If you need me, just wait at the kitchen table I’ve gone for a quick walk round the block

19 Nov

In the mornings, he perches himself on the toilet (its lid is down), and he watches me.

‘I won’t ask you questions while you clean your teeth.’ It’s a lesson he has learned.

I rinse my mouth then turn quickly and flick water at him.

‘Mum!’ He gives the smile which knows much more than it used to know. ‘You can see I’ve already got my school clothes on.’

I pump facecream onto my fingertips, rub it lightly into my nose, my chin, my neck and across my collarbone.

‘Can I have some?’

He closes his eyes and tilts his chin towards me. The skin at the top of his cheeks is not as smooth as it used to be, but still it is smoother than mine.  I brush my finger against his cheek more times than it takes to rub the face cream in.

I go back to the sink and the mirror and brush powder on my cheeks.

‘Why do you wrap your towel around your head?’

‘To help my hair dry.’

‘Oh.’

He stands on the scales I brought home from my grandfather’s house.

‘Hey! I’m more than I used to be.’

‘That’s good. That must mean you’ve grown.’

‘Do you want to be less?’

‘Less what?’

‘Less than you used to be.’

I begin to unwrap the towel and rub lightly at my hair.

‘Sort of. But that’s not really it…I just wanted to start going to to the gym and doing more exercise because I wanted to make sure I didn’t get too sad…if you don’t do enough exercise it can be hard to stay happy.’

‘But Mum!’ He looks up at me now. His eyes are brown. Why does that still surprise me? ‘You’re already heaps happy!’

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8 Responses to “If you need me, just wait at the kitchen table I’ve gone for a quick walk round the block”

  1. blackbird November 19, 2008 at 11:36 am #

    – which is as good a motivation for NOT exercising as any. Bless him.

  2. Laura November 19, 2008 at 11:38 am #

    Wow – what an observation for him to make.

    Isn’t perspective interesting?

    I do love those bathroom Mother-Son conversations. Seeing how he sees me, sometimes. And the extra cheek contact. (even now that my son is nearly 23). I love to feel his skin next to mine even now – in a peck on the cheek way, a hug way, not anything inappropriate, I know you know how I mean.

    The wonder of having made him, and the connection with him.

  3. fifi November 19, 2008 at 11:49 am #

    what a dear dear child.
    And how lovely he would have smelled for school, wearing facecream.

    There you are: heaps happy.

    You can’t go for runs in the desert. But i guess they have gyms.

  4. ThirdCat November 19, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    hi laura – lovely to meet you

    bb – I hadn’t thought of it that way, but yes, you are very right – though somewhat surprisingly, I am finding that I enjoy exercising – pretty sure it will pass

    they have gyms galore, fifi – also, they really do have that morning walk in the mall. The shops open at 10, but the malls open at 7 for the walking groups. I shit you not.

  5. suse November 19, 2008 at 5:42 pm #

    I was about to say something vaguely intelligent when I read the bit about shopping malls and walking groups and everything just fell out of my brain onto the floor and the dog ate it.

  6. fifi November 20, 2008 at 1:24 pm #

    I have more than enough trouble working out whether its that someone has slipped has slipped drugs into my cup of tea, or I am completely mental, or the world is truly weird, for me to even contemplate that notion.

    So, power walking a la Kel Day Knight past the Burberry outlet? In Abu Dhabi? Wowie.

    I should keep my hand over my teacup. At all times.

  7. fifi November 20, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    see what I mean? one *has slipped* dammit

  8. Kath Lockett November 20, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    You and he make a wise pair, sitting on the loo or in a boardroom methinks.

    A friend of mine with a teenage daughter admitted to giving her facials just so that she could keep touching her face without getting the, “Oh stop it, Mum” response. I have a small feeling I’ll be offering them to Sapphire in a few years too.

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