Sunday, 3 June 2012

Week 39- Childhood bedrooms, green top milk and Judy Blume

I'm back at my mums's house. Just Nancy, mum and me. Three generations of women under the same roof.

The travel cot's made up in my old bedroom.

And it feels really weird.

I've breast fed Nancy while sitting on the bed I'd cried myself to sleep on when I discovered my first love had cheated on me.

The bookshelves are full of GCSE Oxford School Shakespeare books, Judy Blume's from the early years, (including a well leafed copy of 'Forever' with that sex scene that turned the air blue at primary school,) and Irvine Welsh, from when I was older and considered myself cutting edge and very modern.

And it feels weird cos it's like being someone's daughter and someone's mum at the same time.

Like , when I'm at my flat, I make tea for me and Ben after a day with Nancy. But on the first night here, I bathed and fed Nancy, before my mum cooked for me.

The fridge is full of thoughtfully bought food for us all.

Ripe avocados for Nancy.

Eight pints of green top milk for me, as mum knows I can down a pint in less than a minute. Instead of at my flat where it's a battle of the wills as to how long you can eek out the last drop before someone cracks and goes to the shop round the corner.

It feels weird, cos it isn't Christmas, when the house is full of people and totally buzzy. Where everyone is excited that there's a baby in the house.

This is being back at my family home. Where I'd normally drop off my bag, have a cup of tea with my mum, and then head off to meet my best mate from home to smoke a pouch of tobacco, drink a bottle of wine or several, dance to Michael Jackson in her front room, and then stumble in at about 5amish.

But I'm just getting up at that hour with Nancy this time.

And there's a hierachy of telling off now that I haven't quite sussed out. Who can legitimately tell who off without crossing a line/ totally doing someone else's head in?

Stupid, I know as she is nearly 9 months old, but the realisation hit me that I'm going to be a mum for the rest of my life.

That tomorrow morning, it won't be my mum waking me with a cup of tea and a comment about the room smelling like a brewery.

It will probably be me whose put the kettle on first, and be playing with Nancy in the front room. Showing her the view I've known all my life.

Everywhere I look there's memories of pre-Nancy.

The piano that I was made to play from age 4. That I hated. Then loved. When I was allowed to bring my own sheet music to lessons aged 13. And learnt how to play Man Child by Neneh Cherry. Which doesn't translate very well to the piano in case you were wondering.

The little bushes scattered round the garden, marking the grave of yet another treasured guinea pig, as I tried and failed to tell the difference between a girl and a boy, and as a consequence they interbred like mad until I had 27 of them.

And all the time Nancy is growing into a little girl herself. My little girl. And soon she'll start making her own memories. Fragments at first. And then proper memories.

And that's the weirdest bit of all I guess.

I'm coming back to a house full of my memories, and Nancy is only just starting to gather hers.

Just as long as they don't date back as far as the regular two hours of frantic bouncing on my knee whilst I watch a film at the pictures, we'll be laughing.


  1. What a brilliant post...I still feel like this 3 children on, eleven years later, when I visit my Mum. Sometimes I catch myself, remind myself I'm a Mum, and it freaks me out!
    And that Judy Blume book...indeed I still have mine at my Mum's house. I'm going to do a post about it this week!
    Love your Blog x

  2. Reassuring and a bit unnerving to know it will still feel like this in 11 years! Look forward to reading your Judy Blume memories! xx