Tonight I have to go to the parent’s evening at the school. My teen has given me strict instructions.
“What are you wearing?” She demands anxiously.
“Um, that black knitted dress I bought in Italy…” I reply
“Ok.” Then “What shoes?”
“NOT those” she says “something nice”
“Hair?” I continue, slightly sarcastically “Makeup?”
“Makeup. Wear some. But NOT lipstick” I am instructed.
“Then if you arrive early, do not speak to me”my teen commands “if you do see me, just do this…”
She juts her chin up in the air, a brief acknowledgement.
I splutter “So I’m supposed to act like I hardly know you?”
She continues “and DON’T talk to my friends. Don’t ask them their names. Don’t ask how they are. Don’t tell them off for smoking or bunning”
“You are sooo old. Bunning is smoking a joint. It comes from the word ‘burning’ said with a Jamaican accent” she explains patiently. “At the rond point(a small square outside the school), everybody is bunning. Even adults bun. You see them coming after work, sitting down on the wall and bunning up.”
“That rond point seems to be the most popular meeting place in London” I remark archly.
“Yeah well our school is popular innit. Kids from other schools come to hang out, cos they finish earlier than us. Boys from local schools come to chat up girls”
“One boy, he’s slept with like 50 girls from our school. But he is gorgeous, really buff”
“When you are in the meeting with other parents, do not ask questions. I know you, you are always asking questions.”
“Try to blend in mum” she says, softening a little.