How am I doing so far as an adoptive mum?
‘Muuuu-um,’ says my little adopted 3 year-old. I ignore her.
‘Muuuu-um,’ she repeats. I pretend I haven’t heard.
‘Muuuu-um!’ I turn away and look out of the bus window.
‘Muuu-um!’ she screams, and I pretend she’s not there, which isn’t easy as she’s banging on my head with her velveteen red dog, which she says is her pig- I’m not the only one who has identity issues.
Muuuum-um,’ she roars so loudly that the bus driver looks around.
‘I’m not your mum,’ I hiss. She’s deliberately trying to wind me up.
‘Don’t call me that!
It’s hot and crowded, I’m getting hot under the collar.
‘I don’t want to be mum!’ I snap.
‘I. Am. Not. Mum!’
I catch some eyes looking at me and realize that maybe I’d been talking a bit louder than I thought.
‘Mum-meee,’ she conceeds, rolling her eyes like a sulky teenager.
'That’s right I say,' firmly, ‘I’m mummy.’
‘I need the toilet.’
‘No, you don’t need the toilet,’
‘Yes- I do!’ she wails, holding herself.
‘No, you don’t- you need the loo!’
‘But I did need the toilet!’ she argues, wee spattering down her legs.
‘No, you did need the loo!’
I’m a methusula mum. And I’m not only ancient, I’m an ancient snob. In my Enid Blyton world mums are mummies or mother, as in ‘Watch with Mother’. I don’t know if it’s unfair to make her call me mummy, I’ll see when she gets to school, but for the time being that’s what I want. I’m actually quite proud that I’ve come around to wanting her to call me mummy. For ages down the process I thought I would stick to the pure facts and never be a mummy - just a Sara. Then I realized that she deserved to call someone mummy. Or mum, I suppose, if she really, really must. But I’ll fight it all the way, and no doubt she’ll fight back.
We get off the bus, her trailing drips and walking like John Wayne so her wet knickers don’t rub on her skin.
‘Lets go to the cafe,’ she says.
‘No we’ve got to go home and get you changed.’
No, you have to do what I say, I’m the mummy,’ she says firmly.
She, she always finds a way to twist the argument.
I do wonder what X's first memory will be. I suppose it will be sometime in her third or fourth year. I do hope it isn't me yelling that I don't want to be mum.