My mother prefers "mum" to "mom", because it's more British. I call her mom, but when I'm writing a note or a card to her, I always address it "Dear Mum". It makes her happy.
My mom has stricter dietary restrictions than I do, but it doesn't seem to bother her much. She was diagnosed with celiac disease when she was very young, back before anyone had an understanding of what caused the disease. For a long time her diet was restricted to plain white rice, skim milk, boiled beef, and mashed bananas. She used to steal coins from her grandmother's changepurse and sneak off to the candy store after school to buy treats. She would get so sick that sometimes she ended up in the hospital, but she still says that it was worth it. Compared to that diet, the choices that she has now seem abundant.
My mom likes her tea STRONG. There's so much tannic acid in the tea she brews that it'll make your tongue curl. She also prefers it very hot, almost straight from the kettle. She's hardcore like that.
Recently my mom and I went shopping at a housewares store that was having a clearance sale. There was a table spread with discounted rubber mats for outside your front door. She spotted one that she thought was cute. It had the word "Hello" in various fonts and languages all over it in raised lettering. She started regretting the fact that she had already bought a new rubber mat for her new house. "Oh, this one is so much nicer! I should have waited! I wish I had this one instead!" "Mom," I said, "check the price." The mat was $13. In my mother's budget $ 13 is not a big deal. "Mom," I said, "just buy it. Donate the other one to charity or just throw it in the garage." She looked at me as though I had just revealed a brand new, shining truth to her. "You know," she said, "if you hadn't said that I never would have thought to buy it. I would have just assumed I had to live with the other mat forever." She bought the mat and is happy with it now.
My mom subscribes to two newspapers and can't stand to recycle them until she's at least flipped through every page of her favourite sections. If she's been busy the newspapers stack up on the counter until the piles are intimidating. She listens to CBC radio all day long, which has constant news updates and talk shows about current events and culture, which are the subjects she's interested in. I have tried to convince her that she doesn't need to read every newspaper in order to keep adequately up to date, but to no avail.
My mom loves her cats so much that she heats up their soft cat food on the stove in the morning. It smells terrible. If I complain she asks me "Would you like to eat an ice cold breakfast on a cold winter morning?"
I was over at my mom's house on Tuesday night. She pulled out a giftwrapped box and said "I found this. I think it's for you." I thought she meant it was a gift from someone for my most recent birthday. It took me a few questions to realize that she found it at the back of a closet when she was packing for her move. She thinks that it's a baby gift for me, from when I was born in 1972. I tear it open and sure enough, she's right. It's a brand-new, never worn onesie, meant for me 39 years ago. As you can see, everyone expected me to be a boy: