When I say I'm turning into my mum, obviously I don't mean literally. There'd be a few shocked faces if I woke up in the morning having shrunk ten inches and aged 30 years! And none more shocked than me (sorry Mum). No, of course I mean that all of those countless 'Mum-isms' you try to ignore as a kid and think there is no way you'll catch yourself repeating, I now find myself liberally sprinkling about my daily doings. A few examples - "Don't come crying to me when you poke your eye out/break your leg/split your head open", "Tidy all these toys up now or they'll be in black bags waiting for the bin men when you get home from school", "Pick your feet up!" to name but a few.
These Mum-isms have crept up on me, and became part of my daily intercourse (*sniggers at the I word, just to prove I'm not a proper grown up*), without me even realising. And now that I've started I can't seem to stop, they just fly out of my mouth. If I'm completely honest, I think there's a teeny tiny part of all parents that secretly revels in the delight of an 'I told you so' moment when it comes to your kids. I don't mean for a second that you want them to get hurt just to prove you right, I just mean that when something does happen, it's sometimes reassuring to know that all of your constant warnings haven't totally been in vain!
Take for example, The Daughter - stubborn little madam that she is. She goes at things like a bull at a gate, and has just started to do that eye rolling thing whenever you say something she doesn't like (fairly often by all accounts). It's a miracle she hasn't been properly hurt by now because she does some seriously idiotic things, and that combined with her innate clumsiness is a recipe for disaster. I sent her upstairs a few days ago to get changed out of her school uniform before tea. Five 'shouting up the stairs reminders' later, I heard a piercing scream. I flew up the stairs and found her (still wearing her bloody uniform!) with her hand stuck inside a ladybird umbrella. Somehow, and the truth still remains unspoken, she had tried to open the umbrella in her bedroom, and had caught the skin on the palm of her hand inside the bit where the pole clicks into place. Ouch indeed. I was as panicked as she was, and I hadn't got a clue how to get her out. I tried to unfold the umbrella and she screamed "JUST LEEEEEAAAAAAVVVVEE IIIIIIITTTTTT!" at me, to which I inwardly (and probably outwardly too) shouted back "How am I meant to just leave you for Chrissakes?! You're going to go to bed tonight and to school tomorrow with your skin pinched in a ladybird umbrella are you? Child and brolly as one, in perfect pissing harmony?!"
Five minutes of wrangling and shrieking later, and she was out. I didn't know what to do first - give her a cuddle or give her a huge rollicking for doing something so stupid. So I did both at the same time. I told her that all those times I'd warned her when she did something silly or dangerous was to try and stop her from getting hurt. I'd hoped she would sink into my arms, sobbing that she was sorry Mummy, that she'd listen to me from now on Mummy, and that you were right Mummy. Did she? Did she chuff. The Husband went upstairs to see what the commotion was about and she screamed at him that it was all my fault! At which point I could cheerfully have wrapped that bloody brolly round her neck.
I guess I have to face the fact that, not only have I turned into my mum, but that in my daughters eyes, everything I say and do is to ruin her fun. Just like I thought when I was a kid. So next time you see me out, and I'm bellowing after the kids "Stay where I can see you or someone will steal you and sell you to the gypsies!", don't pity me. Just give me a small nod, and let me know that I'm not alone.