I’m senile, and furthermore trying to starve him to death. Despite my managing the conflict in a manner entirely consistent with advice gleaned from my book ‘Dealing with snotty-know-it-alls-who-probably-spent-it-on-fags made easy’, he’s sticking to his version.
Annabelle, who had been woken up by my high-pitched screeches of frustration, was lurking around in the background. Unable to resist an opportunity to stick the boot in, added helpfully that in addition to having spent the money that I didn’t give him, he’d also sold her a time-share lease on some crappy old box of Lego for £2 of her piggy-bank money earlier in the evening.
It’s getting to the stage that if anybody goes to give him a hug, they need to count the number of arms they get back.
Then, like a message from above, it dawned on me. I’m not just dealing with one teenager here, there are two.
The Nice Teenager of the North and his malevolent twin, The Evil Teenager of the East.
Nice-Teenager makes me cups of tea and plays catch with the dog in the garden. Nice-Teenager still has a collection of his childhood teddies and wants to be a Power-Ranger when he grows up.
Evil-Teenager however, has some decidedly dodgy mates, is prone to hurling his sister to the ground if she laughs at the TV in a manner he considers offensive and has a cracker-jack lawyer who he keeps reminding me that he has on speed-dial.
I can never be sure when I see his hoody and Nike T-Shirt looming in my direction, whether I’m going to be treated to a friendly greeting or have his Lynx drenched hair-do all ‘up in my face’ ‘cos his credit’s run out again.
As I’m writing this, I just received an email from Nice-Teenager to say that he is one sorry fifteen-year-old. He has seen the error of his ways and will never again MSN all his mates to tell them I have him nailed in his bedroom and am midway through blatantly disregarding the dictates of the European Convention on Human Rights.
And if you believe that, then I’ve got a bridge to sell you.