Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Not the usual Febreze/Air Wick cover-up combo

SOMETHING’S going on. I don’t know what and I don’t know why, I’m not even sure who is involved or in what capacity. But the one thing I am certain of is that big changes — nay, seismic shifts — are afoot chez Elliott.

Just this morning the Eleventeen-Year-Old not only got up out of bed when I told her it was time to rise, shine and get ready for school, she did it without curse or complaint.

Neither did we have our daily tussle at the front door while I fuss with her lapels and coat hood and she bats my hands away like I’m an irritating mosquito, crossly shouting “Stop fussing and get off me!” as she runs down the driveway with not even a single backward glance.

Of course, this part of our morning ritual usually happens just as our new (childless) neighbours are opening their front door right next to ours, ceramic coffee cups in hand, all set for another hectic day at the office.

They look at me, still in my jim jams, the frumpy hausfrau look complete with fluffy slippers, yesterday’s mascara and hair that can’t make up its mind whether it’s curly, straight or simply a frizzy, frazzled bird’s nest, and say “Good morning!” or something chirpy and annoying like that.

“Morning!” I usually reply, forcing a smile and slamming the door as I swiftly run back inside, painfully aware that I haven’t brushed my teeth yet.

But none of that happened this morning. Weirdly enough, the young business couple opened their front door just as the Mean Tween was kissing me goodbye, telling me she loved me and waving at me enthusiastically from the end of the driveway.

The neighbours still looked at me with a soupçon of pity in their eyes (those pyjamas have go to go), but I’m sure I detected a grudging glint of, what was it now, respect? Not that I have a clue what that looks like, let’s get real here. But who cares anyway? The point is I have witnesses.

And last night, my daughter helped the Sunshiney Seven-Year-Old sort out Singing Monsters on his tablet. No, I don’t know what that is either, other than something cartoonish, loud and extremely irrigating, as my son would say.

My girl didn’t tut, whinge, whine or yell once and my boy leapt up from the kitchen table, gave my daughter a bear hug and said: “You’re the best big sister ever!”

But get this, she then smiled, stroked his arm wrapped tightly around her and said: “You’re welcome.”

I know. I mean, what the...

Even Cookie, the handsome hound, is getting in on the act. When I’m feeling dedicated (or mad) enough to take him out in the stormy rain for a much-needed yomp in the woods, he runs around like a lunatic for an hour or so and then comes bowling up to me the first time I call him and virtually puts his own lead on, he’s that keen to go home.

He’s not monstering us nearly as much for food (by resting his adorable snout on the kitchen table mere millimetres away from our plates) like he usually does.

Neither does he bite/hump me in full view of (some applauding) eyes-out-on-stalks drivers stuck in a traffic jam, like we’re the half-time entertainment or something.

It’s strange, but our bouncy, berserk, beautifully bonkers dog is just not acting like himself lately. Maybe I should get him to the vet.

And me? Well, I’m getting organised. I’m getting liberated. Cleansed, even. Because Louise, the de-clutterer/home organiser/life changer from Sonning Common (www.messymoolifestyle.com) is coming over today to hold my hand while I chuck out years of accumulated rubbish, tat and notes to myself/
brilliant ideas for novels scrawled on the back of old envelopes.

But hang on a sec. Maybe things aren’t changing that much… I just remembered something my daughter said this morning.

My son was musing that even though I’m, like, really, really, really old, I may still have another 40 years left.

“Who will look after me when I’m 90?” I blinked innocently at my two little darlings.

“Me!” shrieked my son. At exactly the same time as my daughter yelled: “Him!”

But that’s another story…

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