Attention Please

*Sounds ranty foghorn* You’ve been warned… From birth, I’ve taken Beano to rather a lot of groups and clubs, from baby massage to messy play groups. S’all good, they gives us a chance to get out of the house and do something I haven’t got the mental energy to organise and set up at home, plus Bean can work on his womanising skills and chat up all the little girls and eat all the digestive biscuits his little belly can take. But I’m beginning to notice something somewhat odd at these here groups and get-togethers. And I find it a little sad to be perfectly frank. These groups don’t come for free, they range from a quid to £6 per session, plus some of the more fancypants franchised groups ask you to pay an annual membership fee as well as the sessions, the sneaky bastards, and it seems a lot of mums are taking their spawn to these groups, well, to ignore them. To sit in a gaggle of their mummy mates and allow their little ones to fend for themselves. I know being a parent is isolating, I’m more than aware that it can be suffocating, I appreciate we all need some adult conversation just occasionally, and after yet another sleepless night with your nocturnal…

Doubt

Doubt. Sounds a bit ominous doesn’t it? Sorry about that, but that’s the only name I can put on this desperately heavy, sinking feeling in my belly. And no, I’m not hungry. I’m sat here in tears all because of a tiny, to most insignificant moment at Bean’s nursery. One of his little friends who is about the same age was going home as he was last week and as she was skipping along with her mum, she was very confidently reading out the letters and numbers painted on the paving stones outside the nursery. And that was it, ten seconds tops, and the seed of doubt is planted and swiftly growing roots, and I’m left worrying that I’m doing something wrong and panicking that Bean is behind. Just ten seconds. Gone like that. And BOOM now I’m acting all crazy. What if? What if her mum and dad spend more time with her? What if they read to her more? What if she doesn’t watch as much television? What if she’s at nursery everyday from 8am until 3pm learning away while Bean and I are at home playing goodies and baddies and having tickle fights? What if he has ADD? What if I CAUSED him to have ADD? What if…

Fuck Creativity

Something’s right got my goat. No, scrap that. Something’s fucked me right off. When I was at school, I hated it. Loathed it. Would pretend to have a broken leg to avoid it. I’m not an academic person, I don’t count myself as particularly clever, the only things schoolwise that I enjoyed and felt OK doing were art and writing stories. But at school, these subjects were somehow even less enjoyable than algebra and chemistry. Why? Because I was TOLD how to write, I was TOLD how to paint a picture. I was TOLD this is how a story is supposed to be mapped out. Not taught. Not supported or advised or nurtured. And that as a concept really sits a bit fucking wobbly with me. How can we tell someone, a child how to be creative? Why should we tell them their interpretation of something is correct or otherwise? What gives us the right to try and mould and reign in these beautiful, crazy, innocent little imaginations? I’ll tell ya. We bloody don’t. We have no fucking right. The reason this has really got to me is because I recently received a little parcel from my somewhat wayward mother containing a couple…

Conversations with Bean #1

Essentially this involves, if you hadn’t already managed to guess, conversations. With Bean. It is mainly for my own sanity, therefore when I am about to bang my head against the wall in pure frustration and disbelief after a recent exchange with my son, I can refrain and tell myself it’s all material, innit. *deep breaths* Int. Living room. Early morning. Curtains are drawn and the TV is on. Bean is playing on the floor. Me: Darling, I’m just going to the loo quickly. Bean: OK! I quietly creep upstairs, OH is sleeping, the stairs creak, I make it to the top, close the stairgate and make it to the bathroom. Thirty seconds tick by. Bean: MUM! MUMMY! I lean forward and open the door slightly, Bean is perched on the top step, peering at me through the white bars of the stairgate. Me: Shhh! Yes, darling? Bean: I NEED A WEE, MUMMY! Me: Mate, stop shouting, please. Go downstairs and use your potty. Bean: NO! I need one NOW! Mummy, come out! Me: I’m going to the loo, you’ll have to wait a minute. Bean: I NEED THE TOILET, MUMMY! LET ME IN! Me: You will have to wait, I’m going to the loo….