'Kathryn Flett's first novel is a triumph, a hilarious dissection of life among North London yummy mummies... Funny, spiky, unforgivingly observant and full of fabulous middle-class lifestyle detail' — Wendy Holden, Daily Mail
'I loved this book' — JoJo Moyes
'A book to devour in one greedy session. Seriously hard to put down' — Jenny Eclair
'The most searingly honest and witty account of a divorce you will ever read' — The Daily Mail
'Delicate, guileless, occasionally hilarious, worried like a scab and compulsive like a car crash, [this book] is weighty with contemporary resonance' — Libby Brooks, The Guardian
'A poignant, passionate memoir' — Kathy Lette
13 YEAR OLD So what are you doing tonight, Mum?
ME (Breezily) Oh, y'know, just watching Netflix and Chilling!
13 YEAR OLD (Pulling horrified gross-out face) Er, Mum, you do realise that 'Netflix & Chill' actually means 'Having Sex'?
ME (Blushing) No, no I definitely didn't know that. Until now. So thanks! I am not *Netflix & Chilling* tonight — promise.
13 YEAR OLD Please stop right now. You're making it worse.
ME So, Kate Moss called the pilot of her Easyjet flight a 'basic bitch'. New one on me. Do you even know what that means?
12 YEAR-OLD Sure. it's like a girl who sits in bed with Cocoa, watching boring Netflix shows and taking Selfies and, like, thinking she's all that.
ME Wow, really? I love the idea of a pilot drinking Cocoa and taking Selfies while watching Netflix. Though obviously they should be concentrating on the flying.
12 YEAR-OLD Hm. Yes, it's not as cool as being a pilot.
ME Because pilots really are 'all that'.
12 YEAR-OLD Obviously.
Recently I found myself in JD Sports, browsing the trainers in a maternal manner (ie, for my sons, not myself), when I caught sight of some over-the-shoulder primary-coloured vinyl mini-bags (by Nike, adidas, et al) for twenty quid or so. I thought my eight year-old, R—, would love one. Luckily I ran this idea past my 12 year old son, J—, first… J: Er no, Mum. You can’t ever buy my brother one of those.
Me: Really? I thought he’d like one for his Nerf bullets.
J (Sneerily): Er, the only people who carry those are, y’know, like Roadmen.
Me (baffled face): OK, what’s a Roadman?
J: Well it’s like ‘bucket’ hats and like a grey hoodie with a Hollister puffa? And like really faded blue jeans and black trainers – only black trainers — and an adidas mini-bag. In it they like keep their marijuana, Rizla, a phone and like a knife?
Me: OK, so that’d be a no for R— , then?
J (Knowing look, sigh): What do you think, Mum?
TO SUM UP: The 'URBAN DICTIONARY' definition of 'Roadman' is 'a teenage boy who thoroughly knows the ins-and-outs of his area.'
J—'s definition of 'Roadman' is 'Chav drug dealer.'
EXTERIOR: Walking through shopping centre, en-route to the cinema. J (pulling hood over head): I won’t get in, Mum.
Me: Of course you will — you’re with me! I’m obviously your mum and nobody will suspect a mum of trying to smuggle her own child into an inappropriate movie.
J (a beat): They will in this town.
Me: Good point! Well, you just stand by the door under your hood, staring at your phone, while I buy the tickets.
INTERIOR: Cinema lobby. Me: Two tickets for ‘Chappie’, please! It hasn’t started yet, has it?
Cinema Employee: Um, no—it’s still the ads. (Squinting) Is one of the tickets for that young man by the door?
Me (casually): My son? Yeah.
CE: He looks very young. Do you have any ID for him?
Me (casually): Yes, he does look young — and he’ll appreciate that a lot more when he’s my age, I can tell you! But obviously at the moment it’s a pain. And no, I have no ID (shrugs) — I don’t tend to carry his passport around with me.
CE: In which case I’m really sorry but we can’t let him in.
Me (faux-surprised): Really? Are you sure? Wow, did you hear that, J— ? You look too young so they won’t let you in! Not even with your ancient mother!
EXTERIOR: Walking through shopping centre, en-route to car. Me: I’m so sorry. I think we would’ve enjoyed that. But it’ll be on ‘Box Office’ before you know it.
J: (shrugging, under his hood) Oh I can’t wait that long, Mum. I’ll just watch it on ‘Putlocker’*.
TO SUM UP: I am a terrible parent in countless ways and of course attempting to smuggle a child into a film they are technically (ie: physically, not emotionally) too young to see is bad parenting*. Obviously. On the other hand, taking a nearly-13 year old to see a ‘15’ is hardly a major heads-up for CAMHS. Plus, the upshot is that my son will now probably watch it in such a manner as to mess with the filmmakers’ copyright and subtly erode the future revenue-stream of a well-known cinema chain. Hm… [*My mother took me to see ‘Saturday Night Fever’ when I was 13. It, on the other hand, was an 18. It was great… and I have entirely failed to break the cycle of terrible parenting. **Putlocker: A website, enjoyed by the young people, which streams current box-office movies]