Monday, February 26, 2007

Mammy Dearest

THEY SAY it comes to us all and this week I realised I have finally morphed into my darling mother. I’m not sure when or how it started, but the transformation is all but complete.
All that is missing is a wee vodka on a Friday night and an addiction to Corrie. You may asked how this realisation hit me and the answer is simple- it started the day I gave birth and has rumbled on ever since, growing and taking over right up to the point where I am now saying and doing things I swore I never, ever would.
Last weekend I found myself in the middle of a discipline crisis with the wee man. Having walked out in front of a car on Chapel Road and saved only by the grace of God and my (for once) lightning quick reactions, he was already on a warning about road safety. Being three, (although he tells anyone who will listen that he is six) I really think it is high time Joseph was aware that a battle between a young child and car doing 30mph is never going to end in favour of the child. He seems to disagree. He is thran like that. (Takes after his father with the thranness - I am a model of patience and flexibility).
Later on the same day, as we were walking through the car park at Homebase the wee man decided once again to make a bid for freedom and once again it was only the grace of God and my (for the second time ever) lightning quick reaction that saved him.
I was shocked and scared and I’ll admit that even though it goes against my principles as a parent, I gave him a wee smack on the bum and told him he was never to run out in front of cars again. Being at a age where he is prone to over-dramatising things (again a trait he gets from his father- I NEVER exaggerate), he went into fits of tears telling me “Mammy, you made me sad.” And there it was, the minute my mother’s voice came out of my mouth and told him (in as broad a Derry accent as I could muster) “I’d rather make you sad than bury you.”
He looked at me, mouthly slightly agape, not one bit impressed with my excuse and I realised my transition to mammyhood was complete. It had been creeping up for a while. I should have read the warning signs.
Things got a bit suss when, after coming in to the house after work, I found I was no longer happy to traipse about in my fancy heels for the remainder of the evening. I now it find it much more comfortable to sit down and make a soothing “Aaaah” sound as I peel my boots off and slip my feet into my furry slippers.
Then it went one step further. I was no longer happy to wander about the house in my work clothes post 7pm. No, now I put on my jammies- complete with elasticated waistband and relax. Life is too short not to enjoy the pleasures of an elasticated waistband.
Of course my house has also become mammy-fied. I’ve developed a sad little love affair with the Betterware catalogue, suddenly seeing the benefit of all that stuff I’d previously dismissed as a wee bit tacky. I got a great wee broom that fits into corners and tight spaces and I’m very happy with it. My love for it is right up there with my love for my fancy bagless hoover which shows us up for the dirty clats we really are. (Seriously, I’m shamed every time I hoover).
I’ve also taken to wandering around Tesco on a Sunday sniffing the scented candles to see which one would give my living room a lift. When I’m not doing that I’m comparing washing powders and fabric softeners or looking for a decent cut of meat to make a nice casserole with.
In theory I have no problem with turning into my mammy. I quite like her. In fact I kind of love her and I have no complaints about how she raised me. (Well I do in fact have two complaints: the first relating to a miscarriage of justice over who drank the last of the milk and the second over her persistant singing of ‘Who’s At The Window, Who?’ which scared the bejaysus out of me.)
In practice though, the fact that I’m turning into my mother means that I’m becoming a proper grown up. I’ve made my peace with the fact I’m now on the wrong side of 30, but I don’t think I’ve made my peace with the fact that I’m no longer a wee young thing who is down with the kids. It’s sad to think that in terms of ‘cool’ I’m on a hiding to nothing. It’s only a matter of time before I start whinging that they don’t make proper pop songs anymore and opt for a pair of comfortable, flat shoes for work.
That said, my mother- who is now 50- seems to be enjoying somewhat of a second youth. While I’m in my bed for 11 every night, she can sit up yapping with her friends til the wee hours and not die of exhaustion the next day. Maybe if I wait another 20 years I might find that I’ve gone full circle and am officially trendy again. And hopefully when I get to that stage Joseph will think his old mammy is pretty cool.

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