I have discovered over the past few weeks, that I am, actual factual, quite naive. Stop it. Stop laughing! It's true. I have had my bubble burst seemingly over and over and I'm getting a little bit frightened. I didn't realise I was living on a completely different planet to everyone else. True, a lot of it may actually be my own fault. I do prefer to keep my head in the ground a fair bit, rather than hear a bit of bad news, and I desperately despise the TV news - nothing but French people trying to recreate the Big Bang (I mean seriously, what's up with that?!!)
The two most recent things that have pulled the sheet out from under my feet, have been dealt by none other than my own children. And it's all about peer pressure (I know, I can't believe it either, they are only 4 and 6 - but there you go!)
Ellie has just started swimming lessons at school and yesterday she came home with a sore ear. So today I sent her off with some ear drops and asked her teacher to put them in for her straight after swimming. Ellie looked at me completely horrified and said, "but Mum, people will laugh at me". Where did that come from? Does the girl care more for appearances than she does for the health of her own ears?!
And as for Harri - well! As part of my getting fit, fabulous and nearly 40 plan, I have tried running around the lake and to add a little bit of resistance to the whole plan, I offered to push Harri around the lake in his billy-cart that he made with his Dad. (Man, you should see it. It is by far the coolest billy-cart I have ever seen!) Anyway, his reply was the same "but Mum, people will laugh at me"!
Not being one to give in easily, I explained to Harri that it didn't matter what it looked like, it was made with a lot of love and was therefore very cool. I insisted and he sat in quite reluctantly. About a third of the way around the walking track, there is a skate park where all the "dudes" hang out, and as we were going past (Harri still chin on his chest, dying with shame) one "dude" calls out "yo, dude, excellent billy cart" and you should have seen Harri's head come up quick as. He got this look on his face and if he hadn't been sitting down, I swear he would have swaggered. I looked at him and I couldn't help myself, "told ya" (nah nah nah nah nah).
But seriously, we can't ever promise our children that life will be easy or lovely - that's just not true. But I had really hoped that they would be confident in who they are and not worry about what other people think. Still, I guess I've got a bit of time left for that one to sink in.