Remember that time (why would you?) I took Frankie for a hospital appointment, and the receptionist asked if I’d like a second go when I gave the wrong date of birth? Yeah, I just topped that. I had a speech-therapy assessment for Alice today, because I’ve finally accepted that even though the way she says “twigs” is so, so cute (“fwids”), it might be time to cut her teacher some slack, and get it sorted.
The assessment started with a nice lady telling me she was going to ask some questions about Alice. I was, like, YEAH, I’m ready for it, having written down the important dates on the back of my hand beforehand.
“Now then, Mrs Shearon. Can you tell me: did Alice babble a lot as a baby?”
“Say what now?”
“Was she a noisy baby? Gooing and gaaing?”
“I mean, Ben wasn’t. He’s my eldest. He was a very quiet little chap.”
“Your daughter; was she noisy?”
“I’m so sorry, I’ve got nothing.”
Sighing: “Okay then, Mrs Shearon. What age was Alice when she said her first word?”
“Ah! I know this one. Fourteen months, and the word was ball.”
“No wait, hang on. That was Frankie, my middle child.”
“It wasn’t, was it?”
“No, it wasn’t.”
Accepting defeat: “I don’t suppose you remember when Alice began to put words together into sentences, do you?”
“I don’t, no.”
“In that case Mrs Shearon, I’m pleased to announce you’ve been shortlisted for Mother of the Year.”
“Oh really?! I’m honoured! Overwhelmed! Humbled.”
SOMEONE in this family has been depositing the pineapple from their pizza in a corner of the toy cupboard. Not the bin. The toy cupboard. NEAR the bin, but not the bin. The toy cupboard. I found a neat little pile when I was hoovering up last night.
Here’s what happens when Frankie (6) gets a party invitation. 1. He says HOORAY, I’ve been invited to a party! 2. He gets really excited, and starts counting down the days until the party. 3. He chooses a present for the birthday child, and insists on the same for himself. 4. He becomes less enthusiastic about the party as the date approaches. 5. He wakes up on the morning of the party and declares that THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING WAY ON GOD’S SWEET EARTH HE WILL BE ATTENDING A PARTY THAT DAY, NO SIR, NOT ON YOUR NELLY. 6. He is bribed, begged and blackmailed. 7. He stands firm. 8. He refuses to go. 9. His parents lose their shit and say FOR FUCK’S SAKE IT’S NOT LIKE WE’RE TRYING TO TAKE YOU TO THE FUCKING DENTIST. 10. He shrugs. 11. His mother admits defeat, and is forced to text blatant untruths to the party mum, because “my kid is an anxious fucking wreck who would probably really enjoy the party once he was there but only after he’s tried to climb inside me for two solid hours” is just too, too hard to explain, and leaves more questions than it answers. Sigh. Being the parent of an anxious kid is not without its issues.
Alice has changed her name to Mia. Just so you know.
Today I was in Chemist Warehouse (cheap drugs, shit-house service) and – after queuing for three-and-a-half days – the lady behind the counter greeted me with: “Are your hands cold?” I was, like, “Uh, no,” on account of my hands not being particularly cold, and on account of having queued for three-and-a-half days and really wanting to get to F45 on time. “Your hands must be cold. It’s cold today. My hand WERE cold, but they’re not anymore!” “Oh right, okay.” “My hands aren’t cold because I’m using HAND WARMERS. How about that? Wanna see them?” “Your hands or your hand warmers?” Without hesitating, she turned out her pockets, to show me two weird flimsy pieces of paper. “They’re my HAND WARMERS, and they’re available to buy HERE,” she said, gesturing to a pile of HAND WARMERS on the counter. “You know what’s EVEN BETTER? You don’t have to use a microwave!” I had no response to that. None.
Did I ever tell you about the time that Alice was invited to a birthday party of a child who neither myself nor Alice knew? And we went along to the play-centre party, and I gave the present to the wrong person? Like, not even a person from the party, but a person from the gym? It didn’t really go that well, truth be told, but now Alice wants to invite the same child to HER birthday party, except I think I’ve given the birthday invitation to the wrong child? Like, same name, but wrong child. She’s RSVPd, anyway, so someone’s coming along for their share of the fairy cakes.