There's the rest of today, all of tomorrow and all of Saturday. That's a little over two days to brace yourself and exercise your mental defences. When the clock strikes midnight and it officially becomes Sunday 26th March... that's it. It's going to be Mother's Day.
Aren't mums lovely? That special lady who brought you into the world and looked after you, stayed up all night worrying and watching over you when you were just a wee bairn and suffering from the worst case of chicken pox known to man, the doctors said you might not pull through but she was there with the cold flannel and plain old maternal determination that you would recover and go on to make her proud etc etc. She's coming to visit and will be spending the day with you. She will expect to be pampered and spoiled, as a token of appreciation for all the unique and wonderful things that mothers do. She's going to arrive in London first thing in the morning. What are you going to do?
Food and Drink
You've got your pick of top hotels like the Lanesborough, Dorchester, the Ritz and so on for a fancy afternoon tea which is an excellent, small-scale sample of the high life in London. But rather than something as static as a cakestand and a pot of Earl Grey, why not take your ma on a tour of the food halls of London's finest big stores? Start with Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, then... saving the best for last... Fortnum and Masons. If you've both got the stomach and the stamina, it could be a very rewarding way to use your One Day Travelcard.
Kew Gardens is always an excellent day out for Mother's Day; the glasshouses and the pretty tea shops combine to create a real winner for the outdoorsy type mother of today. Also consider Regent's Park (Rose Garden, lots of flower beds), Kensington Gardens (Kensington Palace and the Albert Memorial), Greenwich Park (Royal Observatory and fantastic views of London) or St James Park (Buckingham Palace and West End very close by). If you're wrapped up warm and wearing comfortable shoes (and only if it's not raining), a tour of London markets could be fun. Portobello, Borough, Covent Garden, and the nice bit of Camden Market would give you a relatively safe and pleasant day out either in combination (a bit much but depends on the mother involved) or individually. For the more ethnically minded and more adventurous mother, try Brixton, Brick Lane, Spitalfields and / or Shepherds Bush markets - but only if you can guarantee that the woman who gave you life would find cow's hooves, halal mutton, emo-Goth eyebrow piercing jewellery and big boxes of mangoes interesting, not disturbing.
Arts and Culture
For the mother who likes a bit of costume drama and manor house grandeur, there's Kenwood House situated in appropriately posh Hampstead, or the Wallace Collection not far from John Lewis on Oxford Street to charm her socks off. The V & A is a perennial favourite for mums or any of the major London museums and galleries: the British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern etc. (all of which have excellent cafes attached...) Remember to take notes of anything she particularly likes as you go around the exhibitions and pick up the postcard / mug / keyring bearing that item from the shop afterwards. You might get a sticky bun and a pat on the head for that, which is kind of the best you can hope for on Mother's Day, really.
If your mum likes shopping and a bit of the high life (and if your wallet feels up to it), a good day out at any major London department store with a special challenge could do the trick. Go to Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols or Liberty, Debenhams or House of Fraser and go straight to the top floor. Work your way down through the building, challenging your mam to find something she likes on each level. Then buy each of those items. Now that's spoiling her.
Whatever you do for Mother's Day, you MUST remember these five essential things:
1. Wear a vest
2. Tuck in your shirt
3. Stand up straight
4. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all
5. You can never do anything right, and your mother is never wrong