Number 2 was just about to leave for work.
‘It’s tipping down outside,’ he said, ‘can I take your umbrella?’
‘No,’ I said, ‘it’s mine!’
‘Why are there no umbrellas in this stupid house?’ He says.
‘Where’s your umbrella?’ I say.
‘In the car. I’ve got about 3 in the car.’
‘Oh,’ I say, ‘that’s why there’s no umbrella’s in the house, because they’re all in your car.’
Number 2 didn’t arrive home at the expected time. He doesn’t really have to as he’s an adult now but I still like to know where he is and what time he’ll be home. I wait until nearly 11pm then I text him.
‘Ok?’ I say.
‘Yes,’ he says, ‘I’m staying at 2 + 1’s tonight.’
‘Oh ok,’ I say, ‘have a nice time and I’ll see you tomorrow then.’
‘Ok.’ He says.
I start drifting off, 15 minutes later I hear the unmistakable roar of his car outside and then heavy footsteps up the stairs.
‘Ok?’ I call out.
He doesn’t hear me so I text instead.
‘Yes, there was a spider in the bedroom, we couldn’t stay there so we thought we’d stay here instead.’
‘Oh ok.’ I said.
Number 2 and Number 2 + 1 have had a row.
I tried to not get involved but they both kept hovering around me for something – for what exactly I’m not sure of as I know they both wanted me to stay out of it but they wouldn’t go away!
I try to mediate for 30 seconds, jumping from one view point to the other but it’s not helpful.
They both stomp around the house sulking like they own it, or at least are contributing to the mortgage.
I quietly make tea.
‘I don’t want any.’ Snaps Number 2 but takes his seat at the table anyway.
6 seated at the table. No one speaks, all too afraid that we might tip the balance.
The Husband and I eat in silence at our own kitchen table, in our own house, with heads bowed like naughty school children.
Number 2 + 1 can’t eat and she looks close to tears, she storms off to her house a short while later.
An hour later the issue has been resolved and she’s back, and we all breathe a sigh of relief and I’m grateful to get into bed!
My Snapchat spies tell me that Number 2 has sunburn!
I enquire to this fact when he texts, remembering the last instruction I issued was ‘don’t get sunburnt!’
‘Oh yeah,’ he says, ‘I don’t know even how that happened.’
Ummmm … that’ll be the sun, just like I said!
I leave it there. There is safety with him knowing that I know things that he doesn’t think I know.
He knows that Mum’s know things even if he is 2,500 miles away!!!
There are no measures in Mummy…ing!
Day 5 and still away on his first holiday alone (with 2 + 1), Number 2 texts at the same time as I cut my finger open while cleaning the bathroom floor.
I have a feeling it’s him before I open the text and ignoring the blood the thought of hearing from him makes me smile.
With a tissue wrapped finger I make a clumsy attempt to open the text, the first words displayed read ‘Gone death…’
My heart misses some beats, my eyes stop at the word ‘death’ and don’t seem able to read beyond.
I go and sit on the bed and calmly try to open the text in its entirety.
‘Gone death overnight in one ear….’
After I have managed to take a proper breath again I send through some advice for his ‘deaf’ ear, I learn he’s having a great time too.
I’m so pleased to hear from him.
I will be very happy once he’s home.
2,500 miles is a very long way away, it’s way too far!!!
Number 2 is going on holiday with 2 + 1.
They are going on a plane…alone!
They are both getting more and more excited with each day that passes and I just feel sick!
My mind whirls with the things that could go wrong…planes, coaches, deep water, alcohol, roads with pot-holes, he might lose his passport, he might run out of money, he might get mugged…
I reassure myself that he is quite clever really and (mostly) sensible.
It’s 10pm and I’m not tired anymore so I knock on his bedroom door.
‘Don’t forget you can’t drink the tap water.’ I say feeling silly, of course he would already know that.
‘What do you mean?’ he says, ‘why can’t I drink the tap water?’
My heart sinks. Why doesn’t he know that?
‘Oh yeah,’ says 2 + 1 taking her eyes for a second off her mobile, ‘I forgot that.’
What else don’t they know???
I go back to bed and stay awake making a mental list of other things I thought they would know but probably don’t to discuss with them before they go…
Number 2 and 2 + 1 appeared as I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes.
‘Ok?’ I ask.
‘No.’ they both answer in unison.
My heart sinks.
‘What’s up?’ I say.
‘We were kept awake by a stupid turkey outside.’
I’m surprised, I’ve never seen a turkey in the garden before and I think I would have noticed.
‘Oh,’ I say, ‘a turkey?????’
‘Yes,’ they say.
‘Oh,’ I say, ‘I see, it probably wasn’t a turkey though.’ (!)
‘Whatever.’ They say and toddle of to work.
Next day… same time, same place (Groundhog Day!)…
‘There’s that stupid thing that kept us awake.’ Number 2 says pointing out the window in disgust.
‘That’s not a turkey,’ I say.
‘What is it then?’
‘That’s a pigeon.’
‘Yeah whatever.’ They say, and toddle off to work again!