Life after birth Category
‘Mummy, did you make me out of spare parts?’
I’ve had a few questions like this recently.
He is becoming more inquisitive about where he was made, how he got out of my belly and exactly what God’s role is in everything.
‘Mummy, if taxi drivers think they own the road, but they don’t, is it God who owns it?’
We never spoke about God before he started school.
Not intentionally, I didn’t intentionally not introduce him to the lord almighty, I guess it was just that religion or the greater universe and it’s meaning didn’t play a huge part in our day to day lives, so the subject never came up.
Addison was baptised as a catholic. The Irish one is a catholic and I am, well, I don’t know what I am.
I was brought up a protestant, so on paper it would probably show that is what I am.
But what category I officially sit in?
I just don’t know.
I am a wife, a mother, a shopaholic, a depressive, a frazzled stodge gobbler, a girl, a customer service manager, a dog lover, a sarcastic bitch, a chocoholic, a ginaholic, a good friend, a little sister, a wannabe writer, a flake and a dreamer, to name but a few.
I also know I am not a racist, I can’t abide homelessness, it is the cause that breaks my heart each and every time I see somebody on the street, I know I would give my last pound to somebody in need and I know I would never question other people’s religious beliefs, everyone has the right (god given?) to believe in whatever provides them comfort, in my opinion.
But when it comes to actually believing in God?
I just don’t know.
I would like to believe, but I just don’t know.
(Is he going to strike me down now?)
But Whatever I believe or don’t believe, I am not particularly religious.
I have never read the bible and I don’t know what Moses was doing in the bulrushes.
Addison now attends a catholic school and so now, very much so, God plays a part in our everyday lives.
‘Mummy I don’t want to go to school, assembly is so boring. It’s all about god this and god that and we have to sit really still, and my bum itches.’
He makes me laugh daily.
Do I need to thank God for that? Perhaps I do.
‘Mummy, if I don’t eat my carrots, is it God watching or Father Christmas?’
‘Mummy, do you believe in God?’
Some of the questions I am not ready to answer.
‘Yes Addison I made you out of spare parts.’
‘From a dead guy?’
‘No Addison, brand new parts, would you like a biscuit?’
And between the laughter and the love, some of the questions I answer, I answer not with what I truly believe, but with what he needs to hear.
He needs to know that what he is being taught at school as verbatim, I trust in, and I guess as his mum, I want to give him the comfort I felt as a child, that someone was looking out for me from above, even if it isn’t what I might believe now. What I don’t want him to feel is confusion.
‘God is always watching us Addison, looking out for us, keeping us safe (because wouldn’t that be nice?) but it is Father Christmas who is watching you not eating those carrots right now Addison, God is much more high level.’
‘Why did God Kill Meanie Fishy, Bex, Great Grandad and Uncle Jakey?’
And some questions don’t make me laugh, some questions test me.
Maybe I shouldn’t have spoken about my brother quite so often, quite so soon, but as much as I wanted to protect my son from death, I also didn’t want to ignore the fact his uncle had existed and was loved.
‘God wanted them back with him in heaven Addison. God needed uncle Jakey and great granddad to be angels and look after other angels, Uncle Jakey and Great Grandad had a very special job to do in heaven.’
‘Will god take you?’
How would you answer that question?
I don’t want to say no never, because what if I get flattened by a bus in the morning? (Which reminds me I need to put an underwear wash on) but neither do I want to say maybe, and fill his head with worry. I want to be honest and real, protect him and yet provide him comfort. But if I believe in evolution, or aliens, or the matrix, is any of this honest and relevant to us anyway?
This parenting lark is hard.
‘One day Addison, but hopefully not until I am very old and very wrinkly.’
‘But you are very old and very wrinkly.’
And I am back to the laughter.
‘I am going nowhere Addison. Now eat your carrots.’
Maybe it is because I have faced my own mortality before, or maybe it is because I suffer with clinical depression and am just a horribly morbid idiot, but after that round of questioning I decided to sit down and write Addison a letter, in case I die.
It is in his scrapbook.
Is that horribly morbid?
I wrote about how much I love him, how he could never disappoint me and how if I am ever not here I want him to follow the path that brings him the most happiness. I wrote mostly about how much I love him and will do until the end of time.
