I’d never cut it as a serial killer.

It came out of nowhere, there was nothing I could do. I stopped the car.

“Shit! I’ve just hit a squirrel”

“Oh well, just drive away” said The Eldest.

“I can’t just drive away for goodness sake”

I turned the car around. There was already a lady standing over the lifeless corpse with a car mat in hand poised to pick it up.

“I hope it’s dead” she said “they can be┬ánasty little buggers”

It was dead. The nice lady parked it by a tree and gave me a hug.

“These things happen” she squeezed and disappeared as quickly as she’d appeared.

I get back into the car where The Eldest simply cannot believe what has just happened.

“Why are you so upset?”

“It was alive and now it is dead because of me”

“You eat cow though don’t ya?”

Fucking smart arse.

Anyhoo, fast forward to a note in The Youngest’s school diary the following week.

Sorry to hear of your accident this morning, I hope you are ok.

Signed by teacher.

I wrote back that I hadn’t had an accident that morning but I thanked her for her concern.

Oh, your daughter said you had run over a squirrel and that Mrs Whites had given you a hug.

Turns out my mystery squirrel mover and hug giver was a dinner lady at The Youngest’s school. Small world huh?

Tonight, three weeks on from the murder, myself and The Youngest are driving home from the supermarket. The Youngest leans over and whispers in my ear.

“Mum, you killed a squirrel”

I’ll be honest, it was more than a little creepy.

“Did you run over a squirrel in the car then get a hug from a dinner lady?” asked The Husband.

He thought The Youngest was telling fibs, it sounded made up the way she told it so he thought he’d check.

“Yes, for the love of biscuits YES! I KILLED A SQUIRREL! Have you got a problem with that? You eat cow don’t ya?”

 

 

Just In Case

“I wish I could go by my own” said The Youngest indignantly.

Now, I’m not used to this malarkey as The Eldest has anxieties on top of his anxieties, it is most unlikely that he will walk himself to or from school any time soon. He wants to, he wants to walk home alone, with some money to go to the shop and buy chocolate, but says he’s not ready yet. I offered him a friend to walk with but still he said no. This is fine by me, it will come. Inside him is the heart of a warrior, I know this because he fights every day, he fights to overcome his many fears and he succeeds most days.

As for her. Inside her is the heart of an adventurer, the heart of a fearless adventurer, a blooming great fearless sodding adventurer. One which doesn’t appear to want to give me any time to adjust either. Talk about from one extreme to another, jeez. Anyhoo, this is how it went down.

“I wish I could go by my own”

We were four streets away from her school, she is five.

“Mummy will get into trouble with the police if I let you walk to school by your own”

“No you won’t!”

“Yes I will. Ask teacher if you can walk to school on your own”

“No”

We walk for a bit in complete silence.

“Pretend you don’t know me then!”

So I pretend not to know her whilst struggling to keep a straight face. We get to school. The Youngest stops me outside the gates.

“Leave me here”

“No. I cannot leave you outside the gates, I have to come in”

I’m allowed in to the playground, just. Off she goes leaving a broken heart in her wake. It was horrible watching that tiny person just go, she didn’t look back, she is an arse, an evil, brave, confident, marvellous little arse.

I write a note to the school explaining my situation secretly hoping I will be told that this is just not on, that a five year old should be escorted to the door, that I’m a terrible mother and so on. Alas this was not to be. They think it’s great that she wants to be independent, so long as I lurk until she’s inside the building they are happy for the arse to take herself into school. Oh bugger!

So, most mornings I pretend not to know her. Occasionally I am allowed to speak to her as if I were a stranger making polite conversation with another stranger.

“Morning” I say cheerfully.

“Morning, what’s your name?” she will ask.

I will make someone up, someone exotic, and we will chat our merry way to school. Sometimes she will allow me to walk her to her classroom but I let her decided which days those are. I’m just the person who walks ten steps behind her ready to catch her if she falls and I’m happy to be that person for as long as she allows.

Of course, once she thinks she’s no need of me, I shall hide behind trees and bushes, head to toe in camouflage combat gear, ever ready, just in case.