Your 5 year old son is suddenly complaining that his friend is with us. You’re on the 185 coming home from Lewisham. It’s March, absurdly hot and the teachers are on strike. You wonder how London will cope in the Olympics. You wonder if 2012 really is the beginning of something more awful than the end of anything else could be. The bus is packed. Your son won’t shut up. You try shifting seats so he can sit next to you. You try shifting seats so he can sit by himself. You try starting the story book at the beginning as he asks you to, from where you left off earlier as he asks you. You apologise to your son’s friend. You say your son is tired and overheated. You congratulate the friend on how he’s dealing with being told he’s not wanted anymore. Your son won’t shut up. You don’t turn round to apologise to the rest of the passengers on the bus but think they deserve it. You imagine an African mother tapping you on the shoulder and asking if you’ve considered a short, sharp slap. The words meltdown, awful child and worst nightmare come to mind. You ignore your son. You concentrate on ploughing through the book about space travel with your son’s friend who doesn’t seem too bothered by the 30 minute outpouring of hatred against him. That seems exemplary practice. Today, you manage to keep your cool. Today, you are an icy planet inside.
%d bloggers like this: