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Opinion: Have I turned into my mother? Stage an intervention if I buy a wolf fleece

PUBLISHED: 07:46 18 March 2019

You've got 32 years left before you start being exactly like her, kid (C) Getty Images

You've got 32 years left before you start being exactly like her, kid (C) Getty Images

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Are you turning into your mother (or your father)? A new survey reveals the age when you can expect to start behaving like your Mum or Dad and what the tell-tale signs are that you're already halfway there

According to new research, women start to turn into their mothers at the age of 33 – a year earlier than men begin to turn into their fathers.

Women surveyed by a Harley Street plastic surgeon (who presumably offers a service which means that if you are literally beginning to turn into a parent you can have those bits cut off, or sculpted) said the signs they were behaving like their mothers involved watching the same TV shows as them, taking up the same hobbies and using the same expressions: sometimes when they open their mouths, their mother comes out.

So the danger signs for me will involve the Yorkshire vet, doing crosswords and swearing with newfound creativity: sounds achieveable.

Research by neurosicentists has revealed that hereditary genetic ties, specifically the genes which control the brain function which affects emotions and mental health, are closest between mother and daughter, as opposed to other family links such as mother and son and father and son.

While my mother and I are different in so many ways (her general knowledge puts mine to shame, she can spell better than I can, she can make bread and I can’t, I am a laundry master, she isn’t, she is pathologically untidy and I’m not, she eats meat and fish, I don’t, she can procrastinate at Olympic standard, I live by ‘to do’ lists, don’t even get me started on Brexit) there are signs that I am beginning to take on some of her traits. She’s a formidable woman, so I can’t be too worried: on the other hand, if I buy a wolf fleece, I’m counting on you to stage an intervention, pronto.

Ways in which I’m turning into my mother

1) Lots of things make me cry: TV shows, TV commercials, videos on Facebook, films, books, news stories, my children, my mother, any relative, kindness, human frailty, social justice, social injustice, suffering, kittens, nice views. This is relatively new. It used to feel as if I was carved of granite.

2) I keep everything in the world in my bag: Need an anti-histamine tablet? I have one. Plasters? Yes. Scissors? Got them. Tissues? Notebooks? Pens? Small pots of nuts? Six difference shades of lipstick? Hand sanitiser? A magic eraser? A non-magic eraser? A stone with a hole in it? A book? A bookmark? Hair spray? Vitamins? Chewing gum? All these things are in my bag. I used to go out with my cash card, my phone and one key.

3) I insist people text me “when you’re home and safe”: This extends to my children, visitors driving home, my children’s visitors, family who have been on a car journey – I am a stage away from asking the Tesco delivery drivers to WhatsApp me when they’ve got home after their shift.

4) I get drunk ridiculously quickly: By which I mean that I can definitely feel the effect of just one glass of wine. Two glasses and I’m unsteady. Three and I’m in A&E.

5) No one is ever hungry at my house: The second someone passes the threshold I offer them food. I spend my life asking my children if they are hungry: “Would you like a snack with your dinner?”

6) I feel compelled, if I see someone deliberately drop litter, to say: “Excuse me, I think you’ve dropped something.” And I also say, passively aggressively, “you’re welcome” when I open a door for someone who doesn’t say thank you. Oh, and I now send thank you cards (and OWN thank you cards).

7) I use a tablecloth: I have tablecloths “for best”, too.

8) I shout “fewer” (sometimes under my breath) if people use “less than” when discussing countable things.

9) Before they leave the house I interrogate people: Do you need a coat? Have you got your key? Do you need the toilet? ARE YOU HUNGRY?

10) I have mastered *that* look: You know the one: “I’m not angry. I’m disappointed.” To this day, my mother’s withering ‘disappointed face’ fills me with terror – I am so glad to have inherited it. I hope to hand it down to my children, in time.

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