Thanks to the readers who donated to Bloggers for Haiti. We have now reached eight times the original target to send one Shelterbox out to the survivors of the earthquake – it would be brilliant if we make that ten. It will take a very long time to fix Haiti, so if you haven’t already donated, please click here.
Tom continues to say really cute things. Take last week: I told him about Haiti in the most basic way possible. The following day, he was watching telly while I made the tea. He insists he’s too old for Cbeebies now and has learnt how to turn over to CBBC. It’s mainly a lot of precocious kids on there but there’s also Newsround and that’s what was on when I walked in the front room.
“Are these the people whose houses fell down?” he pointed at a report from Haiti.
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“Oh. They can’t eat breakfast or colour in or eat tea or play with their toys. Can we send them our house please?”
I know it’s twee but he really does make me proud. I thought of this the other day as I stood in a long queue in Primark, listening to the unfeasible amount of screaming babies wriggling in their buggies. I remember shopping there when I was pregnant. I couldn’t afford many good maternity clothes so I had one pair of jeans with a stretchy waistband and used to buy big baggy tops in Primark. I remember walking through there, a load of tops draped over my arms, listening to those wailing kids. I caught sight of myself in a mirror, all pale under the fake yellow light. Huge, bloated, a constant frown on my face. What the hell am I doing? I thought. This is all I’ve got to look forward to.
Yesterday, I found an old notebook. It had notes in it that I wrote when I was pregnant. I don ‘t even remember writing that stuff, I can’t believe how distraught I was. From now on, I’ll just be mopping up baby sick and watching daytime TV. I wrote. One of my friends confessed recently that she was worried about me when I was pregnant because I was the ‘least child-friendly’ person she knew.
Tonight, Tom said “You’re my favourite family person Mum.”
“Thanks. You’re mine.”
“Because you’re ace and I grew you in my tummy.”
“Did you choose me?”
“No. I didn’t choose you and I’m glad you’re such a good boy because I didn’t know you would be and I was frightened.”
“Because I didn’t think I’d be good at being a Mum.”
“You are really good at being a Mum though!”
“You’re my zero family person.”
“Yeah. Zero comes before one. You’re my best.”
I know I’ve said it before, but it’s loads better than I thought it would be.
Writing about all this soppy love stuff seems like an appropriate time to mention a reading I am doing next month in Preston. Novelist Jenn Ashworth has asked me to read at Word Soup, alongside Joe Stretch, whose take on love is far from soppy. I used to knock about Preston when I was a teenager, so that’ll be strange. Look here…