Friday, February 01, 2008

Spudless and Nappy-Free Day 1

So, here I am in Victoria, without my son. It’s the longest time I have ever been separated from him and it’s very odd. The first few hours were very bad, I couldn’t even look at a family without having a major pang of some sort, however now, after getting on for 48 hours I am feeling JUST THE SAME.

Luckily the Frog rang just before the spud’s bedtime and let me talk to him on the phone. He reacted by sobbing and shouting ‘Mummy! Mummy!’ over and over giggling and then throwing the phone down in favour of pulling Sammy’s tail.

Great.

Victoria. Even my internet connection is slow here. Dad and I went to a local mall to finish our shopping for his Mother’s birthday. I capitalise ‘Mother’ because this is her 100th birthday. Seriously. Telegram from the queen and everything.

I did think for a while that we would all go as a family but the Frog has had clients booked in this week for ages and so couldn’t spare the time and after the last visit with the spud, I decided that it is too cruel to bring him with me. I know that there is leeway here to level at me the accusation that in fact, I’m not thinking of the good of my son here but only my own good and that in fact I should have brought him with me but I have several refutations here. Firstly, I feel a physical tear where we have been separated and so can't imagine I'm doing this for my own good - but mainly I refute the accusation of selfishness by reporting to you the state of a child of the spud’s age who was on our plane. After the 11 hour flight (which due to delays and headwinds turned into 12 hours) this boy was a mess – grey, humourless, panic-stricken, confused and over-tired, he was the perfect advertisement for not bringing a child under the age of 3 on long-haul. I’m not judging at all here, having done it twice myself. I just think that for 5 days, my son and my husband will be OK at home where-as we risk 3 weeks of jet-lag and disorientation otherwise. And, I get to drink vodka in my hotel room with my Dad.

So, here I am in Victoria where the average speed of foot-traffic is about 2 miles a week and the average height of the perpetrators is about five one. The speed of my blood pressure is fairly obverse to this, however as the main reason I am here is to see 4 foot 11 inches of opinions supported by a walker, I can hardly complain.

My Gran turned 100 today and the spud turned 17 months. Apart from a nose, they share a certain obstinacy and a knack for doing things with their hands. Gran, until her shoulder dictated that she could no longer operate a shuttle, was a weaver and I have been lucky enough to inherit the loom, a luck borne of a shared obsession with textiles and creation. The Spud weaves only joy at the moment however he is particularly dextrous and perhaps will carry this gene down the road for a few more miles.

Gran left England as a teenager and made the trek to Canada to join her Mother, who even in the 20s had succumbed to the multitudinous lures of Canada’s islands, lakes, forests and beer. Once here, she met my dashing Grandfather, the scion of two Brits who met in the Boer war and married, moving to Canada after the war. Gran’s Mum opened the first chemist in Calgary and then moved to the West Coast where the family have been ever since which is why I am here, in this Howard Johnson’s hotel, having downed several vodka’s with my Dad, trying to make sense of what life is about by comparing my 100 year old Gran with my 1 year old son.

My conclusion?

Laugh. A lot. Whenever you can. Also, a little gin Can’t Ever Hurt Anyone. Unless of course one is only 1 year old.

While it is only a pathetic 10pm here in lotus-land, I am jet lagged. A good excuse for closing this shambles down without editing.

Sleep well everyone, memes another day.

4 comments:

N said...

Your jet-lag is readily visible in your post. A v. happy birthday to your centurion grandmother!
'Sleep well everyone'
I think I'm writing this one hour after your post's publication... I can't sleep now: I'm suffering from earth-lag. It's 3.15 in the afternoon here ;)
Take care, have great vod- I mean, fun!

DJ Kirkby said...

What a lovely post, glad you could see both sides of the missing Spud dilemma. Loved the bit about the average road speed in Vic, I had forgotten about that and for a moment or two thought you had confused it with Vanc, then relised that of course you hadn't...it is MUCH slower than that in Vancouver! Happy birthday to your amazing Matriarch.

Jen said...

Did you write something for your gran? Ever since you mentioned on my blog that you might, I've been anxious to read it! Have a great time.

Sparx said...

N, DJ and Jen - thanks for your kind comments. I did post individual responses here but the connection, being turtle-slow, timed out just as I pressed 'post' and they all got lost... will pop over for a catch up when I am more awake! Thanks again.