Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Why you always need your mummy

I love my daughter very much but God knows she has been put on this earth to give me white hairs.  Viz last Friday.  We agree that we will go shopping together the following morning and she insists that we get up and out early  (never a problem for me, a world-class insomniac).

However.... there is one tiny fly in the ointment.  And that fly would be the 18th birthday of one of her best friends which falls the day before. Obviously they are going out to celebrate but "it's just going to be a quiet night - only three of us - we're going to the Ice Bar, then out for dinner...it won't be a late one... and I'll stay at Catherine's and pick you up the next morning."

"Lovely," say I, whilst chortling inside.

Unsurprisingly, Saturday morning arrives right on schedule but daughter does not.  Eventually, at around 9.30, I phone her.

"hello?" says a faint voice.  "that you mum?"  After a brief discussion punctuated by groans (hers) and stifled laughter (mine), she announces she will be home very soon and, true to her word, shortly afterwards she stumbles into the kitchen where she sits like this:-

No idea why it's come out all stretched :-(
We make it into town, and it's like dragging an old Granny round with me.  She "needs" to sit down in every shop and constantly complains about her sore feet, her headache, she feels sick etc etc.  Eventually I give up, buy her lunch and then we go home with about half our plans accomplished.

Meanwhile, son has arrived home, fresh from his post-degree celebrations.  Well, when I say 'fresh' I actually mean the exact opposite.  Whey-faced and grumpy, he is lying on the sofa cuddling the cat.  He expresses his displeasure at coming home to an empty house then announces that his hangover is so bad, he has "chunned".*

This produces squeals of revulsion from his sister who pronounces him "deesq"** and hurriedly leaves the room.

On Sunday morning, the Shah and I leave children asleep and take ourselves off to a garden centre where we pass an hour or so bickering amiably and the Shah spends an uncharacteristic amount of money on plants.  (Really there is something wrong with him but that would take up a whole new post and regular readers might suggest a title like "A statement of the bleeding obvious" ahem).  

About half an hour into our visit, my mobile rings and son's name flashes up on the screen.

"Where is everybody?" he asks in a voice with a distinct edge to it.  
"Ah bless," I reply.  "Are you feeling unloved and unwanted?  Do you want mummy to come home?" expecting his customary sarky reply.
"YES!" comes the surprising answer.

And so it is that I find myself some time later, hugging a 6 foot nearly-21-year-old and promising to love him and look after him and cook endless meals and do his washing, and, and, and.  "Good" says a muffled voice into my shoulder.

Which just goes to prove that, no matter how big and grown up you think you are, you always need your mummy.

*Chunned - the past tense of 'chunder' that well known Australian verb.
**Deesq - a short form of the word 'disgusting'.  A word much too long and onerous to use in its entirety if you are under 25.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Talking to Teenagers

We are at home, my daughter and I.  It is morning and I am having to wait in for good old British Gas to call round and replace the water cylinder they mis-sold us last year.  

We are laughing hysterically at some really silly animal photos that she is showing me on her Instagram feed and I comment that one of her friends is 'soppy' about animals. (Old fashioned word, but it fitted the bill perfectly).  The following conversation ensues:-

Her:  I'm glad I'm not soppy.  I'm more....what's the word?  That other word...you know ...also begins with 's'....can't think of it....

Me: Sweet? Sneaky?  Silly?

Her:  No, no and no!  You know it....it's on the tip of my tongue...

Me:   Safe? Saturated? Scummy? 

Her: No!  Be serious - this is driving me mad!

Me:  Seasick? Sizzling?  Sebaceous?

Her:  Gaaah!

Me: Skint? Stupid?  Solipsistic?

Her:  NO!  Oh wait - I've got it - CYNICAL!  Yeah, that's it.

Me: (Attempting to speak despite mouthful of carpet)  I'm so glad all that money we spent on your education wasn't wasted......*crawls away weeping gently*