Being Poked by a Stick


If wealth is peace, then today I’ve been tempted to file for bankruptcy.

It’s like being repeatedly poked with a massive stick – you can promise yourself you’ll ignore the stick, and never let the poker interrupt your mindful existence, but after a while there becomes a temptation to shout “stop poking me with a fucking stick!” followed by you grabbing the stick, snapping it in half and ramming the ends into the temples of the Prat doing the poking.

Usually, the stick here would be a euphemism, as would the poking. In a way, I guess that it is – given that it’s the ongoing aftermath of being ‘poked with a man’s stick’ that has today led to me having a facial expression like the one in the famous mug shot of murderer Tracie Andrews.

Once again, I avoid the temptation of jumping on the self-destruct button, (which would involve drinking a pint glass of something that should be served as a 25ml measure), and I throw love at the situation. But not before throwing a toy or two out the pram. And in that respect, I feel I’ve let myself down. It’s the parenting equivalent of sleeping with a member of Geordie Shore, or an MP – I wish I’d behaved a little differently.

The week started well; Monday was the ultimate in the wealth outside my pocket: blissfully happy, spending the day with a friend, walking up a hill and then polishing off wine and a whole cheese whilst starring at trees and fields. I’m old before time – my love of Craig David, ownership of a Glastonbury ticket and the fact I’ll still be rocking hoop earrings when I roll into the 40-plus bracket, was totally wiped out by the fact that I was watching planes and trains through binoculars – for about 2 hours. I was as happy as a pig in shit, and the anxiety devil was nowhere to be seen. This is what I’ve worked for, this is what I wanted to show my son, this is what makes me enjoy a life I once wanted to leave: peace.

But then comes the piss on my train-spotting parade – the small reminder that I got pregnant by a Chav… (I think this reference is very fair, given the ‘PIMP MY RIDE’ and ‘I DON’T DO SPEED BUMPS!’ car stickers on a car that would have fitted in well racing round the Broadmarsh centre in the late 1990’s. And it’s a small blow given that an AK47 would likely be justified here – he’s got off likely).

(I always think about what my son might think, or how he may feel, if he ever reads anything autobiographical that I write – I hope that he will agree it’s objective, and be proud I’ve used attempted humour as a coping mechanism, in order to be civil face-to-face to his dad, to avoid needing a permanent gin infusion and to be able to keep present during motherhood, in the face of constant stupidity. Sadly, though reassuringly, he’s had a long-held objective view of his Dad, without me needing to point it out. I think this is unlikely to change as he grows up. And I need a healthy outlet. If there’s someone alive that can think instant peaceful, empathetic thoughts, and default to a dignity without it being premeditated, then I want to meet them. And beg them to share what they know).

Back to the poker… fresh from squeezing a helium balloon into our five-year-old’s mouth (see previous blog post for details on this interesting parenting choice), he follows cutting my child maintenance (due to poverty), with telling our son he’s taking him abroad. And this is where I slip up – I drop my so far dignified silence, outside of this therapeutic blog, and I rant in front of my boy, with a temper like Nellie Boswell. I then disappear upstairs to find a quick resolution for my anger at not being told, or even better asked, about escaping the country with our child – not least because smuggling him into an 18-30’s holiday in Magaluf is a very possible reality here.

Hurrah for very dear friends at the end of the phone. I’m lucky with friends, from day one, none of them have ever taken a ‘chop his dick off’ stance; they’ve always pushed a fair, child-centred viewpoint. And the bottom line is that, regardless of the claimed poverty in the face of endless new cars and designer clothes, despite the lack of respect to ask me if it’s ok to disappear abroad with our child and a woman who considers me invisible, despite the fact it’s highly unlikely I’d get an honest answer about where they would be going, our son would really enjoy going on a plane. So I have to swallow my pride and let him go – because, despite his complaints about his Dad, he would like to go – and I’m sure he’d have a lot of fun (assuming there’s none of those ‘how many sexual positions can you do in 60 seconds?!’ competitions around the poolside…).

Having calmed down, and my face returning from an unruly shade of fuchsia, I am visited by my boy, as he comes upstairs to ask if he can have some chocolate. I apologise for getting cross about his dad, and explain I was just upset because he hasn’t asked me, but that if he’d like to go abroad with them then I’m happy for him to go. He smiles and walks off, then stops, turns around and says, with a big grin: “And remember I love you.”

And my virtual pockets suddenly feel full again.


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