Double negatives and teen girls

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It’s very hard growing up as a girl these days. The pressure on girls from all sides are immense and that can lead to all sorts of tension and long conversations. Last week there was parents evening for daughter one, which was slightly stressful as daughter one had booked the teacher sessions without consulting me, meaning there was virtually no way I could get to them on time. The next night I had a long talk with daughter three about things at school which she is worried about. In the middle of our in-depth discussion, only son piped up from his bed where he had been listening intently. “Sorry to single out this grammar point, mum. But you can’t have a double negative in a sentence.”

Only son is very proud of his attainment in GPS [Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling]. Daughter two was also lingering and making unhelpful suggestions. It is hard to have a quiet word in our house.

I feel like I have not been paying enough attention to daughter three in the last few weeks due to work so I had booked a Bonfire Night celebration with her and only son on Friday night at which a Little Mix tribute band was playing. Daughter three is a big fan of Little Mix. The only problem was that I was in Cambridge during the day and running slightly late due to forgetting my phone and not knowing what the time was. But I was only a tiny bit late and I stopped off at Lush en route to the car to get daughter three and only son a bath bomb to celebrate Bonfire weekend. Only son had asked for a spa day on Saturday. Only son is a big fan of spa days. I got on the M11, feeling like a fairly good parent. All the traffic stopped at around Saffron Waldon. It wasn’t boding well and I had no way of letting anyone know about the potentially long delay. The Little Mix tribute band were due on at 7.15. I arrived home at around 7.10, feeling like a really bad parent.

The good news was that the Little Mix tribute band was delayed. We got a prime spot for the fireworks. “Caboom,” screamed only son the whole way through the display, which went on for quite some time and was quite fantastic. We got some candy floss and headed home. Everyone had a great time and the next day we woke up to spa day. Thank God for the weekend.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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