Magoo has always triumphed in our mothering misadventures. She’s the quintessential “revenge mother” who delights when a teen goes bananas in mine or my sisters’ families. She loves a minor misdemeanor, and cannot help but relish in her memoirs of a motherhood spent raking over the damage caused by her own offspring.

“Lap it up suckers, you did this to me!”

She also can’t wait for us to fall into age decline. When I turned 45 her birthday card listed the handful of abilities I was about to downgrade or downright lose: eyesight, hearing, mental and physical capabilities, etc.

Unfortunately turns out ole Magoo was right on both accounts. Every single time I say to my kids… “I can’t wait until you have children!” I hear her voice in my ear saying the exact same thing. Oh bravo Magoo, bravo!

When my eyesight began to deteriorate and my spellcheck changed every “h” word to “Huh?” and I turned the TV waay up to hear over the chewing boy, I knew she was probably always going to be right…

So I’ve put together something for the kids, so they can tell when I need all that awesome loving care I gave them when they were growing returned. I’m going to need patience, and care. Loving kind words and nutritious meals. A hearing aid and dentures. Someone to stop me from eating all the M&M’s and making myself sick..

When to worry about Mum.

She talks to herself – Most of us do! The state of being human leads us to commentate on every sight and sound, every experience we have. It’s normal to talk to ourselves, out loud or inside our heads, completely normal.

When to worry? –  When she starts to answer, and have animated conversations that impact her decisions.  “That’s the washing done, what are we going to do now?….Let’s go into town. Wear something pretty…your blue dress? That will cheer us up.”

She doesn’t know your name – Again, normal maternal confused wiring. Calling out your name is more complicated than you can even imagine! We all do it, even only children are called “Martha, George, Robert, Jesusfucking MARY-BETH!”

When to worry? – When she doesn’t know her name – I have stood, under pressure, required to fill out forms with my name, address and date of birth and have been found lacking. Worse when they want to know the exact sort of time my kids were born, like to the day even? Apparently “it was still warm, so Summer-ish?” won’t wash.

She loses faith in the circle of life – Everyone we know is divorced, all the children are grown up and leaving or have left town. It’s no wonder Mum has begun to question the meaning of everything. She is no longer the “child-bearer” or even the “child-carer”. Why bother with the endless cycles and circles of everything?

When to worry? – When she hasn’t removed the clothes from the clothesline in weeks, she just keeps adding more and more to the line. She continues to cook, but no longer shops and has to “make do”. The other night she gave you a “Cake of Soap” for dessert.

She can’t see very well – Don’t give your mother grief over this! It’s the natural decline of the cells in her body. It’s ok for her to ask you to read the small print for her, or to look for street signs. Stop being so rude about it!

When to worry – When she slams on the brakes for the Kangaroo that was a clump of grass. When she gives your kid a stock cube and thinks it’s a lolly. When she’s wearing her glasses and still paints 6 boards in trim gloss instead of wall colour… 

She’s very emotional – She’s always cried with pride when you achieved something in your life. The first time you said “Mama”, those first steps! Every precious moment of your life pressed into the folds of her memories, she only wants good things for you.

When to worry –  So disillusioned with the first 25 years of child-raising she now lurks outside the bathroom door when you clean your teeth, sobbing with pride about Dental Hygiene being the cornerstone of mental stability and success (and she taught you that!)

She’s never been interested in Politics – The progression from being an ignorant youth to becoming interested in how and why governance of your country affects you, is a normal one. It’s part of growing older and maturing. It is also good practice for the grumpy old lady she will one day become, in that it incites participation. The yelling of random slogans and  bitter insults is a crucial skill set to develop early.

When to worry – When she gets out of bed and high-fives the entire street in her nightie because the leadership challenge of her hated enemy, the Prime Minister, triumphed! When she falls asleep that night singing “We are the Champions” to herself (while gloating over all the memes she made to help spread awareness!)

*Seriously, If I should grow to be like Magoo, I expect I will deserve everything I have coming. I plan on going into old age far less vengefully, (and with a lot less jerky side to side movement of the steering wheel when I drive…)

Me and Goo - before dem babies.

Me and Goo – the old days..

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