September marked a significant milestone in my oldest daughters life. She turned 18, the coming of age and it was a right faff on and I’ll tell you why.
The coming of age
It’s a strange feeling knowing that your kids are growing up. My oldest daughter turned 18 at the beginning of September and part of me still thinks that she is the little girl I met nearly 16 years ago. I’m far from being the perfect parent, and my oldest daughter is far from being the perfect child. But there is always the overwhelming feeling of pride when your kids grow into something special.
All 3 of our kids are special, don’t get me wrong. But there will always be that ‘something different with my oldest. I think it’s the same for most. The oldest child coming of age is a bit of an occasion for us, as parents, and them as the child. For a start, no more pocket money, get a job ya bum! And from the ‘child’s ’perspective, “you can’t tell me what to do anymore”. Although that will always open the gates of “while you’re living under my roof I can”, but that’s another article altogether!
For me, the bond between my oldest and me has always been an odd one. I’ve said it many times. It’s always been odd, from the minute I met her, adopted her and through to this day. It’s like a love-hate relationship, but it works so why change it. This is a dad blog after all, so I’m writing from my perspective. I do have a slight concern that she ‘no longer needs me’. Part of me feels like I’ve done my bit over the last 16 years, now she’s an adult, will she still need her dad? A daughter will always need her dad, right? Well… read on.
18th Birthday preparations
This article isn’t focused on my feelings about my daughter coming of age. It was my daughters 18th… it’s purely about embarrassing her. Because that’s what dads do! She reads my blog now and again and follows me on Instagram, so she’ll read it. Let me set the scene of how her 18th birthday preparations became a bit of a faff on.
Presents bought, helium ’18’ balloons, bought, do it yourself balloon Garland, bought. The oldest tells us she’s going out and won’t be back until late. An ideal situation for us, her bedroom is at the back of the house and has access to her room without disturbing anyone. Remember this key bit of information.
A game of pass the daughter around
So the preparations begin, blowing up, by mouth, 110 balloons. With the help of Mrs F and the two youngest kids, who all gave up because they felt dizzy, the balloons were blown up.
Just as I’m setting up the balloon garland in the lounge, the oldest daughter turns up. Her Boyfriend and friends basically needed to get rid of her so they could do some prep too.
So quickly it was a mad panic, blinds closed, curtains closed, back door locked and kids in their bedrooms with doors closed. It was only about 5 pm, anyone would think it was the annual purge. So after an hour of blocking the daughter on the stairs, Alfie blocking his bedroom door with a bin and constant phone calls to the oldest daughters boyfriend, he eventually picked her back up.
Pre birthday celebrations
It was inevitable, that she would wait until midnight, so she could go to the shop and legally buy alcohol, with her ID. So we weren’t expecting her back anytime soon. Either way, we’d be in bed, and she would go to her room without disturbing anyone. As long as she was capable of getting up the following morning so we could wish her a happy birthday, we weren’t that bothered. She’s quite a sensible girl, and it’s likely she would be up early anyway knowing it’s her 18th, she’s likely going to get something of value.
Happy 18th Birthday
It may have been the morning of her birthday, but, initially, it certainly wasn’t a happy one. As I said, she’s a sensible girl… ha! or so we thought. 5:45 am I get a phone call, “Dad can you come and get me”. OH MY GOD. Instantly I jumped out of bed, asked her a few stern questions, quite assertively, “Where are you?” “why aren’t you in your room?”. And no, looking back, I didn’t even ask if she was ok… Oops! To which she answered, “I’m outside the front door”.
For crying out loud! It’s 5:45 am, I’m half asleep and I’ve instantly thought my daughter is in trouble. It transpires, that she didn’t have that much to drink, got tired and ended up going to sleep at her boyfriend’s house. Then realised, she should probably go home!! Which, she did do. However when she got home, she realised she had left her key at her boyfriend’s house, so couldn’t get into our house.
It gets more interesting… Looking at my phone, it turns out the oldest daughters boyfriend, had rung me multiple times between 3 am and 4 am. He and their friends thought she’d gone missing because they couldn’t find her. When all along she was tucked up in bed in the same house and didn’t tell anyone.
I did eventually wish her a happy birthday, after I had to explain to her the importance, of using the correct wording when ringing parents that early in the morning! “please can you unlock the door” would have sufficed.
The First day of coming of age
So after the antics of the night before and the morning after, the oldest daughter, needed to sleep, because she was “so tired”… yeah, you’re not the only one love! I did everything possible to keep her awake. Just to get my own back, of course. Eventually, she opened her presents and normal service was resumed, kind of. She was desperate to go back to sleep, but couldn’t, because she didn’t have her key. Her boyfriend did, who was probably asleep after having a skin full the night before. He bikes it over (safer option than the car, when hungover!) with the key, they both go back to sleep for a few hours. They wake up, then go out for the remainder of the evening.
Happy Birthday, Daughter!, it was lovely seeing you briefly.
Remember, when I asked, will my daughter still need me? It’s highly likely she will at some point based on the ‘Carry on Birthday Girl’ show she displayed. What an absolute doyle! (that means idiot, in Teesside slang)