‘Did your willy fall off? Cos girls don’t have willy’s anymore do they? Did God take all the girls willy’s to heaven to be angels too?’
God give me strength.
And Thank you for the laughter.
Anyone have any ideas on how I can get him to eat his carrots?
I was shaking like a shitting dog.
My pupils must have been dilated, I couldn’t stop licking my lips and I know my face was as white as a sheet as I could feel all of the blood that had recently drained from it, sloshing about in my feet as I struggled to place one foot in front of the other, on the road to what was undoubtedly going to be my early demise.
I was probably unintentionally gurning too. It is something I tend to do when I feel overwhelmed.
So basically, had you seen me at that precise moment, shuffling around the supermarket, head firmly facing downwards, hood up and over my ears, looking like Kenny from Southpark, hands seemingly angrily shoved deep in to my parka pockets, you would have been forgiven for assuming I was on my way home from an all-night rave, or maybe ‘stoned off my bongo’s’ and looking to scourge for some munchies.
Hell, you would have been forgiven for choosing to walk down a different aisle at the last minute when you saw me coming.
I didn’t smell though. Just to be clear. I hadn’t been out all night.
I hadn’t slept, but I had showered.
I was ripping off the proverbial plaster.
I was 16 again, my body aimlessly wandering around in circles, immobilised by fear, while my thoughts were otherwise engaged on a merry-go-round of disaster.
I had no idea what I looked like and nor did I have the headspace to care.
I had no idea what I was looking at either as I randomly picked up a huge cereal box, before haphazardly slamming it back down and moving on, moving on to nowhere, with no idea what the hell I was going to do, or how I would handle it, if the inevitable happened.
My body was in Morrison’s while my mind was on a nightmarish sabbatical.
I was paralysed by the fear.
Five days late.
I was five days late.
One thought, running screaming like a banshee, with its hands in the air, through each and every corridor of my mind over and over again, making me relive something, like the exact moment someone jumps out on you in a dark room and scares you half to death, repeatedly.
The blood rushing to your ears, your heart physically hurting as the flight or fight response rips through your blood vessels heading towards your brain.
The Boo moment.
The terrifying fraction of a second before you realise it is only your idiotic husband hiding behind the fridge, not an axe murderer, and lamp him across the forehead with your iPhone 6.
The split seconds before you allow yourself to revel in the delicious relief, the kind of relief that turns your feet to jelly.
You are safe. There is no axe murderer.
But I wasn’t there.
I was immobilised now, stood by the frozen chips, drowning in the quicksand of experiencing that ‘Boo’ moment, over and over again.
I would have to face it though.
I was 5 days late.
I found myself in the clothes section.
Sighing and with a slight internal smile, I picked up a tiny white Babygro and thought about calling Samaritans.
I hovered over tiny socks, nappies, powdered formula, teething gel, wet wipes and blankets, mentally steeling myself for what may be.
I grimaced over huge sanitary towels, huge beige bra’s, oversized knickers and nipple rash cream, mentally steeling myself for the possible reality.
And then I did it.
I took a deep breath, and I studiously walked back to the pregnancy test aisle.
They come in plastic boxes round here, you know, like cd’s.
I didn’t know that.
And there are so many.
Why does it feel like so long ago since I did this before?
Because it was in another lifetime, last time.
My hand shot out of my pocket before I could change my mind and I grabbed a digital one.
With my hands shaking beyond what anyone at my age would consider normal, I paid and left the store, mumbling an incoherent thanks at the cashier who wished me good luck.
Could this really be happening?
I drove home.
I thought I had wanted this.
Even felt a modicum of excitement at the possibility of it all.
At the possibility of it being different this time, of loving, wanting, nurturing, enjoying.
Enjoying little feet and little hands from day one, from conception.
What the hell was I thinking?
The panic smacked me hard across the face again as a tidal wave of fear took over and I turned the car in to a street that wasn’t mine and switched off the ignition.
With my head on the steering wheel I sobbed.
I cried for my little boy who right at the beginning I wanted to but couldn’t love more because I was too ill, I wailed and grieved again for the loss of his first year, I sobbed for myself, I allowed myself 2 minutes of understanding and care.
And then I fell silent.
