Mother – 43

21 09 2016


Mother 43 – The one about the picnic.

My parents often took their grandchildren on trips and both parties enjoyed it as much as each other. And it really was great to see how two different generations interacted with each other.

There was something magical about watching my parents behave like children, and the children’s attempts to always be a bit older and a bit taller than they really were in order to gain some extra benefit from them.

Which brings me to the question asked by some at the time about why grandmother was seen sitting in the car in her underwear. And why granddad visited a Laundromat for the first time in his life, bearing a handful of woman’s clothing, all of it dripping wet.

He’d mentioned that it all went very quiet when he’d first entered. He thinks it might have been the woman’s tights hanging over his arm that did it. And as he also said at the time, his biggest worry was that somebody would call the police.

You see Dad being a man’s man, it took a lot of convincing to even get him to do the washing up, but to be asked to walk into a Laundromat, and to wash and dry female attire, in front of spectators, was really pushing the boundaries, well his boundaries anyway.

But needs must, and anyway it wasn’t his decision.

Apparently, everything was going fine until mother laid out the picnic blanket.

She’d turned to help my father empty the car of more stuff, saw his facial expression, sensed that something was wrong, and commenced with her usual twenty questions guessing game.

My father was a man of few words at the worst of times, and to get an answer from him in response to any question about any subject was like trying to get blood from a stone.

But in a panic, the best he could usually do in the way of communication was to stamp his feet, puff his cheeks up until they nearly burst, and point with both arms whilst shaking his head. And this is what he was doing now.

‘Do you want the toilet? Have you stood on a stinging nettle? Do you… ‘. Realising that she was getting nowhere mother turned her head to witness my toddler son running down the hill at full speed.

He was testing out his new trainers but didn’t know that on a downward slope the specially designed treads were never going to stop him when he wanted to stop. And of course,  they didn’t. Splash – he was in the lake.

Mother chased after him, down the same slope, but in a pair of Crocs with even less tread, and splash – she was in the same lake with him. Apparently, she’d looked like somebody skiing down a slope, and didn’t actually fall into the lake, but rather slide into it at great speed. And with both hands up in the air.

Thankfully everybody survived – my son from drowning, my mother from immodesty, and my father from an unusual display of less than masculine behaviour.

But as my son said at the time, in his own toddler way, none of this would have happened if he’d been wearing a proper pair of trainers like the one’s Mo Farah wears.







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