So I thought I'd be feeling a bit emotional sending my son off on his school trip but the hour that I did see him this morning between 5.45 and 6.45 all he did was moan! Everything I'd packed was wrong, his jeans had shrunk, his t-shirt was too big, he didn't want to take sandwiches, he would die without a bottle of Lucozade. I bit my lip. He unpacked and re-packed and it took a good 10 minutes persuading him that yes he did need to take a towel because yes he was expected to have a wash at some point during the 3 days away. He tested my patience but I just about manged to stay calm. As he got out the car at the school he said to me "you're a very angry person", as he practically skipped to catch up with his friends...
In approx. four years time my child could be leaving home, he may no longer sleep here every night and I may no longer see him every day. When people ask if I would ever have more children I say why would I start again? The sooner it gets to the time when I will be child free the sillier having another child seems. In four years I could be free. I could go anywhere, do anything. Only four years; its like a countdown...
My son is on a school trip for 3 days next week and I have reluctantly agreed to let him stay over at not one but two sleep overs this weekend. I don't want him to. At first I refused. He acted like his life depending on attending both sleepovers. He told me he'd been revising really hard and after his exam he thought he deserved it. He was right. I thought that he deserved it too but I didn't say this because I didn't want him to go. I didn't want him to go because I wanted him to say with me. I didn't want to not see him for 5 nights out of one week. But I couldn't say this either. I couldn't tell him I wanted him to stay cos I'd miss him. I want him to be independent, not worry about him mum sitting at home feeling lonely. I could go out but I don't feel like it. I miss my boy and he's not even gone anywhere yet. Oh god, what am I gonna be like when he leaves home? If I can't cope with 5 days how will I cope with forever? How will I not be embarrassingly clingy and desperate? I don't want to be free any more. I want my baby here and I don't want another baby, I want MY baby, the baby I've grown up with for the last 14 years, here with me forever!!
Ok, I have approx. four years to deal with this before I ruin my son's life and any potential he has to be a well-rounded normal human being! Maybe I'll feel more stable when I'm off my period....
Mint Chocolate Baileys, my son actually doing revision, a hoovered car at last, cooking a meal that my boyf actually liked for once (although he did still complain that the potatoes weren't cooked), Mint Chocolate Baileys, my son secretly actually enjoying doing revision, the fact that I also secretly enjoyed helping my son with revision, Mint Chocolate Baileys, deleting sex pests on facebook, Mint Baileys, catching a glimpse of my lillies in the kitchen as I go up to bed reminding me that it's the little things that make you happy.
My son is reading a poem called by The British by Benjamin Zapheniah to be filmed and shown at our local theatre next week. It's a poem about diversity and equality.
I love where we live because of it's diversity. I love the school my son attends because of it's diversity. 'What year did racism end?' my son once asked me. Since he was a baby strangers would come up and say how beautiful he is, teenage boys would say that they wanted their baby to look like him, his stunning blue eyes are a constant source of amazement, from around age 6 groups of black boys would nod at him as they passed, his paler sister looks at him with envy...
But it's my job to also let him know he's intelligent, talented and can do anything he wants if he works hard at it. English has never been his strongest subject. Like me he has little patience for rules that don't always appear to follow logic. But being picked to read this poem which will be shown to hundreds of people has sparked a new interest and confidence and pride that I hope continues.
The boyf's BFF has just split up with his girlf. They've lived together for a while and she has two kids from a previous relationship, who are now teenagers. Apparently he's left cos she wouldn't back him up when he tried to set rules for kids.
"Is he gonna still see the kids?" I asked they boyf.
"Nah, they never really liked him anyway," was his reply.
There are so many things I want to say I don't know where to start. With (unofficial) step families I guess things are always less certain. It's hard to forget that sometimes. I don't think my boyfs about to walk out on us or anything. He's not a complete fool-despite all the crap I give him he knows he's on to a good thing! I do sometimes wonder what would happen if I wasn't here though, how strong their bond would be...
Sometimes it's like having two kids the way they bicker. I often get called in to resolve pointless disagreements. And then he has the nerve to suggest to me that I'm too soft because I treated my son to a bit of retail therapy after his stressful guitar exam this weekend, like I can't decide for myself when to treat my own child (even if I did get a bit carried away)! Often I wonder if this is how step families are meant to be!
