Midway through our tea today, Sam burst out with: ‘Mummy, I want a racing car’. Thinking that he just wanted a toy car to drive through his shepherd’s pie, I declined comment. However, in the ensuing silence, he asked: ‘What’s a Porsche, Mummy?’
I was somewhat astounded, it has to be said. I can categorically say that I have never uttered the word ‘Porsche’ in his presence (I’ve probably only said it ten times in my life); and even if I had, it is a pretty astute toddler mind that can connect ‘racing car’ with ‘Porsche’.
(I am not entirely convinced this isn’t a picture of a scalextric car!)
Who taught him the word? It’s obviously not a big deal, but I found it to be an interesting reminder that I am by no means his sole role model. I’ve grown used to being painfully awoken to all the strange things I must say on a daily basis: ‘Let’s rock and roll, Mummy’, ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’ – both when he is trying to get me to hurry up out of the front door; ‘goodness gracious’ and ‘oh my golly gosh’ – hilarious from a two-year-old’s mouth; and apparently, judging by my mini-me parrot, the thing I say most frequently: ‘What happened here?’
But now I am conscious of all the other influences he has in his life, and it makes me ponder over my own waning influence as he grows up – even starting nursery will open up a whole new world and provide him with endless people to imitate. Already I am seeing him copy his toddler friends when they misbehave…but on the other hand he also learns so much from them; I definitely think they are aiding his social development. Does this loss of control make me sad? A little, I must admit. The other day I was telling my friend how ridiculously long Sam’s umbilical cord was, and how all the midwifes had exclaimed over it at the time. She then told me that it’s meant to mean he will be a mummy’s boy and will find it hard to cut himself loose from my apron strings (coincidentally I don’t wear an apron – the only one I own has a picture of a woman’s underwear-clad body, and the words ‘Dressed to thrill’….it was a rather poorly-judged present for a mum with a young child!).
I do look at myself and think ‘do I really want Sam to end up like me?’…and the answer is usually a resounding ‘no’. Though at least I can be cheered that my greatest strength as a parent of a teenager will be that I’ve made most of the mistakes there are to make (minus smoking and drugs…and, actually, sex until I was almost 19…hmm maybe I was better than I give myself credit for?!)…But hopefully I should know how to guide, without being authoritarian (all very well to say that now!).
I look at so many aspects of my character and shudder at the thought of Sam turning out like me. My biggest fear is living in a house with someone who shares my messy streak (I really do try to be tidy, but I can’t say I have much luck!). Fortunately in that particular, Sam seems to have taken after his biological father; yes, he does do the toddler thing of emptying out the entire toy box until he finds what he wants at the bottom, but he is very good at putting his shoes away neatly…and anyone else’s, come to that! Sam sees his biological father far too infrequently, and for such short lengths of time, that it would be impossible to pick up any of his habits by imitation. So it will be interesting to see which wins; nature or nurture. If he inherits the worst side of each of us, he will be in for quite a struggle through life…but if he wins the DNA lottery he will be a very fortunate little kid. (Although we were apparently like siblings in our looks, we were both very different people, so I really hope Sam just gets the good parts of each of us!)
Now that Sam is showing an interest in Porsches, I can only assume that he is inheriting his father’s attitudes to money and quality. I am very much of the ‘cheap and cheerful’ school of people; I’ve been wearing one of my ‘4 pairs for £6’ sandals for the last couple of days now…despite them not actually being an exact pair. I only buy food when it is on special offer, and my greatest source of joy when giving a gift to someone is in revealing how little I managed spend on it (I try to refrain from this practice, but, despite a mental warning, it usually slips out even before they’ve unwrapped the present). The provider of Sam’s Y chromosome (henceforth Mr Y – how cool is that?! – so much easier than ‘Sam’s biological father’ each time!) has the complete opposite view on money. Perhaps he is marginally more sensible, but it is a tight call. As a student, ‘surviving’ on a student loan, he used to shop at Waitrose…arguing that because the quality of the meat was better, you would actually need to eat less of it to feel full. I remain unconvinced though, and I still think it ridiculous that he actually used to THROW AWAY any denomination of coin which was 5p or below.
However, as we seem to have produced a child with a penchant for Porsches (or the toddler equivalent), I really need to take that Job Hunt off the backburner instead of continuing to burn up all my savings (figuratively, obviously – my money is precious; I still have a pint glass of coppers which I take great pleasure in adding to!).
I actually have news on the job front. Not a job exactly; certainly not the greatest money spinner ever; but I have been offered, and have very excitedly accepted, a task. Not a task that will bring me riches or great notoriety, but a task nonetheless. I received an e-mail (bizarrely straight after I wrote about my magic blog genie) from a media company, asking whether I would be interested in writing sponsored blog posts. Now I know this is frowned upon by many bloggers, but my first thought was ‘YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!’ and I’ll admit it hasn’t deviated much since then. I suppose it has always been my dream to be paid for my writing, and although this isn’t a JK-esque book deal (jeez how much must Bloomsbury love her?! (Scholastic Press inAmerica))…or my own column in a newspaper…but I have to say I have gained quite a confidence boost from it. It would be sad if I lost many followers due to becoming ‘a sell-out’, but I’m hoping that even the most scrupulous reader won’t have too much objection to it. I have sent in my first article for approval, and it seems all you have to do is include a link to the product/company in the first paragraph. The post can be about anything you like; there is no expectation that you try to sell the product, or even do more than loosely mention it. My blog is just absentminded prattle anyway; it is probably a good thing to have some fresh ideas to very loosely base my posts on!
As it has been two weeks since I submitted my draft, and I still haven’t been given the go-ahead to post it online, I doubt whether I should be Porsche shopping just yet. But it is yet one more reason why I am currently feeling happier than ever.
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