Appreciation was always a foregone conclusion where my Mother was concerned, it accelerated on my eighth month of pregnancy when my ankles swelled to the size of watermelons and the knowledge that my uterus was soon to follow suit. The appreciation rose to unprecedented heights on the day my son was delivered, when visitors swooned on the handsome newborn and seemed to cast me aside like a two-bit chariot that had just delivered Jesus Christ; however the appreciation truly climaxed at 4.30 a.m. on 4th April, 2011 when I realised that the Saviour in question, had chronic colic.
Clutching onto the side of the Bugaboo travel system, trying in vain to rock my junior Jesus to sleep whilst attempting to text my friend to say that once again, I wouldn’t be able to make our coffee appointment in the morning as my baby was awake all night suffering from colic and teething. Fingers clenched and teeth whitened I turned hopefully to my Mum for answers. I decided it was best that I refresh her mind on a few things, firstly babies shouldn’t be given any treatment containing alcohol, preservatives, colourings or additives, and be usage of any paraphernalia containing BPA. Secondly there shall be no use of soothers. Thirdly the water shall be bottled, boiled, cooled and re-bottled in a Dr. Brown before being mixed with nothing other than the organic produce in the tin. My mother nodded like a newbie and took the baby with all the compose of a veteran to the child industry, whilst I was happy that she seemed to listen to my advice I had hoped she’d offer some in return. “Why don’t you go and lie down”, she said, I barely made out the words over my squealing baby, “ok” I mouthed back but “make sure you try the Fennel Tea, the water in the other kettle is boiled and cooling”. Before my sentence was finished the bedroom door was closed and I was left standing, holding a towel and a pair of dark circled eyes from lack of sleep.
It was four hours later when I woke with a start, panic stricken that the baby wouldn’t have lasted and maybe I right, after all, all was quiet. The smell of chops drew me to the kitchen, where my mum was cooking dinner ( I didn’t think this was possible with a baby) and baby boy slept soundly in his moses basket after a spoon of Gripe Water and a rub of brandy on his pregnant gums and his cousins dummy. It was then that appreciation grew into respect, only your mother would listen carefully and feign wonderment at every new baby fad, despite knowing better herself.
Now the colic is gone, the teeth are up and I’m in the Middle East, 3,500 miles from my mother. Apart from the sound advice, I miss the cups of tea, opinions on clothes and the general unconditional top notch babysitting service. So you can imagine my delight when my eleven year old daughter let it slip that as my mother’s day present, Granny was coming to visit. Brilliant!. Note: Add gold star on hubbies chart on the fridge for thoughtfulness.
Immediately, I started the preparations, I needed to top up on my tan, get my eyelashes tinted and a good pedicure, she was always thrilled when I looked well. Yesterday morning, my husband left bright and early for the airport to collect his “colleague”, my surprise. The house wasn’t in great shape but Mum would sort all that out when she arrived on her holidays. I looked down at my biscuit colour legs and creasing down my new top I waited. The car pulled up outside and to keep my end of the surprise when the doorbell rang, I did the whole, “Who’s visiting us at this hour?” kind of thing and opening the door, there was my surprise, my mother-in-law, THE WRONG GRANNY.
“You’ve a great colour, nice that you’re enjoying the sunshine”, she said as she traced her Ferrari red fingernail across the dust on the hall table. She was the only one I knew that could give a compliment and take it back in the same sentence. Attention turned to her beloved grandson who was just about visible behind the large pot of petit filous he had smattered all over this face, “everyone is feeding them those things these days, aren’t they ideal, I don’t how I managed to raise 7 children without them”. I turned to the fridge and removed the gold star. Happy Mother’s Day, it’s sure to be a good one!