The novelty of all this ‘well done on your exams’ and ‘oh, congratulations on confirmation’ stuff being directed at Girl1 has worn off. Girl2 is in quiet, stubborn, revolt. She’s not going with the flow. There are wonderful, gentle, reminders that she’s here too. We had remembered that, really, and were expecting a stand. The shocking thing was that, when it came, it involved time walking round town with me rather than a brief car trip with Nana and Grandad to explore. She chose time with me (and a walk!) rather than time with grandparents and Girl1. Things were bad. I was honoured.
In the excitement of lunch in town last week I’d forgotten to buy make up. When even Hudson can spot my paleness, eeking out the last drops of the bottle during a week I speak at two events, was never going to do. As we started to head towards home, one of us found the bookshop and spent all her money on a book. (I was so proud; that’s my girl.) Just in case anyone was doubting how she’s feeling, the book was the new Jacqueline Wilson.
We paused in the Linenhall Library (‘It looks like libraries do in films’) and finally set off in the right direction. Sometimes, home is farther away than we think.
After more pausing and pottering and chatting (I had such a lovely time), we were fading on the final stretch.
‘It’s all right for you Mummy, you get to stay in bed when you want to.’
‘Well, if I was a well Mummy, I wouldn’t have to stay in bed quite so much. Also, you don’t have to get up as early as you do…’
Searching look. ‘I didn’t know you were sick.’
Seriously? With all the huffing and sleeping and complaining that I do? Well, the tablets must be doing a fine job.
On the other hand, maybe Girl2 thinks that all old women (she’s 9; anyone over 20 is old) go to bed for a wee lie down in the afternoon, and then get up to get ready for bed? Maybe she hasn’t noticed the sprightly steps of her friends’ parents, the fact that they do activities? Maybe she thinks that everyone carries a fold up walking stick, just in case?
Normality: it’s what you’re used to.