Apologies for my conspicuous absence from this blog - it's starting to look a bit dusty and unloved in here - like myspace. My excuse is I have been busy rearing my baffling, ever-moving, testosterone-fuelled child, who DOESN'T WANT TO and then WANTS TO DO IT MYSELF and then MUMMY I NEED HELP every five minutes until a new circle of hell is formed with me at the centre of it, crying and eating Tunnock's tea cakes.
When it comes to demanding, unreasonable behaviour, it's a truth universally acknowledged that children are worse than any rock star. They want this colour plate, they want that colour grand piano, they won't perform (ie. put their socks on) unless the room is 21ºC and filled with Diptyque candles. My friend, who works for an events company, recently met Beyonce, whose entourage consisted of her Mum, bodyguards, and a person who went by the title 'Ambience Coordinator.' This person's job was presumably to ensure flattering lighting, plug in the odd Ambi-Pur and make sure nobody drops a stinky 'Sacha Fierce' in her vicinity, which when you're a billionaire megastar is probably par for the course.
But Beyonce is a breeze compared to any child under 5. They don't just want an ambience coordinator. They want a PR, a manager, a bodyguard, a photographer and an intimate wiper. Someone to carry their stuff, someone to clean up after them, someone to fix their stabilizers, someone to pay for the bouncy castle and someone to read them a story after a day of unforgivable excess and frankly embarrassing behaviour at a family fun day. They demand pink milk like Charlie and Lola, then leave it festering by the telly. They treat you like crap and hit you and stick their hands up your skirt. They even bother you in the night, coughing and spluttering, demanding room service and Calpol cocktails and asking you to leave the light on. ANIMALS.
The other day I read an interview with a woman called Julie Cafritz, who in the late 80s was a member of seminal New York punk band Pussy Galore. This is a woman who has seen it all, then gave it up to bring up her kids. Here's what she had to say:
'One of the things I could never fathom is why anyone would be a roadie. The pay was no good, and you spent your time doing other people's shit. With children, it's like a lifetime of being a roadie. Sippie cups. If you don't have that shit, they yell at you. And you don't get paid. And you try to plan for every variable in as small a package as you can. I got everything in this little bag, and if you don't have something, it's trouble. In between being a roadie for my kid, real work--being a real person--becomes hidden. Because your children have no interest.'
Spot on, Julie. That's what I am. That's what we all are. Whether we're rock stars or rocket scientists in our own lives, to our kids we will forever be humble roadies. Right down to the over-dependence on alcohol and exposed bum cracks.
Anyway, I'd better go. Beyonce - I mean, Louis - needs his baked potato carved into the shape of a swan.
9 months ago