I was driving down to Portsmouth to pick up Mol from her 2nd go at netball-after-school-club (she seems to have embraced Team Sport with gusto) (god I hate netball, but mustn't prohibit her total fulfillment of potential by imposing my dislikes upon her... Which reminds me of a loud argument I once had with Husband about how I'd inadvertently told Mol that maths was my weakest subject at school and OH how I'd hated it and sweated and fumbled my way through GCSE ("Is that what you do at university Mum...?" - endless conversations at the moment about what order education comes in, with which exams) and then bloody well failed after all that shit and how I was leaping for joy when I finally got the frickin C grade and could shove my calculater up the teachers self satisfied number-filled-arsehole... And Husband stopped me in my tracks "You WHAT? Oh you should NEVER let them know how much you dislike a subject at school. No no NO! My god woman. It'll ONLY lead to her not liking maths too. You IDIOT! WHAT FUCKING MORON tells their child that they failed at maths? DURRRRRH. (Tongue inserted in bottom-lip to pull stupid-monkey-face.) So now I'm very cautious about what I tell my children. Obviously they both still love numbers because so far it only involves adding up to 100 or telling the teacher that yes, it is a triangle. I enjoy that sort of maths too.)...
Anyway. I got distracted.
So in the car with me was Liz. She sits behind me in her little booster seat and I can just see the top of her eyes, her forhead and her hair... It ruffles in the wind as she sticks her hand out the window.
We chat about who kissed who in the playground and whether Roxy is really (she's one of the dinner ladies) a natural blond or not (Liz suspects not). And once all the big chat from the day is over we fall into companionable silence.
Liz trails her fingers out the window and watches the passing countryside, which looks particularly good today as it's sunny and autumnal. The colours are clear and the air smells just right.
In our silence my thoughts lead back to work, and income and my lack of funding and what happens if Husband should leave me for someone who's actually nice and seems to outwardly show signs of affection, how could I ever find a job that actually pays me money that could feed and house myself and two children, let alone pay for an N-reg car that costs £50 a week to run... I was feeling kind of gloomy as the enormity of my situation came crashing in through the flimsy Peugots' 25 year old windows. Could I survive on my own? Would social services be obliged to take my children away from me and would I have to go and live in a tent on Dartmoor dodging the credit bayliffs?
As the terror of my dependency clouded my head I suddenly came back to reality as I heard Liz say my name (well, she said Mum, because she doesn't call me by my real name, I mean, sometimes I ask her to call me Mrs, or Madam, or to at least curtsey before making eye-contact, but on the whole it's just Mum). She had to say it a few times for me to register that I was in the car, driving, and not in a tent on Dartmoor handwashing my 2nd pair of socks in a stream...
"Mum" says Liz. "MUM".
"Oh, yes! Hello you!"
"MUM! guess what? I think I've got it!"
"What's that Liz?"
"I've finally worked out how to train a dog to skip with a real skipping rope."
Well. Nothing more than dogs skipping to bring me crashing back to real life, eh?
Tona de Brett
5 weeks ago