Puddles

I was shopping for a gift for my soon to be eleven year old nephew on Saturday (I failed miserably) – a surprise he said when I asked what he wanted – I suspected as I held up the nostalgic board game ‘Game of Life’ that had I bought it this may well have been a surprise for him – a surprise that it wasn’t a)Money or b) Football related or c) Electronic in some way. I put down the game that held many fond memories of earlier years with my kids when board games had been semi forced upon them but almost always entirely turned out to be the best times! I’m sure my nephew too would enjoy the game once he got over the shock of a, b & c but confidence was not on my side as I replaced it and left the toy shop for the safety of something far more appropriate with ‘sport’ in the shop title.

I veered off my initial shopping track slightly, ending up in (of course) a clothes shop eying up another pair of skinny jeans and internally wondering whether the dark navy high waisted pair I held up were in fact any different to the … dark navy high waisted pair I was currently wearing…. along with contemplating whether I was now too old for said skinny jeans. Opting for a couple of casual tops (in the sales I might add!!) I queued up to pay.. trying to divert my eyes away from those items placed purposefully near the counter – did I need a new pair of gloves or a pack of five black socks perhaps?

A child ran past and I hear her mother raise her voice. Come back, she said. The child of about seven had long dark chocolate brown pig tails, huge brown eyes. Defiant, she took a seat away from her mum and her smaller sister followed suit. Mum was clearly exasperated and this was probably the nail in the coffin after no doubt a tiresome day out shopping with her two young daughters. She’s so naughty said (I presumed) Gran. Right, fuelled by this fire…. that’s it, mum shouted. This is going back. She held up a purple and pink unicorn shaped pencil case and tossed it on the shelf behind her. Fake wailing came from the pig-tailed child along with much pleading. No, insisted mum. And then she said something that I thought was just a bit odd to be honest. She said.

You are acting…. You are acting LIKE A CHILD.

I’m a parent and I’ve been stressed with my kids… so I am not in any way judging mum but to accuse the child of…. acting like a child was totally perplexing. Not least to the child, who was looking at her with huge confusion.

Mum didn’t give in. Unicorn shaped pencil case stayed sadly behind. I heard the (now real) cries rise as they left the shop and I stepped up to pay.

As I continued to walk around the shops, searching… the mums words echoed in my head – acting like a child. What did it mean to act like a child and how did we learn to stop acting like a child? Was it wrong to act like a child? Even now?

I don’t know who made up our education system or parenting rules but looking at our adult population I’d say something has gone drastically wrong with most of us who are now ‘grown ups’. We’re mostly anxious, rushing about, no time to talk, not eating properly, drinking and smoking too much, depressed, always looking for something better, discontent, materialistic. In competition.

I wondered what would have happened had we not gone to school and not been boxed off to be just like everyone else? Or if we had still gone to school for our education but… had not been boxed off like everyone else.

My brothers at school were always referred to as daydreamers. I remember this vividly. I was the ‘good’ one (rather ironic now!).. I knew looking out the window was not the behaviour expected at school. How I wish now that I had spent more time day dreaming about my future rather than doing what I thought was right. I was told by my careers teacher that I’d possibly ‘make a secretary’. As a good pupil that is what I went on to do. Shit. I wished I had spent more time day dreaming instead, I may have actually planned out the stuff I really wanted to be and do… an actress, a writer, a singer, a painter, a photographer. Instead I went with expectation… I signed up to a YTS course (yes I am one of the few!) and I worked for £27.50 per week, learning how to do office work.

I can’t pretend that I have not done well out of it, I’m in a good job (I’ve worked bloody hard for it!!) but what if I had allowed to be a child…. and day dream?  What would we do if perhaps we hadn’t had the ‘childish’ behaviour knocked out of us?
We might still jump in puddles. We’d laugh a lot more. We’d play fight. We’d tell jokes. We would use our imagination, a lot. We’d make up stories. We’d draw pictures. We’d learn from each other and from our environment. We’d keep trying new food and we’d say what we didn’t like. We’d pick up sticks and look under stones. We’d still have amazing instincts learning what was good and bad. We’d read what we want. We’d seek out to learn about subjects that interested us. We’d run when we aren’t ‘supposed to’. We wouldn’t be defined by stereotypes. We’d still write down the lyrics to songs. We’d fall in love and out of love and wouldn’t be shackled by the expectations put on us by society. We’d say what we saw without being embarrassed. We’d talk about our feelings without thought. We’d be expressive. We’d embrace difference. We’d be truthful. We’d be ourselves.
It might seem far fetched that we could be adults while holding on to our innate instinctive child behaviours but I for one would rather walk down the road and be able to jump in the puddle, laugh out loud and be in awe of the water jumping in globules around my legs…than be what we have become – avoiding the puddle, sensibly walking on, quietly. 
I’m off to get my wellies!
Happy Sunday to you xx

Some times life can be a bit crappy, sometimes it isn’t….

I try more and more to air on the side of positivity these days.  Writing really helps, even if it is just a few lines and mostly I go by the theory that life is pretty good, we just forget that sometimes.

I was making a list today of things that have made me happy or made me smile during the last couple of weeks, and in no particular order I thought I’d share them.

