Me and The Teenager were having one of our Kitchen Katch-Ups the other day.
Generally speaking, if I hang out long enough in the kitchen, The Teenager will make an appearance, rummage through the fridge and continue a conversation he may have started a couple of days previously:
‘… and, you know, muvver, it’s fine.’
‘Er, what is?’
He pauses to measure out an exact amount of Shredded Wheat into a bowl, then an exact amount of milk, as dictated by his gym routine plan. Then gulps the whole thing down in three mouthfuls.
‘You know, when you get old? Like, say, 50?’
‘Right. And what’s going to happen then?’
‘I’ll build you a shed?’
‘I don’t need a shed?’
‘D’urrr. Like, a shed at my house? In the garden? You can stay there.’
‘When I’m 50?’
‘Yeah? But, like, if I’m rich and famous, you can have a flat.’
‘Oh, ok then. Thank you. But you know, I’ll probably be just fine at 50. But, um, thanks for thinking of me sweets. Very kind. Anyway, Christmas dinner. We need to decide what we’re having.’
I was poised ready with my pen, trying to shake off images of me trapped in a shed at the grand old age of 50.
‘How about I choose this year?’
‘I really don’t want a strawberry protein shake.’
‘Lol, muvver. You’re funny. I wouldn’t do that to you at Christmas.’
‘What do you fancy then? Turkey? Lamb?’
‘Can I choose? Anything in the world? A day off from my Buff Body Routine?’
And so it has come to pass; we will be tucking into Chicago Town pepperoni pizzas, curly fries and garlic dough balls.
I kid you not.
After getting over my initial horror, I thought, ‘Well, Why Not?’ It’ll just be the two of us, we’ve both already had our fill of turkey and we get to do exactly what we want. He’s chosen the food, I’ll choose the telly. And have first dibs on the chocolates, natch.
That sorted, The Teenager continued to rifle the cupboards and sigh loudly. ‘About your shed …’
‘No more talking about sheds. How’s school?’
‘You know where I am if you need me, sweets.’
I was braced for the worst. Or worse than pizza on Christmas Day.
He gathered together another bowl of cereal, balanced it in his hand, made to leave the kitchen and said, ‘You’re a great mum, you know. I love you.’
And with that, before I could reply, he had scooted upstairs.