Susan Morrison: My baby boy sprouted like a Leylandii hedge

Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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HE was a remarkable generator of waste product. Seriously, he was. There were times when I wondered if I could barrel that stuff up and ship it to spread on fields, and quite big fields at that.

Since I knew exactly how much there was going in at one end it was a bit of a mystery why quite so much was coming out the other. My only solution was that he was somehow sneaking downstairs for more feed when I was asleep.

He was 17 on Saturday. I can’t remember the last time I was able to pick him up, or sit him on my lap, or spit on a hanky to wipe his face.

He towers above me, and his dad. He seemed to shoot up from a manageable height overnight.

He grew like a Leylandii hedge planted by a particularly vindictive neighbour in the Home Counties. He doesn’t actually seem to know where he ends, so his various limbs have a tendency to connect and destroy random objects. For those things he doesn’t physically banjo, he has a force field just ahead of him that flings stuff off shelves in advance of his approach. Saves time, I guess.

He stopped speaking a few years back, preferring to rely on a sort of whale song. He’s big on vowels, with his favourite phrase being “Where’s ma...?”, most common usage being “Where’s ma school shirt/ jumper/socks?”.

You name it, everything he owns flees and hides of its own volition, except his computing stuff, which he tells me he plays games on. We are not sure. There is enough power up there to command an entire invasion fleet, or the stock control for a medium-sized supermarket chain. Every now and then I am sure I hear a voice like HAL from 2001, and we all know how well that ended.

The battle for the bedroom is unending. The rug beside his bed is where socks go to die. They just lie there, littering up the floor looking like cormorants caught in a terrible oil spill from a stricken tanker, waiting for minor celebrities to come and rescue them and wash them clean whilst doing a piece to camera about how important the environment is, incorporating at least two mentions in about their latest film/record/reality show.

For all this, he is a big lump of lovely lad. He is kind, funny and soft hearted. He plays with his cats, he loves his granny and his big sister.

He is a sweet natured gain for humanity.

17 years ago win was unthinkable

Seventeen years doesn’t seem that much, and yet it’s an ice age ago. The hospital he was born in doesn’t exist. The parliament was opened the year he was born. The United Kingdom looked like the sun would never set on it. Years began with the digits one and nine. There was a Queen Mother. Scottish football was dominated by two teams, one of them called Rangers, who have just been crushed in a cup final by a victorious Hibernian.

Jings, of all the things unthinkable 17 years ago, it was possibly that, so well done to the plucky Hibees, there.

Enjoy your tiny people while you still can

Do yourself a favour if you are close to a tiny person. Pick them up, give them a cuddle, tickle their tummies and make them giggle. Revel in that moment.

You’ll turn around one day and they are the one taking stuff down from the highest shelf for you and fixing your technology because they know how – and you don’t.

Obviously, before sweeping up said tiny person, make sure it is your own tiny person first, and also make sure that it isn’t just person of restricted growth who happens to be passing.

I’ve matured from lazing to laundry

And of course, I am 17 years older, which is something of a shock since my family are not known for their longevity. Morrisons have a tendency to be issued with a short sell-by date, something I pointed out to the GP last week who asked me if dementia ran in the family. Dunno, I said, we usually get round that by pegging out at 50. I laughed, she didn’t.

So I must adjust to the ageing process, or as I like to think of it, delayed maturity. I reached peak grown-up earlier this week when the sun finally came beaming over Scotland.

In my own carefree youth, when the sun was splitting the chuckies, as my dad would have said (what on earth does that even mean?) and it would have been

straight into the garden, book in one hand and Kia Ora in the other and a whole lot of lazy going on.

These days, good weather means I get two loads of laundry out. Result.