Friday, 16 December 2011

Singulus Parentitis - an extract

I am feeling very scared and very excited this week as I published my first book on Amazon as an e-book!! Ever driven by the determination to change my children's lives for the better I am sucking up the fear and doing it anyway, and desperately hoping that it is well received!! is a little extract to (hopefully) whet the appetite.....

Like most people, I love the special holidays that occur throughout the year. Those days when we celebrate the special people in our lives, exchange gifts, or simply get to dress up in ridiculous costumes for the night. Being a single parent, such occasions can develop a whole new meaning.

Mother’s Day and Fathers Days can assume connotations never before considered, and are certainly not as I would have imagined them to be as a parent. I always held that idealistic notion that Mother’s Day and my birthdays would consist of breakfast in bed, with hand drawn cards and a colossal bunch of flowers, only to be spoiled for the rest of the day by a loving husband and adoring children.
I blame the television adverts that portray such concepts, and my own naivety for believing them! It’s akin to the baby adverts that only ever depict a clean, quiet baby, happy to snuggle contentedly in your arms. I was shocked, and most aggrieved, when Callum turned out to be an unsettled, screaming baby, who regurgitated his milk and vomited all over me every hour. Where was my Johnsons and Johnson’s perfect baby?

Mother’s Day and my birthday are still made extremely special for me by my own parents and of course by Callum and Katie. I am given gifts and cards when my parents arrive and the children sing “Happy Mummy-day to you”, and I know as the children grow up then the responsibility for this will no longer fall to my parents.
Father’s day is made equally as special in our house, despite the obvious lack of a father!
Callum and Katie share this particular day with my father, and their Godfathers, Uncles Dominic and John. I encourage them to make as much of a fuss of the father figures in their lives, just as they would have done should their natural father have been here.
I could let this day slip by and simply focus on my own Dad, but you would have to be deaf and blind to miss the countless advertising campaigns. Shop window displays and posters herald the arrival of the day when the world celebrates their father. As such I feel it is important that Callum and Katie still have someone that they can focus their attentions on. This also helps, as at nursery, all the children are encouraged to make Father’s Day cards and I have explained to the staff that Callum should be encouraged to join in and not ostracised because he does not have a father at home.

I have lost count of the number of ‘Days’ that are spaced throughout the year, and I admit to indulging in only Mothers and Father’s Day. I chose to skip Grandparents Day; Nurses Day; Earth Day; National Day of the Cowboy and Tell an Old Joke Day!!

For the children’s birthdays I try and go all out. The living room is decorated floor to ceiling with banners and balloons and gifts are stacked in the middle of the floor, ready for Callum or Katie to burst through in the morning and savour the magical day everyone deserves! One year for Callum’s birthday I had some last minute shopping to do and my mum and dad helped with the numerous tasks I had to do before I could fall into bed that night. I arrived home, with the party supplies and a few last minute necessities, and stood in disbelief at my living room.
My mum was sitting shaking her head, and said “I wrapped the gifts…the rest is all down to your father!” I looked around at the ‘decorations’. I use the term loosely because there,  stuck in the middle of a wall were two barely blown balloons and a lopsided banner that had been cut so short that it read “PPY BIRTHD!”
I asked my dad if he was serious in his attempts, and he failed to notice the problem. I explained that my aim was a magical room filled with balloons and banners, like a grotto that oozes a party feeling. A dismal attempt that resembled octogenarian’s genitalia left me unimpressed, although the three of us were somewhat amused by it! As I rectified the decorations the excitement at imagining Callums face became palpable, and in the morning Callum was overwhelmed by it all.
As special as I try to make birthdays, there is a pathos attached to them. My children are a year older and I wonder where the time has gone. When a month can feel like an eternity to me, how can a year pass so rapidly? In the blink of an eye my baby boy is about to start school and my daughter is walking and talking!
I want to press the “Pause” button, and I would settle for a slow motion replay, anything that can keep my children as young and innocent as they are for just a little longer!

Fingers and toes crossed for a new chapter in our lives!!!