ANTONIA ROLLS ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE NEWS. An account of an Artist and Mother in Bognor Regis. Worthwhile, but exhausting, so pour the tea and make yourself comfortable...(this painting is a family portrait, about 2'x 3', oil on wood. It is the Ross Family, each family member with items that describe them best. And at the front, on the grass on the right hand side, is a photo of Grandma, sadly missed.)
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Guilty Mum In Studio
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Here is a picture of a nice Teapot Fairy to start your day. She is in the shape of a teapot and has a little blob like a lid, on her head.
A Guilty Mum, Yes. But An Unrepentant One.
13 Year Old Son is a teenager. He used to be sweet and cuddly and say things like, in a fit of rage, the worst thing he could think of, Go And Cook. Now, he is looking for a way to rebel and has found that if he does not do his homework because he Doesn't Believe In It, he gets loads of scared looks from the adults around him. He has found that if he forgets his homework, then no matter how cross I may be, he doesn't have to do it. And he has found that since I have put him into homework club at school, he can go out shopping instead and still forget all his books.
He also doesn't see why he should get up in the morning. It is, he thinks, personal. The school could open later but goddammit they don't. So when I went into him this morning crying sweetly Ho! Angel Boy!, he acted as though he was in a coma. Ha! I cried. I will take your hamsters and if you don't come downstairs, the hamsters get it. So down he comes, shuffling with one black sock one grey, a shirt done up wrong and no tie, shoes, jumper or blazer. The hamsters are unaware of how close they came to being a pawn in this School Morning Drama.
I know he is reluctant to go to school because he skipped homework club and forgot his homework last night. Again. I know he is hatching complex plots to explain how he has no homework, and is hatching equally complex revenge on those who look at him with glazed eyes and say Pull The Other One. So down comes my darling 13 Year Old Son. He curls up on the chair in the kitchen and goes to sleep. Wake Up Darling I cry banging a saucepan with a wooden spoon, Chop Chop. He dribbles. I make him a bacon sandwich and some nesquik and say Look My Son. Look What I Have Done For You.
As it is snowing again. The trains are notoriously temperamental right now, and as he has to catch 2 trains to school, I say I Will Drive You In. He doesn't respond. To him, the school should be closed and he should be in bed and there is no joy in being driven in, only pain. And of course he has done no homework. He is a bit unsupported in his I Don't Believe In Homework thing, and this too seems to rankle. If it is clear to him, why isn't it clear to everyone else? Like the teachers and his Mum? For God's Sake.
So. He puts on his shoes (Where Have You Put Them Mum! Why Do You Always Take My Shoes!) (My Son. Wild Horses Would Not Make Me Touch Your Shoes. They Smell.) and he puts on his jumper back to front and puts on his Arsenal scarf. I say nothing. He is trying to make me think he is mentally unstable and should go back to bed. We get into the car and an hour later we are still in traffic just past our house. Son is sleeping on the seat he has lowered next to me, and I think It's Alright For Some. I turn the car round, and make for the station he would have changed at, thinking at least there will be trains from there, and it will help Son who is trying to snore on the seat next to me.
We get caught up in more traffic and I say I will never drive again in the mornings. I hate cars, snow and road works. He ignores me and tries to sound unconcious. The nearer we come to the station the louder his snores become. When one is really asleep, one has no control over one's mouth and when snoring, the lips flutter and flubber and it isn't a pretty sight for those who care to look cool. Son, when I look at him, has an iron control over his lips, and is snoring only when the car stops and he can be heard. At the station I lovingly wake him with a no nonsense shake, and tell him that we are here. I make him repeat what subjects his homework is tonight, and in a last act of selfless motherliness pluck the black hat from my head and the gloves from my hands and give them to him. It Is Cold, I say as the snow falls around us. He has to try the hat on first, because even if the cold will kill him, if the hat doesn't look cool, he won't wear it. It looks cool. He goes off and within minutes I get texts saying the trains are delayed and cancelled. I ignore them and go home, and an hour and half after I set off with him, having only gone about 10 miles, I am home.
I make my breakfast, whoop with joy, and try to ignore the guilt as I sit in my studio preparing my next painting. I have to keep remembering that this 13 Year Old Son is a wiley character and is not, as I am suddenly afraid, still only 6 years old. He can go on the train in the snow with no coat (both are left at school and he is certainly not going to wear one of mine). He can take the consequences of No Homework. He can look after himself. All the same, I do worry he will be cold, and hungry, and lonely and frightened. Pull Yourself Together I think sternly to myself. Have A Bowl of Cornflakes, And Remember,As You Wrote In Yesterday's Blog, You Are Like Cassius Clay Now.
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