It takes me a long time to get out of the house. That’s because I usually forget my phone, or my keys, or the letter I was going to post. And increasingly, it’s because just as I’m patting my pockets with a frown, my 2-year old mini-me stops dead and exclaims theatrically, ‘Oh no! My Peppa! My ham-bag! My PONE!’ And that thing of overstuffing her hambag so that it inevitable disgorges its contents on the bus? That’s so me, too.
Now, that’s not something my mother would ever do. I’m on first name terms with my locksmith and the nice lady who reissues bank cards, but my mother’s not scatty like me. Or messy. Her handbag is more secure than Fort Knox and work surfaces part like the Red Sea when she advances with her microfibre cloth. She likes to tidy up at the end of every day, whereas I like to save it all up as a special treat for someone else.
What I do do is shop like my mother. Coleslaw with that? Sure, it goes with everything. Like her, I also love buying innovative new cleaning products and can’t imagine what else I could possibly need in other aisles. They’re for other people and other people’s mothers’ shopping lists. (Washing powder manufacturers, here’s a tip: See that next generation of washing machine owners? They’ll automatically default to the powder they’ve seen used all their lives. There will be no deviation. Away with your gel tablets.)
Seeing as how we imitate our mothers for our basic survival- we’d be lost if we didn’t pick up those walky, talky, eaty skills- it’s not surprising that we end up replicating some of their behavior later in life but with the Great Coleslaw Tradition in safe hands, I’m already thinking of what other default settings my daughter will inherit from me. Shameful disregard for the benefits of a good hairbrushing? A slight obsession with flossing? Preferring to do any screen-based activity in a recumbent position?
When the three generations get together sometime around 2033, all will out and hopefully we can finally have a nice chinwag about the relative merits of Cillit Bang over Cif. I can’t wait.
Jenny Coyle @missmitford is coming to the conclusion that resistance is futile