Thursday, January 12, 2012

I don't wanna grow up...

We moved just before Christmas.  I may have said this before.  Anyway, we are in temporary digs while we look for somewhere else to live and this is proving tricky.  Firstly, half the things I need are in storage; secondly, the place is somewhat, shall we say, 'dignified'.  Meaning, because it might need spelling out, that it is beautiful but decrepit - and utterly impractical.  It needs wiring, plumbing, insulating, flooring, heating, plastering, damp-proofing and, er, modernising.

That said, it turns out that we are brilliantly happy here, all except for the Frog who is finding the volume of doors that need closing, drafts that need excluding and lights that need turning out to be vaguely overwhelming, particularly given that I am not very good at most of the above and Charlie is rubbish at all of them.

I am used to a small kitchen - our last flat was bijou all round - however the kitchen here contracts the meaning of 'small' to the point where one might logically ask 'what kitchen?'; however it has one unexpected joy: the stove and all 2 feet of counterspace face a small breakfast bar with two stools.  Every evening Charlie sits at it, at eye-level with me, doing his homework while I cook his dinner. 

Turns out that this arrangement is brilliant, I am surprisingly even hoping to be able to mimic something like it, (yet magically larger), when we move.  Charlie and I spend this hour laughing and talking and fooling around together and he talks to me - properly talks to me - about his day, his friends and sometimes about the things that frighten him.

One of the most heart-breaking things that he says to me is that he doesn't want to grow up.  I mean, he wants to be in Year One at school, but he doesn't want to be six, he doesn't want to learn to read or to get taller or to to go school.  This doesn't stand up to much scrutiny as he wants to marry his girlfriend and have babies and live in a castle, but he really, really, really right now, doesn't want to grow up. 

Who knows what this is about.  I suspect it's because in the last four months he's started school, buried his cat, left his house and put half his toys in storage... I guess growing up hasn't been much cop recently.  He also talks about his dreams; they are often bad, filled with fire and loss; or sometimes good, filled, surprisingly, with cats - the same dreams I had when I was little and had just moved house and started school and left my cat in another country. 

Mainly though we make stupid jokes and invent rhymes and laugh. It's good.  It's good that we can talk about things with more depth than wondering where Dalek poo comes out;  I really do think there's something in being able to talk to one's child at eye level that makes conversation really flow.

We may not live here for long; Charlie will continue to grow up, Daleks will continue to have secretive poos and things will carry on changing but perhaps this is something that can stay the same, this conversation.


At least, until he becomes a teenager and stops acknowledging my existence completely....

11 comments:

CorvusCorax12 said...

enjoy the time, they do grow up way too fast :(

thefrog said...

Who left again the fridge door wide open?

Kathryn said...

Oh no! I am so sorry to hear the cat ( whose name currently escapes me … and now I feel guilty on top of sorry…) has finally passed! We moved heaps as a kid, mum and dad had this thing for building and selling houses and then we'd have to rent in the meantime and although it was always unsettling it made me appreciate that what makes a house a home is the people you are there with.
Happy new year, hope it's a marvellous one.

Carol said...

Reading this made me smile...I'm glad that you two have this time together. My Mum and I did something similar when I was growing up and I remember it as being a very happy time of the day...I used to look forward to coming home and having that time to tell her about my day :-)

As for the growing up...tell him getting older doesn't mean that he has to grow up...I'm 36 and I've still not grown up!

C x

Sparx said...

CorvusCorax... can we not slow down time?

TheFrog - I have no idea, darling.

Kathryn - that's a great point... we moved a lot as well and you're absolutely right. Thanks for remembering Sammy, I was too sad to post an obituary at the time.

Carol - I have told him that but I don't think he believes me. I hope he looks forward to that time of day as much as you did - or even as much as I do; that'd be great.

thanks everyone!

D.J. Kirkby said...

So sorry about your lovely old cat... I have to say that I can't imagine Charlie ever becoming that much of a teenager that he does the whole 'my parents don't exist' thing. He is too connected to you. x

Rob Clack said...

Very interesting that being at eye-level makes such a difference. I wonder how we could apply that to people in wheelchairs.

It took me a long time to realise (no kids, so no experience) that just because children are small, doesn't mean they're less intelligent than adults, just less experienced.

Catharine Withenay said...

Gosh, Rob Clack's wise, eh?!

I hope you settle in well to this new home. Having moved house with my children many times I know it can be upsetting for them, even more so than for you.

I've been longing for my children to grow up for ages... and now I realise that I just have a small window of a year or two before they are teenagers, and all hell will break loose! I am enjoying every moment I possibly can with them. Sometimes, being a mother is just great.

Sparx said...

DJ - thanks for the kind wishes about Sammy - we really miss him. I do hope Charlie doesn't turn into TOO much of a teenager when it comes time...

Rob - both really good points - I think if people in wheelchairs were higher up they might indeed command more respect. I think the moment we talk down to someone physically it's difficult to divorce that from 'talking down' more metaphorically.

Catherine - Ohhhhhh... enjoy those years! I'm dreading them... the whole teenager / leaving home time doesn't bear thinking about...

Creekers said...

Steph love, there were two years between you and your brother and apart from the Door Slamming (you) and the hide in the bedroom and sulk (Neil). We all got through it very well. Played some darned good Scrabble too, if you treat a child and especially a teenager as a yougn adult, who may have more moxie and intellitence than you, you will enjoy Charlie as a teen as much as I enjoyed you. And learned a lot from you too.
Mum

Sparx said...

Mum - well, let's hope that's as bad as it gets - and let's hope he doesn't mirror you and I in leaving his Mum behind on another continent... :( Miss you. xxx