Dear teenage girls in Nandos,
I know all you wanted to do this lunch time was come in and have a “talk” (ahem, bitch fest) about your friend and how she’s so busy swooning over this new guy in her life that it’s pathetic, I’m sure I overheard one of you say she was too chubby to be his usual type right? Or how your dad was SO ridiculous and overbearing insisting you didn’t stay out at your boyfriend’s over night, you’re allowed to, you’re 16. Anyway, I know that was your sole purpose and I’m really sorry that my nearly 2 year old interrupted you with her big staring eyes and her inability to sit still. How inconsiderate of her. Don’t worry, we got the message that we were bugging you loud and clear with your overtly obvious sneers and that final pause and eyebrow raise was “on point” when she dared to wave at you.
Edith (I know, SUCH an uncool name – why didn’t I call her Rihanna or Kendall), is a friendly little thing (friendly: nice, kind, happy to meet new people – you will discover this term again when you find your twenties… possibly) and she’s also a fairly standard toddler. She doesn’t like to sit still, or eat her dinner nicely and yes, I’m STILL breastfeeding her on demand so the chances are a nip is going to pop out at some point between your mango chicken and frozen yoghurt. I know the concept that a toddler may have to coexist in the same air space as you is daunting – trust me, I get it – but sadly, they do and when you keep giving her the shit stare and stopping what you are saying to sneer at her, it’s all I can do to remember that you yourselves are still children and it wouldn’t set a good example to bitch slap you. Or be legal.
Here’s the thing girls, I’ve always had that “maternal” streak and actually rather liked babies, but even if I didn’t I’ve always had manners so it would have prevented me from behaving the way you did. What I have been though, is a bitchy teenage girl and I think you should hear some home truths from sista’ from another mista’. Do we still say that?
1.) Life, sadly, does not revolve around you (Or your BFF)
I know. It’s a tough one to come to terms with but sadly it’s the truth. Life revolves around money, family, food, shelter, bills and a whole other host of things that you probably haven’t had the joys of lying awake at 3am panicking about yet. Don’t worry though, you’ll get to soon.
2.) Be kind to your friends and family, they are who will help you come to terms with point 1.
That dad that you have? He’s just being protective of you, in the same way that I feel protective of my daughter. One day you will wish you had listened to his advice. That chubby, pathetic friend? I hope she finds better pals than you, you’re all going to need them in this world.
3. ) Babies and toddlers are EVERYWHERE, you were one.
You were. Honest. Though I’m sure you sat nicely at the dinner table at 22 months and did as you were told, and you certainly wouldn’t have waved at someone on the next table. Yeesh.
4.) Life will be hard on you, so leave the attitude at the door
Life can be much MUCH meaner than you. Get over yourself and let that snide, I’m better than everyone attitude go. Like Elsa. Yes, I totally broke into song there – #sorrynotsorry.
5.) Support your fellow women, you’re all in for an interesting journey.
Don’t drag each other down, the world will do that enough for you. You’re in the unique position of having a vagina (or bagina as my son calls it – ain’t that cute?) which means you’re going to have so many more hoops to jump through than your male counterparts. Like Mother Pukka says – let’s scrap like Rottweilers without being bitches.
6.) Be humble and kind to strangers.
I’m a stranger. I’m also a fairly successful blogger who vaguely considered misusing my social media klout to take a photo of you and share it on twitter as the little bitches who were unkind to a one year old, that shit would have retweeted for days… but I’m kind and even though you made me feel about 2 inches tall as I walked away from the table and heard your eye roll and “ugh thank god”, I didn’t. Hell, I didn’t even school you all in front of the restaurant… I’m teetering on 30 and a mother of 3 (yes, I have THREE of these annoying small beings) so well within my rights to do that. Be kind and wave back at the one year old, smile at the person sat on the table next to you. BE KIND.
I’m sorry to witter at you, I know this would fall on deaf ears even if I had plucked up the courage (or energy) to say something to you at the time, but I think any mother who has ever been subjected to bitchy teens could probably relate. The goods news for me is that is 15-20 years, average statistics dictate that you will no doubt be on the receiving end of those stares and snide remarks so, meh, karma.
TTYL (Talk to you later?), love you long time, peace out… or however else we sign off letters in the land of the cool teen nowadays,
The mother of the annoying one year old in Nandos.