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My Favourite Child

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Here comes an admission I really shouldn’t be sharing with anyone, never mind the whole world on the information super-highway. But anyway, here it goes…

I have a favourite child and it is Livvy.

It’s a biggy, isn’t it? Quite the confession. One from the depths of my soul, it would seem, and not one that many would welcome. It’s going to be the cause of quite a bit of upset, I know, and probably be the reason why George will develop an unhealthy relationship with rollercoasters or something (see Closer magazine) or rock up on Jeremy Kyle blaming his mum for his dysfunctional relationships shouting, “She did it! Over there! It was her! The dumpy one with the fat pouch and shit hair! That one! That’s my mother who ruined my life!”

It’s truly awful, it is, but it’s just the way I feel.

Poor George, you think, What a horrible mother he’s got, you sigh. And I don’t blame you, really I don’t. I know I shouldn’t be choosing a preference when it comes to my children: they’re not just pretty lipsticks for me to select the most complimentary shade, they’re my beautiful, lovely children, and I’m setting them up for a lifetime of inadequacy.

I shouldn’t be doing this, I know. But I am, damn it. I’ve done the unthinkable. I’ve picked My Favourite Child and it is Livvy. She’s just all round more pleasant than George. She’s so lovely and creative, her head full of wonder and unicorns.

Not like George. He’s a crazy little tyrant, burping and farting with all of his insane energy. Oh my god, that ENERGY! Why can’t he focus it onto loving the way the beautiful clouds move across the sky and asking pointless, abstract questions about where did France go to or do snails go to soft play? Something more…peaceful. Ooooo, I love Livvy’s questions. They really test my imagination. Not like chasing a loony ginger boy with fistfuls of stones.

He is just madness.

Oh Livvy. I love Livvy. She’s so sweet, so nice natured. At this minute, she’s sat quietly watching The Muppets Christmas Carol, cuddling her dolly while I clean the kitchen and get periodically thumped: George is hitting me because I keep pulling his knick-knacks down to make him go for a wee on the potty. I know he’s angry, but it’s not like I’m having a great time either.

He kicks the potty shouting, “TAKE IT AWAY! GO WAY MUMMY! ONT IT!”, really loudly, wazzing all over my new shoes and generally stressing me out of my box.

He’s such a pain. He was doing really well with his big boy thunderpants until he decided he’d had enough. Now he’s drinking way too much and getting all antisocial, wazzing all over the carpet and in every pair of pants I can lay my hands on. Oh my god, I hate piss. I never really liked it, I suppose, but I didn’t have to think about it before. But now I do. All the bloody time. It’s my nemesis. It’s ruining my life. The house stinks. I stink. We all stink. Piss can do one.

Livvy. Oh lovely, blonde, kind Livvy. She pops in every now and again, ignoring the abuse, to ask why Scrooge is so mean and scary. She asks for a cuddle and then I go and sit with her for five minutes to watch the puppet zoo in their festive outfits. We’re having such a lovely time, even though it’s like a zillion degrees outside and we’re sat indoors watching Christmas films. It’s what this is all about, isn’t it, this child thing? Cuddling and being lovely and quiet and sweltering and irritating stuffed animals in the snow… Well, it beats flying piss, anyway.

Livvy is so loving and delicate. She loves a cuddle. She looks so sweet with her big, contented eyes and gentle, kind face. Not like George. He wriggles out of my arms and kicks me when I pick him up to give him a hug and when I ask him for a kiss, he sticks his tongue out and licks my face. Minger.

It’s not always been this way, you know. Forty minutes ago, George was My Favourite Child. Oh, he was so wonderful and silly. My gorgeous boy. He was singing, “Let’s all go to Tescos, where mummy gets her best clothes, laa laa laa laa WOO!’ while Livvy whinged about going out on her bike and wanting water-melon instead of the clearly substandard cantaloupe melon which I was trying to poison her with, clearly. But then he started kicking pots of piss and shouting his head off, and everything changed.

Forty minutes ago, he was in the lead. All bouncy and chatty and funny. Whereas Liv was being all…emotional. She can be so stroppy and irrational sometimes. Quite a lot of the time if I’m honest. I really try and explain things, slowly and nicely, like you’re supposed to. I use up so much energy repeating myself a hundred-thousand times to explain the risks associated with using her crinkly scissors to chop up mummy’s pay slip or whatever ridiculous thing she’s doing, but it makes no difference – she just does it anyway. And then afterwards, she gets upset and crackers when I tell her off and dramatically runs up to her room in floods of tears.

George wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t whine. He’d just blank me, do whatever the sod he wanted, get shouted at, walk off, find a stick, whack stuff. Simple.

But it goes like that, My Favourite Child. There’s never really winner, although it seems so obvious at the time. The award can be given or retracted in the blink of an eye. Sometimes, it seems like I don’t even have a My Favourite Child – they piss me off equally so I can’t stand the sight of either of them.

But sometimes, not all that often, it’s for a different reason. A truly brilliant reason.

Like yesterday, when we were all sat on the bench in the garden eating Fab ice lollies and giggling and chatting about the lovely crunchy chocolate and sprinkly bits and then afterwards, Livvy and George got up off the bench for a big wee on the grass, their lovely, chubby bums wobbling in the wind.

Their silliness and complete disregard for anything normal melting my heart.

Their fun and happiness making the world perfect.

I love those times. The best times. When there’s no My Favourite Child and they’re both in the lead, because they are both just fabulous.

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