Well, Easter has been and gone, and I was very healthy and ate no chocolate whatsoever. The fact that I spent the six weeks leading up to Easter, buying, eating and then re-buying the kids’ Easter eggs on repeat, is of no importance in my opinion. True, my cholesterol level was practically on its knees at one point, begging me to stop, but it’s difficult to hear with a mouth full of delicious chocolate, so what was I supposed to do?
Speaking of hearing, I am definitely struggling with mine. I have spent months accusing my family of mumbling/speaking too quickly/slurring their words (ok that last one might be me after a few glasses of wine). Yet even though they do all of these things, I have had to concede that it might be me with the problem. I’m fine if I’m looking right at the person talking, with no other noise in the background, but the second the kettle is on or the tap is running, or they turn their face away, you can forget it.
I even booked a free hearing test. I dutifully sat in the booth with my headphones on, pressing a button every time I heard a beep. Sometimes after a really long gap, I did press the button regardless, forgetting that the purpose of the exercise was to help me, not to trick the staff at Boots into thinking I was fine. At the end of it, the results were examined and the pronouncement was that I do indeed have some hearing loss. It’s a bit more than should be expected at the age of 47, but nothing that warrants any intervention just yet.
And also – wait for it – I may be experiencing a certain amount of ‘selective deafness’. Selective deafness! I mean, OBVIOUSLY I have selective deafness. I’m a mother. And a wife. The second I hear ‘Mum, I can’t find my….’ or ‘aaaargh! I’m telling Mum what you just did’, I become instantly deaf like any other sane person would.
However, it was then explained that what they meant was when you have a lot of thoughts going round your head, sometimes you think you’re listening but you’re really just processing those thoughts. Something to remember the next time I’m yelling ‘you’ll have to either come into the bathroom or speak up, I’M WEARING MY SHOWER CAP’. And the next time one of the kids speaks to me V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y with heavily sarcastic ‘you’ve clearly just been released from an institution’ vibes, I’ll just remind myself that I’ve selected this, and it’s nobody’s fault but my own.
The rest of the Easter holidays were thankfully spent doing much nicer things than sitting in hearing booths. My husband decided to use up his Father’s Day voucher from last year, which was for a family tour of Twickenham rugby stadium. We set off happily an hour early ‘just in case’, little knowing that we were wildly underestimating how long it takes to get across London, and just how many roads would be closed.
I’ll admit that the journey was a bit stressful. When the sat-nav said ‘turn left here’ what it actually meant was ‘turn left in about half a mile, but I’m going to say it right now by this earlier left turn, just to confuse you’. And ‘make a u-turn’ isn’t the most helpful advice when careering down the motorway. The process was not helped by the kids piping up every now and then with helpful things like ‘didn’t we just come down this road?’, and ‘the sat-nav says we’re 40 minutes away but doesn’t it start in 5 minutes?’ But we made it in the end and despite missing the first half an hour, the tour was great.
The guide took us to the section where the royals sit. He asked my youngest to sit in seat 21, and then announced that this was in fact the ‘Queen’s seat’, the best-placed seat in the stadium, where only she or her guests get to sit. I can’t be certain, but I’m guessing that unlike my 12-year-old, the Queen does not use her time in the seat with her hand up her bum, desperately trying to remove the wedgie she’s had for the last ten minutes. But you never know.
We got to see the players’ changing rooms and I had my photo taken in the showers. I’m not saying that means I’ve now showered with Jonny Wilkinson. But I basically have. My husband got to run out onto the pitch from the tunnel, and I got to make him sit in the ‘sin bin’ for players who have committed an offence (backchat is apparently one of the crimes that can put them there, so I thought it was apt). After the rugby museum, the tour finished in the gift shop of course. One of the only shops I’ve ever seen my husband willingly enter.
The rest of the Easter holidays went by in a blur. We didn’t go away, but had some days out and we spent a lot of time with family which was lovely to be able to do. And now they are back at school, and we have re-entered the danger zone of homework. They’re old enough now to get on with it, but don’t be fooled into thinking this means they actually will. I have whittled the homework code phrases they use, down to the following lies:
‘I don’t have any’ = all the time I don’t check to see, this remains true.
‘It’s not due in until next week’ = it’s due in tomorrow, but I can probably do an average job in the 5 minutes before lessons start.
‘I’m nearly done’ = I haven’t started it, but it probably won’t take long.
‘I’ve had to e-mail the teacher for help’ = the question requires some thought, and possibly some research, which is frankly too much to ask, so I’m going to claim ignorance instead’.
‘I’ve done it all’ = the teacher cancelled the homework.
‘I’ve finished it – have a look for yourself if you don’t believe me’ = shows work from three years ago, that I actually helped them with at the time.
They clearly think I’m stupid as well as deaf. Still, I can always ‘select’ to ignore it all and enjoy a nice glass of wine instead.
Bring on Bedtime!