Deborah Ross: You want a lift to Nando's? Get real, son

If you ask me...
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The Independent Online

If you ask me, now that the school holidays are nearly upon us, it's important you're prepared for heading off your children's ruthless and never-ending entertainment requests. You may even wish to take the following child/mother conversation as your template:

Q: Mum, can I have a lift to Tom's and then the park and then Nando's?

A: Listen, my friend, I delivered you out of my vagina. I think I've done all the delivering I am going to do for now. I'm thinking buses are the way forward for you.

Q: Mum, can we do something tediously messy with glitter and glue?

A: Didn't you hear what I just said? I delivered you from my noonoo. Yes. That's right. My noonoo! What does one have to do to get a break around here?

Q: Mum, can we play Snap?

A: While I sit on my hopes, dreams, aspirations and university degree, you mean? And after pushing you out as I did? Fourteen hours! Two epidurals! Stitches! Get real, baby. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Q: Mum, is it OK to be as bored as this?

A: They say that boredom is the greatest gift you can give a child, and I'm killing myself trying to give you that great gift here, son; killing myself.

Q: Mum, you don't think a TV in my bedroom would be a better gift?

A: On top of giving you all this boredom? You'll end up spoilt. There are many, many children who don't get as much boredom as you. I think there are some children in Africa who are scarcely bored at all. I can't believe you are throwing this boredom back into my face. I, who squeezed you out my coochie and everything.

Q: Mum, is it true there are proper mums who bake cakes and organise days out and make play dates and build dens in the living room with sheets and chairs?

A: I've never heard such rubbish in all my life. Who is filling your head with this misleading bile?

Q: Mum, have I thanked you enough for bringing me into the world?

A: Don't worry about it, dear. I don't like to make a big thing of it, even though I will have to lie down for the rest of the afternoon, and all of tomorrow, and most of next week. Still, no one ever said being a mother would be easy, but now hurry along. You don't want to miss your bus.