Mother's Day 2019

 
Mother and children

I wake up late. I know it’s late because of the quality of the light in the bedroom.

I check my phone. 10am…10AM? I hate waking up late, especially at weekends, the precious time together goes too fast as it is.

I rush downstairs, too quickly, still not quite ready, tired from resisting and then giving into Arlo’s night-long demands for milk, still not fully sharp after the deep, dream filled morning slumber.

There are presents, home-made cards and excited shouting but I am still not quite ready.

“Tea?” Bart says, “No, no coffee - thank you, I need a coffee I think.” I unwrap the presents, beautiful, framed photographs of me and the kids and chocolate too.

“Can I have some Mummy? I’m a fan.” Eli pants his tongue lolling, Arlo yells and points, they continue until I oblige. “Can I have a bit more Mummy… Do you like these Mummy? Arlo made this one and I made that one.”

The noise. No one warns you about the noise. The constant assault on your senses. There is toast. I sit to eat it and sip at the coffee, willing the caffeine to hurry up and kick in. Arlo taps my legs begging to be lifted onto my lap, where he sits for a moment before squirming to get down again.

“Mummy, Mummy, Mummy, look I’m drawing a soldier. This is the Thames and this is the Tower of London. Look Mummy, look! Look. Daddy, Daddy, Daddy look! I’m drawing a soldier.”

God. I’d give anything for some peace and quiet. I fantasise for a moment, as I often do, about reading a book cover to cover or going out for breakfast to read the papers undisturbed.

I know I ought to feel grateful. Life is short and fragile.

I move to the sofa to look out of the window, I watch some birds circling and the branches of our tree swaying.

Arlo clambers up to join me. I place him on my knees to jiggle him, he smiles, leaning in to press his soft, sumptuous cheek against mine.  Eli comes up too and for a moment we sit this way, our cheeks pressed together and I begin to cry because I cannot be alone and I cannot stop time.  

Recovery

 
Illustration comic recovering from illness

I've been working on some real life, actual illustration projects lately (eeeeeeeep!) and haven't found much time to make art for myself (other than some highly questionable stuff in my sketchbook) so I sat down and made this today. It felt good. 

Eli was ill all weekend. It's a strange alternate world, the world of illness. I struggle with its slowness but this weekend I tried to lean into it and ended up feeling very close to Eli, which was lovely. Parenting is hard. So fucking hard at times but it fills your heart to the brim.

This was the moment yesterday when I felt we'd turned a corner and my worry evaporated on the breeze.

A true story where everyone gets maced in the face

 
Diary comic with mace

I know, I know. Two posts in as many days. I'm really spoiling you. Don't get used to it though, I doubt I can keep this heady pace up for long, especially on the tiny amount of sleep I'm currently getting. 

I made this comic as a gift for Moya (top left of top left panel) who is practically family and had a big birthday last year. It's taken me MONTHS to finish but the moment finishing things is super important to me. I'm terrible for starting loads of things and not finishing them.  I get carried away in the giddiness of newness but I get bored really quickly. 

However, I've learnt that completion is a REALLY vital discipline, with each piece of work I finish, I learn so much.  What I don't like, what I love, what I'd like to explore more and I can use all that for my next idea. You probably all knew this ages ago...

Anyhoo. Here is this comic. Several months after I started it but finished nonetheless. 

This is a true story about one day during a four week visit to stay with Moya and Paul in the USA when I was 15. We ate our way around Pennsylvania that holiday and this day was no exception, although it was on the more extreme side of average consumption.

Being maced in the face in this fashion, though deeply distressing for a short time, is genuinely one of the funniest things that has happened to me. 

I hope you enjoy. 

Work in Progress

 
Ilustration of anxiety

You might have already seen this page from my sketchbook on Instagram. If you have, please enjoy it for a second time. If not come join me over there, I've all but given up the other social medias but IG is a warm, safe, pretty place where I like to hang. 

So. I'm 12 weeks into Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Emetaphobia and Generalised Anxiety. It's fucking hard this self improvement gig. Christ, I'm so bored of my own thoughts. I sent my sister a text asking her if she also got tired of being herself and she said all the time. So I wonder if it's normal even if you're not completely self obsessed as a result of CBT. 

This week's 'homework' (if you have a phobia CBT homework means doing shit you hate on your own time) anyway it involved watching videos of people being sick. It was truly, toe-curlingly, disgusting. Why on earth people feel the need to video themselves or their family yacking is beyond me.

The most disturbing one was of a drunk man with his face painted like a clown vomiting copiously - Monty Python levels of puke. I sort of found that one funny it was so very dark. His name was Flip Flop if you want to go check it out for yourself. (My youtube suggestions page was a horror show for few days but I've cleared my history now and feel enormous relief).

I think the therapy is working. We shall see. I'm just working on accepting where I am every moment of every day. Sometimes that's up and sometimes that's down but honestly that's a whole other blog post. I'll get to it when I can. 

For now, let's say I'm a work in progress and that my friends is ok with me.