Things are never as bad as you think they are

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone
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I’m sure everyone will want to join me in saying a big ‘well done’ to everyone who received exam results this week.

And I’m sure that mothers, in particular, know what these poor weans go through at this time.

On the day my daughter sat her English exam, I came home to find her lying face-down on my bed.

She was completely and utterly drunk.

While she was out cold, I wandered into the kitchen.

Her school bag had been dumped on the table, and there were half a dozen chewed pens scattered on the floor.

Her “lucky charm” teddy had taken a pounding, and my drinks’ cabinet had been forced open.

I was livid. Not only had she clearly messed up an exam, she’d also been at my Tanqueray gin.

I let her sleep it off and considered my next move.

Do you shout and scream that theft and under-age drinking isn’t acceptable, or do you accept that your normally well-behaved child has gone loopy under pressure and go easy?

Turned out that it was a bit of both.

She was sternly woken, and was stripped of her liberty for the next two weeks.

She sobbed as I gave my “you-won’t-find-answers-in-a-bottle” speech, and weeped as I told her how much she’d have to spend on replacement bottles of Tanqueray.

When all that was out of the way, I listened as she told me how she’d “mucked up big style” and feared she wouldn’t get into university.

It’s all such a lot of pressure for little shoulders.

Emma had worked hard at her studies, but hadn’t performed that well on the day it mattered.

When her results appeared three months later - the same amount of time it seemed to take her to sober up incidentally - the news was very good.

She perhaps hadn’t got exactly what she wanted, but she’d done enough to take the next steps in her career.

While I hope all our youngsters did well, I know some will be disappointed with their results but hope it all works out in the end.