Family: Janet Christie’s 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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Leave home? Why would you?

Empty nest syndrome? Not round here. With everyone hunkered down in the homestead and the heating cranked up to the max, it doesn’t look like anyone’s going anywhere anytime soon.

Which is just the way I like it. I don’t understand the rush to throw the kidults out, Mother Pig style, and miss out on the advantages of the “multi-generational household” as Eldest calls us.

It’s cheaper for a start – you’d only have to subsidise/pay their rent elsewhere.

Then there’s the social element – you’re never short of an invitation to the pub or a gig (just don’t overdo the shapes on the dance floor or overstay your welcome by insisting on going to the post-club allnighter).

Kidults aren’t all about partying either – there are walks along the shore or in the hills – they even bring a civilised flask of tea.

Then there’s their expanding vinyl collection – Middle has a new Rolling Stones LP circa 1974 – that complements the “vinyl player” they bought me, and let’s not forget clothing, with a whole hoard to plunder. There’s vintage (I’ve got my eye on that sheepskin car coat hanging in the hall) and contemporary (quality hoodies and generous T-shirts). Who needs the Boyfriend Look when the Son Look is way cooler?)

And Youngest (still technically a Child), is well on her way to acquiring useful adult skills too.

Me: “I suppose I need a haircut, sigh.”

Youngest. “I’ll do it!”

Me: “Oh, go on then.”

(How bad could it be?)

There’s Middle to drive me places since he passed his test, and this week Eldest added stir fry to his culinary repertoire: “I can do macaroni too, but I wouldn’t say I’ve QUITE mastered it yet.“

I would.

And should I ever whine about the poverty and drudgery that accompany the joys of parenting, there’s Youngest to respond cheerfully, “Shouldn’t have had kids then.”

“True, that’s something you might like to bear in mind,” I say.

“Nah, because if I did, I’d have you.”

“Me?”

“Yeah, for the looking after them stuff. You’re quite good at it.”

“Thanks. If I can afford it, I’ll probably be away travelling. But try your brothers, they’ll still be in their rooms.”