Mum’s the word

PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS

JANET CHRISTIE ,  MAGAZINE WRITER
PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS JANET CHRISTIE , MAGAZINE WRITER
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Birthday greetings to make you greet

Happy birthday mum,” says Middle Child, calling my mobile through Facebook messenger, from Portugal.

It’s not my birthday, but he’s not far out, and birthday wishes are always welcome. As is a phone call, especially from someone whose phone lies full fathom five in the Atlantic.

“It is today isn’t it?” he says.

“Sort of.”

“What’s the date today?”

“Doesn’t matter, it’s good to hear you.”

“I’ve made 250 pizzas this morning, just having my break,” he says.

Gainful employment. Good.

“How’re things? I ask him.

“Great, working, and made a swing for under a tree. And doing lots of reading and music because I’ve no phone.”

Good.

“And I’ve got two tattoos.”

Not good.

“I can’t believe you’ve done that!” I erupt. “I spent nine months growing you and 20 years looking after you, and you’ve gone and done that to yourself.”

I’m being an un-cool mum, so I recover with: “It’s your body, you can do what you like with it,” even though I don’t mean it.

“Yes, and make our own identity,” he says.

“Yes, you’re right. So what did you get, and where?”

“A pizza slicer…”

Pizza slicer? What the…

“...on my leg. And a swing under a tree on my arm. You’ll like the pizza slicer, it’s cool.”

I won’t.

“Oh well, I suppose we can get them lasered off,” I say. “Don’t tell your sister, she’s always banging on about tatts but she’s not getting any till she’s 18, and even then…”

“She already knows. I was talking to her the other day.”

Hmmph. She never mentioned it.

“Oh and the dogs here have had puppies.”

“Aw.”

“I’m going to get a puppy when I come home.”

“What? Who’s going to walk it?”

“Me. And Youngest says she’ll do it too.”

“She won’t, and neither will you. And what about Biggie Smalls, he’s not a dog-loving cat? And...”

“Well, it’s time for me to go now. Happy Birthday.”

Happy? I’m raging. n