Wednesday, February 20, 2008


It is Tuesday night, 8.00pm and the two youngest kids are in our bed with The Husband watching Spy Kids on the tv. Rachel is in the kitchen texting her friends and 12 year old Lara is leaning on the fireplace looking into the mirror while she talks to every friend she knows on the phone.

I have gone upstairs to root out some hair-slides in the toy-box at the end of their bed and am still there ONE HOUR later having filled a black plastic bag with broken toys, scraps of paper and torn books BECAUSE I AM A VERY FOCUSED PERSON.

Just as I'm sweeping out the beads and glitter sprinkling the bottom of the toy-box I see Lara coming towards me. Her mascara is smeared under her eyes and she is smiling.

'I've just had a near death experience' she laughs
'What happened?' I ask
'You know that lighter thing I found on the road outside?'

'Well I was clicking it as I spoke to my friend on the phone and then the next thing I see in the mirror is my eyelashes on fire so I dropped the phone and started hitting my eye to put the fire out.'

'Come here' I say and she bends down to me and sure enough the eyelashes on the right are shorter than the ones on the left and half her eyebrow is singed off.

'You can count yourself lucky you didn't have hairspray in your hair ' I say to the girl who's hair you can sometimes beat out the rhythm of a song on, you know, something like U2's Unforgettable Fire or Come on Baby, Light My Fire.

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