Monday morning

Awake at 5am today, it seems that Monday morning could not come fast enough for me. I love my commute into work. It’s a space in the day that is for me and me only. I queue with the hordes on the platform, waiting for the tram to arrive, hoping along with everyone else that when it stops the door is in front of me so that I am first to get on.

My stop is a school stop. Crowds of children tumble out of the tram, filling the platform. It’s hard to believe that they all fitted. People shuffle around within the tram, like atoms in a boiling kettle, spacing themselves out. I won at the game of roulette today – the spinning line of door/carriage/door/carriage stopped in front of me at – DOOR! I move decisively, a seasoned traveller now. I know where the spaces are to be found, further down the tram, alongside the seated travellers where there are hanging straps to cling onto and fewer people choose to go.

I have my Kindle in my hand already, I lift it in front of my eyes and the shoving, complaining hordes disappear. I cannot use this time in any other way. This is guilt free reading. I am not wasting time, I am not avoiding the washing up, I am not worrying about anything. I am travelling to work.

This, and the day ahead of me, is taken care of. I don’t have to steer or drive. I surrender to the journey.


My Stepson Steals My Socks

socks, stepson, pink hearts

He even likes pink ones

It’s ten to nine on a Monday morning, and I am thinking about work, of course, not sitting sockless, typing away about my barefooted state, making myself late. That would just be silly.

However, it is raining outside and I need to wear my boots and I CAN’T FIND ANY SOCKS. I’ve decided to blame my stepson, whose feet fairly recently grew to the same size as mine, at the same time as my socks began to disappear. It’s only logical to blame him.

I tried buying pink socks, trainer socks, stripy socks – socks that were very clearly distinguishable from his own, grey socks. It didn’t work. He is comfortable wearing pink, and if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s MY socks he’s wearing I would think that that was a good thing, showing that he is not fenced in by strict gender roles.

I tried complaining loudly about people stealing my socks. ‘It’s not me,’ he said. I tried hiding my socks, but then I couldn’t find them either. I mentioned at the dinner table that I had a nasty foot fungus which was really catching, especially by sharing socks. But still, every pair of socks I bought disappeared within a week.

Where were they all going?

The answer came to me a couple of weeks ago.

‘Time to go now, get your shoes on!’ yelled his Dad early in the morning. My stepson heaved his heavy schoolbag onto his back, and hunted around for socks – he couldn’t find any and running up two flights of stairs to his room was out of the question, so he grabbed a random pair from the dirty laundry.

‘Ew. They’re mine!’ I said ‘caught you!’ but as he ran out of the door, I thought about him for the first time, rather than my sockless state. I thought about his life, in which he is constantly on the move, shuffling belongings from one location (his mum’s house) to another (ours). He gets so confused that he now carries ALL of his schoolbooks in his bag every day, to avoid forgetting anything. His rucksack is bulging and he gets backache. Socks are the least of his worries. He now has a drawer in the living room full of clean socks which we replenish regularly; maybe a considerable amount of them end up at his other home and don’t return, but it’s one less item he has to think about and worry about carrying on his back every day.

As for me – it’s 9.10am, I’m still sockless, my stepson hasn’t been here for days so I can’t blame him, and I’m now well and truly late.


(next instalment: my daughter steals all my make up)