Uchenna's blog: Just Two Sleeps
I need to learn from Commander-in-Chief-Junior’s priorities. He woke me up in the middle of the night murmuring something unintelligible about Dracula. When I asked him in the morning what he dreamt about, he told me he was excited that it was “just two sleeps” until his class trip to the Science Museum.
As soul singer Jill Scott would say, this is living your life like it’s golden. Each conversation with me is marinated in eagerness to immerse himself in pleasure, curiosity, and wonder about the Science Museum. How Dracula has ended up as a conduit to this experience of many wonders, I don’t know. A quick surf of the Science Museum’s website shows me a section on the body and blood, so perhaps that’s where he got it from? The joy of voice search activation on Google for a seven-year-old who wants to graduate to adulthood way ahead of schedule!
No matter how many times I tell him that being an adult is overrated because it’s just about paying bills, his response is: how else can he get pocket money?
Commander-in-Chief-Junior has been lobbying me on when he’ll go on a school trip because he was jealous that Commander-in-Chief-Senior went to the London Aquarium with her class earlier this year. “It’s not fair,” he insisted. “Why does she get to have the fun?”
Commander-in-Chief-Senior said that she was excited to go the Aquarium and oh by the way, a shark tried to eat her. “Of course, it didn’t!” her brother retorted. “Mum, mum, muuuuuuuuuuum…! This is why she has a superpower of annoying me and I don’t want her to come on my trip to the Science Museum.”
Commander-in-Chief-Senior just smiled mischievously and now asks every day whether she can go on his trip. Oh, the powers of manifestation these children try to deploy!
I thought about how life’s sharp jaws have been looking for us parents with the drip, drip, blood in the water news on escalating childcare costs that typically lock women out of work, motherhood penalty on career trajectories, striking teachers, and the cost-of-living crisis. We’re at a juncture where childbirth rates are falling and whenever I read the features on why people are pressing pause, it always comes back to because it costs too much. My friends and I are always baffled by how we’re earning more than our immigrant parents who came with big dreams and small suitcases, but we are still struggling to balance the books whilst spinning plates in the 21st century.
The innocence that my Commanders-in-Chiefs have where their concerns are what class trip to go on, or what relation to visit, is what my parents longed for me and my siblings. On the one hand, it feels like things are still the same; yet, on the other hand, things have changed so much.
When will it get easier?
Will it get easier?
How many sleeps until we experience a new dawn in parenthood?