I need more time. I need more time to think this through. I am not ready. I am scared. Too many what if’s, what if this time it isn’t different? What if I want to die again, what if the voices come back? What if my world changes again and once again I find I am all alone in the darkness? What if I hate myself and my baby, what if I don’t feel the love? What if I get fat again and rip my undercarriage from here to Brighton and can’t poo for a month? What if nobody wants me anymore and Addison grows apart from me? What if I am rejected? Why I am so despicable? Why am I not Normal? Why aren’t I excited? Why did I think I could do this?
I cannot do this.
In that moment, I had never been so certain of anything in my entire life.
I could not do this again.
That was last week.
I sat on the side of the bath with my understatedly (trying to hide it for my benefit) excited husband grasping my hand, gurning like a techno freak and chomping on the acute fear, for the longest 3 minutes of my life.
I saw black dots, stars and reality as I knew it slipping away. Again.
‘Oh well,’ the Irish one mumbled, standing up and throwing the test in the bin, his shoulders hunched as he headed back downstairs ‘at least now we know how you really feel.’
I didn’t respond.
Because what could I say?
I stayed sat on the side of that bath for a very long time after he had walked out.
If I cannot do this again, and I am so sure of it, why do I feel so utterly disappointed?
I could wish for a million things for myself, but if I only had one wish, I would wish for good mental health.
‘Twenty Seven Pounds fifty pence?’
The way he enunciates the pronunciation alerts me immediately to the fact I have made an honest and grave mistake.
I stand there.
I have nothing to say, no reply, and no excuse.
I am in the wrong.
‘Twenty Seven Pounds and fifty pence?’
I skulk out of the room much like Doodle does after weeing against the kitchen table, my tail very firmly between my legs, almost wishing I had only cocked my leg against the terracotta.
He follows me.
I half expect him to order me in to bed or perhaps rub my nose in it.
‘Do I need to go in the naughty corner?’
A badly timed joke.
He ignores me for the next hour.
I re-apply my lipstick.
‘It is fabulous though isn’t it?’ I sit down next to him and flex my pout in his direction.
‘It had better be for Twenty Seven Pounds Fifty.’
I wanted a treat.
My First mistake was not asking immediately for the prices.
My second mistake was allowing the Dior Dolly Bird to apply the fabulous colour to my lips and then encouraging me to do a hair swish, therefor leaving me with little choice in the matter.
My third mistake was not, at that point, enquiring about the price, making an excuse, and promising to come back later.
My fourth mistake was telling my husband the truth.
‘I didn’t realise they were that expensive until she rang it up on the till, and by that point Irish One, it was too late. I would have looked like a right idiot! I had to buy it!!’
‘Could you not take it back?’
I gasp internally in shock and horror.
I wanted a treat.
I adjust my pout in his direction and mix in a little doe eyes for affect.
He doesn’t budge, and I can’t say I blame him.
Ironically, the very next day after writing my last post on how I would see the silver lining in everything, and how this year would be different, a bombshell capable of destroying my bank account and most of our savings was dropped, hence the outrage at my ‘inappropriate’ and ‘incredibly thoughtless’ spending off the Irish One.
I am not in a position to talk about it, as that would potentially leave me in an even more vulnerable position, HOWEVER I do have a silver lining.
It’s my Twenty Seven Pound Fifty Dior lipstick.
Isn’t it fabulous? And it really does take my pout from average to Stratospheric.
If only this was a sponsored post.
On New Year ’s Eve as the clock struck 12, I pulled my fat arse out of bed, brushed the biscuit crumbs off my jammy top and hoofed it to the spare bedroom window.
As millions of people around the world kissed their loved ones, popped champagne corks, danced happily among friends and family, and no doubt squealed in delight, I sighed deeply and self-indulgently in to the silence, slowly resting my forehead on to the cool glass.
Fireworks were exploding from every direction and from this vantage point, at the top of a hill, in our terraced house, in the silence of the third bedroom, with the radiator pumping hot air up my nose, I had watched them all, with the kind of youthful glee a 4 year old might.
‘There is something quite sad about watching fireworks on your own.’
As the awe inducing brightly lit bulbs of promise and hope exploding in to the sky began to tail off, the annoying and most unwelcome voices in my head, began to wax lyrical.
