Sunday 18 March 2012

Other Thing Sunday

Call me a boring old slave to convention but I ruddy love my mum. Yeah, I enter rooms through doors, look through my eyes and dunk my toast in my tea too; if there’s a convention to obey I will totally be prepared to obey it. As long as it involves doing something I want to do.

I’m not saying it’s peer pressure that makes people celebrate Mothers Day. But it is isn’t it? Like Valentines Day it’s not so much celebrating someone else as not wanting that person to have to tell people “nothing, he got me nothing – but that’s a nice yacht he bought you.” Yeah, of course I love my mum but do I really need to tell her? What good ever came of telling people how you feel? I am pretty sure nothing negative was ever the result of people repressing their emotions. Centuries of English people repressing everything they ever felt and we ruled the world, now every Arthur and Marthur took a sabbatical to get over Princess Di and we are about as impressive a nation as Albania. Sorry: that was a terrible thing to say about Albania.

Let’s cut the chaff , though. People are all over how these celebration days are a pile of shit. Just a way for card manufacturers to make money is a common response. Well that card manufacturers make money out of it is true. But, a lot of people get to feel like they are appreciated for a day; these people (‘mothers’) should feel appreciated 24-7-52 but they don’t in a lot of cases. Let’s be honest here, sometimes appreciating people is a massive ballache; yeah I’d love to appreciate you more but I just need to try and beat my Tetris top score on my phone.

What’s my point? Well there is generally someone making money out of anything you do: are you going to stop eating because there is someone making money out of it? Are you going to stop doing heroin because the prostitute who cuts it with bleach is getting paid £4 an hour? Or you could make a card you know – you really don’t have to try hard, people love it when you try (one thing good about being English is that trying and failing miserably is often more highly rewarded than just being good).

If you still didn’t get my point, it’s this: I didn’t get my mum a card and despite the big bunch of flowers I got her I knew she was a bit hurt that I didn’t get a card. (More alarmingly, and sadly of its time, was that she seemed a bit hurt that I hadn’t put some fake copy and paste sentiment on Facebook.) So while I wont apologise to my mother for this – know this about me I see apologising as akin to negotiating with terrorists – I will say this: I am sorry mum.

Mums The Phil

For some reason showing up at my sisters for a few hours and sitting watching United on my iPad wasn’t considered enough of a treat for my family on Mothering Sunday. I was suffering with the onset of a heavy cold for pete’s sake. And yet I was asked to bath and dress my niece – the baby one, not the 14-year-old: that would have been weird. As this was the first time I had seen her since she had gained the ability to say my name, or the niece version of my name (Pip), I was a bit of a pushover for this request.

Let me tell you: it’s easy to take parenting for granted. But having played with her in the bath, then washed and dressed her – after looking after my niece for twenty minutes I was bored as fuck. Parents, I salute you. For a good ten-to-fifteen minutes all I did was fill a container with water and then pour it in the bath near her. Yeah, she loved it – but what about me? I was getting splashed with bathwater and my arms were getting tired. And then I had to dry her, put a nappy on her and dress her. It’s a lot of doing something for someone who isn’t me.

And what was my reward? Some losers would say the moment my heart swelled every time she said “Pip – again” and laughed. I would say “whatevz”.


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