We have it all. We know this.
Our health. Clever, caring, delightful children. Jobs we like (most of the time). A nice house, in a nice town. Lovely holidays and fun hobbies. All grandparents present and correct.
Ah, but don’t worry. Before you come to hate us, let me tell you about what we don’t have. We are lacking time, downtime, quality time, family time – a break. Lacking energy, lacking strength and definitely lacking patience. We do have a lot of one thing though; we have a lot of shouting.
We’ve had to call in the back-up. We’ve had to call in our mums. The endless patience, the perfect puddings, the uncanny ability to make the kids eat vegetables. How do they do that? Super-human skills. Super Grandparents to the rescue.
I should have been worried the day my mum laughed at me. I had shared a ‘hate note’ from my eldest. My mum never laughs at me. My mum is the mum that friends wished they had. The always there mum. The do anything to help mum. The most thoughtful presents mum. The dinner at hers mum. The listening to hours of my random chitchat mum. She’s the mum who arranges her holidays outside of the school holidays, just so that she can still help with childcare.
And guess what? My mother in law is not bad, either. Always ready to stand-in for the parents, school assembly, dance class, early pick-up when the school thinks an early finish is a treat for parents. Dear Head Teacher: It is not.
We use these Super Grandparents for childcare, for babysitting, for moral support. For emergency dinners and for amazing holidays. We’re lucky and we know this. And rest assured, we are very, very grateful.
But every night has its dawn. Just as every cowboy sings his sad, sad, song… (Was that Poison?) Yes, even Super Grans, the great ones, the patient, caring, loving mums; they all fail at something. My mum failed me that day. The day she held a mirror up to me and laughed so hard she could barely stand.
Apparently, the note was an exact replica of one she had received around 30 years ago, from me. A little pile of scribbled rage. And it wasn’t the last. The others have scribbled their own rage and every time I take a photo of them and send them on to mum. I can imagine her, raising a G&T to herself and chuckling away with her friends on the ‘phone later. Finally. What sweet revenge she had.
So I decided to call in my dad. He is always good with discipline. All was going well, until he shouted my name at the child in question, by accident.
Maybe they aren’t such a reliable army, after all. I’ll have to discipline them myself, next.