The Prospect of Impending Doom (otherwise known as a visit to the parents)

Hmmmmm. All this doom and gloom might just be the prospect of impending doom. On Saturday have to take M_____ down to London for half-term, as I don’t get the holidays basically. So she will spend them being spoilt rotten by my parents. As the trains have now abandoned all pretence of pretending to work as soon as school holidays hove into view, Mr A and I are driving her down on Saturday. Cue bizarre phone call from mother telling us not to arrive early, as they are going to Enfield Pageant. Why? Express bewilderment. Is after all my childhood home so am not likely to get lost, and above all, I have the keys….I also have several friends in close proximity if bored and evidently know all the neighbours……never mind, is my mother.

Tell her we will stay with Matt and Kali (yay! sanity!), and then even scarier she offers to let US stay. Bear in mind it took me till I was 8 months pregnant to get to sleep with my husband in their house….. She offers the shelf (spare bed). I daringly say have double airbed and sleeping on that or nowhere at all as doubt Mr A would even fit on the 3 inch shelf she jokingly calls a bed. Even more bizarrely she agrees….I think my real suspicious god-fearing 50s throwback mother has been kidnapped by aliens and this new almost reasonable person has taken her place.

Then I get her again yesterday. Why don’t you stay til Monday? It’s Bank Holiday. I patiently explain that this is why we are going back Sunday, to avoid the traffic from the Bank Holiday…..Then I get the aggrieved ‘Well if you don’t want to see us…AAARGH! I am going back next week for Goddess’s sake to go and get M______ back. Maybe Doris Day is back after all. My mother embodies Catholic guilt, Jewish motherhood and a scary Protestant hell and damnation ethic all in one….

M______ also has to go down down looking like a cross between Strawberry Shortcake and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Is the annual Hideous Family Reunion and I have managed to avoid it for the fourth year running…yay! Takes place at house of Hideously Rich Cousin with Horribly Spoilt Bitchy Daughter. They have a pool, and ponies, and cars, and a farm, and……. the list goes on. Then you are obliged to spend four days there in horrendous proximity to blood relations whom, if you were not related to them, you could quite willingly smash over the head with the nearest blunt object.

So it’s show-off time, and M____ has to be paraded by throwback parents as model of Shirley Temple cuteness. Alas, is now 8 so has to be bribed into candy-pink frilly frocks with promises of being allowed to wear black for weeks if only she complies. We will have Fascist Fireman Cousin and Dimbo Only Interested in Nail Varnish Chick, and their three children, the Satan Spawn (I’m being generous here). We will have Bitterly Never Married But Fantastically Successful Cousin, Rich Accountant with my Pretentious Kids at Private School Cousin……oh and then there’s me. Total Failure and Crap at Everything and A Weirdo Cousin. Last time Matt and I went I spent the whole weeknd holding his foot down under the table so he didn’t get into a fist-fight with these paragons of society……….(him being Total Failure and Crap at Everything and Even More of a Weirdo Cousin)

Hurrah hurrah I will instead be on Bernie’s hen-night (Mr A’s sister-in-law now getting remarried), in Glasgow, hundreds of miles away from beastly family reunion, and oh dear booked and paid for long ago so I couldn’t make it…..a spa weekend and general piss-up, and I have never been to Scotland……thank heaven for small mercies!



6 Responses to “The Prospect of Impending Doom (otherwise known as a visit to the parents)”

  1. Dear friend, it’s quite simple: your mother is recognising you are adult, your life has become more stable, there is far less drama, a terrible past is exactly that – past, done, over – and the future offers, no matter your natural predisposition to gloom, a much rosier outlook than you or your mother once expected. Don’t question it, don’t compare to past behaviour and focus on it as hypocrisy or consider it bizarre. Simply accept it if it is in your favour, which it clearly is. Allow all parties to move forward. You focus, if I may be so bold, on how your mother has always been rather than how she might be. Remember, people change. We have changed. Open up to the possibility of others changing, too.

    Love and blessings! Andy aka SC xx

  2. The one dependable thing in my life is my mother’s total disconnectedness with reality and implacable obstinacy…..what am I going to do without it????!

  3. Don’t worry she’ll find something else to be completely irrational about – M___ is getting to the age where she is going to move from the sweet and wonderful child who can do no wrong into the obstinate child from hell as she realises Nanna and Granddad are completely bats and will really not want to do as they say

  4. Getting more and more like her mother then….my Mum did mutter that she hoped that M____ would grow up to be like me so that I could see what she’d had to put up with!

    The fact that they are bats is constant…….M______ sweetly sees all of this as a form of play-acting, Nana and Fafa dress-up!

  5. You just wait – she’s positively malleable at the moment – The problem with having intelligent children is that their vast vocabulary means they are really difficult to argue with and its really difficult to resort to the default “because thats the way it is” argument when they can construct well thought-out and reasonable responses that easily prove that its isn’t necessarily like that – My only saving grace is that their hormones tend to get the better of them and I just have to dig my heels in and stand my ground and eventually they’ll through a hormonal wobbly and stomp off to their bedroom grumbling……

  6. Call that malleable??/!!!! She is already immensely difficult to get the better of in any argument, and knows how to play the cuteness and pity cards to perfection. I’ve been using ‘that’s the way it is’ since she was about 4!!! I don’t even get the hormones kicking in yet unfortunately!

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