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Janet Christie's Mum's the Word.

Youngest takes the tough love approach

I've quit smoking (again), there's no excuse, and no choice either since I'm on holiday with Youngest Child and she simply won't tolerate it.

Eldest with his positive thinking chat and online guru suggestions, and Middle with his empathy and whisper it, the possibility of supplying me with nicotine, are absent. My support group is Youngest Child.

"I'm not a good support group," she says, sans regret. This is an understatement. Youngest has no time for namby-pamby kid glove handling. Smoking is so self-evidently stupid she can't understand why you'd need support to stop. It's harsh common sense all the way with her.

I've only got myself to blame. As the youngest of three, she's grown up being told to get on with it and always has. For example being sent to Brownie camp with too small wellies and having to be cut out of them on her return - the guilt, but she barely mentioned it. And when C?it comes to consequences, grounding has always meant grounding and no phone has always meant no phone, so I can't blame her for taking a strong line with me. No smoking means no smoking.

"You must admit, I've hardly mentioned my cravings, and how well I'm doing," I say, in a shameless trawl for compliments.

"You're kidding! You've mentioned it LOADS," she says.

"If I've mentioned it so much, how come I'm not getting more support? I'm sure my hair's gone grey overnight with the trauma."

"Cos I'm no good at that stuff," she says.

"Ever heard of positive affirmation?"

"Nope. Anyway, hair, did I tell you I'M getting balayage."


"Balayage." Sigh. "It's a hair dye thing."

"I'm kidding. You've mentioned it LOADS. That'll look great! It'll really suit you! See, that's positive affirmation. Now, you could say something positive about me stopping smoking."

"OK. You're doing well. And with all the money you save, you can have balayage too - blend in the grey."

Harsh, but fair, and I'll take any support I can get.

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Publication:The Scotsman Online
Date:Aug 3, 2019
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