So there we were, Finn and I: me crawling the walls because I had missed a deadline and couldn’t scrape enough child free time to get my latest book finished and him lying on the sofa, croaking and crying and generally feeling rubbish.
I am quite frankly a dreadful nurse and playmate. Though I love my little boy to the moon and back, my head is so full of what needs to be done, I find the whole business of nursing him when he is sick sends me half way to mental, with a quick jaunt around demented on the way.
The trouble is I can’t play games. Not real, virtual or emotional. I lack the strategy gene and quickly find myself wanting to cheat or accidentally knock the board over, or get to the bottom of Batman’s emotional issues when I should be working out how to strangle a villain with a batarang . I mean, I try. Oh heaven knows I try: I endure skating on the X-box, endless rounds of the much dreaded “Game of Life”, rounds of the Yes and No game which I spectacularly fail on the first question, and oh hell’s bells, the logistical nightmare that is trying to fathom those blasted Battleships!
And my son looks at me with the disappointed eyes of a really cute, badly treated puppy. And I try to appease him with drawing books and fruit packed lolly ices to sooth his sore throat, and endless snuggles and leg tickles and yet another hellish episode of Outnumbered while he count’s the minutes until Daddy, or Richard arrive so he can have some proper fun. Or until I finish faffing with the dustpan and brush and drive him round to Nanas so he can escape my madness and get some proper molly-coddling complete with wrestling matches with my Dad and endless bags of Colin Caterpillars from my Mum.
Blah. Who knew I would turn out to be such a distracted let down??
And then (oh joy to the heavens!) I discovered The Sims and all at once Finn and I were speaking the same language (IE: total gibberish!): both sat in my bed, first thing in the morning, me with my phone and him with the iPad, while we built houses and married our fancy little people off and raced each other to grow watermelons and chose fridges and sofas and generally led technicolor, jolly little lives, punctuated by that hacking cough, while the house went to rack and ruin.
Readers I am obsessed. Though Finn has now abandoned the world of the Sims, I, Alison May, age 41 1/2 and formerly of relatively sound mind, now take every opportunity to sweat over whether my favorite Sim, Brandy has taken enough showers today.
I know. I am ashamed of me too. I have never had a hobby before and here I am cultivating an absolutely ludicrous, completely pointless one and positively excited to discover that this is a world with no limits: a world I can vintigify and wear an apron in, like the two charming, bohemian, dread-locked housewives above.
Dear lord, do save me from myself wont you? Though I can’t be the only person to obsess over cartoon people (can I??), I am truly hoping that this too shall pass…