If they’re yummy mummies can I be a yummy grummy?

Lynne's knee

Lynne's knee - Credit: Archant

Am I losing it? Did I ever have it… if I did, where did I put it? writes Lynne Mortimer.

Since, in February, I attempted to demolish a local sports centre with my face, I have been having occasional wooziness. It usually gets me when I look up at the top shelf in the supermarket (not the one with the naughty magazines). I turn my eyes upward and the world starts rotating like a one-armed bandit in an amusement arcade. After a few moments of spinning images, I eventually get three lemons-type symmetry and all is well once more.

I thought I was better, I really did and, feeling absolutely normal, I swept four-and-a-half-month old grandson Wil out of his baby bouncer and up in the air… at which point, my head spun cherries and plums and I knew I was about to fall over. I just managed to place Wil in the bouncer before I went, hitting my titanium knee and my nose. A lens pinged out of my specs.

I felt tears start to my eyes.

Is this it then? Is this what I can expect as I get older? More such “episodes”. Last time I mentioned it to the doctor I was told it could take a while to get better… how long is a while?

Wil was unperturbed. He likes his bouncer except every now and then he touches the toy that plays a jingle and it makes him jump.

Wee George was at nursery school, thank goodness. I’m not sure the likely expert advice of a nearly-three-year-old, eg applying a large toy dinosaur to the injured area, was likely to be helpful.

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Do you remember the kid at school who always had an Elastoplast holding his or her National Health spectacle frames together? After failing to secure my lens, I grabbed a sticking plaster and became that kid.

Today was the first time I had picked George up from school. I set off early as I wasn’t sure of the route. Wil had to be strapped into his baby seat, an exercise requiring the agility of a chimp. I am no chimp... though, well, chimpanzees and I share certain characteristics... random hairs on the chin for one.

Arriving in ridiculously good time, my car was soon surrounded by 4x4s. Slender, fit young mums tucked babies under their arms and sped in to collect their toddlers. I unthreaded Wil from his seat, put him over my shoulder, and went into the classroom, delaying my entrance for as long as possible so the other yummies wouldn’t see my grazed knee, wonky specs and fat ankles.

George was on a mat with classmates listening to a story, while reclining on a teacher.

“George, your grandma’s here,” said a teacher.

He saw me, jumped up and embraced my chubby knees: “Nanma!” he greeted me with joy, failing to spot my grazed knees, wonky specs and fat ankles.

Wondrous things, small children.

In a responsible manner, George collected his back-pack from his peg and we looked in his tray to see if he had done any artwork or modelling to take home. He hadn’t... which was a bit of a surprise because he had a sizeable patch of glue in his hair. He picked up his lunch box from the trolley outside in the corridor and led me back to the car. “Goodbye, Sophie,” he called to a little girl.

I didn’t meet his best friend, Charlie… or at least, it was Charlie the other day. William was his best friend for one day last week when he and Charlie fell out but they were soon reconciled.

In the car I asked about his day. He was unforthcoming. He confirmed only that he had played outside.

“Did you have a story, George?”


“Two stories?”

“Yes. One, two.”

This was as much information as he was prepared to impart. I glanced in the rear view mirror where he was looking sleepy. His dad tells me he must not sleep after midday. Like feeding mogwais after midnight, George, it seems, becomes a gremlin if he sleeps in the afternoon.

I swapped from Classic FM to Radio 1 and after not hearing much about his day considered telling him about mine.

“Guess what grandma did today, George. She fell over and hurt her knee. Silly old grandma.” No.

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