So today I asked if my son would feel more or less (I didn't want to influence the response) secure if me and D (the boyf) were married.
"Less" he said straight away, "it would be like Chandler in Friends"
"Huh? You're worried about having a transvestite as a father?"
He gave me that look that means I've said something inappropriate and out of context - I get it a lot these days.
"No, like Chandler only wanted to have an affair when he was scared of the commitment of marriage"- Oh right, I'm proud that my son hasn't been indoctrinated by the Tories vision of the perfect family, even if his main point of reference is Chandler from Friends.
Anyway, we somehow got onto the subject of what would happen if I died.
"I'd want to stay with D" my son said straight away.
Then D started pestering me again that I needed to get something sorted out that meant he would have responsibility if, y'know, anything were to happen. I know, I know. Or maybe I didn't know. They then started planning their lives together after my death....
"We'd have a better quality of life cos there'd be no mortgage to pay...", my son worked out.
"...So we'd have more to pay for strippers and dirty movies and lottery tickets" D added.
Even though I should have been offended (especially the lottery thing-D knows how much that winds me up) it's nice to hear that after almost 9 years they don't just tolerate each other cos they have to. It made me smile inside.
"I wouldn't want to live with anyone else," my son reiterated "...cos then I'd lose my x-box live and I'd have to level up again..."
Today I turned 31 so really this blog title is now a lie. I guess that means I should stop but I'm slightly concerned about ending this blogging lark with a post about the psychological damage I do to my son. I'm not quite sure how I would like it to end but I'm thinking I may continue just until my son is 14 next month and hopefully by then I can try and sneak in a few responsible posts without it looking like my blogs been sabotaged by a proper grown up!
Anyway, turning 31 is a bit depressing. The day has been spent on a shitty what-bollox-can-I-learn-about myself course where, during a 'challenge', I accused the course leader of playing mind games and tricking us all, to the point where every time he tried to speak I shouted "Don't listen to him-he's lying. He's trying to cause conflict," only to realize later that it wasn't a trick. We were just crap at the challenge. It was kinda embarrassing. I really don't know what came over me. What have a learnt about myself? That I watch too much Big Brother maybe.....
Anyway I'm gonna try and put today behind me. Tomorrow I will be super grown up and mature and sensible.....
I do make myself laugh sometimes*... Y'know the advert where the mum has the tantrum in the supermarket? Today I tried out the teenage equivalent. As me and the son were walking to Subway (get over it-I work full time and cooking is just plain boring:FACT) he started his usual 'do you have to walk with me' whinging. So before he could get into full swing and declare me the most embarrassing person in the universe I got in there first and suggested that he walked a good distance in front of me so people wouldn't know we were together. When he crossed the road assuming I would follow, I chose not to. I hid my face with my hand and pretended I didn't know him.
"Mum! Mum!" he called.
"Ssssshh," I hissed, "I don't know you".
"MUUUUMM!!!" he shouts "Stop it!!".
"But you're embarrassing" I hissed again, now walking at a quicker pace as he attempts to keep up with me.
He couldn't work out how to deal with this.....like I think it actually made his head hurt. It was just like the advert!
I eventually stopped, before the guilt kicked in, and we walked all the way there and back together chatting and laughing and he didn't once ask me to walk in front of him!
*The boyf keeps reminding me we wont be laughing when we're paying for the therapy to undo all the damage we've done!
So, one of my best friends, Nat Pat Fat Cat, has just found out she's preggers. About 5 weeks ago she posted on facebook: "I've just done something I may regret in 9 months time...."
No one was quite sure how seriously to take this.
The next status update was that she felt sick but blamed it on eating a mars bar followed by an omelet.
Then a few weeks later she posted on my wall that she had been 'impregnated' and she was coming up to visit me! How exciting!!
So we met for lunch. Having been a mother for 13 years now she rightly thought I would have some wise words for her, parenting tips, do's and dont's, what you need to buy and what you dont, etc, etc....
I was in my element.
She looked bored.
Eventually she said what was really on her mind, the real reason she'd chosen to ask my advice; "The thing is I'm really scared of... y'know....not being me any more, y'know, like I just really don't want to be MUMSY.....I mean how do you manage to not be mumsy?'