‘Something quite pathetic about it really. Happy new year though.’
It pissed me off.
I am not on my own, I fought back. I am in the house with Addison sleeping soundly, the Irish one downstairs playing on his Christmas present and I am both warm and filled with sugar.
‘And bored shitless, wishing you were 20 and out getting slammed.’
Yeah but I am not 20, so if I had gone out I would have been bored after the usual 20 minutes, like I always am.
‘I suppose. Still on your own watching the fireworks though.’
I picked the dog up.
There. Not on my own. Watching fireworks with Doodle. Now piss off and leave me alone.
The back and forth went on for some time until thankfully the Irish one bombed up the stairs to give me a kiss and all accusations of me being alone at this time of night were firmly put to bed. So to speak.
It’s all about finding Silver Linings.
That is what I have decided.
That is where I have decided I have been going wrong.
From here on in I am going to endeavor to find the silver linings in every situation.
So as I start 2015 still on an expensive, barely affordable, concoction of medication, still as mad as a hatter and still hideously depressed, I am forcing myself to think well hey! At least I have tiny white pills that sometimes shut the voices up, at least I have money to buy gin and tonic, and at least some people don’t read my blog so still believe I am totally stable and interesting! Woohoo.
I shall let you know how it goes.
New Year, New Start, that’s what I thought, accompanied by a deep sigh, as I heaved and huffed to pull my jeans over my swollen arse and thighs this morning.
I know it’s not a massively original thought for this time of year, but so what?
Maybe all these inspirational photos I keep seeing while wading through my Facebook timeline are bob on the money.
Maybe now is the time to try and shoehorn myself in to believing a new beginning is possible, a time to try and turn it all around.
50 shades of flab, that’s a book I could write.
‘And as he tentatively reached in for the last chip, she plummeted her sticky hand in to the bowl’s empty depths and much to his disappointment, fingered the salt glistening on its fried shimmering skin, before slowly and smugly and yet with a desperate urgency she herself couldn’t understand, given she was already over satisfied, shoving in it in her gob and sighing with spent relief.’
Maybe now is as good a time as any, for an overhaul of absolutely everything, not only my recent greed.
With my stomach sucked in and my gut still intent of muffin topping, I stand in front of the mirror for a nano second too long, long enough to feel the contemptuous disgust I feel for myself tear through my good mood, before quickly pulling my jeans back off over my dimpled and shaky legs and reaching for my forgiving leggings.
‘Now is as good a time as any’ I say out loud to myself.
This year I am going to try harder than ever to keep my spirits high.
I will not beat myself up.
Everything is fixable.
Yes I am overweight, yes I spend too long staring at my phone instead of playing with my son, yes I beat myself up brutally, meaning I barely get through a day without feeling miserable, but these are all things I can fix!
2015 will be better than 2014, it has to be.
2014 was too hard, I made it too hard on myself.
‘I will keep a diary’ is what I was thinking as I walked towards the bathroom.
‘I will read the Chimp Paradox’ Is what I was promising myself as I accidentally stood on Doodle’s tail.
And ‘Oh My God I am going to die!!!!!’ Is what I was thinking as having jumped backwards off his tail, found myself hurtling bottom first down the stairs at the speed of a Japanese Bullet train.
‘2015 will be different!’ I promised myself as I lay groaning and staring up at the living room ceiling, from my new vantage point at the foot of the stairs.
I will try harder to see the silver linings in everything I do.
‘And as her hair flew out around her, her wobbly and luscious love handles were thrust in to the tight and unforgiving space between the ground and the ceiling which such force, she trembled with dread and anticipation, and as she fell hard, scared at tumbling out of control in to the unknown, she thought….
‘Well at least my arse will cushion the blow.’
(To be sung to the clean up song….)
5 AM, the usual morning lineup:
Start with Addy’s bum and weep till the poo’s all clean,
Wax my tash, do laundry, mop the dogs puke up,
Sob again, and by then it’s like 5.15.
And so we will read a book,
Or maybe remove our nappy and do a wee,
I painted on the wall, aren’t I good mum-my?
He’ll chase Doodle around with a great big stick,
While I wonder when will my life re-beginnnnn?”
