Last night, Otis punched me in the eye and I have a red, bleeding-looking red bit across the ‘ball. I saw stars and bright lights and firecrackers as he took his swipe with his sharp finger-nailed little pokey fingers. It was about 3am and he was cross because of his cot, and mad because of lying down with me, and very, very FURIOUS because
I DON’T KNOW
It wasn’t teeth or temperature or some sort of terrible psychological issue, because this is a guy who wears weetabix as face cream by choice and gurgles a lot and has six people who constantly cuddle him and tell him he is beautiful. The only time he stopped making the horrible loud sounds was when I stood, holding him, and swaying a bit. And you can’t do that for long, because you get annoyed and he got heavy and I get a bit outraged. So it went on, and on, and Mark made rumbling snoring noises, the ones that reverberate through your silicon earplugs and through your pillow and deep into your eardrum, magnified to a million annoying per cent.
Here he is, with his preferred face wear – some sort of yoghurty breakfasty melange:
And for every one of these – cute, clean, with the good hair and stylish graphic outfit in pebbly tones and coordinating swing –
There is one of these. Drama, dirt and some sort of melting-to-the-floor-kicking-as-he-goes IHATEYOUGUYSGIVEMEBACKTHOSESHARPSCISSORS kind of scenario.
Always with those excellent thighs, though, eh?
So I am nursing a painful eye and a bit of baby-resentment, alongside my slapped arse. Which may need some explaining. So, on Sunday morning, I was running around Hyde Park and I got to the bit around the front of Kensington palace, the entrance where William of Orange stands guard in his curly wig to your right, and the path was full of people and kids and to the left is the playing fields filled with kids attempting to learn some ball skills, and a youngish swarthy guy in a puffer jacket walks past me and heartily and unmistakably slaps me on the bum. Which took a few seconds to register – WHAT WAS THAT? Did I run into that man’s open, cupped palm? NO, I DID NOT!
And so I stopped and yelled at him and he just walked on, and then some people were wondering what happened and I mimed a Benny Hill arse-slap and they looked a bit shocked and said “I’m so sorry” and I yelled one final, desperate plea
“YOU SHOULDN’T TOUCH WOMEN, YOU DIRTY BUGGER!”
Which now all seems so lame. I should have whipped out my phone, untangling it from the arm band and the speakers and the velcro while simultaneously running really fast to catch up to him to then spend ages trying to unlock the passcode and finding the camera app, but of course I would have gone straight into Instagram because my brain is wired that way, and then I could have taken a lovely, expertly filtered photo of my Dirty Bugger Bum Slapper for the whole world to ‘like’. Anyway, I didn’t. I ran really fast in my outraged, violated way, looking for a police officer but finding none, sprinting at an amazing adrenaline-fuelled recorded pace which has now ruined all of my running stats for ever because I could never run that fast again. Unless someone assaults me, which, obviously, wouldn’t be very good. How dare that asshole touch me, while I was running along, absorbed and solitary, safe and healthy and fit – how dare he slap me? For a second, I was reduced to his ‘thing’ – his hand on me was proprietorial and powerful.
So I got home and told Mark and Mark wanted to go out and get him. Which was nice. Redundant, but nice.
So yesterday was a day off school, and we walked the dog in the rain and found a tree and made a bridge with rotten bits of wood
then we went to Westfield for lunch at Wagamamas
then to the toyshop because the weekend had been a hard one, full of marital discord and soaring Frozen songs and birthday parties and rugby-watching-turned-late-night-unauthorised-benders and so off we went, to buy something plastic and life-affirming. Then we lost Ned.
So I went and found police officers, who radioed the security team, who asked me what Ned was wearing. It was this:
a camouflage army jacket
a matching camouflage vest
blue tight pyjama pants
one red sandal
one blue sandal
Dressed, with his usual flair, by himself.
So they told me to go back to the toyshop. I was calm, because that’s my disposition, but Ned is a cute kid and if you want to steal one, he would be quite a good choice aesthetically, although perhaps not temperamentally, but then again, I know the stats and abduction doesn’t happen very much at all. So I was cool, and waited outside the toyshop for a bit, then went through and hollered out his name, trying to make the security team understand his name is NED not NID, owing to my flattened NZ vowels, then they told me they had him, but I had to run, because they couldn’t hold him for much longer. So we all ran through Westfield, me, three small boys preoccupied with their new spud guns, the buggy, sleeping Otis, two police officers and two of the security team, into the main atrium by Starbucks, to find a crowd of about 30, and Ned, lying down mid-freaked-out-tantrum, with people clutching at his pyjama’ed legs while he was trying to kick free, telling them all to
“GET OFF ME! LET ME GO! I WILL FIND MY MUM MYSELF!”
Gah. Not quite the shopping trip I was hoping for. There was no police report this time, just a lot of worried people. I was dying.
Then I turned 37.
Now I have to go rest my aching eyeball. x