My little boy is twenty-one today. I’m amazed he made it; I was such a nervous mother. Also a boring one: I’m going to repeat some of his favourite criticisms of me, which I think I have mentioned before. Indulge me.
I took him for his first check up at ten days old. The midwife told me off for overdoing it a little on the clothing:
- all-in-one vest
- disposable nappy
- all-in-one coat thing
In a South African winter, when all we needed was a sweater for cool days. I don’t know how he didn’t spontaneously combust.
Did you notice the disposable nappy and rubbers, by the way? I used terry nappies but had disposables for trips out. I wasn’t sure if he needed the rubbers but decided to err on the side of having the midwife in stitches on the floor.
Daddy, Mummy and Visiting Uncle decided to take a walk with Baby. Baby’s pram wasn’t in the mood, hitting a rock and pitching Baby out onto the gravel. Mummy wet herself laughing (nervous condition, I swear) when Baby hit the gravel face-first. Daddy gathered up Baby, comforting him while cursing laughing Mummy and made sure to grass Mummy up to Baby as soon as cognition set in. Baby has never let me forget it.
First time on a school trip: I made him wear bright orange raincoat, rain pants, and wellies. Everyone laughed at him.
First time on a scooter: I insisted he wear helmet, elbow and shin pads to wheel twenty yards outside the house.
First day of high school: I walked him to the bus stop.
First hint of Saddam unleashing his WMDs on us: I told him to keep his mobile on so I could call him at school if nuclear war broke out.
If that boy doesn’t emigrate to get away from me at the first opportunity, I have done my job well.
Happy birthday darling. I’m sorry for being your mother.