You ok Babe?
L, are you ok?
[I twist my arm back through the central console of the car and look for his hand. He doesn’t take mine. Not this time.]
Mami, you’re sorry!
[Did I hear that right?]
Mami, you’re very, very sorry.
[I thought I had. I take a deep breath and try and shift the ball of weight in my chest so I can answer]
Yes Sweetheart, I really am. I’m a horrible person today.
Mami why are you a hor-rible person?
More weight-shifting as a parked car almost meets me at 50.
I … I don’t know darling. Mama’s just not very happy this week. I think that’s why.
Why are you not happy Mami?
Because Mummy’s stupid sometimes and it makes Mummy cross. And then sad.
I can’t believe I’m having this ridiculous conversation with my 3 year old boy and using the word “stupid”. How bloody ‘stupid’ is that. Christ!
Are you cross with me Mami?
Oh Sweetheart no! Not with you! Today Mummy’s just cross with Mummy, You’ve been gorgeous! Mummy’s the one who was horrid today
[under my breath] Because I mess everything up
Why do you mess everything up?
Because I’m tired Babe – and I forget things … and because we’re always late … and
And because you get cross!
Yes, and because I get so cross.
But you’re sorry Mami! sorry for being cross and sorry for being stupid.
[I shrink in my seat. I feel like he’s the 40 year old and I’m 3.]
Yes. I am. I’m so sorry for being so stupid! Mummy is just horrible!!
Yes, you are hor-rible. You make L sad.
[oh my God]
I’m so sorry Baby. [My ears are screaming and my chest is about to explode] I don’t want to make you sad. Mummy wants to do everything to make you happy, but Mummy’s just rubbish [To myself]: Completely. rubbish.
[There’s nothing more that I can say. I shouldn’t be having this conversation. I must be out of my mind.]
I don’t think you’re hor-rible. And you’re not rubbish.
Did you hear what I said?
[I just heard my universe cave in on itself .. and I have no clue how to react]
Mami before I said sometimes you make L sad. But now I’m saying sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you make L happy …. and laugh.
[There’s someone else in the car. This can’t be my son]
Mami, do you understand what I just did say to you?
[OK now it’s really time for me to do something with me. I have to do something to change this. Something to break out of this horrendous downward spiral before I wreck something amazing. My child is amazing. Sometimes I think our ages must be reversed. He is so astute and so honest, he will break me soon. Of that I am sure. If I don’t break myself first.]
Are you still cross?
No Sweetheart, it’s finished. It’s all finished.