Monday 18 December 2017

Christmas drama queen

Hermaphrodite Mum 
Three kids and a single mum

 "Are you alright?" asks Middle Child anxiously.

I am beached on the sofa, one hand massaging my temples. "Yes, I think so. It has been a long day."

Christmas decorations hanging on the Christmas tree"Were you working?"

"No, love, I was finishing off the Christmas shopping."

"Oh, is that all?"

I take a deep breath. He's young and inexperienced. How would he know what I've accomplished in the last few weeks? How I have written 80 Christmas cards, bought and wrapped in excess of 50 presents, hauled a six-foot fir tree into the house, dragged two boxes of decorations down from the attic, booked in three online food shops for Christmas and New Year, as well as all the usual drudgery, and... 

Actually, he does know now because I've just told him.

"Um, I think I've got homework to finish off," he says nervously, eyeing me up like I'm a mad bag-lady he's encountered in the street.

It occurs to me that mad bag-ladies are really just mothers who have cracked up in the count-down to Christmas, bless them! They are forever treading pavements with their shopping bags in hand, thinking, Just one more present for little Bertie and then I'm done...

My youngest child climbs up onto my knee, seeking a cuddle. Christmas is an anxious time for her too. "Have I been a good girl, Mama? Will Father Christmas come?"

"Oh, we'll have to wait and see, won't we?" I blow a raspberry into the folds of her neck to make her squirm. She's the only one who puts up with such treatment now.

The noise of our laughter lures the teenager into the room, dressed in her usual uniform of black leggings, earphones and her favourite Jack Wills top (possibly her only top as I've seen her in little else recently). "By the way, I've put what I want in your basket on Amazon. You know, from Father Christmas." She winks outlandishly. 

"Does Father Christmas really shop on Amazon?" asks the little one with a baffled expression.

I glare at the teenager, but she shrugs and rolls her eyes. "Sometimes he needs a bit of help," she explains. "I'm making it easier for him."

Little One twists round in my lap and holds my face in both of her chubby hands. "Do I need to put stuff in the Amazon basket?"

"No, babe, your letter is perfect. Father Christmas prefers a nice letter," I say pointedly.

She settles back down in my lap, relieved. "Actually, Mama, I think I've changed my mind about the fairy garden. I want a unicorn now. I'm going to write him another letter."

"Oh, dear," I sigh, my hand finding the pressure point behind my temples once more. "You know Father Christmas might have finished his shopping by now."

"No, he won't of," she assures me. "His elves are still making stuff."

From the kitchen table, where he has been working, Middle Child pushes his chair back with a high-pitched squeal. 

"Where are you off to in such a hurry?" I ask.

"Don't worry, Mum," he says, "You stay put - I am just off to put something else in the Amazon basket. Le cheval blanc."

My head falls back on a cushion and I close my eyes. "Aw, thanks, love," I mutter as Little One continues to prattle on about unicorns. "Don't spend more than a tenner though!"

The teenager pushes one earphone off her ear. "What does he want with a shovel?" she asks.

It's my turn to roll my eyes.

Hermaphrodite Mum is fictional creation of Emma Clark Lam


Happy Christmas to all my readers! Thanks for reading my posts and for your comments on Facebook. I hope you all have a fabulous break over the holidays and give yourself a pat on the back for buying all those presents and making Christmas so special for your little ones. Get your glitter tops on and crack open the fizz! The end is in sight...

Gold cherub on top of the Christmas tree

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