The Taming of the Shoes.


6 months down the line… my girls wear shoes!!!

In fact, they’re becoming down right wusses.

Am I doing the right thing? A question every mother asks herself, so I might as well relax. My impulsive personality and rash decisions can only be character building for my girls, right…? Perhaps the “MOM! Stop dancing when you’re driving!!!!!” or “yes, I’d love a drink please, I drink red like my mother” (that’s grape juice to her for your FYI) is proof enough that I’m raising them into strong minded, very strong minded, well, bloody strong minded women , so just about ready for total independence. (wishful thinking…)

Europe, on the other hand, may not be ready.

photo credit: Patrick Bréban
My eldest has a fading Strawberry angioma on her arm, kind of like she’s been bitten by her sister, you know what that’s like right? So, a boy in her French school asked her about it and she just casually said a lion had bitten her. She’s playing her wild African card. (Mine! Mine! Mine!!!). I swear the parents look at me funny at the school gates. So, I wear little heels and make up before school pick up just to look like a normal mother. Normal mother!!! (ROFL emoji needed) 
My girls eat baby octopus and raw meat to shock their friends.

Being a single mother is hard. We have to cut ourselves some slack. In fact I’m writing this with two children pinching and throwing roller skates at each other. Am I bothered? I haven’t hit red yet.
Wait for it…

she tied my hair to the barbie house…

Anyway. What was I saying? No idea. But I did find my phone in the fridge this morning!!! Didn’t raise an eyebrow. Oh, no-one called anyway.

…hey! Why did you kick me? Because your head was where my foot needed to be…

So, what happens when you’re a single mother, need to have 3 loads of laundry done, food shopping sorted, the kitchen floor spot wiped as you step in sticky stuff… before you can sit down to your first translation job of the day? Which is precisely when your little one decided she’s going to die of starvation on the couch if you don’t feed her immediately. And you consider pouring yourself some wine but feel you shouldn’t really as most people aren’t even awake yet (well, it’s dark outside, where I come from, it’s either night time or after party time… Europe is just asking for trouble like that, right?) Chill. You’ve already done before dawn what most people do in a day.

Just know this. Kids adapt. It’s quite extraordinary. I have thrown mine twice in a new school with a totally unknow language and within 3 months they were fluent. I wonder when they’ll run out of memory space? So. Next stop… Spain? Brazil???

I joke, but it’s hard. The tears roll when Social Media shares a memory of us with our pets left behind, sat by the pool on a hot summer’s day. Yet today I just tried to make merry of scraping the ice of the windscreen. Fighting this need everyone has here to put you in some sort of box “ what do you do?” Everything, anything. “But what did you study?” It was 20 years ago, who cares?! I started 2 businesses since then, I can do pretty much whatever you have to offer. “We could offer you a window cleaning job. Do you have the appropriate diploma? And health and safety training?”  Yes! Of course. My girls are alive and healthy. That says a lot, trust me. Please let me climb a two-story building, I need a break.

The task is monumental. Going grocery shopping is monumental. But what am I saying? All mothers know what I’m talking about, don’t you…? The fight over who sits in the fricking trolley. The playing catch in the isle and narrowly missing the bottles on the lower shelf…. Me sitting in the passenger seat of my car looking like a lemon because I’m still not used to left hand driven cars.
And finally getting home with everything but what you need. A tin of peas, some lolly pops and a box of paracetamol. Bon appetit!

But I’d rather have my 2 girls with their independent, wild, yet very mature nature over any other child their age. They are amazing. Sensitive, an eye for nature and beauty, story tellers (ahem. Rolling eye emoji) and chameleons who fit everywhere and nowhere, just like their mother.

They’re alive.

High Five.

And a wonderful 2019 to all of you!

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