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Parenting, Unfiltered: 'The House Always Wins'

"Nothing, NOTHING has prepared me for the arrival of the tweenager in my life."

Everyone needs a little hemming in sometimes, little did Art Director Emma Sutton realise she would get exactly that, from her 11-year-old.

I consider myself pretty chilled out. I can take a hard day at work in my stride, get home early enough(ish), sort out the laundry basket and have some semblance of a meal on the table at a reasonable hour. I can even manage to put the wolfpack to bed and relax with the main man in front of the TV for a bit. Sure, that’s having it all, right?

But nothing, NOTHING has prepared me for the arrival of the tweenager in my life.

Yes, that once cutsie, little side-kick, who thought I was white-hot for years, now has a whole mind of her own and, as I have recently discovered, nowhere is this more apparent than when we hit the shops.

The main event of the year – the Confirmation – is on the horizon. Naturally, all last weekend was spent searching online with her good self trying to agree on a look. And, as the gamut of our personal tastes continues to widen, so the power struggle exacerbates.

I’m more eclectic, she’s more librarian – how did this happen?

I’m living in hope that one of my sons will end up working in show business and the hard work (and money) that’s hanging in my wardrobe of dreams will go to a good home. But, I digress.

After slowly, and through gritted teeth, explaining to her that I’m not forking out my credit card to get some random dress on, we decided to go on a field trip. Dear God.

That’s why, on a Saturday afternoon when I would much prefer to be opening the wine, I found myself rushing around a packed shopping centre arguing with this opinionated young one who – let’s face it – I barely even know anymore. Long story short: we agreed on a dress. You may have heard us, had you been in the vicinity of Zara in Dundrum Town Centre at the time; the final decision was….animated, to say the least.

But we got there, so I got her out of there. Fast. (Side note: Made it home. Got that wine. Marvellous.) Phase 1 complete. The saga continued though, because, as I know only too well, accessories are key to any look. Hold onto your hats (of which there will be none, just to be clear): this is where we hit the real rocky patch.

While I favour a statement piece, my tweenage slice of heaven is all about the traditional, teeny-tiny, unoffensive, matching (I have no words), yet pretty option. Le sigh.

But as every mother knows, you’ve got to pick your battles and occasionally, let one slide. Besides, we had a shoe debacle to contend with... I suggested cowboy boots, maybe rock a pair of converse. You know, stand out from the crowd?!

She had none of it. The middle ground had to be found. Actually, more mama ground to be precise. "After all, I do pay the bills, little lady!" 

I am happy to report though, an agreement was reached on these Mango beauties you see below.

Leather cowboy ankle boots, €99.99, SHOP  

And the best bit? We are the same shoe size. Oh, yes! I am relying on that gloriously short attention span that only young girls have.

If I wait just long enough, I’m getting a new pair of boots, but she doesn’t realise that just yet. Look, she’s got to learn, the house always wins! 

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