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When Absent Fathers Die.

Yesterday I should have been celebrating. I published my second book. Emilee. However at 7:20 am, I got a text from my step-sister asking me to call her, telling me it was important. I’m sure I must’ve known what she was going to say, we never speak on the phone, and yet nothing went through my head at the time.

 

No one wants to hear the words “I’m sorry to have to tell you but …”. 

 

The majority of us (I believe) spend most of our adult life actively avoiding any thoughts of our parents dying, it being too big an emotional deal for us to cope with. For me, it was the opposite. I’ve spent years imagining how I would react, how I would cope, knowing that the first solid contact I would have, would be because of this. In recent months, my thoughts have crescendoed to the point where it became part of the story I wrote. As the words fell out of my fingers, it wasn’t Emilee who was stood in front of the casket as it disappeared behind the velvet curtain, it was me. It wasn’t her who flashed back to her early childhood, it was me.

And now it’s happened. Did I know? Did I have an inexplicable sense of what was about to take place? Even my dreams about him have escalated in recent times.

The messages of sympathy and condolences have poured in. I should find them comforting but I don’t. I feel guilty. Like a fraud. Because I didn’t go and see my dad. Because I couldn’t get over (or around) the person that he was. … A good person at heart but someone who just wasn’t that great at parenting. Someone who communicated at his best by shouting, and bullying. Someone who liked his whiskey too much even if it meant the rest of his family suffered. The person who gave up trying and let me go.

I’m jealous, of the people who got to see another side to him. A better side.  Was I just not good enough to be allowed that?

I’M SO ANGRY RIGHT NOW.

This is supposed to be the time when I look back and see our time together through rose-tinted glasses and I can’t! My brain is scrambling to find enough memories to assemble just something that didn’t involve me being screamed at, or being told I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t trying hard enough. I’m glad you found those better times eventually, I just wish …. some of them could have been with me.

I’m feeling everything and nothing, all at the same time, the result is a weird numb paralysis. I don’t know what else to do but write.

I DON’T WANT TO LOVE YOU AS MUCH AS I DO. ALWAYS HAVE.

I want to go back to being 5 years old and I want you to make it all ok Dad! But you can’t. And now you never will.

I DON’T WANT TO MISS YOU LIKE I DO. ALWAYS HAVE DONE.

I don’t even have any proper photos of him. Nothing tangible to hold, or smell, or feel. It’s almost like you didn’t exist, and you did because there is this massive dark black hole in my heart that I have been trying to fill since the age of 15. And it never goes away.

I really want to run away right now … to anywhere, to everywhere, to nowhere … away from myself.

Maybe I’ll bring you back. I’m a writer. I can create any world I want to. I just would rather not be in the real one right now.  I need someone to stop the ride so I can get off.

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Feeling Just A Little Bit Smug …

I actually managed to drive  to Nottingham this morning without getting screamed at, honked at , flashed at ( I’m talking lights not lack of clothes, although, to be honest, I’m so freaking tired I doubt I would notice that anyway); no one swore at me; I didn’t accidently cut anyone else up;the kids didn’t need trauma-therapy and I had no use for any valium by the end of the journey. It was like the Waltons in a car … The Smug Waltons …

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… and all it took to make it happen was practically leaving in the middle of the bloody night in order to avoid the traffic. 

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I don’t know if it’s just Nottingham, but I was always taught by my driving instructor, that if you are effectively  turning right at a roundabout then you need to be in the right-hand lane. At the very least, the middle. But apparently not here. Here it’s the left lane … of which there are often two. Confused? Yup! Me too! Hence the need to drive stealth. In the dark. I think the root issue here is that I’m simply not rich enough. I was born into the wrong tier of the class system because am obviously nature’s choice for someone destined to have a chauffeur. Bad call natural selection process, bad call!

We still have to make it home this afternoon in the middle of rush hour.  I rather suspect we will be back to

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and

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So I’ll make my apologies now Nottingham.

If you see a woman with a look of the devil  in her eye, switching lanes every 15 seconds, possibly crying, hair like Einstein, using the international hand signal for ‘WTF you arsehole’, with two boys in the back looking like they are trying to pick the locks and escape .. then it’s probably me.

And I’m sorry.

I think I ought to set up a donation button or a crowdfund so I can raise the money for the chauffeur. It’s for the good of the nation. 

Anna J     xXx

 

 

My tween is speaking in ‘joined up writing’!

My tween is speaking in ‘joined up writing’!

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Hand on heart, I have no sodding clue what my child has said to me since he woke up this morning. Not. A. Clue.

Officially he is still in the Tween-Zone but the teens are approaching quickly, far too quickly, and I can see the changes kicking in as the minute’s tick by. About a year ago the greasy hair arrived. Like some sort of monster from the deep lagoon, it was disgusting! As a former hairdresser, I strode into the situation with confidence that things would soon be under control. There was nothing I hadn’t seen or dealt with during that fifteen year period of my life. I was so confident that I would go so far as to say that I was cocky. It was with my chest  puffed out and a glint in my eye that I doused his head in clarifying shampoo and began to scrub.