Then after lunch it’s puzzles and farts and chasing,
Paper mache, a bit of yoghurt spray and getting undressed,
Brain melt and climbing, Puppy shaking,
Then he’ll stretch, maybe belch, wipe his snot,
On my dress!
And I’ll reread the books
That gina ford did write,
He’ll paint the walls some more,
while I sweat and try not to swear,
And then he’ll brush and crush,
and put sticky stuff in my hair…
but I’m Thrilled to be in the same place I’ve always been.
And I’ll keep wonderin’ and wonderin’
And wonderin’ and hopin, and wonderin’
When will I afford a Nan-nnnyyyy?
And tomorrow night,
Lights will appear
Just like they do on when I stand on a plug every year..
What is it like
Out there where they glow?
Now that I’m older,
My marbles might fully go …”
(Written 2 years ago.. I have more I may post if you liked this one…)
Do you ever feel like you’ve just got too much going on?
‘I’ve so much on,’ you say to a work colleague ‘I can’t think straight, I’m so tired.’
Your hands rise up to nestle your chin and face, mid conversation, and then inadvertently, you pull the skin around your eyes down towards you.
It comforts you somewhat, but also emphasises your point, to yourself.
‘I don’t know how much more of this I can take.’ you whisper, maybe mutter.
‘It’ll be ok.’ they smile softly ‘things will get easier.’
It is a platitude, a time limited response, and you nod in agreement.
Things will get easier, they always do don’t they?
The conversation drifts off and you slouch away, maybe back to your To Do list.
Maybe your baby kept you awake all night last night coughing, or maybe you’ve had a couple of nights of broken sleep because your back hurts, maybe your mum is poorly and you are worried for her, or maybe you are angry at your other half after an argument where some really hurtful abuse was thrown, and couldn’t sleep.
You are exhausted, just not feeling yourself at all.
An internal game of Jenga has begun in your mind, it makes the usual day to day routine start to feel unmanageable, you realise you are just waiting for the next ball to drop.
Let’s add to this.
A situation you were worrying about has not ended well.
It has set you back even further.
Now, not only are you tired, the familiar tingles of anxiety have begun exploding around your heart and mind.
You shouldn’t have handled that with so much emotion!
But it was because you were so tired.
You know this.
If only you hadn’t said the things you said, the way you said them! Maybe it would have ended with a better outcome.
You remember you need to go out and pick up some bread, you also need to phone the DVLA and sort out your car tax, oh and also? You need to do this without spending any money.
You are worried about how little you have left to spend on christmas presents.
You don’t want to let the people you love down.
You take a deep breath.
Now you can’t find the bloody letter with your MOT details on.
You are going to need to go to the post office too.
If only you hadn’t said those things, the way you said them.
Maybe it wasn’t heard, though, the way you are thinking it was heard.
You replay the conversation over and over in your mind, while reaching for the dog food.
‘If only I had said it this way instead.’
You hold the bowl you just washed for the dog, in your hands, and pause, before putting it back in to the cupboard.
Your thoughts have been hijacked by the way you reacted.
But you only reacted that way because you were tired.
Your hands go to your face again.
Regret, a tinge of embarrassment even, makes your toes curl.
Why did you reply that way?
Embarrassment turning to shame racks through you, you dither, trying to remember what you were in the middle of doing!!
What must they think of you?
Why do you always let yourself down this way?
You play the scenario, back to back on repeat, and even though you try hard to distract yourself, you aren’t able to, so continuously feel the sting as it draws to a close, and it always reaches the same conclusion.
You looking foolish.
You need to get going!
Look at the time!
You dry your hands.
You need to find your purse.
The phone rings.
You are just so tired.
What now? Who needs me now?
You politely answer the questions the guy from Cancer research asks you, while you run around the house searching for…
What the hell was it you were searching for?
‘Sorry, what were you saying then? Yes. Yes. I already donate…’
An hour later after putting petrol in your car, as you try to pay the cashier, you remember what it was you were searching for… and didn’t find.
A door closes in your mind.
Too much noise.
Too much white noise in here!
Not enough sleep, too much din.
I am such a let down, a fool.. I just need some sleep!
My question to you is,
Have you ever felt like this?
