Teenage girls are a lot like professional footballers, and by the same token, I’m sure a lot of football managers think their players are a bunch of petulant teenage girls.
Overindulged, over-opinionated and always the centre of attention.
And like footballers entering the last year of their lucrative contracts, they miraculously recover from injury and illness at three times the natural rate.
Two weeks ago, during half term, daughter #2 spent the day at her old dance school. Seven hours of carefully choreographed steps that takes a combination of skill, endurance and intense concentration to get right. After she got dropped off at home, she ran up the drive and her left ankle buckled underneath her.
As anyone who has ever sprained their ankle will tell you, it feels like you’ve been bitten by a shark. Alarm bells literally ring in your head. And walking anywhere for the best part of a week is an absolute no-no.
Or so you’d imagine. As daughter #2’s ankle swelled like a balloon in minutes and then over the next few days went all the colours of the rainbow, she mentioned she’d been invited to a Halloween party by her new sixth form friends on the Wirral and was determined to go. On the train. By herself. Overnight.
Two days before the party, the pain got so bad the boss took her to A&E where they examined it and said, “yep, sprained ankle. Keep off it for a bit and you’ll be fine.” Which to her ears sounded like, “Book your heavily discounted train ticket with your Young Person’s Railcard on the trainline.com and get your Halloween costume ironed. You shall go to the ball.”
And she went. And she didn’t sleep a wink. And she didn’t touch a drop of booze. And she rang us at 7am to say she’d lost her phone. And she managed to get from the Wirral, back to Liverpool, up through Wigan and Preston and back to Lancaster. And then she went to bed for 18 hours. It would’ve been easy to do a mercy dash to rescue a damsel in distress but me and the boss thought, no cat ever starved up a tree. If she got herself into this mess, she can get herself out of it. And she did. Lesson learned. No harm done.