Sunday, 30 September 2012

Week 56- knowledgeable nods, swimming trials and Gary Barlow's advice

I dread people asking my opinion on stuff. Whether it be the presidential elections. Or what kind of music I listen to.

Cos the truth is I'm not sure anymore.

I can't remember the last time I sat down and read the papers. Or watched something other than X Factor on the telly. My cultural references are determined by what Gary Barlow says.

I've become an expert at the knowledgeable nod. Combining the authoritative 'ummm', when I find myself, sometimes for the fourth or fifth time that day, totally out of my depth.

The best line of defence, I've found, is just don't say anything, otherwise you get your self into a complete conversational cul de sac.

I'm sure I used to have opinions about stuff other than whether Tyrone should leave Kirsty if she doesn't go to a counsellor on Corrie.

For the meantime, maybe what Nancy and I need is a bit of variety. A greater wealth of collective experience to draw from when I try and cover up the vacuum if someone attempts to engage me in conversation about something current.

My dad gave Nancy some money for her birthday and suggested we do something nice for her instead of putting it in her bank account.

So I thought I'd get her posh swimming lessons.

That way she gets to go in a pool that isn't sub zero temperatures. And I get to take her to somewhere once a week that isn't Card Factory, Boots, or Aldi.

So I rang up to book her in.

And the woman asked how experienced Nancy was at swimming.

And I asked her what she meant.

And she said, what's her ability.

And I lied.

I said she'd been to loads more lessons than she actually has.

And now she has a trial. She's one and she has a trial to see how good she is at something.

She's one, and she's being tested against other one year olds.

I thought the main hurdle with posh swimming lessons was finding the money to pay 12 quid for half an hour every week.

Not testing her to see if she's the next Michael Phelps.

Have I inadvertently become a pushy mum? I genuinely only wanted Nancy and I to have a nice time for thirty minutes every Thursday morning.

Now I'm nervous for her that she won't remember how to cling onto the side of the pool. Or might freak out if they try to dunk her underwater.

To be frank, it's sometimes a complete ball bag trying to work out what kind of person you are after having a child, let alone, what kind of a parent you want to be.

I know I don't want to be shouty mum. Or a mum who tries too hard to be down with the kids. I want to be able to cook. Not just hummus on toast, but stuff that looks good, smells nice, and takes longer than 2 minutes to make.

I want to know enough about politics that I don't embarrass myself if Nancy asks a question.

I want to feel driven by work, committed to my family and know more about what's going on in the world than who Nicole Scherzinger's mentoring this year.

But for the meantime, I want Nancy to be a one year old who doesn't have to meet anyone's expectations, other than to be happy and healthy.

And especially not when it's costing twelve quid every half hour for the privilege.

But, in the words of Gary Barlow, 'I don't think you'll ever be happy about anything unless you've done it.' Wise words Gaz.

Mind you, he did also say, 'After a gig I get to the hotel all psyched-up from being on stage and get stuck into 'Homes and Interiors' magazine.'

I guess it's difficult to know who to take advice from these days.

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