Although the numbers of grandparents and other family members who help with childcare...read more
It’s been another tense week what with happenings in Spain so the kids are a good distraction, given that they live entirely in the absolute here and now. “I had drama today,” announced only son on Monday. “We did the fall of Boudicca and I was Julius Caesar. I was very powerful.” I remarked that Julius Caesar was the main role. Only son is no fool. “It was the fall of Boudicca, mum. Boudicca was the main role.” Oh. It’s a step forward from his previous approach to drama though. He was down to play the starring role of Steve the Donkey in last year’s Christmas play, A Midwife Crisis, and refused point blank to do it. It was a comedy role and only son doesn’t like people laughing at him, especially his sisters.
Later in the day he complained of being lonely. I asked him how often he felt lonely. “All the time,” he said. “No one ever plays with me, except you.” I told his sisters who were sympathetic, but otherwise engaged. Daughter one was writing a philosophy essay and researching jobs. Daughter three had left all homework to the last minute – and was heavily involved in something about revolutions [the mathematical kind rather than the political ones]. The only one who was available was daughter two who was up to something suspicious with an incense stick. “I am always wanting to play with him,” she protested, “but he hates me.” Daughter two and only son have a somewhat tempestuous relationship. It usually involves her winding him up, passes through a stage where he is giggling uproariously [this lasts for around four minutes] and is followed by half an hour of only son howling that he hates daughter two.
I explained to only son that it was hard being so much younger than his older sisters and that life with teenagers could be challenging for a seven year old. However, if he could survive that he could survive anything. He cheered up somewhat and decided to have a bath.
Daughter two was recovering from an unlikely incident with a feather. She got into the car after school with a look of desolation on her face. Daughter two is a vegan activist. “I swallowed a feather,” she said disconsolately. “I feel sick.”
It turned out that she had been running in the school grounds with her mouth open – as you do – and a feather had flown into her mouth and she had involuntarily swallowed it. I explained that a feather is not, strictly speaking, unvegan. Birds lose feathers all the time. “It’s scratched my whole throat,” she said. “I could have died.”
Days later we are still referring to Feathergate. “Might as well go the whole hog and have a KFC,” I said. It didn’t go down well.
* Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk. Picture credit: Wikimedia commons.