Wednesday, 7 April 2010

A Strange 40th Birthday...

It started off so well, Sarita scrambled into bed early in the morning not clutching her customary teddy but a card that she had made for me then slept with so that she could give it to me first thing.

Next came a wonderful breakfast and presents (it was year of the silly but BRILLIANT handbag), and loads of lovely messages with friends calling me from around the world - then the day could begin...and my birthday end?

We decided to go up onto the Moor and I booked a pub for lunch - and all was well until a volley of strange comments and oversights. Sarita and I were playing and chatting when my Mum, the Mumster, told us to be quiet (from a lady who renders telephones unnecessary for all but long distance?). So we were quickly moved on and on and on.

As tension rises so does the humour. Sarita takes after her Dad and has the perfect comic timing - as were were crammed in the back of the car, lunch lurching inside us we went on and on and on. 'Up and down, up and down I don't think that Granny knows where we are going, Up and down over the hill....up and down.' Only Sarita could have highlighted the farce so well until the only audible signs were of the Mumster's grinding teeth and our muffled giggles.

Muffled titters turned into full on classroom giggles as the Mumster tried to be relaxed 'I don't mind where I drive - Richard will tell me where to go.' Er, we had just picked up Uncle Richard from the station he had stood up on a crowded train for two hours, he was doing a passable nodding dog impersonation and would have been happy to have been anywhere provided he did not have to contribute to any decisions - so the car sick, the toddler and the birthday girl were over ruled.

We did finally get a cafe - and after a few minutes we were on the move...NO! It was my birthday and I would finish my tea if I wanted to. If absolutely pushed I can out-strop the stroppy. We sat in stunned silence as I overruled the Mumster and finished my tea.

The journey back home was in a similar vein - with the giggles getting more hysterical as the Mumster's attempts at polite conversation misfired and every time resulted in low level insults about my intelligence, plans for my home and general outlook.

I did discover that Birthdays were important, as while mine was being ignored I was being detailed on how to organise the Mumster's 70th next year. Hubby was by now incensed as truly nothing had been organised or was going to be pulled from out of magical hat to acknowledge my 40th - and I was just totally perplexed.

The Mumster is not a nasty person, she has issues about the place of children. They best seen (in photos) and never heard. We even have to take all of Sarita's suppers to here house as she does not seem to find the need to feed children seriously - but then she once 'kindly' offered me a pot of unopened creme fraiche four months after the best before date as she bought it and did not like the stuff - so my catering for Sarita is probably for the best under the food hygiene circumstances.

Just as I sat down to write this I got a cheery phone call from her asking if I was upset with her. When I explained that she ignored my 40th, she did acknowledge (again cheerily) that yes, she had missed it but that so much was going on.

We have a second birthday planned to make up for the first misfire - the Mumster is just that, a complex misfiring blend of outrageous optimism, insensitivity and general surprise - like a human foot in mouth of a parent. There is nothing that I can do about her, I should not be surprised at my great age. There is a myth that if you can't beat them then join them - well that is bullshit. But, I can do my best to ensure that Sarita never writes a similar blog about me - you see I love her unconditionally, for all that she says and all that she does - in busy times and in quite, in pubs and at home.

I love being a Mum and I feel if the Mumster had ever allowed herself the time to explore motherhood and what it has to offer she may have discovered the real rewards, but that is her journey - but just don't expect me to take that journey over the Moor, post 'birthday' lunch, with her ever again!


  1. Well,

    Happy Birthday! It's great that Sarita keeps you sane. Eliza does the same for me. :)



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