1.  I won at Monopoly, winning isn’t everything, but to be honest it is (I had 26 houses by the way – in one hour).  I get a terrible sense of achievement from having to watch my opponents (err family) having to mortgage most of their properties. Shame on me.

2.  I won at bowling.  Don’t worry there is no theme here and it is pure coincidence that both appear at the top of my list. It is.  Not only did I win but I find myself comparing my score with that of others playing next to me. People I don’t know.  As my son often says, I’m embarrassing.

3. My nephew.  He’s pretty smart. I hid all the eggs during the Easter egg hunt at my mum’s house in the garden, still covered in over a foot of snow.  After spending a quite decent amount of time ‘hiding’ them.  He happily told me, I know where they all are, I’ll just follow your foot prints.  Smarty pants.

4.  Running around the snow like a loon trying to cover the said footprints.

5. Listening to an old skool dance tune on the ipad – I feel love by CRW. Amazing.

6.  Making an Easter chocolate cake while dancing to above said tune. Yum.

7.  Trying to decide on an a theme for our next party and getting confused when my friend text and said Cowboys & Indians and Hawaiian.  I thought she meant all three and couldn’t see where the pineapple would fit in to be honest.  I later learnt, it was a choice. Personally I’m still sticking with Grease and I am Rizzo. OK.

8.  Using my new orange picnic backpack with my new flask and metal cups – WITH HANDLES on the top of the Llandegla forest, hiking through 4ft of snow. Bliss.

9.  Being thanked by a colleague for being ‘so supportive’ who then kissed me on my cheek and had tears in her eyes! Awww.  That was so sweet.

10.  Being told that someone had got a new job from an advert on my facebook site.  That was sooooooooo cool!

11.  Watching the boat race on the BBC  and hearing the cox swear, that made me really laugh. Childish!

12.  It made me smile trying to teach my grandad to use his new iphone that he had bought himself on e-bay. He kept telling me how clever I was and I kept thinking how fabulous he was, that he wanted to buy himself an iphone at 83. Brilliant.

13.  My mum’s scones with jam. One word. Lush.

14.  That I found my toasted sandwich machine and made myself a *new* sandwich, pesto, avocado and mozzarella.  Oh my. Scrummy.

15. That I bothered to get up and join in the village car boot sale this morning, earning myself £32 which I then spent on wine, coal and diet-coke.  All lifes essentials.

16.  The biggest smile came from not being in work, being at home, staying in bed, reading, writing, spending time with the fam. 

When you look close, there’s always something to smile about 🙂Image

 

 

 

Look at me.

Someone I know (we’ll leave it like that) pulled me to one side this week. Look she said. I looked. Look at my eyebrows, she said. I looked and my first thought to be honest was, oh that’s her natural hair colour. She kept staring at me. I began to panic. I’ve been here before. The last time it happened, it was an ex-colleague and this time it was her mouth. Oh I love your new lipstick, yeah it really suits you, I said. I’ve just spent twenty grand on new teeth, she said. Oh. I said.

Back to the eyebrows.

So I’m staring and the best my brain could come up with was that they were in a new shape. However I left a careful amount of pause before jumping in with that. BOTOX, she shouted. Oh thank you to whoever may or may not be up there, I thought.

Botox. Her first time.

Look at me frowning, she said. Not one sign of life, not one wrinkle, nothing. Look at my surprised look, she said. Nothing, just a very very smooth forehead. I’m cross now she said. Now I’m happy. You get the picture, it went on for a while. I laughed until I cried.

I’ve always been against the idea of botox, for me, but wow – not one wrinkle. Yes I know that means your forehead can’t react to pain or happiness but you’ve got the rest of your body to do that with.

What’s his number? I said 🙂

To the frisker.

To the frisker.

I wonder what I do. What signals I give off. I mean, this time, I even took the clip out of my hair and risked the look of my school nickname Crystal Tips as the locks sprung out from my head in excitement at their freedom. I took my shoes off. I even took my leather beaded necklace off. I was clean.

I handed over my passport. Then I approach it. I’m confident as I walk through towards it. Airport scanner. You’re mine this time.

And I did it. I got through. No beep. Joy.

Joy short lived.

I *still* get pulled over.

She’s female of course. I find this quite ironic. Men frisk men, women frisk women. It’s a heterosexual thing i’m guessing. She’s about my age, hair in a pony tail, a little bit weathered, looks like she may smoke the odd cigarette. Her navy pressed trousers are perfect along with her pale blue shirt tucked in neatly.

She stares at me.

Arms up please, she says. With authority.

I’m nervous.

And then I want to giggle.

All along my arms to the tips of my fingers she gently pats and then, I know what’s coming, she skims across my top and moves swiftly to my legs. Really, is it necessary to raise here hands all the way up there? She reaches to the top of my jeans. I think she’s surprised that they are high waisted. I do love my Top Shop high waists. Then she puts her hands *inside* the high waisted waist. Really. Is this in her job description?? What can you hide between your belly button and the top of your Asda red seamless pants.

Then, it’s over.

Thank you, she says.

Thank you, I say. Smiling.

Next time I might just leave my hair clip in 🙂