Drained, emotionally exhausted, scared but not sure what of, worried about things out of your control, anxious all of the time, filled with a niggling shame, concern over self image because you’ve put yourself down so much you are sure everyone else can see your many flaws, overtired, frayed around the edges, never being able to escape the noise?
Just for a couple of days maybe?
Maybe a little longer even.
Times when you haven’t had enough sleep, so end up feeling like you can’t cope, feeling like you couldn’t handle or bear just one more thing going wrong today.
It’s awful isn’t it?
Like sitting on a a merry go round, the issues, thoughts, feelings and emotions, a blur of colours as the days whizz past you, accompanied by the sound of your racing heart.
Thank goodness we don’t feel like this all of the time.
Thank goodness we can sleep it off.
Thank goodness it usually clears up after a few days, like the condensation being wiped off a bathroom mirror, and we get ourselves back.
We get through it, slow down and step away from the edge, maybe we surround ourselves with friends, we sleep better and ultimately usually we wake up different, more able to deal, at some point.
We wonder what our problem was eventually, it all ended up ok!
One way or another, like the tides of life, it recedes doesn’t it?
For most of us.
But what if it didn’t?
What if sleep didn’t help?
What if you felt like this, your life was lived this, day in day out, all of the time?
What if the merry go round sped up, instead of stopping, and grew faster and more violent, and eventually it got so rapid, you couldn’t see straight. What if you were desperate to get off, anyway you could, but didn’t know how?
‘I am just so tired and always seem to be’ your friend sighs ‘I am exhausted. I can’t think straight anymore. I just don’t know how much more of this I can cope with. It never ends.’
You may want to choose your next words a little more carefully.
Because remember, your worst day, may be her every day.
And that black dog may still need feeding.
The gun has gone off.
Its offensive and obtrusive noise ringing out through all of our lives, whether we want it to or not.
The race to survive December, for those with depression, has commenced.
My hands were pressed against the asphalt, my voluminous arse stuck in the air, my chubby thighs ready to break free from the starting position and run like the clappers.
Get through it.
Grit your teeth, head down and just sprint, hobble, bunny hop – Whatever! Just do what you need to do to get to January.
And as expected, what went and happened as the clock struck midnight on the first of the twelfth?
All hell broke loose.
My dad rang me on Facetime.
His dog had sadly passed away minutes before.
And now, he was alone, in his house, in the middle of nowhere, in Spain, in shock, and utterly devastated, his heart breaking all over my IPad.
And I could see it all happening, playing out before my very eyes, and could do nothing to stop it or prevent it.
Facetime is all well and good until you need to provide comfort, then it is a torture.
At the same time, in the next room Addison began to wail, infection giving him a temperature and causing him pain, thus ensuring I had to also grit my teeth while being ‘vomited on solid’ (it’s how we talk here in manchester) for the very first 12 hours of December.
My intentions were to make this piece of writing funny.
Too much doom and gloom sends me barmy.
I wanted to write about the inconsequential ridiculous guff that comes along with being an incredibly unorganised mother, suffering with depression, around this time of year.
Like how while I was hastily (before my dog rolls in it) trying to clean up more sick this morning using 3 million floor wipes and a face cloth, Addison opened the cupboard (a cupboard he has previously never shown an interest in!!!) where I had precariously piled up all his christmas presents, and a Huge Thomas set fell on his head, almost knocking him out.
‘Wow look Mummy! Santa sent this from the sky! Is he angry? Cos that kinda hurt?! but wow look! A new Thomas set! It must be because I am poorly!’ (Manipulative little….)
And how I wasn’t able to re-hide the present so now we are one present down for christmas morning.
A main present down.
And I wanted to tell you about how, because of all the drama and vomit, I ended up doing an online shop for the first time ever, and somehow, we seem to have ended up with a shop for Actual Giants.
The ketchup bottle is 3 litres.
I shit you not.
I very clearly need to get to grips with the metric system.
‘No wonder it was expensive.’ The irish one gasped as he squeezed it between his thighs in a bid to lightly sauce his sandwich.
If December was a person, I strongly believe it would be a belligerent, ignorant, self obsessed, opportunist bastard that enjoyed robbing both the young and the old blind, and then crapping on their front lawns to mark it’s territory.
