We all love granny, don’t we? Whether she’s your mother or your mother-in-law, she’s always there to help out and spoil the kids with love.
But occasionally, (well, OK, frequently) she says things that make you want to smash up the kitchen and yell ‘GET OUT OF MY HOUSE YOU MEDDLING HARRIDAN!’ Of course, we never ever do. Instead, we grit our teeth and slowly die inside. Here are a few universal granny gems that are guaranteed to make any parent’s blood boil…
‘Things were never like this in my day’
Granny is of course referring to ‘The Modern World’, and all the things in it that she doesn’t understand, like soft plays, Twitter, the Wii, CBeebies, the need for both parents to work every hour God sends to pay the endless bills, and other stresses and lifestyle options that didn’t exist back in the 70s/80s.
Back then, kids were left to their own devices and spent 8 hours a day playing on an old mattress in the road. She spent her time drinking Mellow Birds and making stew while your Dad’s job easily paid the mortgage - which was about a tenner a month for a 4 bedroom Victorian house. And she wonders why you’re stressed.
‘Kids get everything handed to them on a plate.’
Chances are she says this just as your kid demands everything handed on a plate during dinner. Or after a tantrum over what top to wear. Or some especially despicable whining about putting shoes on. What she really wants to say is that your kid is a spoiled, royal pain in the ass and if it was up to her she would thrash them with a cat o’ nine tails and make them work down a mine, carrying a canary.
‘Are you sure that’s safe?’
Granny means well. Seriously. She doesn’t want you all to die in a fire, or for your faces to appear on the news. But when she visits your house, she immediately turns into Health and Safety Gran, patrolling the plug sockets, checking the stair gates for strength and stability, and testing the locks. No matter that you’re 35 and you’ve managed to keep yourself and your family alive for several years without incident.
‘Oh, don’t be so hard on them – they’re just kids.’
There are 2 types of Granny – tough bad cop granny who wants to instil some morals and values into her grandchildren, and indulgent granny, who will let them away with everything. If you have the latter in your family, they will forever be making you feel like a Victorian schoolmaster, thwarting their innate joyful creativity with your over-the-top discipline. Yes, I WILL SHOUT AT THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE BEHAVING LIKE LITTLE B******S.
‘I’m just going to tidy up a bit.’
Translation – ‘I’m going to deep clean your cutlery drawer, find something particularly nasty behind the cooker, then I’m going to rearrange everything in the fridge so it looks exactly like my fridge and you won’t be able to find anything ever again.’
‘Why don’t you move the sofa over here and then you’ll have more space for X, Y and Z?’
When Granny comes into your house, you can hear the home improvement cogs whirring. Basically, she thinks you live in a suppurating shit tip, and can see a million ways it could be improved, if only anyone had any common sense. Every time she enters a room, she’s moving furniture around in her head and working out better ways to organise your life, like some kind of super judgemental life coach/Kirstie Allsopp. She daren’t do it, though, because she knows she would end up face first in the laundry basket.
‘Are you sure you’re OK? You look a bit tired.’
‘Well, I’ve been up since 6am and I’ve taken them to school and to nursery and to the doctors and I’ve worked a twelve hour shift at the call centre and made the dinner and put them to bed, so I don’t know why I would be tired. Maybe I have an iron deficiency?’
‘Women drink far too much.’
Said just as you sink into the sofa and take your first sip of Pinot after the World’s Worst Day.
‘I don’t remember you being any trouble at all.’
Biology is a wonderful thing, and it essentially makes you forget everything about child rearing so that the human race can continue. So if you ask granny her opinion about the nitty gritty of parenting, like how to deal with tantrums or teething, she won’t have a clue. All she can remember is the good bits. You’d be better off asking Mumsnet instead.
‘I’m only trying to help.’
We know, Granny, we know. But if you REALLY want to help, could you take them over to your house for the weekend and bring them back Sunday night, bathed and in clean pyjamas? Thanks! Love you!