15 things your mother said to you coming up to the Leaving Cert

'I'll just go up and light one more candle'

15 things your mother said to you coming up to the Leaving Cert

Mammies know best when it comes to their offsprings' educational prospects

1. I'll light a candle for you...

The first port of call is the church. Candles have been massaging the figures of Leaving Cert results for years. Tis not the brains we have at all. Your mother will have a path worn to the church during the exams and we all know - we needed all the help we could get. 

2. Will ya ever get off that fecking yolk...

Clearly now doubting the merits of divine intervention, she wants you to put the hours in. This was the standard call when you were on a computer, a phone, PlayStation, tablet or smartphone while you should have been stuck in the books. 'The screens won't do your eyes any good anyway.'

3. Do you want a few grinds...?

Again, the panic is rightly setting into your mother's head now, and she knows a fair few of your classmates are above in Dublin at some specialist grinds course. The offer is made and complete dejection washes over her when you reply with a dismissive, 'Nah, I'll be grand, Ma, honestly.' 

4. I'd stick with the honours...

The snob in your mother wants you to do everything at higher level. Even if you think 'Newton's laws of motion' was a song in the 80s, you're still doing honours Physics. Your mother fears the shame of having to follow her bragging about your grades with the qualifier, 'well that was in pass maths, now.' 

5. Think of the points...

Another plug for sticking with the honours Irish. 'Sure get a C in the honours and you're on the pig's back - sure isn't that the same as an A on the pass paper?' She knows more than you, so you nod along and just drop to pass on the day.

6. Mary said Caoimhe's flying it...

Of course she is! Caoimhe is the stick your mother uses to beat you. She's never missed a day, got 100% in every exam she's ever sat, and is doing two extra subjects for the Leaving. And there's you contemplating ordinary level Irish and taking solace in the fact that you can disregard one subject because they only count the six in the end anyway. 

7. How did you get on in the mocks?

The dreaded question that either falls on deaf ears or is met with a complete lie. You couldn't be telling your mother you got 30% in maths in the mocks. She'd take a heart attack, the poor woman. Say you got on grand and be done with it!

8. Well, your sister got 500 points...

Now this figure jumps about 20 points every time she throws at you. Whether it's meant to spur you on or wreck your head, it simply leaves you resenting your sister for doing so well, even though we all know she got around 350! 'Everybody adds a bit on, sure'.

9. You're not doing a tap...

It's a study week and you're rolling out of bed at lunchtime. The mammy is far from impressed and regularly arrives at the bedroom door to shake her head at you in disgust. 

10. Well getting out of the bed would be a start...

Again, the sly dig as you're taking a nice lie in for yourself. 'You can't study lying in the bed,' she'd say. She's killed trying to puck orange juice and omega this and omega that into you. 'Have it, it's brain food, I'm telling ya!' 

11. You're going to fail it...

She's watched you slouch around the house, grumbling and groaning, and even cleaning the room to avoid the study. She decides to play bad cop for a while in the hope that the fear factor of failing will spark you into action. No such luck. 

12. Over Easter? Do you think I came down in the last shower...?

You assure her with this old chestnut - I've two full weeks over Easter and I'll do six hours a day at it. She's not buying it one bit, and she'd be right too. You know well you're going to be lying up watching all the cartoons you watched as a child wishing for those days back again. 

13. You have my heart broke...

She's getting worn down now as D-Day looms large. Some of the books have been in your locker all over the Easter holidays and she knows that if she burnt the church down with candles, you're still not going to do well. 'He won't get the first choice, anyway, fecking lying in the bed'

14. You'll be grand....

The mammy instincts kick in again as you now start to panic the night before English Paper 1. Your mantra all along that 'you can't really study for Paper 1' is not having its calming effect anymore, but Mammy has now accepted that what will be will be, and just doesn't want you to take a heart attack. 

15. Best of luck now! 

She sees you off at the door on the way out. She's done all she can; pushed you, horsed you out of the bed, pucked vitamins into you, scolded you and even encouraged you a little bit...'I'll just go up and light one more candle.'

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