I am sitting amidst a pile of cellophane wrappers and discarded shoes – plastic tweety pie emblazoned fake crocs, Disney Princess bow-clad horrors with heels, sparkly beaded flip flops. I am in tears.
‘If you don’t choose a pair of damn shoes by the time I count to ten I am going to send you on the next plane back to England,’ I hiss at Alula.
I know this post will probably send shivers of outrage through some readers. I don’t care. If it does go away and don’t come back. Believe me no one can judge me worse than I already do.
I know I’m not the world’s best mother but by God I try to be. But sometimes being a mother SUCKS BALLS and any mother who says otherwise is a big fat liar and I challenge her to a duel. Or to hand over whatever it is she’s taking because I want some of that.
Yesterday being a mother SUCKED MORE BALLS than I can tell you about.
Alula has four pairs of shoes including a pair of 30 quid Start-Rites bought in the UK which she chose herself and which she loved, up until she got bored with the Velcro strap and the three extra seconds it takes to put them on which stops her from getting to the sand pit first.
Right now those thirty quid Start-Rites are floating eerily sole-up in our fish pond where I threw them yesterday in a fit of pique. Alula didn’t care a jot about their watery demise, her only thought was for the fish who I might have brained in the process.
‘There are children living next door who have NO SHOES,’ I told her ‘and you have a gorgeous pair of shoes but don’t want them.’
Did she repent of her ingratitude and haul them out the pond and put them on sobbing repentantly? Did she heck. She just shrugged at me.
She also has a pair of crocs which she used to love but for reasons unfathomable have been moved from the endangered to the extinct list.
And finally she has the faux animal fur flip flops she chose just yesterday in the supermarket after in exhaustion I told her she could just have whatever she wanted, I no longer cared, even if they had six inch heels and a place to stick a flick knife.
Those shoes lasted a day. They weren’t comfortable she complained.
So here we find ourselves surrounded by cheap tatty shoes with me in tears and Alula unmoved and still shaking her head at every pair that the shop owner and I thrust her way.
‘Fine then,’ I said, ‘You’ll just have to go barefoot to school.’
‘NO. If I don’t have shoes I’m not going to school,’ she announced.
So just let her stay home you might think, or, just buy a pair of damn shoes and make her wear them, or refuse to buy her new ones and make her wear the old ones – she sounds like a spoilt brat. If that’s what you’re thinking then yeah, I hear you. I fully agree. And believe me I WISH it was that easy. I spend half my life online trying to figure out the best approach to her particular brand of challenging (supernanny, exorcism, the naughty step – tried em all).
And I laugh at your naivete. You haven’t had the pleasure of meeting our daughter. She makes mules rethink their approach to stubbornness. The words of my mother, said to me when I was about eight, come back to haunt me: One day you’re going to have a child just like you and then you’ll understand.
Ok, I want to add something else to my list of things that suck balls. KARMA.
And you know what else? That no one ever tells you how hard being a mother is. You think women might want to share that little secret a bit more openly. It would help. That too goes on my sucking balls list.
We had been by this point to two supermarkets, the Croc shop AND two local shoe shops. We had tried on every pair of size 29 shoes in Indoneisa. Flip flops, Crocs and any shoes with straps had been ruled out. What does that leave?
It leaves barefoot. But knowing the hellishness that would result the next morning when this became clear to her was more than I could handle.
Eventually, she tried on a pair of flip flops which had attached to it what looked like those little bath oil balls the Body Shop sold in the late 80s…remember them? Kind of squishy like boils?
‘Yes,’ she said, trying them on. ‘I can wear these.’
I handed over the $2.50 and we walked back to the car, me still in tears.