...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.