Janet Christie's Mum's the Word

Saturday morning, day off, time for a snoozathon. But what am I thinking, I have children.


Around what feels like dawn, Middle appears.

“I’m working today, on the bar at the rugby.”

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“Oh yes, very good,” I say, keeping my eyes shut.

“So… bit worried about getting there…” he continues.

Oh for God’s sake. Well, he wasn’t in till the back of three this morning after his bar shift in town, and I promised him a lift in the morning because I was so proud of him doing three jobs. What a daftie, as Eldest would say, if he wasn’t snoozing upstairs in his scratcher.

“OK, no problem,” I say. Once you’re up it’s not so bad, and with him deposited I race home to jump back into bed while it’s still warm.

Except coming in the door, I meet Youngest, all Lycra-ed up. “Good. Right, let’s go to the gym,” she says.

What? Why would I want to go to the gym? I think.

“OK, let’s go!” I say.

So it is I find myself on what I like to call The Walking Machine, watching the rugby on the wee telly and texting Middle (behind the bar he can hear the roaring, but see none of the scoring) while Youngest goes pelters beside me. Then there’s a blur of kettlebells, lunges, sit ups and achy-breaky machines as Billy Ray Cyrus might sing if country singers troubled with gyms. Youngest is loving it. How did I give birth to this amazon, I’m thinking, flooded with pride. Oh no, that’s blood. My nose is bleeding.

“Time out mother, sit over there,” she says, not unkindly, and continues. Next time I open my eyes she’s chatting to a coach. I overhear words like “combat”, “attack” and “insanity”. Aw, what’s wrong with a few laps of breast stroke?

“I’m taking you home,” she says.

Oh good.

“You can lie down while I go into town,” she says as I drive. At last.

But at the door, Eldest awaits: “We’ve got a gig in Dunfermline. Lift to the station please? I’ll buy you a house in Spain when we make it big.”

A house in Spain? I’d be happy with an extra hour’s kip. n