Thursday, 19 August 2010

Blonde roots

I am very definitely a brunette (with streaks of grey these days).  Why then, did my best friend teach my other friends how to sign 'blonde roots' a few years ago?  And why is there a Barbie doll perched on my desk?  In recent years, I thought perhaps motherhood had made me less scatty and the blonde moments had diminished.  I thought perhaps I'd learned, at the very least, to think before I speak.  It would, however, appear not...

Picture the scene.  Holding down a senior-ish role in a retail bank, interviewing with a number of colleagues for our graduate intake.  Marketing director presenting to them on why they want to work with us.  Asks us to introduce ourselves.  Hip HR graduate recruiter asks the graduates to share an interesting fact and encourages us to do the same.  4 graddies go first.  Then colleague number 1 - her interesting fact is that she joined the graduate scheme at said bank in 1994.  Colleague number 2 - his interesting fact is that he was a graduate for a large accountancy firm.  And then it's me. 

'I don't know about you' I say to the graduates 'but I'm not sure those were particularly interesting facts'.  I wanted to reassure then that not everyone working for a bank is dull.  I pause - not for dramatic effect but because, although I know what I want to say, I suddenly realise it might not be such a good idea to admit to it in front of the marketing director.  But, by this time, my mind is blank and I cannot think of any other interesting facts - I am committed.  I was going to share with them that whilst, by day, I worry about mortgage margins, by night, I design some adverts for my friends who own a lingerie shop. 

What I say is 'in my spare time I do some advertising for a lingerie company'.  Even as the room bursts into fits of laughter, it takes my bossfriend (interesting fact 'he's not a graduate') to explain that they're not laughing because my interesting fact is, well, interesting.  They actually think I've just told them that I am a lingerie model.

Oh well, I think I achieved my objective (you don't have to be dull to work at a bank) and managed to put the graduates at ease.  I gave my colleagues a good laugh and I imagine the marketing director won't forget me in a hurry.  There are some lovely young people who for a second believed I could be a lingerie model (or perhaps that's really why they were laughing...).  And, once I'd recovered from the embarrasment, I smiled until my jaw ached for the rest of they day.    

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

How to mark the day...

For the 3rd year in a row, I have taken the 10th August off work.  I would be fine at work but in many ways I want to acknowledge this day in some way.  I want to be close to my family and hold them a little bit tighter. 

I appreciate the messages that are sent and I understand why people are thinking of us but please think of Monkey as well.  Remember that sweet little boy who needed a lot of love and a lot of help.  Who didn't complain all that much about how difficult things were for him.  Maybe because he couldn't but mostly because I think he often took content to a whole new level.

Today, my husband worked and I took the boys to Warwick Castle.  My grown up nieces joined us.  They asked if I was sure I didn't want to be on my own.  What?  With 2 terrors who could have a grumpy, challenging day?  No, I love these boys so much but today it was good to have company.  'I don't need to be on my own' I told them.  'I simply reserve the right to choose who I spend it with and you two, along with Pickle & Wotsit, are at the top of my list'.

It has been a good day.  Bizarrely, Wotsit today has kept saying Alex's name and 'Where's Alex gone?'.  He's getting to the age when those questions will come but I think it is merely coincidence today.  They do not know what day it is. 

We've seen jousting and eagles, climbed towers and dressed as knights.  Wotsit was stung by a wasp and was remarkably brave.  There was one meltdown (Pickle) but all over reasonably quickly.

My heart beat faster as we drove past the church on the way home (the beauty of living in Church Road is that we pass by every day) and it will pause again at 9.20pm tonight.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

You are always on my mind

Dear Monkey,

It is nearly 3 years since you died.  Yet I think of you often, and so do your brothers - even the one that never got to meet you (and looks a lot like you). 

This weekend, for example...

On Saturday, we visited Ben & Gillian and baby Sophia.  Some other friends were there with their children.  The eldest was 5 and he seemed so grown up.  And then I remembered that you would now be nearly six...

The journey home was long and frustrating.  Motorway closed - we took an alternative route.  I had a flashback to stopping at a pub on the way to the South Coast with you and your Daddy.  It was before Pickle was born.  We were going to Worthing.  Your Dad always fancied (and still does) living by the sea and we'd been looking for somewhere we could afford that looked nice.  I wanted to be somewhere that would be good for you too.  Lots of fresh air, wheelchair access and good NHS facilities.  We walked along the sea front and went to a Chinese restaurant for tea.  I love it when there's something I'd forgotten that jumps into my head - a memory discovered.

Your brothers climbed into our bed this morning and Wotsit was looking at my mobile phone.  The screensaver is a picture of Pickle pretending to sleep.  Wotsit says 'Alex'.  I tell him it's not you but he insists it is.  Funny that Wotsit is actually the one who looks like you.  Extra big kiss for Wotsit for learning your name and thinking of you.

We are selling some things on ebay, including the double mountain buggy that we bought for you and Pickle.  For a while, it was hard to know how to go out with the pair of you.  We were trying so hard to get some supportive seating for you.  I'd written a few snotty letters to wheelchair services!  But we needed to get out.  It was not ideal and I know it wasn't supportive enough for you but it did us for a while and you looked like you loved it.  And we could go off road!  We walked to Old Harry's Rocks with you in that pushchair and made daisy chains at the top.  And Daddy and I took you for a walk in the countryside when we first moved here.  It was reasonably disasterous!  The ground had been churned up by horses and it was sticky clay, we got lost and there were a couple of stiles to lift you both over!  I may not have been smiling on the day but today the memory made me smile a lot.

At the end of the day, we were having some wind down time with cbeebies.  I have a son on each side, snuggling up.  I said 'who is the luckiest Mummy with 2 gorgeous boys?'  Pickle replied 'not you Mummy, you have 3 gorgeous boys'.

We love you