My daughter Katrina just wrote a book report on So Totally Emily Ebers. She was pretty cagey about describing the book to me, though, so when I read in her report that she felt she could "completely relate" to Emily's feelings and experiences, of course I had to read it. Well, it turns out that Emily is mostly about a girl whose parents have split up and who blames her mother for the upheaval in her life. Ergo, almost every conversation she has with good old Mom (or "Alice", as Emily calls her) becomes a showdown.
Like this, for example:
"Oh, is she on your volleyball team?" Alice asked.
"How is volleyball going?"
"Do you like your coach?"
"Emily, can we talk?"
See? See how hard it is with her around?
Yep, real impossible Mom you've got there, Emily. You poor, poor thing.