Family: Janet Christie’s Mum’s the Word

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I’m an overworked parent, get me out of here

I’m serving up the tea to the hungry hordes. “I have an announcement,” I say. No-one appears to be listening but I press on.

“I won’t be here tomorrow. I’m off to Australia to live in the jungle for a bit. Yes, so you’ll all have to fend for yourselves,” I say. “Kezia Dugdale’s given me a great idea, heading off for I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

“You can’t do that, you’re not a celebrity,” says Youngest.

“Doesn’t matter. Neither’s she. She’s an MSP. And I’ll be giving my fee to charity, so that’s fine, I don’t feel guilty, it’s for a good cause. Anything’s justified if it’s for charity isn’t it? Like all those post-post-feminists that enjoy the freedoms feminists fought for, then whip their clothes off and pose for naked calendars “for a laugh” ‘cos it’s for charity and ‘empowering’. Why don’t they just charge for sex and give the money to charity? It’s only a difference of degree, probably raise more cash that way,” I rant.

“Mother! Too far,” says Youngest.

Oh, they are listening.

“Anyway, the jungle. My workload, well I’ll donate that too – it can be shared out among my supportive colleagues and my family – none of you’ll mind will you? If you run out of food you can nip round the corner to the Food Bank – the sign’s up on the days it’s open. Just tell them your mum’s gone to the jungle.”

“I don’t agree with politicians doing reality TV,” says Eldest. “They should be doing the jobs they’re paid for. It’s ridiculous. Austerity, the health service, cuts, education, Brexit, the environment, public services, sorting it out, isn’t that what they should be doing? Jeremy Corbyn did Gogglebox too, but at least that was only one day.”

Gogglebox! I love that,” says Youngest. “We could do that.”

“We could not,” I say, “You don’t let us speak when we watch TV! Me especially. We have to sit there in silence. Who wants to watch that?”

“We could be The Family That Don’t Speak,” she says.

“David Attenborough’s on soon,” says Eldest. “Let’s all sit and watch it.”

“Yay, I love that. Promise not to speak,” I say, taking up my seat, on the sofa. To be honest, it’s the closest I’m going to get to lying around on a hammock chewing a kangaroo’s anus.