Monday, 30 April 2007

Mother knows best

My 85 year old mother, bless her, is quite convinced she knows best about everything, and no amount of reasoned counter-argument from me makes any impression. Frustrating in the extreme.

If I mention my creaky knees, she always blames it on short coats that don't cover my legs. In other words, damp knees. But in that case, mother dear, every swimmer in the country, and everyone taking regular baths, would have no knees left.

When crime comes up, she's adamant it's all down to single mothers and broken homes. Stable families with two parents couldn't produce anything but little angels and rosy-cheeked choirboys, even if all the neighbours are burglars and car thieves.

Knowing that I seldom shop around for the cheapest bargains, mum sees me as hopelessly profligate, squandering money like water and being shamefully ripped off by greedy shopkeepers. But I'm not wasting hours traipsing the streets just to save a few quid, I explain. Which cuts no ice with Mrs Canny-Shopper, The-Woman-Who-Can't-Be-Diddled.

No sooner do I mention our two cars, indispensable in a city with minimal public transport, than mum insists we could make do with one. With the odd taxi, a bit of walking, a bicycle, and more reliance on the local shops, we could manage easily. Er, not really, mum, only if I was a hermit living on bowls of rice and doing nothing but contemplating my navel.

I can argue my point of view till the cows come home, but mum stubbornly stands her ground, listening politely and then promptly repeating what she told me before. I'm obviously mistaken and it's her maternal duty to put me straight.

I guess mothers never quite lose that air of authority they have to acquire when they're a new parent steering their vulnerable offspring towards autonomous adulthood. Although I achieved that state many decades ago, she still thinks I need her guiding hand on the tiller. And her years as a primary school teacher probably reinforced that fond belief.

Still, better a bumptious mother than a clinging one. Or a mother who doesn't give a damn about her children and only cares about property prices and gin.

(NB: Photo is not my mother. Thank you once again, Google images)


  1. What's wrong with property prices and gin?

  2. Just found your blog, very entertaining - mums are never wrong!

  3. Thanks for the compliment, FS. Your own blog is hilarious too - one of my top reads. Which is why I detect some diplomatic irony. But at least my mum has never acquired Mrs Doyle's 101 ways of getting it down your throat technique.

  4. The sooner we all realise that Mums know best the better - The world would be a problem free place and we'd all live harmoniously with matching cardigans!

  5. Matching cardigans? At my time of life matching socks is ambition enough. No seriously, life would be blissful indeed if my opinions merged seamlessly with my mum's but I think Hell's likely to freeze over first. Chalk and cheese all the way. I blame a programming fault during the pregnancy.