Wednesday 22 May 2013

How To Keep Your Daughter A Virgin

Looking through old photo albums the other day, I was checking out the long, gorgous locks I had as a child. I got to the pictures of me around the age of 12 and something changed. My hair had been completely cut off and the pretty dresses my mother used to dress me in had suddenly been replaced with my sister's hand-me-downs that were still far too big and flappy - denim numbers that made me look twice the size that I actually was.
I studied these photos for a while and then it dawned on me - my mother is a GENIUS. And I'll tell you why. At the very age when I was starting to develop an outgoing personality and an interest in boys, she invented a parenting method that was to keep me on the straight and narrow until I was in my late teens. In a nutshell - SHE KEPT ME A VIRGIN.

Here is the evidence:

My mother lobbed off my flowing tresses and replaced them with the most unflattering haircut she could get away with. In fact she probably insisted that it was the "fashion" by getting me to watch Purdey on The Avengers. Or possibly she had the kid with nits round to play on purpose so I caught them and the only way to get rid was to chop off my locks.

We never had the 'birds and the bees' talk. I learnt most things from my older sister. When I started my period she threw me a brick-like sanitary towel. She never told me about tampons.
I had an absolute lack of anatomical knowledge.
It was a very long time until I understood that I was normal down there. Crikey, I had no clue how babies were made until ...

I was threatened with death if I ever got pregnant. Her exact words were "If you get pregnant, I'll kill you." So frightened was I of getting pregnant that it took me years to get past first base.
In fact this stayed with me for so long that I was married and pregnant with my first child AT THE AGE OF 34 and I was still scared to tell her.

I spent hours sat in her kitchen with my first love and she never ever left. I have no idea how she didn't go to the toilet.

Basically, I looked like a little boy. The worst outfit was yellow dungarees that I wore for a year after I'd outgrown them. Blimey, I could hardly get them off to go for a wee, never mind to flash my froufrou at anyone.

At age 15 I overheard her say something about bikini line and I actually thought that this was the part of your stomach inbetween the top and bottom half of where you'd wear a bikini. I was not allowed to shave. When I eventually managed to get hold of a razor, I was so panicked of being caught in the shower with it that I only shaved one leg and stayed that way for WEEKS.

While I was living in her house, my curfew was 10pm. Which meant there wasn't even time for a snog and a quick grope.

Okay, so maybe she didn't plan this one but let's just say I was a late developer. And even then I didn't develop that much. I remember getting changed for PE in those dreadful group changing rooms at school and I was the only girl still wearing a vest. The popular girls of course told all the boys. (The popular girls obviously being in cahoots with my mother).

I'll tell you now - I didn't lose my virginity until the month before I turned 18. I was away with a friend from school, staying with her family in Malta. This friend had a cousin who was 19 and with no mother around let's just say I went a little crazy. And that crazy continued after the summer when I went off to university and slept with practically every boy in Fresher's Week.

I have a daugher. She's only 10. But once she hits teenage years I reckon the only parenting manual I'll be looking at is my mothers.


  1. I had the bowl cut through most of high school, the boys didn't even give me a second glance. Yep, my mother too was a genius but then I took over and well, pretty much followed the same steps you did. Thus, when my girls and my son were of an age for me to worry, hubby and I stocked the cabinet with condoms.

  2. I had exactly that haircut and I was a minger between the ages of 10 and 15. I'm trying to be more sensitive with my own daughter, but maybe I'm getting it all wrong!

  3. Hilarious. I definitely thought my enforced Clarks sandals put the boys off for most of my teens. Oh how I yearned for a pair of pixie boots!

  4. I think my mum started this approach with me very early. Except the boobage exhibit. B cup in primary school is not funny.

  5. When I was 10 my mother needed a case study for someone who looked terrible and was in dire need of a makeover. So she chose me and my long blonde tresses were shorn into a pudding bowl and exhibited in the local paper. We must have looked like twins!

  6. Do you know what...our mums must have been separated at birth, or read the same parenting manuals. I've been married 9 years, and I still get embarrassed if the subject comes up. I was at uni before I did the deed, but even then didn't go mad. I shall be telling N what his Gramps told my OH "if you don't want to get married because she's pregnant, you don't have sex". Not much hope if he ends up a young farmer though.