It amazes me how Motherhood is an ongoing lesson.
Never can I say, 'Yes, I am a Good Mother.'
Or if I do, I am in for a Little Shock.
Youngest came out of school yesterday. His hair was looking Shocking. Long and straggly, and unbrushed. Hedge and Backwards sprang to mind.
Informed him that we were going to get his Hair Cut.
I might as well have said we were going to perform Surgery on his Privates.
He ran, screaming, all round the garden, little face red with fury and indignation.
'I DON'T WANT TO HAVE MY HAIR CUT!' he yelled, over and over again.
I was appalled. Other people's children can do this, but not mine. AND we live next door to the school. I have to at least Look Like A Good Mother. For God's sake.
I tried to get him into the car and Away. Before teachers started looking out of windows and calling Social Services.
There were no big brothers or sister to distract him. Just Me. And Him.
Said in Very Loud Tones, across the expanse of lawn,
'Come To Me Now.'
Not on Your Nelly.
His face was all scrunched up and Furious.
A little Louder.
'Come To Me NOW!'
As I took a step towards him, he turned and fled round the back of the greenhouse.
I took after him. We went round and round the greenhouse a few times, with me getting more and more Irate.
'Come Here At Once!'
Hard to shout when you are Running Full Pelt.
Off he went, through the gap in the hedge, round the back of the house, and stopped, panting, by the shed.
Talk about Total Loss of Control.
Here was my five year old, running me round into tighter and tighter circles.
Forgoing any further speech (it hadn't done me much good so far) I marched up to him.
Off he went again, round the shed, past the raspberries, with me in hot pursuit.
I caught him by the Apple Trees. His roar of horror at being caught was so loud I cast nervous looks towards the school.
Marched him by the hand to the car.
Squished him into his car seat, to Much Protestation.
All the way to the Hair Dresser, a mere three miles away, Youngest sat and Muttered. Mummy is a Poo. I hate Mummy. Stooopid Mummy.
His arms crossed. Not a Happy Bunny.
Felt pretty damned Miffed myself, if truth be told.
Arrived and parked.
Took his hand and led him into Hairdresser.
A smiling lady took in the situation.
'Allo!' she said. Sounded Russian, and turns out she was.
'You look cross. Would you like a lollipop?'
Youngest looked even Crosser.
Lady continued to smile. Kind and jolly, she coerced him into a Huge Chair.
Asked me out of the corner of her mouth what I wanted done to the Mop.
Short back and sides I muttered back.
Pretended to read magazine.
Lady cut and snipped and smiled and laughed and questioned.
Youngest looking in mirror at himself and occasionally at me.
Still determined to be cross.
Hair comes off.
Smile comes back on.
Hair cut complete.
Out we come. Youngest looking considerably smarter.
Slips his hand into mine.
'Do I look cool?' he asks.
'Yup,' I say. Look glancingly in window and catch sight of self.
Hot. Red. Knackered.
'How about me, am I cool?' I ask him.
He doesn't bother looking. A smile lifts the side of his mouth.
'Nowooh,' he says in that curious Aussie lilt that English children like to copy.
'You're my Mum.'
And we walk hand in hand to the car.
I tell you, this Mothering Lark, it goes on a bit. Will someone Please Tell Me,
when the Bloody Hell do I get to pass the Exam?