I hate December.
But I am not going to let it win.
Mind over matter.
I have sat with my Dad for hours, listening, virtually hugging and encouraging him to tell me about his grief, and I have taken a risk.
Sometime soon a little bundle of joy is going to be delivered to his front door… I believe he is to be called Freddy…
Too soon you think?
Screw you December.
Addison is still poorly.
I am off work and fretting like hell about it.
I am working as much as I can from home and thanks to an unexpected toy being lobbed at my son’s head all the way from the North Pole, have managed to get lots done.
But then I have mummy guilt.
He is still hot and miserable so I should be focused on him, not work, so given that as a working mother you seem to be screwed if you do and fecked if you don’t, that is what I decided to do today.
I looked after him.
I am a working mother but I know which part of that title means more to me.
SCREW YOU DECEMBER.
We fly to Spain on the 20th. (OH GOOD GOD I HATE FLYING.)
But that’s a long way off yet, and I know what this month is like.
Jog On December.
Screw you December.
Whatever else you wanna throw at me, I am ready.
I have been to hell and back, and have a Vat of ketchup to prove it.
Giant sausage roll anyone?
‘I hate you!’
‘I Actually HATE you!’
This week my son’s school are participating in anti- bullying week.
‘You are horrible and mean! And believe me when I tell you mummy, I am never CUDDLING YOU AGAIN!’
And I’m so glad they are doing this y’know, because it REALLY seems to be having a positive impact. (Kill me. Kill me now.)
‘You are a cruel poo face!!’ (Did he just essentially call me a shit head?!? TO MY FACE??)
The last part of this abusive monologue is shouted at top volume and with full force, body stiff, little shoulders aimed towards me, spit flying from his little mouth, little fists bunched up in rage, from the bottom of the stairs, where he is busy over gesticulating and very dramatically strapping his Velcro shoes, unfortunately on to the wrong feet.
I pause, debating whether now is a good time to shed light on the shoe error, the wind completely knocked out of my sails.
Practice patience, practice patience, that’s what Supernanny says isn’t it?
Practice patience – do not raise your voice.
Speak in low tones, communicate effectively and with clear objectives.
Set realistic goals.
‘Addison you absolutely can Not go to school in a pair of lightening McQueen Y front’s and an ankle length superman cape.’ I begin, giving Barry White a run for his money.
‘For a start, it is freezing outside, much too cold for you to be showing off your knobbly knees, superheroes get cold too you know! So you need to wear your uniform because everybody else will be. Now please stop shouting at me, say sorry to mummy, and let’s have a cuddle.’
‘NO! I HATE YOU!’
Ok, well I tried.
I retreat to the bathroom and shove a little mascara, which comes out of its aero dynamically shaped tube, dried out and yet gloopy at the same time, on to my hurt features. (Mental note to self – need new mascara in less phalically shaped container incase I suddenly decide to stab myself through the heart with it.)
I take a another deep breath.
He has never told me he hates me before.
‘Daddy is my favourite! I love him! Not you!’
They are just words, he doesn’t know what he is saying, Practice Patience, ignore the bad, congratulate the good. (Mental note to self- try this with the Irish one.)
7am and… Ouch!
My heart hurts.
According to our official noticeboard (the tattered letter that is secured to the very battered fridge door, hidden at the back of the kitchen) all of the children in Addison’s school, including reception, and therefor him, are taking part in ‘many’ anti-bullying activities throughout this week, culminating in them all wearing their own clothes on Friday.
I idley wonder, as I grab my shoes and thump down the stairs to join him, now lying on his back, pounding his feet against the front door, if these ‘activities’, include not telling your overtired, mildly depressed mummy, who spent half the night rubbing your shins (growing pains at a guess) And then bleary eyed, rose from her pit like the undead at Dawn’s crack, to put the heating on so your little feet wouldn’t be cold as you come down for breakfast. Slaved over your packed lunch- being sure to cut the crusts just how you like them, ensuring butter distribution was perfectly equal and finally and thoughtfully hung your socks and uniform on the radiator so they’d feel snug when you put them on – that you hate her and she smells like poo.
The issue is this.
