Tuesday, 17 April 2012

God Gives You Your Family....

Much like my godmother getting up from her perch on a footstool,   exclaiming 'give me a minute... I've got 'knees'...'    it seems that everybody these days has got 'mothers'.    It's the nation's new hot pass-time,  having a bit of a 'mother'.

These tales of other's mother's bothers are a salve for my sore mind.    Just like noone likes a perfect baby,  everyone loves a difficult mother.    The deepest friendships are set upon the rock of them having a worse family than you.    But better than that,   the hint that your friend is crueller about their mother than you is fanfuckingtastic.

Bedtime natterings with Roving Blade expose my true nature.    He was wondering if he should visit mum in the hosp.
'Are you feeling OK?'          
'Are you saying I lack compassion?'
'No I think I do.'
'I think you do too.'

Hmmmmnn.....     Where indeed is my compassion eh?    I've got no major childhood angst.    Not 'til about 10.    Then comes the frowning.    Nutshell  -  Big brothers were BIG.    And out.    Allowed.    I wasn't.    Moved house  -  old house has all the good stuff.    Chose the same school as big bruvs.    Stoopid.    They left before I started  -  thought we'd have a common bond......    Nah  -  just an inherited reputation.      Time ticks slowly for those teen years.....   Brothers = have lives.    Parents = embarrassment.    Friends  =  MINE.    Family and school  =  prison so decide to get out of both.    Only applied to colleges in another part of the country.    'Bye!    NOW I'm out!!!

A very non-co-dependent family member me.    I did move back for a year after college - a base to get a job,  get a flat and get a life.    Are you seriously trying to tell me when to go to bed?    'Bye!    Again.

More nutshells....  my Nan dies  -  big shock,   big upset,   leaving my Grandad lost.    My Dad says  'Shoot me before I get like that'.    Dad dies  -  big shock,   big upset.    Mum moves to this house.    Grandad leaves my uncle's place and goes into a old folks' home.    None of his 5 children can deal with him.    Seems very sad but I get it.    Wonder if the Sidcup saints are muttering about such a terrible family.    Grandad dies.    Seems a relief.    Is that bad?      

Back to Roving Blade's startling musings......   'Nah you're doing a good job of hanging onto small boys instead for me'.    (Both a compliment and a sneaky plea for it to continue.)    Truth be told  -  it's all a bit embarrassing and I'd rather he kept out of it.

I'd been banging about in her house earlier  -  doing the plants,   swearing at the prehistoric videos to keep the savages from trashing the joint,   tutting at the amount of STUFF....   I peered out the kitchen window to stare at the curvy flower-beddy decorative-rocksy child-unfriendly garden.    Why have I got no cosy feelings for this place?    I'd even moved there with her for a bit when I tipped all my eggs out of the basket at about 28 years old and she put up with my STUFF and moods for about ... gods... way longer than the original plan of a month.    Was probably about 18 months.    Where is gods' names is my gratitude?    Think I'm getting colder....    I've never actually LIKED this house.    It was supposed to be a  handy stop-gap.    It became another prison.    This chap we knew who had lost his job and was going thro' a divorce had decorated it for her.    Pale blues and institution greens.    Insipid floral border papers.    His depression filtered into mine.    Corner-fitting furniture.    Shelves of Christal D'Arques....    Tablecloths.    Coffin nails.    To me.    We weren't speaking to each other for much of this time.    Brothers say things like  'Oh come on you know what she's like...'    This is when the penny dropped that we were from separate planets and had had entirely different upbringings.    Mothers and daughters eh?    I escape - again.    Pop out a Minx.    Ever so slightly panic about history repeating itself.    Mum and me are on speaking terms again.    She seems all sentimental about the daughter thing.    Yuck.    

The window....     I tried to think up something to kick-start some sentiment of my own.    I came up with a day in this garden  -  nearly nine months pregnant with Cheetah Boy,   too hot to be sociable,   I'd driven over to mum's to plop two year old Minx in her paddling pool under the gazebo and sit there with my feet in it with mum keeping a steady flow of drinks and cake.    OK.    That's good.    The dining room table.... many a big ol' family nosh-up?    Rude noises with the first spoon in the jelly?    Interminable snakes and ladders tournaments with my boys?    Getting warmer?    Not really.    The piano?    Covered in family photos....    Lots of smiles there....    My hair looks crap in every one.    Xmas?    No.    Way.    Too much fuss and fluster.    Come on....   is that it?    Gods I hate pale green.

Where oh where is my humanity?    Well.... at least Grandad's example is in my favour....    If they put him in a home then surely that's the template now?    I've done with family co-habiting experiments.    It don't work.    We all get along alot better at a distance.    Think I'd better choose my bungalow now before Minx shoves me off a cliff.    Let's be practical here....  what's her template?

I am toying with going to see a hypnotherapist.    Wondering if he could make me nicer.    In the meantime,    tell me about your mad mother.....    Oh wow....  how COULD you?    You're my new best friend....

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

And we'll have fun fun fun....

...til daddy takes the sharp things away....

I am not only a terrible parent (about which I'm not remotely apologetic),  but I am also an abysmal daughter.   I can do the practical stuff like taking in a Puzzler Compendium and bringing home the washing (despite two pairs of mum's pants constituting a full load),  but I'm rubbish at the 'you look well can I flump your pillows let's brush your hair' bit.    I'm the opposite of nursieness.    I'm always sneakily looking at the clock.    And I think my sigh as I walk out the hospital will probably cause a tsunami in parts of Asia.    How does one learn to be a grown-up?    And how will my own kids ever work it out with a mother like wot they've been stuck wiv?


At least her sense of humour returned.   For a week or so it wasn't evident and this made conversation very very hard work.    Two truculent children staring at each other.    'Your family doesn't communicate without your funnies does it?'  observes Roving Blade.     We most certainly do not.    This induces panic.    We never greet each other with 'How are you (kiss kiss) you look nice (holdy hand) how are those lovely .........'  fill in the blank (ie kids, cats, inlaws,  ailments..)    Jesus we'd run like buggery.    We are more likely to creep up behind someone's back,  poke 'em hard and say 'What kind of Care in the Community programme allowed you out dressed like that?'    And then dodge the reply with a well-chosen hand gesture.

In my family we are all separate towers.    With those narrow slits for sending out our arrows.    And plenty of solid stonework for dodging others'.    This is how we survive.    It's served me perfectly well and I don't intend to dismantle a single rock.

Brother tower said to me the other day  -  in a unusual cease-fire moment  -  'Let's just get it said right now that neither of us can have her living with us right?'    'Definitely.'

It's not that either of us is evil  -  or that mum is Satan's bitch  -  it just wouldn't work.    The rest of the world can tut away as loudly as it likes.    It ain't happening.    A nice little bungalow with buttons was what we were both thinking.    Near her friends....    (As my very dear chum C proclaimed 'Isn't that what Catholics are for?')

The other day I arrived at the hospital and mum announced  'I've decided I want to move.'   'Good.'    'To Brighton.'    'What?'    'Or Hove.'    'Uh... huh?'    'Or Norfolk or Suffolk.'    'Why?'    'We've had such lovely holidays there.'    'No we haven't.'    'I'm sick of Kent.'    'We're gonna move into Kent soon to be nearer everything we do,  and you.'    'I want to be by the sea.'    'Kent has sea.'    'Oh no no.    Can you get me a Sussex Life and a Norfolk Life and a Suffolk Life?'    'I can get you a Kent Life'.    'I like Norfolk.'

Norfolk.    She's having a right laugh.    My sense of humour has left the building.