Friday, 4 January 2008

Pregnant pause and teenage patois

Still no baby. Janey spent an uncomfortable and tearful Wednesday night and is now, Friday morning, seriously considering ringing the hospital to see if she could be “introduced”. Darren manhandled her into the hallway at ten to eight yesterday and draped her over the banister rail. I thought this to be a little callous and told him so but apparently this was the only position that Janey – for a while at least - felt comfortable in. She hung, stretching her back out and making groaning noises. Like a baritone bat.

“I could just turn up at the hospital and say I’m in labour and then they’ll just keep me in” she said hopefully as I dragged a chair into the hall so I could keep her company. Mac thought this was great fun and announced that he was going to make a “tent” under the stairs. “Won’t work, they’ll see you’re nowhere near labour and turf you out again” I told her, supplying my son with bedsheets, clothes horse and blu-tack. “Callous bastards” she said.

Yesterday passed very slowly. Katie (my erstwhile friend who only every really calls on me if she need something) rang to ask if she could borrow the car on Saturday to go to IKEA “to pick up some furniture in the sale”. Although I should be pleased she’s stopped living in almost-squalor in Rotherhithe (she used an upturned crate for a coffee table), I was less pleased that she wanted to purloin our car and load it up with flatpack furniture. You can bet your boots that she’d show no concern for the suspension.

David got home early, just before Darren appeared – the former apologising for the telephonic mix up of the previous day. Janey was reluctant to accept his grovelling and snapped “Listen, if you can get this baby out of me then you’re forgiven. Until you can do that you’re of no use to me at all.” The parents-to-be left shortly afterwards, Janey informing me she’d be back at the same time in the morning. Deep joy.

Freed from my shackles, Mac and I headed off to Surrey Quays for some retail therapy, me quite giddy at my freedom and Mac on the promise of a Burger King Happy Meal. We’re easily pleased. We mooched around BhS, skulked in Superdrug and meandered around the Body Shop. Suitably buoyed up by my “ave-we-gorn-raving-mad” price reduction purchases I realised that I’d spent twenty quid on stuff that would usually cost more than double that. So I bought David a shirt as well.

Whilst eating in the Burger King open plan area (and watching the estate agents do their stuff through their floor to ceiling windows) we were joined, at the next table, by three anaemic looking teenagers. The boys were dressed in silver grey tracksuits that hung around their crotch and trainers the size of tanks. One had a nose stud and a rather fetching black anorak half on half off his shoulders. The young lady was dressed in cystitis inducing tight jeans, wholly inadequate shoes for the weather, a voile shirt and bum freezer black denim jacket with her hair in a pseudo Amy Winehouse beehive.

I suddenly felt ancient.

I felt even older when they started talking. I couldn’t understand a word of it. I could hear them, being just four feet away from them, but it was a whole other language. Their conversation was peppered with phrases such as “yahknahwhattahmean?” and “isit me bruvverfromanuvvermuvver, isit?”. Then all three guffawed loudly. More baffling conversation followed. Those bits that I actually understood included “this is me ‘nah that ain’t right’ and then this is him “yeah it’s right innit’ and this is me ‘don’t vex me’ and then this is him “I’ll vex yah right up innit’ and then this is me……” on and on ad infinitum.

I pulled out a pen and started making notes on my napkin. The young lady just sat throughout this entire debate and, apart from guffawing loudly, made no contribution other than to look pretty and to check her phone for texts constantly. Then both boys turned their attention to her and suddenly we were in the playground again, you know, when the boy you fancied at primary school would pull your pigtails as a mark of his affection.

More conversation with her loud pleas of “Shuddup innit!” being the only thing that I could make out as they quite obviously enjoyed winding her up. Then “That rude boy Marcus is drooling for me Maria” from the anoraked youth. Maria, for it was undoubtedly she, took umbrage at this and started off on flurry of “leave it man, leave it, he’s just a mate innit, leave it nahyeah?”. I’d covered three napkins with this and Mac was showing more than a little interest. A ketchup covered chip had been hovering near his mouth for the past two minutes and hadn’t reached its destination. Maria stomped off at this point and both boys skulked after her after a suitable period of “way too sensitive man” being bellowed across the concourse after her. “Mummy, who were they?” my boy asked me breathlessly. Mac is under the impression that I know everyone.

Is this how young people (can you hear me mother?) talk these days? Where are the manners, the not slouching over a table, the not chewing gum with your mouth open? I looked at my precious child and suddenly saw him in thirteen years time lounging at a Burger King table joining all his words together and not pausing for air as he regurgitated some strange patois at his youthful friends. I tell you, it put me right off my Whopper.

On the way home I held a gentle discussion about the need to talk properly because it’s only right that you show people respect and that by disrespecting other people, you disrespect yourself. I think it was a tad too heavy (once I’d explained what disrespecting meant) because when we got home and showed David his new shirt he examined it closely and said “thanks darling but there’s no hole for my cufflinks” Mac demanded “are you disrepectsing my mummy?”


Potty Mummy said...

I think you'll find that's 'disrespec'. But otherwise, Max was pretty spot on...

Potty Mummy said...

Sorry - I meant Mac. Obviously.

Omega Mum said...

Very amusing. On that basis, though, I've been disrespecting everyone for years. Innit?

Mya said...

Ha ha! Your boy is just like mine -assuming I know everybody.It can be a tad embarrassing sometimes, little boys, big voices, you know the sort of thing.

Mya x

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Potty Mummy - it was highly amusing!

OM - I suspect so have I!

Mya - little boys, big voices and insistent questions.....not a good combo

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.