Family: Janet Christie's Mum's the Word
Just when you think things are running along smoothly… Boys in work and education, check, Youngest back at school, check, Biggie Smalls the cat rescued from his escape into the street, check, all is calm. What can I write about this week I’m wondering...? Ah hubris…
“Mum, I’m home,” shouts Youngest, back from Other Parent’s, swerving into her room without a “What’s for tea?” or a “Can I borrow…?”
Suspicious. I swing by. She’s polite, quiet, pleasant... something’s definitely up. We engage in desultory chat about her weekend. There’s a “nothing much” and lots of “she said, he said, so I said” stuff. I wait…
Here it comes.
“Promise you won’t be very, very angry with me?”
“‘Course not, Precious.”
We both know this is a lie.
“I’ve done something you won’t like.”
I knew it. She lifts her T-shirt.
“I’ve had my belly button pierced.”
No kidding. The Koh-i-Noor diamond winks at me from her abdomen. I go from zero to raging in a heartbeat. I’m speechless. Then I’m not. Venom pours out of me with such force that Youngest Child can’t contain her laughter. And it’s not just HER laughter. There’s more coming out of her phone. It’s her pal.
“I hope you’ve not been so stupid as well,” I shout into the phone.
“Hello. I already had my nose done,” says a voice. “My mum wasn’t happy.”
“You need my permission to get piercings until you’re 16,” I say to Youngest.
“Other Parent took me.”
“Hmmph, hmmph, hmmmph.”
Eldest Child is on the bottom stair, pulling on his trainers.
“Show your brother your stupidity,” I say to her.
“Aw yeah, your belly ring,” he says. “Nice.”
“You knew? And it’s not ‘nice’.”
Twenty minutes of ranting ensues until I deflate. “Oh well, at least I’ve got something to write about now.”
Youngest and her belly twinkle, “You’re welcome!”