Thursday 3 May 2007


"Hi Mum, I'm ringing because I've got a note here reminding me that your MOT runs out in 5 days."
[laboured breathing]
"Mum, it's alright, calm down.. there's nothing to panic about."
"I've renewed it already... I've done it a couple of times over the past few years"
"Mum.. we need to renew it EVERY year. I always ring to remind you and help you through it. Now we need to find your MOT certificate from last year. It's in your desk, in the folder that has all your car stuff in it - your insurance, your license, your tax... Can you find that for me, and give me a call back when you've got it out?"

I wait for about 5 minutes. When I try to call again, Mum's phone is engaged

A minute later I try again:
"Hi Mum... Have you found the documents yet?"
"I tried a minute ago and you were engaged."
"Yes, er....I rang the garage."
"Why did you do that?"
"I wanted to know... to tell them that I... needed... did they have all my.."
"Mum, I just wanted you to find your MOT certificate."
"Oh! I'll have to open the drawer in my desk"
"Well, you said you were going to do that 5 minutes ago and you didn't - you rang the garage instead! Can you please go and get the car stuff out of the desk and ring me back"

Meantime, I ring the garage to learn that Mum rang in a very confused state, talking about her insurance. As usual, she was handed over to "Cheryl", who is the "Mum" specialist. Cheryl was on the phone and would ring me back. I decided to check on Mum.

"Hi, Mum. Have you found the car documents in the desk?"
"Yes, and I've found the [reads].....DVLA... er... Government Department...."
"Mum, do you know what you're looking for?"
"My license? insurance?"
"No, Mum, your MOT certificate..."
"Well, I'd better put the phone down [click]"

repeat last exchange two more times and then give up...

This one ended with Mum's preferred coup-de-grace these days: "I suppose you want to put me in a home!" This is her last resort since the big fight with P last month. I find it extremely upsetting when she accuses me of this, given the amount of time I have to take (whole days) to sort out things for her over the phone whenever she gets into scrapes. I keep telling her that I'm taking on all this so that she can keep living as she wants to, but she still chooses to slice into me with that accusation. If that's the way she feels, maybe I should stop wasting my time, stop caring and go travelling.