You could never have met anyone on this planet more desperate, more excited and more suited to be a grandparent than my mother.
She had me, her perfect only child, obviously, and then began her wait to become a grandma. She waited a long thirty years. I saw her disappointed face after every relationship went sour. I think she thought it might never happen.
However, I was slightly worried about telling her I was pregnant as it wasn’t great timing, wasn’t planned, and I was living in sin in a fairly new relationship. I took a deep breath in Costa coffee and told her “you’re going to be a grandma.”
I apologise to the patrons of Costa that morning who were witness to a lady shrieking, screaming, howling and jigging about like Ed Balls doing a Samba. As soon as my son was born she had moved cities to be near him and is practically down the road handily popping by on a daily basis with milk, bread, wipes, ready meals and a million kisses for her little Lord Fauntleroy angel who can do no wrong. Then we surpassed her expectations and gave her a second grandson – well, you’ve never seen a happier woman.
However, like Marie Barone, she can be slightly critical of my parenting.
When she pops round the first thing she will comment on is how the boys smell. Apparently they always smell of something. She has the fully oxygenised nose of a greyhound, my nose has obviously curled up and died after living with three males.
“Hello darling, oh… has someone done a poo?”
“Hello darling, oh… I think he’s done a wee… shall I run them a bath?”
“Hello darling, do you mind me asking when you all last had a wash?”
After the smell notes she will comment on whether they are too hot or too cold (there’s never an in-between).
“Hello darling, oh…shouldn’t he be wearing warm socks on his ickle footsies?”
“Hello darling, oh… does he need that jumper on? he looks overheated to me.”
“Hello darling, HE’S NOT WEARING A JUMPER HE’LL CATCH HIS DEATH!”
And to top it off she will comment on how I should go out more. Why don’t I just pop down the road for example. Why isn’t the dishwasher filled. What have I been doing all day?
Last week she took us all on another little Yorkshire break to give me a “rest” (HA) and to spend quality time with the little darlings she had wished for for three decades.
On the second day after getting around five hours of sleep I saw her in the kitchen. She said our eldest woke up at “FUCKING FOUR! FOUR!”
“Yes” I said calmly, he does that.
My youngest was strapped to her leg letting out a high pitched dolphin sound trying to claw his way up her body. She was trying to fill the dishwasher dragging her leg around with my one year old attached to it like a dead weight. My eldest was running from room to room singing “Away in a manger” throwing hula hoops across the carpet. It was around eleven and she had been up for seven hours already.
“Grandma!” my three year old was shouting in his ridiculously high pitched Elmo voice, “can you play my game? can you play my game grandma?”
“Yes … just …. I’m …. I ….. need a cup …. of…”
“But Grandma? Grandma? Can you read the three bears now? Grandma?”
“Grandma? Grandma? Can I have a chocolate biskwit pwease Grandma?”
“You didn’t eat your toast…so….I”
The one year old was demonically howling now at her feet, his head buried into her crotch desperate to be picked up. She picked him up and held him with one hand whilst trying to boil the kettle with the other.
Both boys were wearing no socks and no trousers and I could smell a waft of turd.
She let out an agonising sigh and said to me
“Argh… he (my youngest) really is a little shit isn’t he?”
We laughed and I have never ever felt happier in my life. That feeling when someone else sees what your daily life is like, they get it. The moment when your most loved thing in the whole world is a “little shit”. She got it. I felt validated.
I held the little shit while she prised open a bottle of wine with her teeth and we had a splendid holiday. Hic…