A Solid Foundation

zombie two“What do you think?” Miss10 asked myself and Tracey.

Because I knew what Miss10 had been up to the last half hour, I braced myself before turning around. I took a calming little breath and constructed a pleasant, unaffected face, then spun my chair in Miss10’s direction.

Given that my wife turned at roughly the same time I can only assume she was running through the same ritual.

“About what?” I asked my daughter.

I knew what she was asking about, I was just playing for a bit of time to construct an acceptable answer, or even better, to let my wife step in with one.

“Yes,” said Tracey. “About what?”

Clearly, she had nothing either.

In front of us stood our sweet little girl, ten years old and growing up too fast, with enough war paint on her face she was two facial prostheses off being an extra in Star Trek. Seriously, I’ve seen circus clowns with more exposed skin and better applied lipstick. By any sort of comparison, Heath Ledger’s The Joker was going for a natural look.

I think you get the idea.

Since the beginning of Miss10’s makeup adventure, Tracey and I have been constantly reminding each other to be encouraging rather than simply breaking into giggles and pointing a lot.

It hasn’t always been easy.

Especially as there are other people in the house more willing to give their honest opinions, regardless of how it might affect their big sister’s feelings.

“You look like a Zombie,” said Miss7.

It was true. She could have been in the Thriller filmclip.

Suddenly I was having even more trouble finding enough words in my head to put together a whole sentence. I shot Tracey a look. She was doing a little better than me – her mouth was opening and shutting like a beached fish – but she wasn’t managing to make a sound either.

As luck would have it, this turned out to be the perfect response.

“Kewl,” Miss10 grinned at her sister, and ran off to take a selfie.

Apparently that was exactly the sort of look she was after.

Which at the time I found to be a huge relief, but now I’ve had more time to think about it I’m wondering what on Earth we’re going to be confronted with in the coming years and how I’m going to be able to afford the sort of eighties pop band make-up bill Miss10 seems keen to explore.

zombie one

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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”

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