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Don’t they come with a manual?

Saturday afternoon. Young AAH approaches her mother in the kitchen.

AAH: Can I sleep over at [boyfriends’] tonight?
YT: […?]
AAH: [hastily] His parents will be home. His mother wants to talk to you.
YT: So you mean … sleep in separate rooms?
AAH: [indignant] No…
YT: Sleep together?
AAH: Well, you know, not sleep together.
YT: But in the same bed.
AAH: Of course in the same bed!

Yes dear readers, such was the conversation that took place chez YT yesterday. The boyfriend, who is her age, has been in the picture since the summer, but they officially started going out at the beginning of September. She has never brought him home. Claims she would feel too embarrassed.

YT: Embarrassed? What do you think we’d do?
AAH: Give him the third degree.
YT: We would not!
AAH: Oh sure. I’ve seen how you are around [Barbie’s boyfriend].
YT: Oh, you mean making polite conversation around the dinner table and trying to make him feel welcome?
AAH: No! [exasperated] You don’t understand.

Needless to say, I did not give the green light for the 15-year old resident princess to sleep over at her boyfriend’s, in the same bed. I know they’re fooling around– I’m not naive – but giving her my blessing to start spending nights at his place at the age of 15? C’mon.

Bizarrely, my absolutely immovable position in this matter was met with the greatest indignation, cries of ‘why not??’, followed by an expression of the utmost disgust before she retired to her chamber and slammed the door.

By the time EPI and I returned from Halim Al yesterday evening [see previous post], Her Highness had vacated the area [leaving the front door unlocked, smooth] and without a word about where she’d gone.

Her curfew [12.30 am] came and went. At 12.40, YT got on the blower and called her cell.

YT: Where are you?
AAH: At [friends’].[Not boyfriends’, take note.]
YT: Ah. And when are you coming home?
AAH: I dunno. Whenever.
YT: Whenever.
AAH: Maybe around 2 or something.

[Deep intake of breath.]

YT: I want you home now.
AAH: No.
YT: What’s this all about?
AAH: Nothing.
YT: …. Because I won’t let you spend the night with your boyfriend.
AAH: I’m sick of you you’re such a bitch you never let me do anything you’re totally unfair!!
YT: So you’re not coming home then.
AAH: No!

We’ve been down this road enough times for me to know that it was time to back off at that point. However, after getting off the phone I did sit down and write a text message that went something like this:

Sorry ur feeling disinclined to follow rules around here. Will have to rethink permission for autumn trip.* Watch out for the rapists on the way home.** Good night.

Her Highness was home half an hour later.

It was a gorgeous day today, sunny and mild. That said, it was probably colder than it seemed, because at one point I almost slipped on black ice covering the path along the shore. Temps right now are 5°C and sunrise was at 08.57, sunset at 17.25.

* The autumn trip is a 24-hour hour excursion organized by the local community centre next weekend, that is wildly anticipated. Kids lined up an hour before tix went on sale last Friday because it was first-come first-served. Parents have to sign permissions for kids to go, to be handed in this week.

** There have been two very serious rapes in the last while here in Reykjavík – the first three weekends ago, the second last weekend. Both were very similar – two men dragging a young girl walking alone to a secluded spot and raping her. It’s likely that the two incidents are linked. There was also a third rape reported on the same night as the latter incident, involving a foreign woman who accepted a ride with a stranger. Our small community is very deeply shaken by these reports. And while AAH has a curfew of 12.30 on weekends, she is not to be outside after 10 pm and never alone.