Friday, February 23, 2007

Bedrest

Getting up was so difficult today I almost did not bother.If I had been given a choice or my children had shown a degree of compassion, I would be there yet. I finessed my sons into the sofa infront of a video in the hope of another couple of precious pillow minutes. It is not that I regard the television as an unpaid childminder; it's more of a dear family friend.The baby, however, is made of sterner stuff than the boys. She was awake. I had to be awake. I had brought her in to feed but after that, she was a lot keener to get on with the day than I was. I steadfastly refused to move; eventually, she clambered out of the large carved bed, clinging on to the sheet and lowering herself carefully on to the floor where she discovered my handbag. I did a mental review of whether she might find an ecstasy tablet, prompting horrified headlines and a visit from an under-paid, over-anxious social worker. I decided it was unlikely since I have never bought an ecstasy tablet. I have tried. Apparently, they do not sell them to the middle-aged. Reluctantly, I opened one eye to check she was still there and had not crawled off to fling herself down the stairs. She was standing by the bed, watching me. Next to me was a pile of money lying on the mattress - every note and coin I had loose in my bag. I felt cheap. I do not think a 15-month-old baby should feel she has to bribe her mother to get out of bed.

I got lost again today. I think that getting lost is becoming a metaphor. It is happening so often, I think part of me wants to get lost. Maybe if I got lost enough, I would one day, find myself on the fringes of London. Then I could ring and say: "You'll never guess what. I got lost. Guess where I am. I don't think I can find my way back." What made it worse was that my children noticed. I hate it when they notice I am lost. I think it diminishes their respect for me, which is probably low enough already now they pay me to get up. My six-year-old said loudly: "Mummy you are going the wrong way." I denied this. "I really think you have gone wrong mummy." Ofcourse, he was quite right. As I slewed the car round, narrowly missing a horse box, he said: "I was going to say something, but I won't." I pulled back on to the hedged and narrow road. "What were you going to say darling?" I looked back at him through the rearview mirror. "I was going to say 'I told you so'," he said. I could see the tiniest smile as he glanced down at his toy puppy, "but I decided not to."

16 comments:

Laura said...

The killer comment of a child....

You want your children to be wise crackers - by the time they are 60. Not 6.

mutleythedog said...

Ho Ho!! try wiring th alarm clock up to the mains. As for getting lost, I once left a flat in Battersea from a girlfriend and gave her a call from Banjul, The Gambia, 2 days later claiming to have got lost. She believed me!

Anonymous said...

Surprisingly for a boy who now has such abysmal navigational skills, as a child I was very good at telling my mum if she was going the wrong way.

This is because 'mamgu' [granny] was helping me to learn key words using wooden alphabet blocks, like :-

JET

GULF

ESSO

TEXACO

So at age 4-5 I could work out if we were on the right road or not.
Shame that I don't really use it at age big 4-0 really.

p.s. What make horse box was it ?

I only ask because I am wondering if the 'Ifor Williams' plan for world domination of the horsebox market has reached Northumberland.

Since you can't keep your boys quiet on journeys by counting the number of 'Eddie Stobart' lorries they see - this could make a very diverting alternative..[although for heaven's sake don't pronounce it 'eye-for'...]

http://www.iwt.co.uk/home.htm

Michael said...

This little story gave me a great smile. Thanks.

M

Ann said...

You wait 'till it's your 4 & 6 year old great granddaughters that are waking you up! Now that's a problem!

Love you writings and good luck with the book.

PS how does the book affect the blog? Will you be banned by the publishers from giving a full and uncensored blog account of your daily traumas?

The Grocer said...

Wifey,there are always two ways of looking at everything,you say lost, I see an opportunity to explore.
Oh, and at least in Northumberland you can turn around, back in the horribly overcrowded south you would have had to drive another 10 miles before you could escape from the bumper to bumper chaos they call commuting.

Bryan Appleyard said...

Counting Eddie Stobarts is the only way I keep myself quiet.

Sarah Kelly said...

Oo, I know that sinking, lost feeling well. It has become a bit of a joke around here. Thankfully the island is only 33 miles long and 13 wide so as long as I don't get wet feet, I can't get that lost (apparently) It's a bit of a worry as I am on rotation ... as a community midwife!

Anonymous said...

RE: anonymous.

Yes, we have lots of Ifor Williams trailers up here.

In fact it is rare to see a Rice.

Sue Bratley said...

And there's me thinking I was the only idiot Mother with a much smarter son......wait until they're in High School.... it gets so much worse. Their complete ack of faith knows no bounds!

wife in the north said...

re ann: how will the book affect the blog? good question.It doesn't really. The blog goes onwards, the book will also contain the time before the blog began.

Anonymous said...

You have the time and the energy to write so well - you are superwoman. All I can manage is burble, burble, burble.
My daughter (4) took a photo of me asleep on the playroom floor in my dressing gown, after she'd covered me in soft toys. I look very peaceful!

Anonymous said...

Mr Appleyard - is it true that Mr Stobart will give you ten pounds if you see one of his drivers without a tie ? Or is this just another urban [suburban/non-urban?] legend ??

Anonymous said...

mutley - you are dastardly...what I want to know is how people manage to do those 'jailbreaks' and get so far in 24/48 hours when they aren't allowed to have any money ??

Blagging lifts and cups of tea may have worked thirty or even twenty years ago - but how do people on 'rag week' stunts manage it these days ?

Newmania said...

If you are ever lost in the outskirts of London give me a ring and I`ll have a really good laugh and leave you there...oh I `d come and get you eventually but as a writer you have to expereince misery and pain and it would be unfair to spoil it

greybeard said...

a great story keepem coming