Five minutes passed; I was dousing again.

Another five minutes; repeating the process for the third time.

Fifteen minutes later; my former glory had left me and I was rocking in a corner, banging my head on the wall, muttering in tongues ‘It won’t go!It won’t go!’

Eventually, it did go but not until we’d called in the  big boys. Sand-blaster, acid bath, sheep-dip, and so far we’ve managed to keep the  beast tamed and under control.

And then came the spots. Overnight, my beautiful boys’ baby soft skin erupted. I don’t know what was worse; the fact that I was totally unprepared and went into a mini-melt down or the fact that he didn’t care. When I tried to casually introduce an element of skin care to his morning routine, it was brushed aside. Apparently, he’d rather have the spots and the extra five minutes in bed. Maybe, this is simply the difference between girl teens and boy teens? Or  the difference between the (healthier ) state of his self-esteem versus the (unhealthy) state of mine at a similar age. I hope the latter. A few ‘You-Did-Great-Mom Gold Stars’ would be nice at this testing time.

After the spots came the B.O. Seriously, we don’t even want to go there. It’s early. Some people are still eating breakfast.

And so, back to this morning, we have finally arrived at the ‘speaking in joined  up writing’ phase. It’s probably pushing the legal boundaries, referring to it as ‘speaking’. It’s a sort of low, continuous noise without a break. Somewhere between the subsonic rumble of an earthquake and the call of a whale in distress. I’m quite in awe. I can only assume that he’s breathing in through his arse because no proper exchange of oxygen appears to be taking place either through his nasal or oral cavity. I have of course checked his vital signs, just  to satisfy myself that what we have got happening is ‘Tween-itus’ and not some kind of nasty bacteria or alien bodily takeover. It’s definitely not bacterial. the alien take over  I’ve not ruled out completely.

The most astounding thing ( to me) about this situation is that he doesn’t seem to realise what he’s doing. The sounds that are coming out of his mouth, to his ears, obviously still sound normal! 

Joint frustrations are mounting!

I think I may go shopping once I’ve finished my coffee, sat here in Nero’s. With all standard methods of communication failing between The Colonel and myself, post-it notes and biro’s are the future. Aside from that, I guess I just have to make sure he is fed and watered at regular intervals until such time that he evolves beyond the grunting stage and rejoins us back in the land of the living.

I don’t know if there is enough cake in the world to get me through this.

An SOS To All The Boy Mommas’.

An SOS To All The Boy Mommas’.

Saturday was bathroom cleaning day. 

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I honestly do not know where I went wrong.

<swigs wine>

How is it even possible to leave a bathroom in that state?

<swigs more wine >

I couldn’t get pee in those places if my life depended on it!

<grabs bottle>

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Between you and I, I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this up. They are 12& 13 now. That means I’ve got *counts on fingers* at least six more years of this.

<Begins to sob>

I mean, I go over and over with them about wiping the seat, (and around the seat … and down on the floor behind the seat … and under the hinges of the seat….) putting empty loo rolls in the bin. I point out the toothpaste, smeared and dried across the mirror and the glass shelf . The ‘gifts’ they leave floating. The dirty boxer shorts left on the floor along with other unmentionables that I am yet to identify (and quite frankly, would most probably need therapy if I did find out).

What the hell do they do in there!? Do they turn feral? Or into the exorcist? 

How hard can it be? Walk in, take a pee (directly into the loo). Flush toilet. Wash hands. Leave Room. It’s not rocket science. 

Are the towels really so heavy that they can’t physically pick them up post-shower?

And what gives with the conversion? Where my bathroom floor is converted into a paddling pool at least once day? I monitor my water meter … I don’t even know how they make that amount of water go that far. You’d think if nothing else it would wash away the grime. But no. Witchcraft is the only reasonable explanation.

I’m struggling to hang in there at a once-a-week deep clean. It really needs more. I’m not sure I have the inner strength to do it. Someone give me reassurance before I lose the will to live.

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I’m thinking of setting up a crowd-fund campaign to pay for a cleaner, to come in on a sodding hourly basis. Some jobs should be left to those that know what they are doing.

Professionals.

Semi-professionals.

Stranger off the street.

Just anyone except me.

Single Mom Discovers New ‘Strongest Substance Known to Man’.

 

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Up until today, according to Our Lord God The Google and Michio Kaku, the strongest substance known to man was something called Graphene. In the description is says

“Think of like Saran Wrap made out of one-molecule-thick carbon atoms.  That graphene is so strong in principle you can take an elephant, put the elephant on a pencil, suspend the pencil on graphene and graphene will not break.  That is how strong it is.  It is the strongest material known to science at the present time.”

