The secret diary of a teenage schoolgirl. Chapter 2: The Game of Life

Do you ever play ‘The Game of Life’ with your kids? Not the traditional board game, but the one you pull out when they won’t get out of bed in the morning/eat their vegetables/go to bed on time etc. The only criteria for winning is having a harder time of it than anyone else.

This is the family game that’s been played by our parents, their parents, and I’m sure their parents too. It’s a bit like the “I went to the supermarket and bought…” game but it goes something like this:

You say: “when I was your age, I had to…get up at 6am/walk to school/peel the potatoes/do the dishes/ look after my [brother] [sister] [dog] [self]/go to bed at 7pm…etc etc.

And your kids say “but it’s not faaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrr”….and that’s pretty much the end of the game. Your life was harder. You win.

We’ve been playing this game for a few years now, mostly around the theme of getting up in the morning. For years I have rather smugly crowned myself the reigning Game of Life champion as my school day started a lot earlier than my girls’ does – yet despite my efforts getting up in the morning can still be a little challenging for them.

But my recent find in the loft has been threatening to knock me off my Game of Life perch.

Yes the secret diary of a teenage schoolgirl has been snitching on me big time. Being a bit of a writer even back in the 80s and 90s, and a slave to detail even then, I have recorded in my diary WHAT TIME I GOT OUT OF BED EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!

So it starts like this:

“Woke up 6:35am/6:37am/6:32am/6:30am, got up, walked to bus stop, it was cold, got on bus, fell asleep…”

So far so good, one-nil to me in The Game of Life: round one – getting up in the mornings. Yep, this is the proof, I got up earlier than my kids, I walked further than they do and I took the bus, no matter what the weather. I’m pretty sure I never complained. 😜

But hang on, what’s this…

Wednesday 15th November 1989:

“Mum woke me up usual time but I didn’t want to go to school, so I said I didn’t feel too good (put it on a bit) and she said I didn’t have to go to school. Thank goodness!”

Er, what can I say, I was honest (with my diary at least)!

Oh dear, it’s a fair cop, so just like my tweens it seems I too had a ‘little moan’ about getting up in the mornings. Sorry Mum!

And what do I remember my mum saying to me? “When I was your age I had to…”

Hmm, on reflection maybe I’ll let the kids win the next game, just to even things up a bit ;o)



  1. suzanne3childrenandit says:

    I LOVE this Donna! How brilliant to have come across your diary….just don’t let your girls in on the secret 😉


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