So, apparently, it turns out that I am the only 'non-mumsy mum' she knows. This is what she wanted my advice on. This is my greatest success. Whenever she stresses about becoming mumsy to her boyf he always remind her of me - the one (and only) non-mumsy mum they know.
I didn't know how to take this....I know she meant it as a compliment but I can't help but see it a personal failing, like a missed transitional period where I was meant to go from self obsessed teen to mother-earth-with-a-pinny-and-wide-hips-mumsy. I mean, I've been doing this mothering gig for long enough now that I'd kinda hoped some mumsy-ness would show through.
"MY NAMES MUM!!" I shout at my son when he calls me by my first name. But maybe its not him I'm trying to convince! Even after 13 years of signing myself off as 'Mum' in cards and texts, I still feel a bit like an impostor when I look at it!
Someone today said I looked like Avril Lavigne, bloody Avril Lavigne for gods sake, what is she, like 12?!!?? Admittedly I was aiming for the early 90's grunge look after some unconfident hairdresser went and gave me a 'Rachel cut' and I wasn't quite sure which way to go with it but at 30 I should probably be aiming to at least look like an adult. Not just an adult, I wanna be MUMSY GODDAM IT!!!
....Cos I know the second Nat Pat Fat Cat produces this little human she is gonna be so so mumsy and she won't even care.....in fact she'll love it-I know she will-I've seen it happen so many times! And I'll be left looking like my son's big sister trying to be bloody Avril Lavigne!
Ok, I've always had like a feeling that my cat thinks it's human. Like, if I lived with a family of cats, I'd probably think I was a cat too so it makes sense. Anyway, I often have conversations with the cat that go like this:
'look I don't understand what you're saying-what does that mean?'
'ok, now if you want to communicate you have to use proper words, I think you're just being lazy'
'nope, keep trying'
Then she will mope off in a huff...
Anyway this morning I was on gogglemaps and the cat was being annoying cos she wanted feeding and she kept walking over the keyboard and shit and then suddenly this appeared on the screen:
Like my cat actually typed it .....
My cat said "oiiiiiiiiiiii" to me.....My cat communicated with words!!!
OMG I knew it-I looked at her and she was staring back at me smuggly as if to say 'happy now?'
OMG I opened up a pages doc thinking we could maybe get a conversation going.
'mmmmmmmmm' she typed
Oh right yeah food... Ok I get it....
Maybe next we could discuss political views or feminism or something but one step at a time I guess...
So, I went to see SATC2 with 3 old friends on Friday (yes, we did discuss who was which character!) (yes, I did fight to be Samantha!). Anyway, I totally loved it. So much so that I'm seeing it again! And I also love that it got such bad reviews! I think they're hilarious - I mean, if you're not a SATC fan why would you even think you would like this film? It's totally shallow and materialistic and cringey and fabulous! I read a review that slammed it for being too far fetched and out of touch with the real world."What women watching this in the cinema would seriously go home and suggest to her partner that they make up their own relationship rules and have two days a week apart' one reviewer hissed....
The next morning:
'Darling, Carrie Bradshaw said you should make up your own rules of your relationship. What do you think are the rules of our relationship?'
'First rule of our rules is not to talk about the rules....
.....Second rule of our rules is not to talk about rule number 1'
Hmmmm, Not the answer I was looking for. My boyf is not quite as intuitive as Mr Big.
The thing is I could totally relate to Carrie (aka the bitch girlfriend from hell). I didn't choose the most expensive wallpaper in the world so that my boyf could sit playing the xbox in front of it, or lie on the sofa falling asleep with his shoes on in front of it. It like totally ruins the whole image!
The boyf worked away from home last night for the first time ever and I'm not ashamed to admit that I totally loved it. I loved that the mess was my mess. I loved that the bed was all mine. I loved the lack of x-box noise. I loved that I was able to accidentally melt clingfilm into my home made pizza and no one was there to witness it (Ok, maybe this is a different issue). But is this really so bad? Surely if it works it works, right? My dad works away from home two days every week and I'm pretty sure he looks forward to those two days all week! Is it really so far fetched to need your own space? (said in the style of Carrie Bradshaw sitting at her laptop in underwear)
Now, how do I manage to squeeze this into the rules that we don't speak of as a regular thing without the boyfriend noticing.....