I used to love…roundabouts.
Yep – the ones in playparks.
There was something magical about lying back, with my head in the centre, watching the sky recede into a deep, blue whirlpool while the surroundings blurred around me, whizzing faster and faster until all visual information seemed to lose sense, and the beginnings of dizziness would envelop my mind, turning it into a white-noise zone, but with sparkly bits.
Getting off and staggering all over the place and collapsing in a heap was pretty fun, too.
But there was one roundabout in particular that was special.
It was in the park across the road from WonderAunty’s home (which was always a very special place to visit, as she lived so far away and was so, well, Wonderful).
It was like a round, metal spider-web, which could be climbed into (and over, and under, and clambered along while in motion) and my Sis and I used to run to the park at every opportunity, leaving the grown-ups behind. The two of us (who normally fought like cat and dog) would find peace there, maybe even enjoying one anothers’ company as we took turns to push, and the conversation flowed as easily as the scenery moved past our spinning eyes.
We’d stay as long as we could (often until dusk fell, when we knew that all too soon would come the bittersweet goodbye, the climb into the evening-cold car, the snuggle into rough, picnic-smelling blankets and the long, sleepy ride home) listening to the calm sounds of the birds in the hedgerows, the gentle engine of the occasional barge as it pootled along the canal. We’d feel the pounding in the earth as trains rushed past just beyond the canal, and we’d listen in glee as people in the nearby pub started spilling out into the garden, catching snippets of conversation and glittering bursts of laughter as the evening wore on and the drinks kicked in.
And we’d still be there, grinning in the dark, impish delight in our for-once-united hearts, going round and round and round and round.
Of course, since I’ve grown up, my vestibular system has decided to utterly reject any such activities and resolutely aims to make me sick as a dog if I set foot on such a contraption.
But occasionally I’ll still step on for five minutes with Niece and Neff, and fight the nausea as I relish once more the blur of my surroundings and that great whirlpool of sky…
In fact, I took Niece and Neff to the park twice today, with assorted friends and hangers-on, (I didn’t go on the roundabout, sadly, as I’ve had quite enough nausea lately without adding to it!) and on the way back, it became apparent that I’d tuckered Niece out sufficiently that she was going to fall asleep.
Which would mean BIG trouble for me, as Sis would then have her awake and behaving like a live-wire long after her bedtime.
yelling at her calling her name repeatedly, co-opting Neff and my passenger and friend, Louise, to tickle, poke and prod her back into consciousness, I made a valiant effort to keep her awake by joining her in with some songs. Fortunately for me, she wasn’t too grouchy, and boy does the girl love to sing.
Oboy did we ever sing; aaaaall the way through a long, long, long traffic jam.
The bingly-bongly-boo song (I don’t know this, but Niece and Neff do, and they tried to teach me. Apparently it’s a ‘thing’)
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
The Wheels on the Bus (normal version)
The Wheels on the Bus (shapes version)
Little White Duck
In the rear-view mirror I could see their little faces growing apathetic each time I opened my mouth to try a new song. Their bored eyes slid off to see what was going on beyond the windows. And eventually that heart-stopping phrase emerged:
“I need a wee.”
I talked about the desert (no dice), the cars (still needed a wee), the fact we’d be home soon (not working) and eventually suggested more songs. I could almost see their eyes rolling.
Neff requested “Sing something funny”.
Now this was pushing it a bit, because I’m already pretty hilarious when I sing – I do funny voices, key changes and sound effects, and to hear him imply that up until that moment I had been less than funny, well it just plain stung! So I mustered every bit of maturity in my body and responded at a precisely five-and-a-half-year-old’s level, with a loud and musical rendition of
“Poo, poo, pooey, poo-poo-poooooooooo”
Apparently it was absolutely the BEST thing I’d done all day.
But perhaps this other action I took was the best thing I did all day.
When walking back this morning from park visit #1, we passed a row of terraced houses. The upstairs bay window was open, and loud, angry voices – a man’s and a woman’s could be heard. I glanced upwards.
The woman was framed in the centre of the window, seemingly kneeling down, as her arms were resting on the ledge. Her face was blazing and she was screaming over her shoulder at an unseen man, whose deep, angry tone could be heard raised in retaliation. I was transfixed.
As I watched, the woman whipped around and looked down at the street, her wide, terrified eyes catching mine for a split second before something in the room was hurled at her and smashed against the wall right next to her, seemingly spraying out a shower of bright shards.
The angry, relentless male voice continued stridently.
Sis and I exchanged horrified looks and hurried the children away, saying nothing, our minds working at a million miles per minute.
I didn’t look back.
Only two days ago, I somehow clicked through popular Buzzfeed.com articles to this one, where I saw this video (WARNING: Not suitable for work or around children)
In other news (and to try to rescue the mood, which I think mighta just plummeted (albeit with good reason)), that Very Bad Baby of mine has her own Facebook page. And no, I’m in no way jealous that she raked in as many ‘likes’ in 24 hours as I did for my blog page in 6 months. Not. At. All.
And from the baffling to the utterly hilarious, (still just about) in the week I invented the Golden Sideboob Award, my dear friend Jak let slip that there was some absolute AWESOMENESS available over at the Marvel website – you can build your own superhero! Well, it simply had to be done. Please welcome my new hero,
Her first act will be to nominate a new recipient for the award, the ever hilarious (and usually grammatically correct) Jen, from Hysterical Casserole
The rules are as ever 1 – Be brazen enough to display the award 2 – Nominate someone else
Back, for a while, into the more serious (though I promise I’ll end on a lovely note). A few guest posts, writings and feedback from other women has seemed to suggest that the phrase ‘The Invisible Moms Club’ has resonated quite deeply. I’ve described it as the membership you acquire when you go through the tragedy of losing a child, at whatever stage. For me it was early miscarriage, twice. And when they hit, I felt terribly isolated and alone, until women I knew started ‘coming out of the woodwork’ with their stories of loss, and it seemed to me as though, unbeknownst to me, we were all alone, together.
So the concept has become a reality, and today a dear friend and fellow Invisible Mom, started a real group, hoping to provide friendship, support, and links to resources about loss, for those who suffer the pain of being an unwilling member of the club.
It’s a closed group on Facebook, and pretty small at the moment, but growing rapidly. If you feel you are part of the Invisible Moms Club and would like to join, please click here and find out more about us.
Happen you’ve somehow missed it, this week has been HUGELY exciting because we welcomed aboard