There is always something special in the relation of a child with his/her mother, maybe pleasant or even repulsive. Sometimes it is undefined and yet felt deeply.
Whenever Harold called his mother, Mrs Bramble would reply referring to herself in the third person; she would say, "Yes, mother will hear you, precious." This jarred upon the child. He felt as if she were addressing a baby, though he was one in reality, instead of a young man of 10 who had taken the spelling and dictation prize last term on his head. It is possible that the child always yearned for some sort of direct connection. An assurance that only a direct reference can prove, a connection that could establish his relation with his mother.