We’re not X Factor fans in our house. Strictly Come Dancing rules our Saturday and Sunday nights viewing every year. But as Millie gets older, she wants to watch the X Factor because everyone in her class watches it apparently. Everyone!!! She has FOMO.
I fought the good fight this time, but it may be the last year we all watch Saturday night TV together, as a family, in the one room. Sheesh- you can’t stop change- no matter how much you fight it!
But like everyone else, we weren’t immune to the Honey G hype. She of the “When I say Honey, You say G” fame.
Turns out the chant is a sonic ear worm- unforgettable and can be used in lots of different ways, using lots of different names. Even 2 months since the end of X Factor, Millie and Ziggy still sing her signature chant in the car. They say this happens a lot in school; in the school yard, during school swimming lessons, queuing for the toilet at break. You just can’t avoid Honey G- itus! It’s ready to strike, there’s no hiding from it, trust me I’ve tried.
Millie tells me Honey G is “so lucky to be so famous”. Cue my discussion with her about fame for fame’s sake, versus being famous for mastering a craft, a skill, a talent! She says I’m ‘old school’ and she’s going to be a famous gymnastic/singing/primary school teacher/mother/youtuber. A quintuple threat! She has it all figured out.
All I can hear is ‘oldschool’. To counteract this, I drop names of the famous people I know in said categories – just to prove my pop culture prowess. I am not old, I’m current! I’m down with the kids. With the help of my partner in crime, we even made 3 of them. Plus, I work with hundreds of young people. Crazy talk!
And I am on pooooint! Victory dab. My answers are on fleek, just like Cara Delevingne’s eyebrows! See #imdownwitdakidz
Out of nowhere, Millie offered me my final blow. I didn’t even see it coming. She set me up and I just ran with it, with all the gusto of an over eager puppy, hoping for a pat on the head. I think I may have been high from my previous slaying?
My final hurdle;
Millie: Mam, Mam…(puts on Honey G voice) When I say Kylie, you say
Me: (jumping the gun) Minogue
Millie: (confused) Who?
There’s no going back. We both know that.
But, strangely, I’m proud I didn’t give the right answer. I have a fierce loyalty to Ms. Minogue you see – she formed poptastic parts of my childhood. Without her, there’d be no Jason and sure, then where would we have all been in the 80’s in Ballymun? I’d definitely have no giddy memories of going over and over the same dance routine to ‘The Locomotion’, in the basement flats of Shangan with my bestie. Kylie was the musical score to the greatest of summer days and latest of sleepover nights.
Turns out Ms. Jenner is Millie’s Kylie. She of Kardashian fame. She’s part of Millie’s childhood, just like scrunchies and leg warmers were sewn into the fabric of mine.
There you go, you can’t fight change. I’m now a Mam to a soon to be 9 year old girl that thinks I’m really quite nice most of the time, but pretty uncool the vast majority of the time. Just as I thought of my Mam. And that’s how it works. To her I’m beige, but in my head- I’m still hot pink, well…powder pink at least?
Nothing stays the same, but sometimes history has a way of repeating itself. I foresee the day Millie comes to me, slightly crestfallen and bemused with the same realisation my grandchild has about her. And I’ll remember to hug her tight, be kind and remind her she’s still cool, vital and fun – just in a very different way. And hope she sees the true beauty in her journey* and the real privilege that not all mothers are afforded – of watching her wonderful child grow independently and self- assuredly before her very eyes.
*P. S Sorry for dropping the j word. Eeeeek! I know I’m not Oprah, but I just went with it anyway! I promise to use this word only in extreme circumstances from now on. How about that? Deal? Deal.