Mum talk


Birthday cake

My mother and I are locked in grave discussion. It has nothing to do with teachers' strikes or the growing hole in the Ozone Layer. It has everything to do with my three-year-old's birthday cake...

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Boy talk

My father likes to tell the story of how he snapped a kitchen knife in two, buttering toast as he waited for me to come into the world. This was in the days when men stayed at home reading Tractor News Weekly...

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Caught short

The other day I asked my seven-year-old son Josh if he remembered anything at all about the home we rented when he was two. Like the blue soldier tapestry that hung over his bed. The revolving rainbow lamp that cast pretty shadows on the wall at night. Teddy. “The crack in the toilet seat,” he replied.

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Four cups of tea

The biggest change in our playgroup over time is not that our babies have suddenly grown a metre in height or that they’ve morphed into Spidermen. It’s the conversation that’s changed.

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Good lying

Three o’clock in the morning and I’ve broken into a cold sweat. My heart is pumping. I’m feeling decidedly seedy. It can’t have been the garlic prawns at the country pub – and the two champagnes I quaffed were...

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Mother’s little helpers

My son Josh was only three when he became a walking thesaurus for the word ‘sleep’. That’s because he heard it said in so many delightful forms – not relating so much to him as to his mother. I’d say:...

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Sex and the kiddy

At the risk of offending my wonderful mother, I have to admit that my sex education was, er, lacking. At the age of 12, I was given a slim pink book with a perky ponytailed girl on the front. It was called You’re a Young Lady Now and gave the bare essentials about periods and pads.

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Stepping into motherhood

I often wonder how my stepsons will remember me when they are old and grey and reminiscing about their youth. I dream that it will be of a fine upstanding woman who offered them a different perspective on life...

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Treacherous toyland

When I was little my mother gave me some simple advice on how to be an exemplary birthday-present recipient. The instructions were...

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