Addison is convinced today is ‘Superhero day’ and having checked (so convincing is he, in his confident tirade) by ringing the over worked and underpaid receptionist at the school (the very same lady who I have now cried in front of on 2 occasions and clearly thinks I am mad) I can also confidently confirm today isn’t actually superhero day at all.
The tantrum, if that is what we are calling it, (emotional abuse seemingly sounding a tad harsh – although it feels that way!) got worse in the car, and no amount of straight talking, avoidance techniques or reminders about Father Christmas watching could get him to stop crying and/or insulting me.
‘I am heartbroken mummy. You have hurt me so deep. You were my best friend. Your bottom is huge.’
Kick me while I’m down why don’t you.
Ok. Be the parent. Be THE parent.
‘No Addison, I am your mummy,’
Calm voice – no shouting – patience, practice patience.
‘I love you very much and for this reason amongst many, mummy will not bring you to school in December in no clothes! DO NOT TAKE THAT JUMPER OFF, PUT YOUR PANTS BACK ON, GET BACK IN YOUR CAR SEAT! NO! PUT YOUR BELT BACK ON!’
As we pulled up in front of school however, there was a truly unbelievable transformation.
In a split second my screaming, devastated banshee devil child, magically evolved in to a butter wouldn’t melt model photo frame – esque contented child.
‘Lucas! Lucas!’ he shouts joyfully, all of a sudden snapping out of devil child while banging merrily on the window.
‘Quick mummy,’ he turns to me pointing, ‘there is Lucas! Let me out please, he is my friend!’
Smiles, waves, happy happy joy joy little boy bounces in to school.
‘Bye!’ I shout at the door, rather hoping for a cuddle.
He glances over his shoulder at me, in acknowledgment, but doesn’t respond.
And he is gone.
In to the part of his life I know little to nothing about.
I knock on the classroom window tentatively as I walk back past the main school building, on my way back to the car.
He glares at me.
I point at his shoes.
‘Wrong feet!’ I mime from behind the thick glass, sending him a loving smile, a smile I am hoping he will receive, as a peace offering.
He looks down, turns his back to me, sits down and begins the process of changing them over.
I walk back to the car dejected, preparing myself for the busy work day ahead.
I hope today’s anti- bullying activity focuses on compassion for mummy’s, but somehow, I doubt it will.
Tonight, if I am home before bedtime, I shall ask for an apology, and see how far that gets me.
They are only words.
He doesn’t mean them.
My bottom really isn’t that big.
This is the first photo mummy ever took of you.
You were 2 hours old.
You were lying on my flabby, empty bump (and the rest) on the hospital bed. I was so proud, I wanted to show you off immediately, so as soon as we were alone, I took this photo and sent it out to 18 people.
It was only the next morning in the cold light of day, that daddy pointed out you could see my nipple in the bottom left hand corner. 18 of my closest friends and colleagues and over 350 people on facebook saw my nipple the night you were born. Nobody ever mentioned it. This is the lovely world mammy brought you in to. (The photo has been photo shopped since.)
Yes Mammy, has made some absolute corker fark up’s since you were born, and they started that night. (Ok, they started waaay before that and you and I both know it. But still! I don’t blame you.)
Addison. Mammy wants to thank you for the best year of her life.
It has been long, as I havent slept.
It has been hungry, as I had 4 stone to lose.
It has been hard, due to post natal depression.
It has been filled with smiles, watching you learn new things.
I have been tired, as I haven’t slept. (Did I mention that already?)
But mostly it has been the most loving, overwhelming and beautiful experience of my entire life.
I have thought of myself as a bad mummy, a fat mummy, a good mummy, a useless mummy, a disgusting mummy, a great mummy, a lazy mummy and a lucky mummy.
The only one I agree with everyday, is the last.
I am the luckiest Mammy alive. Because I have you.
I have tried my best, to do the best for you. That is all I can do. (And then a little bit more.)
If you are smiling, then that is all that matters to me.
This time last year I had never met you.
Now I couldnt live without you.
Thank you for turning my world upside down, baby boy.
Thank you for being my best friend.
I hope you enjoy your party… but please don’t put the plastic balls in your mouth! And no! Put that down… Addison don’t throw cake at Isla…. no come on, don’t put your finger in the plug socket…
Here is to the next year!