I went to the library on Saturday. I had a list of requests. Daughter three was heading off to her gran’s and had left her reading books at school, including the homework book. She is also down to meet the author Cathy Cassidy in the next few weeks as part of a school trip and as a way of getting out something called Bikeability. This is a bit of relief because I couldn’t quite figure out how I was going to get the bike in the car along with two children.
Daughter one, who was recovering from GCSE English, asked for Catcher in the Rye [again] and “anything about psychopaths”. Daughter two said she was fine for books. She is currently reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid for the 10th time in a row – plus the Argos catalogue. Only son is pretty much happy with a book about sharks coming up the plughole and Guess How Much I Love You. That one ends with the rabbit saying he loves the baby rabbit all the way to the moon and back. Only son reckons this is not quite far enough. “Guess how much I love you, mum?” he asked the other morning. “All the way to Swinda and back,” he stated with his eyes really wide open. Last weekend we went to Swindon, which he has renamed Swinda, and he has asked if we can never go again because he thought it was a really long way away. Plus daughter two told him there were sharks in the swimming pool so he’s a bit worried about Swinda in general.
“Have you got anything on psychopaths?” I inquired of the lady in the library while she was ordering in another copy of Catcher in the Rye. I ordered it in January and apparently it arrived very quickly. However, we never picked it up, possibly because the telephone message alerting us that it was in was intercepted by a small person who assumed it was a PPI call. Daughter one is feeling ever so slightly alienated.
The library is very small and, though it had a Cathy Cassidy book, the homework reading book was not in stock. However, it was available in a nearby town. So, after a birthday party for one of only son’s friends, we headed on over. Daughter two curled up on a children’s seat with only son and read Horrid Henry to him while daughter one disappeared into the psychopath section. I located the homework book. Hurray. After about half an hour daughter one emerged with a tower of books on things like witchcraft, the big questions in philosophy and the meaning of life – if there is one.
She was dipping into these later during Eurovision, but got slightly distracted by Belgium’s entry sung by Loic Nottet. So enthusiastic is she about said entry that we have had it played back about a thousand times ever since Saturday, despite Estonia’s entry being at least as good, in my humble opinion.
She then watched a Duran Duran film as part of her continuing love hate relationship with the eighties. She is deeply fascinated by the decade, but basically blames it for everything that has gone wrong with the world and most particularly for consumerism and impending climate change. I tried to argue that people from the 60s and 70s also bought stuff in the 80s, but she is very forgiving of the 60s and 70s types. “They were basically all too busy with ‘free love’, mum.” So it’s all her parents’ fault, more or less. And I didn’t even buy much in the 80s because I was a student. I was too busy reading books about philosophy and the meaning of life.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.