For my mum’s 60th birthday, I got her a photo session and photos of her with my kids. The photos are beautiful, although the session was quite hard work as my kids were pretty badly behaved! Fast forward a few years and my mum has a new granddaughter. I thought it would be nice to give her a photo of the four kids together and my sister agreed. This time we would do it the other way round – do the session with the kids in advance and present her with the photo. Even better, a lady I know in the village does photography, so we don’t even have to travel.
Nothing could go wrong.
But I forgot one very important point – MY MUM ALWAYS KNOWS EXACTLY WHERE I AM.
And if it’s me AND my sister going AWOL that’s even more problematic.
Now I don’t want you to get the impression that my mum is a stalker. Because she isn’t. But she always knows what our plans are for the day and she often pops round. If she popped round and found us not at home she would phone me. Or maybe, if the weather was nice, go for a little walk hoping she’d bump into us – knowing the places we go.
The other point I forgot was that a photo session isn’t one visit. It turned into FIVE. That’s an awful lot of lies to tell.
On the day before the photo I popped round to see the photographer to discuss plans – it was easier than doing it while trying to keep a baby smiling for her photos. But my mum wanted us to go round to our house. We had a lie prepared – we’d say my son had promised he’d see his friend at 3pm. This was when we were just about to put our house on the marketMy mum said she would pop round shortly to trim the tree out the front to make the house look better.
We managed to go to the photographer’s house before she got round, but how rude did we look? We knew she was coming round and we’d gone out. My phone kept ringing. Then my sister texted me – my mum had rung her. My sister told her we’d ‘probably gone to Sainsburys’. My car was still on the drive, so we’d obviously walked to Sainsburys. Which we do sometimes. But did I mention it was about 32 degrees?
As we headed for home, I saw my mum and dad walking in the distance. So we hid.
Then I rang my mum and told her the kids had wanted some meat for tea and we’d walked to Sainsburys and what a stupid idea that was in that ridiculous heat. It was possibly the worst lie anyone had told in the history of the world. Ever.
And let’s not forget I have my three kids with me. And I tell them they must never lie.
The next day was photo day. We’d already used up our excuse. Sainsburys is a good excuse – because we could conceivably walk there, but my mum would be unlikely to find us there. If we said we’d been on our usual walk when we hadn’t, she may well have gone out looking for us and known we were lying.
The photo passed without a hitch.
My phone rang on ‘choosing day’ and I ignored it.
Finalising the layout of the photo also passed without a hitch.
Then the final hurdle… picking up day.
I asked my sister if she wanted to go with me to pick up the photo. She thought she might, but then texted me 20 minutes beforehand to tell me she was with my mum and dad. As the photographer wrapped the photo, my sister texted again – don’t go into the road as my mum and dad are there (my sister lives very close to the photographer). I was just about to leave when I got another text – my mum and dad have just left my sister’s house.
I hid behind the hedge at the photographer’s house with this rather conspicuous package under my arm. I was never going to lie my way round that one.
In all likelihood, my mum would leave my sister’s and pop round to mine. If I wasn’t there, she might pop round later. What if that was when we arrive home with the photo?!
There was only one safe place – my sister’s house. We ditched the photo there and went home.
Next year I’ll just get her an M&S voucher.