I am fine. I am totally, totally fine.
Now, I realise that by saying that I sound like I am actually not fine, and am merely trying to convince myself of it, and that I am probably sitting in a rapidly cooling bath right now with mascara streaming down my face, hugging my knees and cradling an enormous glass of straight vodka, but it is true. I am fine.
The reason I feel the need to say this is because I am a single parent. We are not supposed to be fine. We are supposed to be bitter, twisted and skint, loathing our exes and slating them on social media for the rascals that they are, and how they never see their kids and how they may as well just be a sperm doner. Yes, doner. Like the kebab. That always seems to be the standard spelling in such rants.
There are times, I admit, when I am not fine. Like today, for example. Instead of feeling elated at the end of a long week at work, I was merely feeling ambivalent, thinking about all the work I need to do over the weekend, and how I will barely get to spend any time with Piglet, and how he has probably forgotten me. Did I tell you that the other day when I picked him up from nursery for the first time ever, he just stood there and looked at me as if to say, where’s my real mummy? You know, the one I call GRANNY. What are you doing here? Who are you anyway?
Today I changed his nappy, and realised that I hadn’t done it in so long I had actually forgotten what his poo looks like (because other people, i.e. my mother, have been changing it. He hasn’t been wearing the same nappy for the past week. Things are bad, but they aren’t that bad).
“A blueberry poo!” I cried happily as I peeled his nappy off, gleefully singing my favourite made-up song ever, the melodic self-penned hymn to infant fecal matter known as What You Got For Mummy In That Nap-Nap, before realising that I didn’t even know if he had eaten any blueberries, because I WAS NOT THERE. I was at work again, like I am all day, every day, instead of at home stimulating his intellectual development, feeding him delicious home-cooked meals with vegetables grown in my own backyard and inspecting his poo like a proper mother, and this is the price I pay for being a feckless single mother and shoulder-padded career woman who Almost Left It Too Late.
But then I remember that it isn’t all bad.
OK so I am a single 35 year old woman living in my mother’s house, sleeping in a bed with a duvet cover the like of which has not been seen since 1982, in a bedroom which still has stick-on glow in the dark stars on the walls, but I am happy. I am happy because I have my little Piglet, and no amount of Jeffrey Campbell shoes or vintage dresses or carefree nights out from my former life as a girl about town and general person who didn’t live with her mother in the house she grew up in, in the bedroom she last shared with her brother in 1985, can compare.
Oh God I sound really soppy. Argh. Hopefully the gratuitous shoe-porn above will make up for my shambolic ramblings. I mean, they ARE fabulous, aren’t they? Even if I can’t wear them any more due to my new life as an Olympic sprinter chasing after a wandering toddler.