She'd be in the kitchen at 6am making our egg and basturma (air-dried cured beef) sandwiches before she waved us off at 6.30am onto the hour-long school bus ride across Cairo. I remember rich spinach flans, crisp potatoes in the pan and waffles filled with icing sugar.
I remember her knee getting infected from washing the parquet floors on all fours. I loved how she let us watch Knots Landing late in the evening with her, looking out all the time for Dad to come home so we'd have enough time to run back to our bedrooms and feign sleep. Mum was always on our side.
This afternoon as Kian helped me shred newspaper in the garden, I wondered what things the boys will say about me. Will they remember that I called them little pickles and little saucepots... When they're older and talking to friends, will they say Mum was always buying bags of crap from the side of the road and you should have seen how ridiculous she was whenever she saw a cockroach... and the way she chased flies around the house with that green swat (didn't we call it a splat?).
Or will they look back fondly and say Mum let us stir and chop in the kitchen, and she always gave us the cake spoon to lick. She said 'goodness gracious me' an awful lot and sometimes she'd yell 'ssshhhhhhh' and say 'sugar'.
There are images I hope will always stay with them. Images of stories read over and over and songs sung over and over at bedtime. Our sushi and a show ritual and squares of dark chocolate in the top cupboard.
Except maybe what will stick is this one thought: Mummy always had better things to do than clean.
What will yours say about you? What are your lovely childhood snippets?