Reasons to be Cheerful. One, Two, er…

I am on two missions.  Buff up, and cheer up.  I fervently hope the latter will come as a natural by product of the former, as acheiving just one of these threatens to be an Herculean effort.  I’m not saying I’m a lardy-arsed inertia-prone misery-guts.  However, I probably enjoy a white bread-and-butter Pringle sandwich more frequently than the next man and am definitely inclined towards over-indulgence on the red wine front and the occasional crabbit moment.  I still enjoy a rare puff of a Silk Cut and frequent the gym on a less regular basis than when I was, say, 21.

In other words, I’m thin but definitely unfit and a bit grumpy.  I noticed my poor health recently when labouring up the ludicrous hill to my parent’s house.  Mum was beaming joyfully and chatting away with zero ill effects from the 2-in-1 gradient hike, whilst I – a full thirty-hummannahummanna years younger, had a face like a wet beef tomato and sounded like a potential candidate for The Smoking Family of Chewin’ the Fat fame.  Time, thought I, to dig out the gutties.

The urge to ‘cheer up’ stemmed directly from the painful sting I felt on hearing possibly the most hurtful comment ever directed my way.  Obviously, the exact phrase has been trumped on many prior occasions; during various nights out, flat-mate squabbles, sibling disputes, bank teller run-ins and so on and so forth.  But this came from my beloved Boy and thus cut right to the marrow…

Having whipped up one of my many culinary delights and staggered, exhausted, through from the kitchen clutching the stodgy offering with a tight-lipped smile and a sweaty glow, I placed the dishes at each setting and went to plonk my aforementioned not-too-lardy arse down next to Boy.

“I don’t want to sit next to a Tired Old Mother”, Boy says.


Inordinately upset by this comment, I picked up my plate (I’m not bloody leaving dinner after all that effort) and ate  in the kitchen.  Henceforth, I vowed, I must be a youthful, rosy-cheeked and bubbly mum.  I will wave at everyone we pass in the street with whom we have had even the most fleeting of prior contact; I will sing songs as I cook in the kitchen, not swear like a navvy on crystal meth; I will hug my children at each and every opportunity, tickle them till they pee their pants and store vast reservoires of patience in my echoing brain.  For knowledge is an impediment to cheeriness and my memory banks of Radio 4-acquired facts on uses of a dead horse (seriously), ISA management and what Nick Clegg eats for breakfast (fags, wasn’t it?) shall be wiped.   The resultant cavernous space can then be filled by the names of every child in Boy’s year at school, their mothers’ names, their fathers’ names and – where relevant – their siblings’ names, plus what those children  want for their  birthdays.  Also included in my new, Good Mum Factoids will be the requisite arithmetic for correctly calculating lunch money, the birthdays of Husband No. 1’s direct family and  their offspring, and where I put the ruddy passports.

Or to put it another way, this Autumn I will be mostly attempting to get better at breathing, and at remembering mum-ish things.  Boy will no longer refer to me as Tired Old Mother but will chirp happily about his ‘cool mum’ from his position at the front – not rear – of the morning class line-up.  He will sport shiny shoes that fit, a toothpaste-free jumper and maybe, yes maybe, carry a  packed lunch in his crumb-free schoolbag.

Failing all that, I’ll be hitting the running machine at the gym sporadically until Christmas looms close enough to become a legitemate excuse for all non-festivity-related movement to cease, and I will double my dinner-time Merlot intake to create the illusion of joyful ebullience.

And I’ll still know at least four uses for a dead horse.


2 Responses to Reasons to be Cheerful. One, Two, er…

  1. Knackered Mother says:

    I can handle all the planned changes bar the packed lunches. That’s just showing off x

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