Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Help! I'm turning into my mother!

I think it is probably some time in your 50s when you realize you are radically changing from the wife and mother you were very comfortable as. To my horror, I am already the same SHAPE as my mother, and now I find I am starting to behave like her more and more!

When I am bored and waiting for something to load on this computer (which is very slow), I play a game of Spider Solitaire. Now, today, it suddenly occurred to me that mum used to play Solitaire all the time, with ordinary playing cards, at the dining table. When she finished one game she would start another. I am just the same! Sometimes she would play it clock fashion (is there a name for that?) but mostly in a line of 7 cards in a decreasing row.

I have started feeding some of the cats (who have special foibles) off the floor. Ban, for instance, is currently eating and sleeping on top of our tall larder fridge, so she eats very high up. Until recently she got fed on top of the cooker. She is a cat who keeps changing her sleeping/eating places every couple of weeks, so I indulge her. Lucy, who has one eye, is always wary of the other cats at mealtimes and so she gets fed on the dresser. Lucky, who is very elderly now, has her favourite food on demand. My offspring get cross and say ALL cats should be fed on the floor. This "pandering" is something my mum would have done as in later years, her pets always came first (in front of ME, that's for certain!)

Then last weekend I had a sudden yearning to do a big jigsaw. Typically, I had gotten rid of most of our jigsaw puzzles this summer, in the move to downsize. At a car boot sale, I noticed several stalls selling jigsaws, and for 50p I brought home a 1000 piece jigsaw of, predictably, a thatched cottage and lovely garden. Just the sort of picture my mum would have chosen, though she never did a puzzle bigger than 500 pieces. I have set it up on the table down in her flat, and as I was getting it started, I remembered my mum doing puzzles in the winter, carefully setting out the edge pieces and then turning all the middle pieces over so you could see the printed side, and going for something obviously coloured to start off with. It was strangely comforting to be history repeating itself . . .


  1. I'm almost the shape of my Granny!!!

  2. "All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his". ~Oscar Wilde
    And not only in their ways, my Mum and I have birthdays 2 days apart, every year we have our photo taken and we look more alike with each year that passes!

  3. This resonates; I wish I was becoming more like my beloved mother (or had become, as I have outlived the age when she died). To my horror, I see myself becoming more like my father whom I have to admit to my shame that I hated. Not in looks, but in occasional and increasing irritability. The one mother/daughter thing I do remember is that just before my wedding day, my mother sent me to have my hair done by 'her' hairdresser; and I came out with Mummy's hairstyle and not what I had envisaged and was so cross and embarrassed.

  4. I don't look much like my mother. My coloring is that of my French Canadian paternal family. I daresay I look like my Dad's Mother as much as anyone. [I do have more teeth and do get professional haircuts.]
    I catch myself sounding like my Mother did--a tone of [dsapproving] voice--could it be called querulous?
    As to cats eating on the floor--we've always had a cat or two that needed special attention and that has usually meant a safe place to eat their dollop of canned food without being jostled by those who gobble.
    I suppose that most people would not want to share a meal with us as J's cat, Raisin, has been allowed to sit on the end of the table while we eat. [Sigh.] What can I say?

  5. What a thought provoking topic. I indeed came to the same realization last month that I am my mothers daughter with each passing day. I am 52. Nice to know I am not alone.

  6. It's inevitable. I look like my grandmother and sound like my mother! By the way, we used to call it Clock Patience.

  7. Chris - Clock Patience - that's it . . . A trip down Memory Lane indeed.

    Carol - I fought against it, but nature is playing all her cards now!

    MM - I don't feel quite so eccentric now!

    WSC - I would rather become my father (who I adored) than my mum - as we fought like cat and dog. I have my dad's brain and my mum's shape and habits - and walk too, apparently.

    Al - my g. granny on mum's side was rather rotund - I am fighting it!

    Kath - that was the quote I mis-remembered. I don't think you have any problems. Let us be grateful we aren't Madonna's daughter . . .

  8. Oh yes.....something I realise with a jolt as I catch sight of my/her face in a passing mirror.

    Something I realise as I sit contentedly in the evening , knitting something for my grandaughter, using a pattern from her knitting book.

    Despite terrible losses in the war, my mother had a good and busy life. She had learned to make the best of every day and that is something I hope she has passed on to me.

    As for the cats...... if mine don`t eat "on the top" then the dogs will steal every scrap.....

  9. It is inevitable isn't? I thought that as I was happily singing recently and my children begged me to stop (I used to do the same to my mother - children are heartless!) Itsy sends you a big hug.

  10. On an old American tv show, Alice, one of the characters, Flo, says, "Last night I looked down and you know what I saw? My Mother's hands! I loved my Mother, but from time to time I find myself displaying some of her less than pleasing traits--a touch of negativity-, but in thinking I think I'm becoming more like my Dad and that really surprises me.


  11. Cheer up BB - it happens to us all!

    I am a jig saw freak in winter too - just bought a 1000 piece one in the Rijksmuseum - think it will take us the whole winter!

  12. Beautiful post. I'm the youngest of four daughters born when my sisters were 18, 15, and 11. My sisters tell me that I've inherited Mama's love of "creating" and I think maybe it's so.

    By the way, my "Thinking About It" blog is now "My Southern Heart" and it's at: ;-) And you're on my blogroll there!