Sunday, May 11, 2008

Yo! Mama’s Day

F told me last Saturday, rather grandly, that he was going to treat me “like a queen” for Mother’s Day. “You deserve it!” he continued.
“Why thank you,” I responded, also rather grandly, tossing my hair with smug entitlement.
We were passing through the Myer cosmetics department at the time, and I think the phrase made me think of all those snarmy ads with the models assuring you that ‘you’re worth’ expensive face cream and nice shampoo. I was getting into the spirit of things.

Cycling home from school on Thursday, he called back along the footpath through the wind and the traffic: “For Mother’s Day, mum, I’m not going to get you anything. I’m going to donate money for breast cancer instead.”
Something about his tone made me suspicious. I’d just shut down a request to make his own lunches from now on ... which, I’d quickly surmised, was so that he could stack them with banned substances (mainly sugar). Though his professed sentiment was noble, his high-handed tone teetered between generosity and punishment.

“That’s lovely, how nice,” I said.
Silence from the bike ahead.
“We-eellll ... actually, I’m going to pretend Mother’s Day doesn’t even EXIST.”
“That’s fine,” I called smoothly. “Because I was planning to do exactly the same thing about your birthday.”
“This year?”
“Uh huh.”
“Oh. I’m only joking, you know.”
“How interesting.”

That night, watching Gordon Ramsay and eating takeaway noodles, I told The Husband about F’s breast cancer plan.
“He TOLD you?” he asked.
“What do you mean? You mean he didn’t make it up to piss me off?”
“No. Something about donating to breast cancer came on TV the other night, you were here, we looked at each other and nodded.”
“Oh. So he was doing it to be nice. At least, at first. Good.”

This morning I was woken by a hug.
“Good morning, your majesty.”
“Happy Mother’s Day, my queen. Would you like breakfast?”
It was very early.
“Um, maybe later.”
“Can I play the computer?”

Some hours later, I was instructed to sit in the study while he put the finishing touches on my presents. I got chocolate almonds (my favourite vice) and cupcakes (also a hit), both from the school Mother’s Day stall. He made me a handmade book about Ben 10, his latest cartoon craze. And I got a card with a Mother’s Day poem:

Mother’s Day is like, a day for ya mama,
So don’t give her no drama,
Let her wear pajamas
while this day is a mama o’rama


Lovely. My favourite present.

Then we went out for breakfast in a cafe down the road, where I ate poached eggs, sautéed potatoes and roast tomato, and F ate crumpets with honey. I read my way through the weekend papers and F read the latest AFL kids’ comic and excitedly opened his new packet of footy cards. I probably got three sentences out of him.

I ran into a friend, eating at a table across the room, his laptop on a chair beside him. (A business meeting on a Sunday? Life of a freelancer!) F barely looked up from his mag as my friend tried to make conversation with him. He got about three sentences, too, though. My friend and I had been at the same party the night before. And I only realised when I left the cafe that this meant he would realise I was still wearing the same dress I had on last night. The dress I was wearing when he DROPPED ME AT MY DOOR at 1am. Embarassing.

In the old days, being seen in the same dress from last night’s party meant I’d got ‘lucky’. Or got so trashed, I’d crashed on someone else’s couch. Today, it meant that after he dropped me home, I’d fallen asleep in front of my laptop under a quilt on the couch, watching successive episodes of Veronica Mars on my laptop until 3.30am. And that I was so tired when I woke up that I decided – what the hell – I’d keep the dress on for breakfast.

My, how life changes ...

This afternoon, The Husband, F and I went to the Sun cinema to see Iron Man as our Mother’s Day outing. We took the boy next door, and the kids were so exciting that they ran down Anderson Street shouting. I loftily reminded them that this was a MOTHER’S DAY trip, so they should make it pleasant for me. At the cinema, they’d run out of Choc Tops and the ATM had run out of money. No EFTPOS. The Mother’s Day crowd was not pleased. My particular little crowd included. We ended up with popcorn and soft drinks. I was so disgruntled to miss out on my Choc Top sugar rush that I went for raspberry lemonade instead. The ultimate non-alcoholic headrush.

In front of us in the line for tickets, is the parent who thoroughly disapproves of F and periodically asks his kids not to play with him because he doesn’t like “his attitude”. (As I type, F is shouting and screaming in the backyard over football, so I do sort of get it, even while I despise him for it.) The boys are thrilled to see each other. They grab each other’s arms and squeal. In the theatre, we sit directly behind F’s mates. They are eating pieces of fruit their father pulls from a backpack. He slowly, methodically peels a banana and bites into it just as F and Boy Next Door burst into their first bout of squabbling over the chips and soft drink that I – foolishly – bought them to share. To SHARE. In the dark. While they are also supposed to be quiet.

The movie is great, for the sort of movie you can see with a couple of primary school boys. Two hours with Robert Downey Jr is an excellent Mother’s Day present. F’s verdict: a bit gory (he hid his face quite a few times, with me telling him when he could look again), but good. And he gave the soundtrack 10/10. I was impressed when he spotted Marvel comic guru Stan Lee in a cameo (playing Hugh Hefner for three seconds). A nerd in training.

I have a brilliant son who loves me and thinks I deserve to be treated like a queen for a day, and a husband who spent half his day kicking the footy in the backyard with my son and his mate, and babysat for me last night while I went out to a party. I’m doing pretty good.

Peace out, y’all ...

... and happy mama’s day ...


eleanor bloom said...

Yup. That footy playing and babysitting sounds pretty good.

Glad you had a nice day!

I saw Iron Man the other day and agree that it was time well spent with Mr Downey Jr... *purrrr*

Helen said...

Happy Mothers day - retrospectively.

Why can't those crappy Mother's day cards have poems as good as that on them?

The Blakkat said...

HMD Ariel, sounds like you're one hell of a mama :-) Gotta yourself a nice man there, too.

Me got meself a phone call with a run down of what she would have made me for breakfast if she wasn't 1000km away. Pancakes with blueberries. Thoughtful girl. Love her to bits.

redcap said...

That's great. All of it :)

But don't think for a moment that the colleague in the cafe noticed you were wearing the same clothes. Boys just don't notice those things unless they're gay. My (male) editor and I turned up to work today wearing basically the same outfit (black jeans, black leather jacket, green shirt/top in exactly the same shade and black tie/scarf) and despite having several conversations during the day, neither of us even noticed until we went to the pub after work. At least his ensemble was slightly different in that he had a motorcycle to go with it.

I also love that Evil Father was feeding his kid fruit from his backpack. That makes him Sanctimonious/Tightarse Father in my book. Don't his kids even get a treat at the cinema? One day, he and Evil Mother will be the subject of a Gen Z misery memoir called, "My Parents Never Bought Me A Choc-Top".

Ariel said...

EB - thanks

Helen - right back at you. And yes, best Mother's Day card ever.

Blakkat - yes, I'm a lucky mama. ANd so are you, by the sounds of it!

Redcap - do you know, that sounds very glamorous - pub after work - an outfit worthy of Melbourne with all that black. My male friends are very metrosexual, many of them anyway, and I reckon he would have noticed, trust me. And as for the Father, I totally agree. Poor things.