My So-called Life: Sons will say the sweetest things

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The Independent Online

My son says he is fed up with me "having a go" at him here every week. I say this is unlikely, as I'm not generally a have-a-go-sort of person.

My son says he is fed up with me "having a go" at him here every week. I say this is unlikely, as I'm not generally a have-a-go-sort of person. I once, for example, bought a spray-gun thing of freezer defroster from Lakeland in the belief I would have a go defrosting the freezer. But that was several years ago and I haven't got round to it yet. He adds that it isn't fair as he has no right of reply and so I say: OK, you write this week. I add: it's all yours and I won't interfere at all, except in those instances when I do, because a mother isn't a proper mother unless she interferes and generally listens in to phone-calls and checks pockets for love-notes passed in school and reads all e-mail.

Actually, that's not true. I absolutely respect his privacy and wouldn't read his e-mail even if I knew his password, which isn't his middle name or his favourite football team or even the date of his birthday. It isn't even the name of the girl who sometimes texts him and who I also don't know about because I wouldn't dream of reading his texts behind his back. Anyway, here he goes:

"My mum is sort of OK..."

Sort of OK? Sort of OK? That's fair enough. You have every right to your opinion. I have brought you up to say what you think. On the other hand, the football season starts shortly and we could go to JJB Sports and have our annual, mighty row about the cost of the boots you absolutely have to have because they are so nang or I could say: 'These Nike Mercurial Vapors at £199 seem like a bargain. Let's get you two pairs and I'll lick them clean for you after every match so you don't have to promise to clean them yourself and then never bother and while we're at this delightful retail park, let's upgrade your phone!'

"...my mother may well be the best mother in the world, the universe, the cosmos, and is one of the few mothers who can get away with using words like 'nang' and not make an utter fool of herself and when she says 'respect' to my friends and 'hey, blood', I'm not embarrassed at all..."

That's the ticket...

"...even though she doesn't get sport at all..."

Nike Mercurial Vapors, Nike Mercurial Vapors, Nike Mercurial Vapors...

"...but she'll always give it a go. She's got spirit, I'll give her that. I tried to teach her tennis on holiday and she was a natural so long as she didn't actually have to move or get the ball back over the net, and she would have given me a good run for money if only she'd put her book down and had worn trainers instead of pink, heeled diamante flip-flops purchased at Gatwick because however hard she tries she can not keep out of Accessorize. And then, when we finally bribed her out with a jumbo-sized bar of Toblerone, we had a delightful run-in with a perfume person who sprayed her with Provocative Woman even though she said that she was provocative enough already and to make her more so was simply irresponsible and she had a good mind to inform her superiors and you know what? I wasn't embarrassed at all..."

A little pink in the face, from the heat.

"...and sometimes, she'll come and watch me play football because she thinks that's what Good Mothers should do, but then all she does is stand around gossiping with the other mothers and shout 'well done' and 'nang pass' at random intervals just to show that she's interested and, to be frank, I'd rather she didn't bother and just stayed at home watching the Storage Solutions hour on QVC."

NIKE MERCURIAL VAPORS made of soft kangaroo leather from the softest part of a kangaroo...

"...but, of course, I really appreciate her support and the fact she always fails to bring oranges cut into quarters to matches because all the other mothers do it and if she did it as well there would be far too many and she really got into the Olympics and thinks Sue Barker has done really well for herself even though her hair is like a helmet and please, please can't we watch Emmerdale and oh, no, not the Paralympics, which is just more of the same only without legs and only the occasional arm, which you can't really argue with. And she really, really cares for me and looks out for me. When I sign on to my e-mail, for example, she always hovers just behind me in case, she says, I fall off the chair and I need catching. And if I need any help spelling things, like passwords, I only need to ask, and she's also an excellent cook.

"When Dad and I tell people that the smoke alarm doubles as the oven timer we are only teasing and not dissing her at all and the fact that everything in the freezer is embedded in the ice in the walls is neither here nor there, although if you want a fishfinger it can take several hours to work it free. But that's OK, it helps you build up an appetite. Plus, she is very, very pretty, especially first thing in the morning when she lights up, clears her lungs, then finally makes it downstairs in an old 'Love is...' T-shirt, odd socks and one slipper because she can never find a pair of anything."

Extra studs for extra grip...

"...but, you know what? She can carry it off. 'Morning Melinda Messenger,' Dad and I always say. And she never makes Nescafé by running the mug under the hot tap because that would be sluttish and she is never sluttish even though she leaves clothes in the washing machine for so long they start to smell and I would very much like a phone upgrade because my phone is skanky and it does this thing where it looks like someone is getting at my messages before me. In short, I worship and adore her and would count my lucky stars if only there weren't so many. She's the best mum ever and that is the truth. Can we go to JJB now?"

d.ross@independent.co.uk

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