One of the things that strikes fear into my heart more than anything: will my children only remember the grumpy me rather than the sunny me?
The ranting about tinny music on too loud. The rancid socks littering floors and tables but not linen baskets. The leaving of the homework until the last possible minute only to find that we’ve run out of printer ink and now have to complete the email equivalent of landing a rocket on the moon to get the Jabberwocky homework printed out thus avoiding detention.
I only have to read the glorious Puffin Diaries – the honest and moving account of adopting two boys - to squirm about my lack of patience.
There’s nothing like the daughter arriving with a skirt missing a button five minutes before we need to get out the door to flip the madwoman switch.
Or suddenly remembering we needed to send in a donation today for the Harvest Festival for the old people’s home, which - as we haven’t planned for it - leaves the poor dears with the choice of a tin of artichoke hearts, some chestnut puree or a bag of goji berries.
Or algebra homework that involves me searching on the internet for how on earth we can possibly work out ‘n’ or ‘y’ while son pretends to be studying text book but is actually fiddling with mobile phone, leading to a weird scenario where I get so cross, the dog thinks it’s a game and starts jumping about barking and generally hindering the maths solving dilemma.
|Then I've only got history, English,|
Latin, French, DT and a volcano to make before tomorrow
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I take comfort from the fact that you’ve only got to have a conversation with a sibling to know that we all remember things so differently. For all our memories have in common, we might as well have lived in different houses, in different eras, with different people.
So hopefully, when the son says, ‘Mum was always shouting,’ the daughter will looked puzzled and say, ‘Of course she wasn’t. She danced to Abba songs and made crumbles and told us she was so lucky to have us.’
Or maybe he’ll be the one to remember that when the chips were down, the person you really wanted on your side was the ferocious Mamma whose mantra was ‘There’s not a single problem we can’t solve together if you tell me the truth.’
And if all else fails, I simply console myself that the first time they get bawled out by a boss at work, they’ll just shrug and think, ‘If you think that’s scary, you should see my mother….’