“Fff – Uuuhh – Ccc,” says Molly, carefully sounding out the letters phonetically. “What does that spell Mummy?” she asks with a sheepish look on her face. “I think you know fine rightly what that spells, Miss Molly Parsons,” I say sharply. “You tell me.”
“I think it’s a naughty word, Mummy. A word that we might say it if we’re really tired or very cross.”
Something has been happening to me over the last while. It’s a feeling of almost coming full circle. Like I’m finally settling into a newer version of myself. A little battered round the edges perhaps, but one that still bears a strong resemblance to the old me, except with two crazy kids in tow. And if I had to put a title on it, I’d say it was a feeling of ‘becoming mum.’
Dear ‘friends.’ I almost unfollowed you today. Perhaps it was your impossible blue sky that got under my skin. Or that perfect beach shot you took, as you dipped your feet in glistening waters in some farflung place. Or your shiny smoothie packed full of ingredients, some of which I’ve never heard of. That killer workout you did with your makeup still intact? Or your glossy hair shimmering in the wind. Or maybe it was that effortlessly chic outfit you’re wearing that pushed me a little to the edge.
It’s 4.37am. I mutter a string of expletives as I haul myself out of bed. I spend the next 45 minutes nipping in and out, trying to encourage Henry to have more shut-eye, before he decides he would rather be up for the day. He gives me that grin that says, quite frankly, Mum, it would be boring to go back to sleep. But instead of smiling, I find myself crying. Hot, fat tears rolling down my face, quickly, without warning. I’m cross. Darn cross at the sheer exhaustion of it all. Cross at the fact the day is beginning at sparrow fart yet again. Cross at the fact that I’m already thinking ahead to how wrecked I’ll feel later. Cross over the guilt I’m feeling for even feeling annoyed, when so many people would give anything to be in my shoes.
I have opened my computer so many times over the past few weeks to write to you, but the words somehow wouldn’t flow. I even googled ‘writer’s block’ to see if that could provide me with any kind of inspiration. Instead it threw up the definition for my ‘creative slowdown’ – a condition that ranges from not being able to come up with new ideas for a few weeks, to not being able to produce anything for years. (Bear with me here, the moral of the tale is coming!)
My mum and dad arrive next week. I can’t wait! Mum’s trips to Dubai usually include a whirlwind of organisation – projects that I’ve wanted to do get finished, things that I’ve craved to get in order suddenly get the Beryl treatment. (Beryl and Cheryl – “the rhyming names reflect the closeness of our relationship,” my mum used to tell me.) When the folks are around, stuff just gets done – and, above all, I’m looking forward to someone else making a few darn decisions for a change.
“You’re so naughty to me Mummy. You’re always cross,” Molly interrupts my bedtime story to tell me. “You need to calm down, Mummy. Just calm down,” she says, gesticulating by waving her hands up and down with her fingers spread wide. She is referring to the fact that I am cross because she won’t lie still and just listen to the darn story. I keep having to stop and start while she tosses about, chats to some of her teddies and then tells me she needs to get up for some water. “Will you settle DOWN! Are we reading this story or shall I just turn off the light?”
Lately I’ve noticed myself using three certain words a heck of a lot. Now, before you close this page for fear this might be some sort of love story about the husband and I – it’s not those three words. Nor is it the three words that make up the abbreviation FFS, although I do confess to letting those slip from time to time too.