Sunday, 23 March 2014

The disbelief

Things have changed pretty radically for OH and I in the last two years. As we approach our 18 year anniversary (18!! Sweet Baby Jesus where has that time gone?) I tend to view our relationship as a line on a graph. Get me OH and my mathematical aptitude - I am referring to something maths-based in my blog! Don't tell me ever again that my maths GCSE was ill-awarded. Imagine if you will: time across the x axis, life events up the y. There's a small spike on 12 April 1996 (our get together date); then pretty much no change until 2003 when we move in together; another spike in 2008 when we buy our first house; and then nada significant as we trundle along living our life together, peppered with holidays and triathlons and lovely food and nights out and city breaks. And then bam! Two kids in the space of two years. The line on the graph has gone mentally upwards - we've gone from just normal people to "responsible" adults in a very small stretch of time. We're off the scale on the y. If my mathematical brilliance is too much for you, then please look at it this way. Our relationship is like the evolution of the universe, the big bang being our 12 April 1996. The arrival of our children is just the teeny little bit of the cosmological timeline that is inhabited by humans. It's a very strange thing to get used to.

But why should I find it a thing so strange to get used to, given that many zillions of people have children and that doing so is a completely normal thing to do? Why do I still freak out in the middle of the night when I wake up and remember that I have progeny? I think it's basically because I am essentially still a child myself, in mind at least. (Not in body of course, that would be outright weird). How could it possibly be that I am responsible for two other actual humanoids when I still struggle to look after myself? When left to my own devices, I eat cheese for tea. Just cheese. I might add in a bag of crisps if I wanted to shake things up, culinarily speaking. Only tonight did I have to ask OH where China was on the world map (he was somewhat disappointed/distressed/dismayed by that and no doubt wondered why he had chosen to link genetic material with someone so intellectually challenged). I only learned how to make scrambled egg this year (when I rang OH at work to find out - nothing if not resourceful, me). I still think it's a freaking miracle that metal planes make it off the ground and yet metal ships don't sink on water. I am not able to comprehend the size of the cosmos. As I type this, we are listening to a Ministry of Sound album from the actual nineties. I am a parent! I should not need to hark back to my days of old skool house. Why am I not listening to Wagner or Radio 4? I still sob uncontrollably at The Railway Children and Goodnight Mister Tom. Generally speaking my bedroom is a tip. I moan at having to do the washing up. I could go on - the list is endless.

And yet, here I am, kiddlie-winkles attached to my apron strings looking to me to provide them with everything they need to stay alive. My god. That is scary. I am not qualified. I don't have a permit or license. It's bonkers to me that I'm not able to drive on the roads of this country without a license (not that I have ever actually read the Highway Code - see! I'm not an adult!) but can spring forth little beings from my loins and be expected to provide for and guide them through life. What have I done to the poor poppets?

The other thing that makes me laugh about this, is the fact that other people treat me like a parent. I get letters addressed to "the parent or guardian of...." and I open them. Other people assume that I am qualified to look after these kids. Hehehe. Well the joke is on them because little do they know that I still swig from the orange juice carton and have a secret crush on Harry Styles. I felt like a massive fraudster a few weeks ago when the Headmistress of MD's new school greeted us at said school's open day like we were the adults in the family. Can you imagine it? Me and OH as the adults! He, dressed in his triathlon hoodie which I'm almost certain had tomato sauce spilled down the sleeve, and me, feeling naughty by the fact that I was wearing jeans to go around the school. In my day, jeans and denim of all kinds were forbidden on school premises. In fact, I suspect my inner child made me wear jeans just to flout the now non-existent rules. How puerile is that? Answer: very. Anyway, I was mindful of my p's and q's. I walked down the left hand side of the corridors and laughed politely at the small talk I made with the teachers. Shockingly, all of the evidence pointed to the fact that I was acting like a parent. The disbelief.

But hang on, maybe I am giving myself a hard time here. I mean, I had the foresight to actively contact a school before I had to and get us on the open day invite list. My children are always in nice, clean (but definitely not ironed), clothes. They get three proper meals a day. I make them brush their teeth and read them bedtime stories. So maybe I'm not all that bad - maybe I am getting there as a parent. But wait. Nah. Who am I kidding? I just had to check where China was. They are doomed.

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