Don’t take photographs of me mummy Naoise requests.
I am stealing moments again, moments without his permission. Again I need to question my approach, draw him into the project, so it is less against resistance and more working together, collaborating, co-operating. Sadly we seem to struggle to collaborate or co-operate with anything at the moment….yesterday I changed his trousers three times and his top four times before he was content and happy. Is this fussiness or just him being particular. He likes his clothes to be soft and baggy….not much to ask for I suppose. Its hard not to feel just a little bit wound up though when each simple task seems to take so much thought and effort.
Your hair is as wild as the hay meadows. It sticks out at every which way. I suggest that we brush your hair, and you recoil in horror, stepping back away from me and the brush in my hand. I suggest that you brush your own hair, but you dismiss this option as well. Option three, the last, is to just leave it as it is, wild and unkempt.
We leave for school just on time. You are standing on your scooter but you are too tired to push, so I am pulling you along. We pass the beach hedge which is no longer brushing us with its beautiful arms as it has been hacked back by a mechanised trimmer. This is the wrong time of year to cut back a hedge. It looks as if it has been to a very cheap, incompetent hairdressers. Its all gone wrong, violently wrong.
Syd will be back today, I will collect him from school as he requested. I tried to telephone him numerous times whilst he was at his dads, just to hear his voice, check in on him, but he did not want to speak. At least the messages will tell him that I care.
What began as a sunny blue day is shifting to grey, there are now more clouds than blue. I ran through the meadows, for now the buttercups and the grass grows long between the sheep shit fertiliser. I started a sleeping lamb as my feet stamped past its grassy hollow. It was quick to jump from its slumber.
There are swallows and swifts, not as many as I usually see, apparently the cold weather in April and May put them off migrating here.
Up the Pexwood Road I speak to the man that lives near a washing line that I used to film in the winter time. He asks me why I no longer film the line….I say its because the pegs hang still now, it was the movement of the pegs in the wind that interested me. He tells me a potted history of his life. Its incredible how open and honest a near stranger can be. We share creativity, he is a musician. So I can talk about Syd and his passion and the differences between artists and musicians and the beauty of Scotland versus West Yorkshire and what is success and what is happiness. I need to move on though I am enjoying my conversation with this man….I need to run. The time between school drop off and collection is relatively short. I am always pushing to complete all the tasks on my list.
Today I won’t manage the studio. I need to manage this home. I am determined to tame the wildness. Regain some composure, some sense of order. You cannot really control life but you can get your house in order. Order makes everything else easier to deal with. The washing machine is tumble drying a white sheet, the line is full of clothes, no room for a sheet.
I am pleased that I got Naoise to school today on time and his school book read too. Success. It is so so challenging just willing him to school. Really must try and try to get him settled down to sleep at an earlier time, He always seems to wake up in the evening, last night he wanted to draw and draw, but he was good when I eventually got him to bed in-between trying to avoid a barage of conflict and arguments he fell quickly to sleep as soon as the three books had been read.
As usual I had planned to get back up but on nights like these its easier to fall asleep and escape into the unconscious than to walk into an inevitable argument with an adult.
Perhaps maintaining a relationship with a live in partner whilst bringing up children is simply about resilience and endurance. I have no idea how I got to where I am. This is it. I have been questioning whether the it is enough?
The children are abundant wiht love. Love is unending and easily given. I scratched my eye on a branch at the allotment, and Naoise threw his arms around me to check if I was ok. He is the kindest little boy, he would make a great nurse, he is a great nurse. Both boys bring me great comfort.
I wanted to begin to talk about the number 14, how soon I would have been a mother for fourteen years, but this will have to wait.
The dryer is chugging away, the buzzer on the oven is sounding. I need to get on with the rest of my day.
Beep Beep Beep Beep……beep beep beep beep………
Articles for reference….think more about The others ….try to define otherness…..
Four years, 4o negative tests: why being young and infertile sucks , Rebecca Seal, The Guardian, Saturday 6th June