No one ever tells you that the hardest thing about parenting is that moment when they do something so completely hilarious it’s impossible to stop laughing. You know the one. In an effort to avoid embarrassing your gauche children in public, you rearrange your face into the very model of decorum and frantically try to avoid looking at the other adults in the room because you KNOW they are laughing on the inside and if you make eye contact all hope will be lost. In most households, this is a daily event.
So. Damned. Hard.
And so it is with Mother’s Day. It is a supreme effort of will between mother and child which runs the emotional arc between faking unfettered joy at yet another macaroni necklace and masking the horror that comes with forcing down cold cups of tea and toast with a centimetre thick layer of vegemite on it.
“Oh darling,” you say, choking back the tears of joy that are actually barely disguised tears of pain brought on by the onslaught on your taste buds and the urge to fight the gag reflex. “It’s the best breakfast I’ve ever had.”
But of course, the torture doesn’t end there.
You are forced to listen to the CD of the Ten Tenors, no doubt rescued from the Mother’s Day stall at school or the remaindered bin at K-Mart while eating said breakfast. Your face strains as you smile enthusiastically at their cleverness in choosing such a unique gift. How thoughtful!
Truthfully, the commercialism of Mother’s Day irks me more than just about any other commercial event in the calendar. More than easter eggs in the first week of January, more than red love-hearted Valentine’s day schtick that pollutes my eyesight, more than the hysteria leading up to Christmas: children are compelled to make unwise purchases based on what someone else has told them their mother will like. Don’t believe me? I actually saw an ad for Harris Farm markets this week that suggested mum might like a 5kg bag of ONIONS as a present. To go with the pot of chrysanthemums presumably.
Enough already. I don’t want another awful CD of warbling eunuchs. If I see Andre Rieu in my house I shall commit murder on the next unfortunate passer by. Likewise, natch to the smelly votive candles, sandwich toasters, the service station bunch of flowers (seriously, who does that?) and fluffy slippers in the shape of a labrador’s head.
Bring me a strong macchiato, perfectly prepared by an oiled, shirtless and hunky barista of my choice. Bring me oils and foot scrub for a foot massage.
And for god’s sake, bring me Seal to apply both to my weary body.
Now that’s a mothers day present worthy of my efforts to keep a straight face the next time you make me laugh at an inappropriate moment.
What would be your ultimate – oh alright then, fantasy, Mother’s Day present?