Today was Gabriele’s third set of injections, which have been sent askew time wise due to a backlog at the health board apparently. Firstly I dropped Millie off at school (on time – applause please!) for her second day and she was more enthusiastic than yesterday if that’s even possible; she’s just like me as a child, a right little learner! And when she came home today the first thing she did when we got through the door was reach for her pencils and paper and draw a pretty picture of an elephant in the garden for her teachers? 🙂
So taking Gabriele to the doctors for his immunisation was as horrible as ever, as in the waiting room we could hear the other babies screaming as they went in first and I tried to distract innocent little Gabriele from the howling of fate by looking for birds out of the car park window.
I have to admit I felt like a little bit of a spare part sitting in the waiting room with the other mothers and their babies today, as a soon to be twenty-five-year-old with a four month old son I was considerably younger than the youngest mother in the room and it made me feel like an inadequate chick sitting amongst a bunch of chattering hens.
Not that there is anything wrong with being an older or younger mother, I think if you’re capable of giving a child a secure and loving home then age is simply a number; but in our well-to-do respectable village it seems the majority of mothers are mid-thirties to late forties stay at home expensive house wives and I very blatantly don’t fit the mould. Everybody rocks a Quinny pushchair with a designer Mary Poppins style floral baby bag and the doctors waiting rooms are filled with Stepford Wives; perfect smiles, immaculate bob-cut hair, soft voices, morning coffee breaks and membership cards for baby sing-along groups. And then I stroll in merrily with my Quinny, which earns me a few discretion points, but as soon as the other mothers clock me I self-consciously feel like their conversation has altered because of my presence. I may be totally wrong and just paranoid, but you know when you get that awkward feeling sometimes when you enter a room? Well it seemed the conversation turned from relaxed rapid laughing chatter when I approached the door, to slow and well thought out miniature soliloquies when I took a seat and entered into the flock. And I was greeted with discussions about buying holiday homes, drinking wine in the new open-plan kitchen extension, and how forty is the new thirty. And in my mind I was laughing to myself as I pictured immaculate robot women whose children scream and jump around hanging off of their legs as they cook dinner with a brilliant white smile, floral apron and big wooden spoon totally unscathed as they chirp “Oh Elliot, please don’t amputate Mummy’s leg before dinner darling.” If only they could see me burning my dinner every evening and chipping my nail varnish trying to open stubborn pistachio nuts dropping shells all over my sofa, I’d have my Quinny taken off of me for sure!
But I wonder if older ladies feel the same when they walk into a room of younger mums and babies and feel like all eyes are on them? Are young girls trying to guess their age? Do they think older mothers believe they know best and are more capable if not better than them? Or do they secretly worry that they’ve left it later than they’d hoped to start a family and have less time for their children? I guess there’s two sides to everything and no matter what age you are when you become a parent you’ll always cast the net of ‘what if’ into the ocean of advice. What do you think? Is there an ideal age to have children?
But the mothers in our village are lovely and very welcoming, I’m just fifteen years or so too early to join the flock unfortunately. So often I hear mother hens say “I’ve lived my life and now I have my children.” And I always think to myself, well that’s nice but my children are my life and it’s one and the same thing to me. But saying that I strongly believe if we all found ourselves on a night out they’d probably be just as wild, if not more so than me!
When we were finally called to the needle chamber Gabriele was so cheerful and full of smiles, he gave the nurse a cheeky chubby face grin complete with gums on show and a little bit of tongue for good measure. I felt incredibly guilty for knowing his fate and as I unpopped his poppers on his romper and exposed his chunky thighs I held my breath whilst the nurse lined up the three needles.
As soon as the needle dug into his impossibly soft skin his smiley face froze, his bottom lip began to quiver and he let out an unholy, adult-worthy fart only inches away from the nurses face which seemed to drag on for several seconds and linger like a dirty dog. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, seeing the tears building in his big blue eyes next to the disgust on the nurses face, I was half laughing as I rocked him in my arms and took him to look at the crazy pattern on the curtains which strangely always calms him down.
And when we got home he cuddled into me like a whimpering little bear cub and fell asleep in my arms. He’s been a little grouchy since, he has a slight temperature and keeps making squeaky unhappy noises not knowing whether to smile or frown. I’ve given him a dose of infant calpol and reassured him that it’s the end of the needles now until he’s a year old but it did little to comfort him, he just chewed on my shoulder and wound his chubby fingers through my hair.
After listening to a bit of Beyonce in the kitchen whilst doing the dishes my car insurance renewal came through the post and I was greeted with an insincere ‘CONGRATULATIONS your insurance premium has remained the same this year!’ despite it going up a vast amount last year and me having seven years protected no claims still. And feeling a little mischievous and girl-powered I called the cheerful renewals team to discuss my £480.00 offer.
I honestly don’t know what comes over me, but every time I hear a sickeningly cheerful sales person greet me on the telephone with “Hello Ms Kiss and how are you today?” it makes me want to pluck out my eyelashes and stuff them down the handset in anguish. How am I today? A bit pissed off really Aviva when I’ve been giving you a sizeable amount of my money each year for precisely nothing in return, which you’ve continued to raise every year so far and rob me blind, when all along it could have been better spent sunbathing on a beach somewhere in the Mediterranean. And now you congratulate me for not upping the fee this year? When I hardly drive over a thousand miles a year, am currently a stay at home mother on maternity leave and haven’t had a claim since the year I passed my test at the spritely age of seventeen. Well you can stick that where the insurance doesn’t cover “Hello Ms Kiss” person!
Casually I replied, “Well I’ve used a price comparison site and found quotes a heck of a lot cheaper so why should I stay with you?” And the sales clerk soon changed their tune and consulted with their manager to find the sum of a £60.00 discount. A £60.00 discount within three minutes when my renewal was unchanged? That’s customer service for you, keep robbing them until they complain. And with a triumphant sigh I revelled in every second down to the very last syllable of “I don’t think so, please forward my no claims proof I’m going elsewhere.” And I hung up and handed my would’ve-been-on-a-beach-with-this-money to Liverpool Victoria instead for £330.00 making a saving of £150.00 within ten minutes and all afternoon since I’ve been humming the bloody TV advert in my head, ‘LV, dum dee dee dum, dee dee deee dee de de diddy dum!’ Bastards!