Now I’m not a woman of science. Nor am I one to blow my own trumpet in particular, however, I think on this occasion I would be excused a moment or two in the limelight. And I think the scientific community would excuse my temporary big headedness when I declare, with confidence, that Graphene bloody well isn’t the strongest substance known to man. It is, in fact, what ever the hell is on the inside of the three-week old bowl that I found in my son’s bedroom today. The ‘what ever the hell it is’ that he ( of course) denied all knowledge of.

<Cue innocent and mildly surprised look from tween>

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#ScientificFact

As well as it’s apparent strength, one has to assume that there is some kind of quantum physics / molecular fusion that has  gone on because quite frankly that is the only explanation to how, what used to be #Kellogs #CrunchyNutCornflakes, could have become quite so well attatched to my porcelain.

We would have attempted the elephant experiment as described by Google however, in the absence of an elephant, we only had Fetish-Dog and she refused to co-operate. She also chewed up most of the pencils we own, many weeks ago. Instead, we devised our own tests. Despite putting it through many process in the ‘Anna J Domestic Laboratory’, including sand blasting, acid erosion, small nucleur bomb, hammer and chisel, swearing at it very loudly etc. I have been unable to break it down either physically or emotionally. Sadly, it appears to have had the reverse effect on me and I’ve now reached Pinot Grigio point of desperation.

I’m praying there will be no regeneration or breeding from what ever it is during the night, but in all honesty, things aren’t looking great. Next stop is NASA Research Dept … followed by Argos. To buy some new bowls.

I’m Declaring Today, International PJ Day

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Today is officially a PJ Day, and, I’m officially making it international so it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, I’ve gotcha back.
Following The Captain’s Nothing Day, yesterday, unsurprisingly, I now need to recharge. I think I’m a fairly typical female when I say that I really don’t function well on not enough sleep and too much daily demand. What usually starts out as a ‘bit of a low mood’ when I wake, speedily runs towards the grand finishing line of ‘Holy mother of all the gods, the sky has fallen down on my life and everything is such a mess’.
If I don’t listen to my body and my energy levels,by tea time I’m entering myself into every ‘worst mother /ugliest woman/ terrrible’est ( yes I made that word up) friend competition’ that I can find; secure in the knowledge that I absolutely will win them all. These days are known in the (female) trade as Fat & Ugly Days, and as I’ve already mentioned, generally pop up when we are tired, or due on (when we aren’t living through a ‘Clumsy Day’ or ‘I’m Just Gonna Cry and Eat Chocolate Day’).
So for today, I’m taking a breather. The kids will have to survive on pasta. The clothes washing will have to wait so we may be wearing dressing gowns and flip-flops tomorrow. The dishes will have to wait, and yes I’m prepared for the fact that we could realistically end up eating out of Tupperware pots and drinking from a measuring jug by this afternoon. And in the absence of having a special someone to hand me a glass of wine and tell me that everything is going to be okay, I shall probably pour myself one; and everything will be okay.

Happy International PJ Day people.

 

Disclaimer: This post does not restrict me to only one PJ Day a year

Autistic Melt Downs & Poo In Bushes.

A day of rest(ish) today so The Captain can defrag and reset his brain; and his momma can avoid a nervous breakdown. In the absence of drinking wine ( me, not him. Obvs. I’ve just gone off it.) I’m having to resort to that horrible thing called ‘Sensible Behaviour and Planning Ahead’.

Yesterday he had a full on day at a Home-Ed gathering. Managed to fleece *cough* I mean sell, some more home made bracelets to his friends (I don’t know how he does it …. He is the Del Trotter of the autistic world! Sadly whilst he may of almost made his first million, he also spent his first million. On ‘sweetie cones’. From the stall across the way. Who, if my maths is correct, should be off purchasing their first Rolls Royce this morning. Paying for it all in (The Captains) 20 pence pieces. However, concerns about rotten teeth, obesity and a future life of ‘general adult ill health for my kids’ aside, it was a good day.

He made his own bracelets to sell on his stall. Set up and managed his own little pitch. Worked the cash box ( sneaky maths practice). And only had a melt down and screamed at his brother to ‘Fuck Off!!’, at the top of his voice, in front of everyone, a couple of times. The first of those situations was diffused when one of his friends fell in some poo in the bushes. The other was dealt with in his usual way – he sat with a crochet blanket over his head. 

Parents of autistic kids will know exactly what I’m describing. When your child needs to cut out some of the ‘white noise’ being taken in by the recievers. Blankets over heads ( or hoods). Ear defenders over ears. It works. If you let them get on with it.

I’ve all but given up trying to explain to onlookers. And as he gets older, there will be more of those. Onlookers. What is cute and quirky on a young child ( to the untrained eye), becomes weird, when its an adult doing it. The Captain is 13. And would easily pass for 16 physically. His time left in that childhood zone is diminishing. Quickly.

It frightens me when I think about how he will cope in the adult world. And how the adult world will cope with him. But for now…. We just focus on the days.  Yesterday was a good day. 

And today, God-Willing, will be too.
💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