“It’s going to be the best day ever!” said only son at the beginning of Saturday. It has to be said that only son is one of life’s great optimists – except when he isn’t because the best day ever can very quickly tip into the worst day ever. Still, every day is potentially the greatest one ever.
Saturday was special, though. Having dropped daughter three off at a sewing class, we were headed for Jurassic World 2. It’s not often we go to the cinema and only son was excited just to walk in and smell the popcorn. The floor in the cinema is black and sparkly. “It’s so magical,” he said. “It’s like walking on the sky.” He’d had a good start to the day. He had managed to persuade his dad that he could sleep in our bed so they could bond ahead of Father’s Day. His dad was away for the weekend so, reasoned only son, there was even more reason for them to spend some quality time together, sleeping. To only son, Father’s Day and all the special days are equivalent to Christmas so every effort must be put into celebrating them.
There were about two other people in the cinema for Jurassic World 2. I was sitting watching the adverts when a dinosaur walked up to me. It looked like something off the film. It was my height and it was roaring right at me. “Your mum looks pretty scared,” said the man behind it to only son. The problem was I had never been that close to a human adult-sized dinosaur robot, if indeed that was what it was. Maybe I read the papers too much – I literally now believe anything could happen. “I’ll look after you, mum,” said only son as I tentatively patted the dinosaur’s nose. The film began. Within five minutes I had screamed out loud. “Sooo embarrassing, mum,” said daughter two when she found out. Daughter two was having a lie-in after a week of work experience where she was dubbed “Miss Lovely” by the kids. Only son, who accuses her of being “a maniac”, cannot believe it.
When we got home only son’s day had got even better. He has been practising football outside for a while and, though I have tried to teach him the concept of control and weaving the ball, he is obsessed with kicking the ball really, really high in the air. So high, in fact, that he thought it had landed on the flat part of the roof on Friday night. We couldn’t see it despite several attempts to bounce very high on the trampoline. “It will come down with the next storm,” I said, trying to comfort a disconsolate only son. “I am so grounded,” he said gloomily despite the fact that he has never been grounded.
Friday had not been good as we went to the supermarket and got some doughnuts and the check-out lady was teasing him, saying she would keep them for herself. “Give them back, fattie,” said only son [vegan and health activist daughter two calls only son “fattie” every time he eats something sugary]. The woman had just lost seven stone.
Daughter one suggested we leave it a week and check Google street maps to see if the ball was indeed on our roof or, failing that, make friends with someone who has a drone. However, when we returned on Saturday the ball was sitting in the middle of the garden. Only son had not kicked it onto the roof but into next door’s garden. “Best day ever,” said only son.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk. Picture from Flickr: Dinosaur Adventure by Dave Catchpole.