Tuesday 23 November 2010
Hmmm, it’s confession time again. I may have told you all a small untruth. I may have misrepresented myself to you in order to appear to be something I’m not. I’ve told you all on a number of occasions that I have absolutely no intention of ever having kids. I’ve told you that I’m not fond of kids. Okay, in truth, I told you that I don’t actually like little ones. And now, I hang my head in shame, and admit to you that I have indeed, lied. I am a parent, albeit of a child who I have adopted.
You’re probably asking why I would hide something as life changing as being a parent. You’re probably all thinking that this is something that I should be shouting from the rooftops. You’re probably disappointed that I’ve not mentioned my little girl before. And some of you are probably going: Hang on a second, the last time she confessed something like this, she was talking about a relationship with a computer. Well, not this time. I am confessing to a relationship with a beautiful, intelligent, stole-my-heart, honest-to-goodness, little girl.
As I’ve already mentioned, I was lucky enough to be able to adopt a baby. And yes, I was very lucky to be allowed to adopt, given that I am a single parent. That was eight years ago. Yep, at the age of twenty-eight I adopted an adorable little brunette. And she has got the cutest brown eyes I’ve ever seen. It was an open adoption, and I’ve taken my kiddo back to see her biological mum just the once. It was a tense reunion, and my little girl wasn’t really happy about seeing her biological mother again. In all fairness, her real mum was quite young when she had my little miss, so she probably still needed to grow up a bit more when we went to see her. However, I’ve not taken my kiddo back to see her biological mum since.
I thought it was about time I came clean and introduced you to my little princess, who is the absolute light of my life. And before you ask, yes, I am the sort of parent who spoils her kid rotten. Hey, she deserves it: she has to put up with me as her mother. So, a little bit about my girl . . .
You all know that I’m a teacher. However, my little one is home schooled. I’m happy to sound arrogant when I say that she’s far too intelligent to go to any of the schools in this town. And to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t want her mixing with the kids in these schools anyway. I know, I know, she should socialise with the other kids in town. Arrogance again: she’s far too sophisticated to mix with kids of coal miners.
As she’s adopted, she looks nothing at all like me – lucky her. I wouldn’t want to look like me either, if I could help it. No, my girl has ebony hair, pale skin, perfect teeth, and the sweetest personality ever. Again, that’s a feat in itself given that I’m her mum.
I absolutely adore her. I worship the ground she walks on. I give her everything she wants and more. I don’t know what I would do without her. My life completely changed the moment I saw her. She was four weeks old when I first laid eyes on her, all squishy and baby smelling. Her biological mother and I hit it off from our first introduction. I was ecstatic about this, because the last thing that I wanted was for there to be any animosity between my girl’s two mothers.
And like any new mum, I was speechless the first time I held her, and she nuzzled her face into my neck. She was perfect. Tiny little hands and feet, tiny little eyes, tiny little nose and ears. Oh my God, those tiny little fingers and toes! And I’m sorry, any parent who says that they don’t like that newborn baby smell is a liar. It’s divine.
When I took her home, and away from her biological mum, she cried. She hung over my shoulder and watched as her mum disappeared in the distance, and then we drove away. My mum came with me when I finally got to take my girl home, and she agrees that it was heartbreaking to see the awareness in her eyes when she realised she was being taken away from the only home she had known. And that moment, in part, is why I have devoted myself to making sure that my kiddo is happy, and wants for nothing.
Okay, here’s where you learn a little bit more about me as well. The moment I love about every day is the moment I come home from work. My little one is always there to greet me with a hug and a kiss when I come in the door. Yep, two small, eight year old hands are wrapped around my neck, holding me tight, while my face is covered with ‘welcome home, mum’ kisses. And really, what mum can pass up a little kid’s hug? Not me.
The other moment of the day that I adore, is that time in the morning when she wakes up and rushes into my bedroom, and throws herself down next to me. Morning snuggles are the best, especially when those brown eyes are looking straight into mine.
She’s a tough little kid, but, as any parent will tell you, even tough little kids need their parents at some point, and my sweetheart is no exception. Any excuse for a cuddle, is a good excuse according to her. And who am I to argue with that logic?
Her birthday is celebrated with fervent ardour every year. She is an only child, and she’s cool with that. And you know what, I’ve waited for her all my life.
I named my girl after my favourite television character, and most people ask me why I’ve given her a surname as a Christian name. Well, I like it. I liked the show, I liked the character, and when I saw her, I knew the name would be perfect. And it is. She is the epitome of sophistication, elegance, and grace, and yet she can be a total clown at other times. She knows what to do to make her mum smile, and she knows that I would do anything for her. She loves her nanny (my mum), even if she sometimes does things that make nanny grumpy. But on the whole, she’s got beautiful manners, and a face that would make you melt. Still, I expect that every mum says that about her kid.
This is Miss Parker – named after the character that actress Andrea Parker played in the TV show ‘The Pretender’. Okay, okay, she’s a pooch, who, incidentally, is and never has been referred to by me as a dog. But that doesn’t mean that I love her any less than you love your two-legged variety of kids. And my mum is quite accepting of the fact that this is as close as she’s going to get to being a grandmother.
I can guarantee that how you feel about your kids, is exactly how I feel about Parker. She is my kid. I know it. Parker knows it. And anyone who sees us together will tell you how much like a child Parker really is. Where your photo albums are filled with pictures of your biological offspring, mine are laden with photographs of my lil Border Collie beauty. You probably have hours of DVD footage of your kids playing sport, dancing, and playing, and I have hours of Parker being a clown. My friends now expect all birthday, Easter, and Xmas cards to be signed with my name and Parker’s. Just like you have pictures of your kids as your computer desktop wallpaper, screen saver, phone background, and wallet pictures, I have Parker on all of mine.
I know there’ll be a barrage of you mocking me for this. I know there’ll be a barrage of you slightly infuriated that I would dare compare Miss Parker to your children. You know what, that’s life. Parker is my baby. But unlike the majority of you, who will have a long lifetime with your children, if I get another seven or eight years with my girl, she will have lived a very long life for a pooch, and I will be very, very lucky.
Oh hell, I am very, very lucky. Look at my adorable kiddo.