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The Landlady: Baby talk
I do not want another baby. Friends of mine reading this, who haven’t seen me for a few months might be having a mild stroke now, but it’s OK. I’m not pregnant. It’s just that for the first time in my life I have come to the conclusion that having another baby would, besides being a miracle, be something of a disaster. I only bring the subject up, because I was discussing it with someone the other day and I thought about it for the first time in some years. If I’d been asked the same question four or even three years ago, I would have definitely come to the opposite conclusion. It’s lucky that I’ve decided that I don’t want any more children as I fear that this particular bus has already left the depot, and is well on its way to the terminus.
Children are hard work. They are still hard work, even though two of them are fully-fledged adults and the other, The Small Daughter, is becoming a very independent being. She veers seamlessly between viewing me with total contempt, to wanting to hang out and spend time with me. The ‘wanting to spend time with me’ is only appropriate when no one who knows her is within a ten-mile radius, as it is deemed totally uncool to hang out with your decrepit parents. She won’t even walk to the bus stop in the morning with me. This manic veering between love and hate is a vast improvement on the teenage years of The Big Son, who was generally not to be found at home ever, as he was too busy perfecting his teenage career as a charismatic criminal in the style of a Brighton Raffles. I have to interject that, The Big Daughter, who will probably read this, would argue at this point that her younger brother, far from being ‘loveable’ was absolutely vile during his teenage years. She is probably right, and fortunately after nine suspensions from school, he grew out of this phase, as many do.
“Having another baby would be something of a disaster”
Having said that, a few Sundays ago, I was on my way – with a terrible hangover – to see The Small Daughter perform in a play in Hangleton. Just managing to catch the 5B bus, I staggered upstairs, only to find The Big Son fast asleep on the bus. When I tapped him on the shoulder to ask if he’d missed his stop, the look of utter confusion on his face (why was his mum on the bus? why was he on the bus?) was beyond hilarious. Believe it or not, it was Mother’s Day.