KEVIN AND PERRY GIVE MUMS THE SUMMERTIME BLUES

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School’s out and I’m sighing with relief at getting a break from the grinding school routine, though part of me is a little regretful at the prospect of losing my daily six hour child-free zone.

It’s my time for watching mindless TV whilst simultaneously surfing the net, primarily perusing bathroom accessories.

Mums dread the Kevin and Perry years

Mums dread the Kevin and Perry years

But enough of my shameful waste of quality time and my penchant for novelty toilet roll holders, the summer is stretching ahead and like many women I face it with a mixture of excitement, dread and anxiety. I’m excited to spend family time together, but I’m dreading my son getting bored and I’m a bit anxious about how my son is rapidly changing.

Surprisingly this has come as a bit of a shock to me but my son is growing up! It came out of the blue. A few weeks ago we were out and I absentmindedly kissed him on the top of the head.

‘‘Mum, please, not in public!’’ he hissed. I instantaneously felt deflated and a little melancholy. Of course he has to grow up, I said to myself, remembering how I would walk slightly ahead of my mother when I was his age, pretending I wasn’t with her.

I couldn’t wait to grow up, mostly so that I’d be old enough to date David Soul from Starsky and Hutch (now his mobile number nestles amongst my phone’s contacts list, but that’s a whole other column!). Growing up to me seemed to take an eternity.

I remember my own mother getting quite teary-eyed on the first morning I stepped through the gates of my ‘big’ school. She knew my childhood was coming to a close. All I felt was excitement, to me it was one step further on my journey to becoming Mrs David Soul!

It will be my son’s ninth birthday in a few weeks. It seems like only yesterday he was refusing to answer to anything other than the name Spongebob (this got me some rather odd looks in the supermarket!) and climbing up on my knee at every opportunity. Gosh even writing this has brought a tear to my eye! No matter when I sat down, up he’d get on my lap and I’d bury my nose in his baby-shampoo-smelling halo of deliciously soft curls. Now everything I seem to do sends his eyes shooting heaven-ward in exasperation and shame.

For instance, when an 80s song played recently in a shop I began to sing along and do a bit of a mummy shuffle to it (as you do). He was mortified!

‘‘Mum, must you?’’ he sighed.

‘‘Am I embarrassing you son?’’ I asked.

‘‘Yes!’’ he replied.

‘‘Then my work here is done!’’ I concluded.

‘‘Whatevs!’’ he said. I didn’t even get a full-bodied ‘whatever’ apparently a shortened ‘whatevs’ was suffice. When I told my friend about the sudden change in my son she said she was facing exactly the same attitude with her boy. When she shouted into his room to tidy up his toys, telling him his room was a mess, she was met with his eight-year-old head coming around her bedroom door and moodily muttering the words; ‘hashtag bothered!’ at her.

We discussed our bewilderment at how our adorable boys were morphing into Kevin and Perry. I now know why I find that advert for a certain soft drink so disturbing.

In the background the song Give me just a little more time is playing as two parents struggle to cope with how quickly their son is growing up. He morphs from a baby in seconds to standing before them as a fully grown man with a pregnant partner, as the whole circle of life begins again. Subconsciously I have been equating this with my son’s sudden spurt towards manhood and felt rather perturbed when it was screened.

Many mums will no doubt be feeling a little melancholy this summer, particularly those whose children are making the transition into first form in September. No doubt someday I’ll find myself remembering fondly this present time, though we are only a few days into the holidays and already we are doing battle over my new mobile phone. He’s constantly watching Minecraft game videos on it. The house has been irritatingly filled with the dulcet tones of the gamer ‘Stampylongnose.’ Needing to send a text I grabbed my new phone from Junior in annoyance.

‘‘I was watching that’’ he protested.

‘‘Hashtag bothered!’’ I replied

‘‘Whatevs!’’ he responded grumpily.It’s going to be a long summer!