Caffeine intake: 4 cups of coffee, one of which was consumed during SHA (summer holiday activity) no.524
Ben is making a summer holiday diary and Edi scribbles on paper and herself. Ben wants to show this diary to his new teacher in September. He’s very excited about it.
Me, armed with coffee sitting down at table: “How’s it going sweetheart?”
Ben, with tongue sticking out one side of his mouth colouring with verve: “Good. I’m drawing a picture of when we went to MacDonald’s yesterday.”
Me, nearly drops coffee: “Erm, we have done lots of other things during this summer holiday sweetheart (523 other things). Why don’t you draw a picture about one of those? Like when we went on a fossil hunt with Nanny and Grandad?”
Ben, still focusing on drawing a massive yellow and red something that looks like an ‘M’ on a building and a brown splodge that is supposed to be a chicken nugget coming out of a Happy Meal: “Yeah I will, Mummy. But I’m doing this first. I had a really good time at MacDonald’s.”
Me, gripping coffee cup tightly: “Ben, I’m sure Mrs Smith won’t want to know that we went to MacDonald’s, it’s really not that great is it?”
Ben, looks up at me in surprise: “Yeah it is! You like it there mummy, you always say it’s a treat, look!”
Ben holds up his picture of massive red and yellow something with brown splodge and underneath is written: Mummees treet to me beecuz I didunt hit
Shit on many, many levels. Mostly shit that exposes my shit, his shit, every bloody shit that ever was.
I decide this picture cannot be seen in the light of day at the school. It must be made to disappear. I sip my coffee trying to see a way out. The options that fly through my mind are:
a) ‘Accidentally’ spill my coffee on the picture
b) Tell him he can’t put the picture in his diary and cause a massive tantrum.
c) Tell him it’s a rubbish picture and destroy his self-esteem therefore leading him into a fit of rage where he will inevitably destroy the picture himself and throw it at me
d) None of the above and suck it up like a real woman would
I hate it, but I realise I’m going to have to go for option ‘a’.
I place the coffee cup on the table close to the edge of the picture and stay very still, waiting for the right moment to do the evil deed.
I look at Ben, he is colouring with so much gusto trying to get his chicken nugget splodge just right. I watch his amazing blue eyes enjoying this moment. I pick up the coffee cup and decide that option ‘d’ is by far the better option and that I’m a cow. Come on Bea, I say to myself, suck it up, get over yourself and forget that inner snob you still carry around with you. I hate myself for even thinking anything else other than allowing the kid be himself. He’s proud of what he achieved and he’s showing it off, and I need to support him in that. I’m his mother, not his image consultant. Who gives a flip anyway?
I am a bad person. I sip my coffee, it’s black, like my heart. Tears start to well up in my eyes and I glance up to blink them away so that the kids don’t see me blub. I notice one of my mum’s paintings on the wall and then option ‘e’ pops into my head.
Me: “Ben, I absolutely love this picture. Your writing is brilliant and your colouring is amazing, you should be very proud of yourself.”
Ben smiles coyly and then says: “Thanks mummy.”
Me: “Why don’t we make a frame for it out of cardboard, you could decorate it and give it to Nanny for her birthday. She’s an artist so I’m sure she would love it.”
Ben, surprised: “Is it Nanny’s birthday soon?”
Me: “Yes… Soon.”
Ben: “Ok! Can we make the frame now?”
Me: “Yes sweetheart.”
Flipped my ‘not giving a flip’? Saved the teacher from 10 minutes she can never get back? Saved my son’s reputation with his teacher? Saved my reputation? (It’s probably too late for that anyway, I’m pretty sure the teachers talk in the staff room).
Note to Mrs Smith.
If anyone ever tells you about this post, I want you to know that I made it all up because I couldn’t think of anything to write for today’s entry. Ben has never hit me, he is an angel of such massive proportions that the North East have been in touch and they want to replace the Angel of the North with him. We have also never, ever, ever been to Macky Dees, sorry, I mean MacDonald’s. Ben’s weekly meals consist of organic butter bean soup, chick pea and okra curry, fish fingers (consisting of fish caught by us on a family day out) coated in gluten free breadcrumbs and baby laughter, purified air bubbles laced with an organic green jus and poached quail eggs on a bed of hope for the future. Everything else, the spelling, the options for destroying the picture etc. are all there for comic effect. I can assure you that none of the above is true. I promise. I am not evil. This never happened. Really. We shall look back and laugh about this completely fabricated blog at Parents’ Evening whilst you are secretly crying and I am dying inside.