I'd forgotten what it was like.
But I'm remembering with a vengeance.
It's a state of never really knowing where you stand.
Of grinning and bearing whatever is thrown at you.
Of smiling even when you want to yell.
Of yelling and instantly wishing you hadn't.
Of coaxing and cajoling - sometimes with amazing results, sometimes with no results at all.
You know what they're like.
It's kisses and cuddles and flavour of the week one minute - which leaves you feeling absurdly privileged.
Then rudely ignoring you the next - so you wonder if your voice is accidentally on 'mute'.
Looking straight through you when you're speaking, 'Whatever' writ large upon bored faces.
It's rarely doing what they're told, and never coming when you call.
Treating your friends with disrespect, just when you want them to be their charming best.
Foul language and gutter manners amongst their peer group.
Going off without leave and coming back if and when they feel like, invariably losing some item you will have to replace in the process.
It's raiding the larder the moment your back is turned, devouring all the good bits and leaving everything in a mess.
It's a trashed bed like a a fleapit you can only be thankful you never have to sleep in.
Filthy feet traipsed through the house.
Any liquid refreshment sloshed everywhere.
Your accessories 'borrowed' and never returned...
Recognise any of these symptoms?
Fortunately, it's only a phase.
And fortunately we love them, so we just repeat ourselves when ignored, coax even harder, are simply relieved when they finally turn up, write off the borrowed items, and - in between - mop, hoover and clean up as necessary.
Fortunately I've been there, done that and - as they say - bought the t-shirt.
I must say, I wasn't expecting to have to do it all over again, but there you go.
I keep telling myself she can't help it. It's just her age and stage.
Look how affectionate she can be.
Look how beautiful she is.
Look how sweet she can be when she feels like.
One day it will all be worth it.
And in the meantime, I'll just keep loving her and hoping for the best.
After all, she is very special.
She's a SuperModel.
And in the meantime, joy of joys, one of my gorgeous French boys has returned for a visit!