It’s the start of the new year and things are continuing pretty much as before but with my daughter bemoaning that she was being left home alone as I ventured out for dinner with my partner, this despite having invited my wonderful child along, but as usual, she declined not wishing to leave the sanctuary of the house.
Now, before anyone decries my actions, I would add that her mother was in the house and my daughter’s words of protestation were troubling indeed if not telling. However, I don’t think I fully appreciated the remark and it was only after I mentioned this to a friend that the gravity of what was said and its implications dawned on me. My own daughter regarded being left with her mother as being pretty much akin to being abandoned for the evening. What was I to say or think for that matter? My heart sinks each time I leave the house without my daughter but trying to extract her away from within the confines of the house is sometimes most trying. She is just one of those children who likes to stay at home and to be honest, I know how she feels!
On a separate issue, we had been invited to a mutual friend’s house for Sunday lunch the other day. Unfortunately, this friend has still to work out that even after umpteen years, all is not as it appears and against my better judgment or inclination, the three of us attended and played happy families for the afternoon. Although, in truth this scenario drives me almost to distraction as apart from the insincerity of us attending on such a pretence, I knew that the afternoon would be a charade.
As usual, ‘Ms Jean Brodie’ hogged the conversation and played dutiful mother whenever the topic of conversation turned to education, something I knew was about the only subject matter she could speak on with any conviction.
Countless times whilst we discussed parenting – as everyone had children who used to attend the same primary school which is how we all met – I had to bite my lip whilst thinking ‘what do you know about it?’ desperately wanting to speak out and just get it off my chest. But I never ever have the courage to just say what I think and know.
The other evening, I was struck by a programme on the radio, which had a psychiatrist discussing one of his patients who was a compulsive liar and how for the most part those close to him were complicit in perpetuating his condition by failing to challenge him despite knowing that he was either exaggerating or blatantly lying.
So many alarm bells rang I couldn’t help but wonder am I also one of those people, am I prolonging this charade unnecessarily or worse, appeasing ‘Ms Brodie’s’ to her own detriment? Her mental stability is beginning to be of concern. Every Tuesday for as long as I can remember, I go to my parents home for supper along with my daughter and every now and then her mother will ring them to ask if she is there: why?
She knows I’m there, where does she expect my daughter to be? For what reason does she ring my parents? Is she trying to prove that she is a discerning mother or is she just trying to suss out where we are? Troubling.