I am here to stay with my mother for a few days post her hip op. I have had to come a day earlier than I was planning because my 12 year old made a rash and frankly (in hindsight) grave error of judgement by deciding that he wanted to come down here earlier in the week (on the train!! By himself!! I had to put him on, settle him in and then stand and wave him off thinking, this is awful, even my last born is fleeing the nest) to see my brother, sister in law and his young cousin. This was because he didn’t have any plans in London, I was working, his sister revising and his big brother had announced (having been back from uni for a day) that he was off to stay with his girlfriend.
For the two days that they were all here together he had a ball – adventure playgrounds, a climbing wall called a “clip & climb” that my brother said in my son’s case was more “clip & Wedgy” because he is so big for his age that he couldn’t quite fit his size 10 feet into the supports, let alone feel comfortable in the harness.
However, the bit he hadn’t thought through was the day and a half he was to be only with his Grandmother as my brother’s family had to leave. Yesterday whilst I was at work I got endless texts from him:- “can U pls come today? I”M SO BORED” “When are you coming?” “How LONG?” Can you come NOOOOWWWW.
Then various texts:-
“Playing scrabble with Grandma”
“Playing football on my own again for the 5th time”…..
“Cooking supper for her and it’s only 5.30pm as nothing else to do”
and so on….
Really, it’s pathetic. I have children who are unable to amuse themselves even for a minute and of course it’s not my mother’s fault at all because she has just had a hip operation and can’t go or do anything very much – even though I am massively impressed with her progress. I made a few helpful suggestions:- given he was in the country why not make the most of it and go and count ants, find fish, buy eggs, climb trees – whatever else you’re supposed to do. But I do get it. That feeling of being bored, literally to tears. I was like that as a child. Needed constant company. I kept telling him to READ A BOOK. My mother thinks it’s a massive concern “I don’t understand why he can’t amuse himself? I could at that age”….to which I replied, “well if he’s anything like me it will take him another 30 years before he starts beginning to enjoy his own company”….and even now I’m not very good at it. Would FAR rather be with friends and family than on my own.
Anyway, just as going away by yourself normally means everyone is pretty pleased to see you when you’re back, so it was when I arrived yesterday. He couldn’t have been more pleased to see me…I was exhausted after a five hour drive but had to go into “yes, of course we can go swimming mode” which is a mode of motherhood that I hate. Off we went. I even had to play ball with him in the water for hours. I am generally of the sit by the edge of a pool reading a book and ignoring my children school of motherhood. Even telling him how boring I found hitting a ball to and fro and refusing to dive for it because I didn’t want to get my hair wet didn’t deter him from being delighted to have someone to play with….
We did some lengths too – in the teeniest pool in the world. More like widths. “Is it called Breast Stroke because you stroke your breasts when you swim?” he asked.