What Kind of Mum?

‘Jamie said that you were-‘

Jamie jumped in, ‘Ok, that’s enough Lulu. We don’t have to go any further with this conversation.’

I stopped cooking and stared them. It was the third consecutive day we’d had Jamie in the house. Bring on the summer holidays. And Jamie is impossible to dislike – believe me, I’ve tried it. My mum had coined it earlier in the day by saying, ‘He’s very suave, isn’t he? I went into the living room and he was sitting on the sofa with his arm around Lulu. He looked at me and waved.’

Yep. It’s happened to me now too many times – the Jamie charm offensive. Suave and diplomatic and just, well, kind. Whether I like it or not, he comes across as a keeper. As if he’d already been a part of this family and has finally made his way back home. I’ve noticed he and Lulu don’t fight either. I suspect because Jamie diffuses any tension between them with his same brand of charm. He looks you in the eye when he talks to you. It’s impressive and frankly, nice to watch. This means Lulu and him are as much friends as they are girlfriend-boyfriend. 

Which is good –  because they are still children! Transitioning into adults but essentially still children. 

On Thursday, they’d come back from the beach – Lulu without the outer clothes or the flip flops she’d gone with. Wait a minute I thought. She was wearing my new and expensive flip flops. 

I said, ‘Lulu, you need to go and get them.’ And I’d only just bought the top. It was the kind of top that teenagers like – chavvy and sporty. It wasn’t necessarily going to be on the busy beach any more. 

‘I’ll go and get it,’ Jack said. 

I frowned. ‘Lulu should go and find the stuff she left on the beach.’

‘Yeah, but it’s my pleasure to get it.’ 

I shrugged and went into the kitchen. Jack went and Lulu and Jamie stayed on the trampoline. Those two like hanging out on the trampoline. They do a lot of jumping on it. They lie on it too. Sometimes it gets hard to watch them – the air becoming misty with canoodling. 

Here’s my dilemma. Sometimes it’s nice to see them cuddling. They do look cute together. Then, other times that misty air makes me want to grab a stick and wrestle them apart. 

Jack had been gone for some time. I popped my head in the direction of the trampoline. Jamie had his shirt off and Lulu was lazily stroking his bare chest. Hmm. I wanted to get that stick again. And coupled with Jack’s absence, I found myself outside in a flash. 

No stick to use, but my mouth would do instead. I unleashed a torrent of words. I don’t know exactly what I said but it got Lulu and Jamie up pretty quick-smart. And sent them into the direction of the beach, where Jack happened to be returning from.

’I got the stuff, then went to Vronnie’s,’ he said. ‘Is everything ok?’ 

Lulu and Jamie continued to walk. I watched them go, unsettled by my outburst. After all, they’d canoodled before and I hadn’t stopped them. Was it me? Was I jealous ? Suffering from middle-aged lady syndrome? Amy Poehler’s ‘I’m not a regular mom – I’m a cool mom’ from Mean Girls came into my head. Which mum was I? 

That’s why I wanted to know so much what Jamie said when they came back. Jamie didn’t want to tell me though. Ha! He was in the Ormerod house.

‘What does Jamie say I am, Lu?’

’He says you’re easily frustrated.’

I looked at Jamie. ‘He does?’

Jame jumped in, his cheeks darkening, ‘But so is Lulu, so that would be pretty normal. And that’s probably where she gets it from.’

I nodded slowly. Coming from a kid this calm, I had to admit it was an interesting comment. Maybe something in it. And in our house, at least we talk about things – this is our own ace card. So whether I like it or not, I guess this is the kind of mum I am. 

A few hours later, Lulu broke my flip flops. That’s another story though. 

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