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The Mom can drop real clangers when you’re not looking. You can be having a perfectly normal (for our lot) conversation about something super random, like, say, what the turkey who flies coach is thinking when she’s looking out the window, and then as that topic nears its logical conclusion, she’ll bust out some little gem she’s been keeping to herself. And you never really know if she thinks it’s a good or bad thing until several moments later.

Take a recent moment. We must’ve been talking about my weight – hilariously for someone who is on a good day an average weight, I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about how much I weigh, my fear is of course that I’ll start to lose weight again – really fast because of a Crohn’s flare – anyhow, I believe I was bragging about my little pot belly coming back. I may have been gloating. I’ll just leave that there.

Anyhow, so The Mom pipes up: “I weigh 90lbs!”

Me: “You what?”

The Mom (slightly embarrassed, but also gleeful like a kid that’s just got away with something): “I know!”

Me: “No smiling. Why are we having funny ha-ha smiling face? 90lbs is not good.”

The Mom (assuming a tone of authority on the matter): “It’s fine. I’ve always been small.”

Me: “The 6-year-old across the street weighs more than you. I don’t even think you weigh enough to be in the front seat. Remember how we made L’il Sis ride in the back when we were in high school? That wasn’t just us being horrible, she didn’t legally weigh enough to go in the front.”

The Mom: “Well, I have to go in the front otherwise we’re not going anywhere. I am the driver!”

Me: “Yes, well, that remains to be seen. You have to eat more food.”

The Mom: “I eat plenty!”

Me: “Wine and popcorn don’t actually count.”

The Mom: “I eat tons of fresh veggies and good lean meats.”

“Well eat some bloody carbohydrates then.”

The Mom: “I do!”

At this point I just scowl into my laptop camera. I don’t need to say the words.

The Mom: “After my pre-diabetes scare, I cut down on the bad carbs. I eat one slice of sturdy German bread in the morning, a half a slice with lunch, and I have a half a potato with dinner.”

Me: “I think you can do better than that.”

The Mom: “And get diabetes!”

Me: “Well, with no meat on your bones, you could fall and break a hip. And then what? Stay in hospital? You’ll be dead from MRSA by morning. Or worse still, one of us will have to come look after you. You don’t want that, do you? Hop, skip, and a jump to The Home from there I should think.”

The Mom: “I can’t gain weight. You know this! I am tiny! There is nothing I can do about it!”

Me: “Remember your friend who tried to help me after the Crohn’s flare and I had to gain ten pounds? What did she say? Milkshake at dinner.”

The Mom: “I will certainly not be drinking a glass of milk. Disgusting.”

Me: “Potato chips, more ice cream. Watch a dieting show and eat whatever they’re eating!”

The Mom scowled at me, but I was not about to be chastened. For my entire life she’d been telling me what to eat, how to take care of myself, and there she was, completely unwilling to even make an effort.

But I have three weeks at home in August, and we’re going to be doing some eating whilst I’m there. My pot belly and I are up for it. And to ensure I don’t buckle and weaken in my resolve, I gave her the ultimate threat. I said if she didn’t work harder that I was going to tell the other two.

Because I’m kind of the one The Mom does stupid things with. We both enjoy it, and I’d say it keeps us out of trouble, but quite frankly it’s mostly about getting into trouble. L’il Sis and Crazy D are miles more sensible than I am, and I’m worse with The Mom around to egg me on.

If you really want to lay down the law in our family, you get L’il Sis or Crazy D on it. If you want to have a hilarious afternoon that gets put in a book, you hang out with The Mom and I of an afternoon.

When I told her she gasped.

“You wouldn’t,” she said.

I narrowed my eyes.

“Try me,” I said.

I shall report back on her progress when I’m home in August.