Sport 20: Autumn 1998
Jo Randerson — I hope my mother will come soon
We were sitting, waiting, in the rain. Mum was late for picking us up, but we weren't worried because Mum was always late. It was just a little bit cold today because of the rain, and also because I didn't have my jumper. Simon had his jumper. But I didn't have mine. I didn't bring it. But don't go thinking that I'm stupid and I forgot it. I'm not stupid. If I was stupid I wouldn't be allowed to choose my own clothes to wear in the mornings, but I can, I can choose anything I want, anything at all from my brown cupboard but not the Barbiedress because that's only for special occasions, and if I'm not sure if it's a special occasion or not I'm allowed to ask and Dad's not allowed to yell at me for asking because it's not stupid to ask questions, it's smart. It's stupid not to ask questions if you don't know something and when people laugh at you, you just smile and rise above it. Because you know you're not stupid, and Mum knows you're not stupid so it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. I'm not stupid. Simon's stupid. He's stupid because Mum still has to help him put his trousers on. But Mum says you're always stupid when you're a baby and only as you get older do you get cleverer and cleverer, and then when you're a grown-up suddenly you become really brainy like the people on TV. But then I guess there must be some point when your brains start to leak out again because old people are stupid too, just like babies, and they can't put on their trousers either. Only no one wants to help old people put their trousers on. They only went to help babies because I'm not sure why but I think maybe because babies look a little bit like dolls but old people don't really look like anything and they are a bit scary because they dribble on you and give you sweets with ants inside them.
I don't really like ants very much.
Also my mother is quite late.
When I got up this morning I looked in my brown cupboard for some clothes and I got my blue trousers, my favourite ones with little motorcycles on them, vvrrmmm, vrrmmmm, they were driving page 15 everywhere all over the trousers and one was driving right off the bottom so you could only see the back wheel. Sometimes I check to see if it's driving up the inside leg but it never is. But I always check. Because where else could it go? I can't ever see where the rest of it could be. How come it drove away and just left the back wheel? Mum says maybe it's a ghost motorcycle and you can only see part of it like the Famous Floating Head Lady Ghost. Then she lifts her arms and makes a scary noise and I don't actually find it very funny. I think it's stupid and mean and I'm allowed to go to my room and hide under my blankets if I don't like something. Sometimes I even wear my motorcycle pants to bed even though I get red marks from the zip. I don't care. I like to feel the motorcycles driving all round my legs during the night, and sometimes I try and catch them by turning the lights on suddenly and seeing them all driving but they must be able to know somehow because when the light goes on they're always exactly in the same place exactly as they were even the one that's just a back wheel. Except once when I turned the light on the one that's just a back wheel was gone. I looked everywhere for it in case it had driven somewhere into the blankets but it was totally gone. But then when I was looking on the other side of the trousers, on the other leg at the bottom, THERE IT WAS, just exactly the same as it used to be on the other side. But it had moved legs. How did it do that? Mum said I was just being silly and that it was a stupid question to ask. I wasn't sure how come that question was stupid but other ones were smart. I think you just have to make a bit of a guess. You have to do a little bit of a figure out in your brain and then you just pretty much have to make a bit of a guess. Because you never know if what you say is going to be smart or dumb.
I think maybe Mum has forgotten us.
Also the rain is starting to feel a bit cold. Simon's okay because he has a jumper. Me, I don't have one. I'm feeling a bit cold and I'm not sure if Mum's remembered to come. Lots of other Mums and Dads are here, but not ours. I'm starting to get a bit worried but I remember what Mum always tells us so I keep just sitting still and don't move. It's not a good idea to move around when you're lost or waiting for someone. You should stay exactly where you are and not move and then Mum will come and find you and everything will be okay. But she didn't say about if it's raining and you don't have a page 16 jumper and your little brother's crying a bit. Probably she'll be here soon though. Maybe she'll have drinks and lollies and we'll go to McDonald's. One time I went to McDonald's and a boy spewed up on my Barbie-dress. I wasn't very angry except that my chips went on the ground and no one would buy me some new ones. I didn't think that was very fair.
There's a little ant crawling up the wall beside me but he keeps slipping. I think he finds it a bit hard in the wet. I move a little bit to the side because I don't want him to crawl into my trouser leg, but I don't move very much, only a little bit or else Mum might not be able to find me. I really want Mum to come and find me. When Mum comes and finds you you feel good and you run up at her but not too hard in case you knock her over. She's lovely, Mum is.
She's lovely but you do get angry with her sometimes. I was a little bit angry this morning because she said my motorcycle pants were too dirty and made me put on my brown corduroys. And then since I was wearing my brown corduroys she said I had to wear my brown skivvy, I don't really like wearing all the same colour. It makes me feel like a lizard, one of those ones that changes colour when you put it on different things. Except since I'm in all brown I can't change colour no matter what I'm on. I'm just brown. Although that's not too bad a colour to be since all the buildings are brown. I don't know why they don't make buildings with little motorcycles on them and a little one at the bottom driving off with just its back wheel showing. I would live in a building like that.
I don't know where my mother is.
I would like to go home.
Almost everyone else here is gone. There's just a few kids hanging out on their bikes and they don't mind that it's a bit wet because it's only five minutes the way they ride and then it's warm and drinks and lollies. We don't have bikes yet but we will when we're a bit older and a bit brainier. Simon's still a bit stupid you see. But not me because I can pick my own clothes, anything I want, well almost anything as long as it matches and it's not dirty. But if it's a special occasion I have to wear my Barbie-dress. I know because once I wanted to wear my motorcycle pants and I got thumped. And I wasn't even allowed to hide under the blankets.page 17
I'm starting to feel very cold.
It's not my fault that I don't have a jumper. When I looked out the window it was sunny. I even put my hand out and felt it. It was warm. No one told me it was going to be rainy and cold. Someone should have told me that this morning when I was choosing to take my jumper or not. I'm not stupid. I would have taken my jumper if I knew it was going to be cold. Once you know things, you do them. Otherwise you'd be stupid. When Dad says not to do something, you don't do it. You learn that. Same as you learn not to say anything when the boys put their hands down your top, because they hit you, hard, and it hurts. It's easier to have a hand down your top than a big thump in your guts. I don't really like when I get a big thump in my guts. It kind of hurts me in my body and in my head. I don't really like it.
I wonder if Mum will bring my jumper? She might tell me off for not wearing it. I wasn't being stupid though. It really did seem very warm this morning. I thought I wasn't going to need it. And I didn't need it, all the way to school I didn't need it at all. It was sunny and lovely and fine. And I was glad I didn't have my jumper all big and fat banging around my waist. At school I said to Julie, I'm big enough to choose not to bring my jumper if I don't want to and I didn't bring it today because I'm allowed not to bring it if I don't want to. Julie said. So? She is allowed to say things like that because she is pretty and all the boys want to put their hands down her top. I really like Julie.
Sometimes we go to her house and play, and there are all sorts of dolls and things, not old people dolls but baby ones, and one of them even does real poos when you turn its arm round. Except the poos are pink and they smell like flowers. And when you look in Julie's cupboard (which is pink, not brown) she has all Barbie-dresses. Not any brown corduroys at all. And I asked her if she had any motorcycle trousers but she said, Yuck. Who wants motorcycle trousers? Just then the head of her doll came off accidentally in my hands. I said I was very sorry but she told me to go home now because she was bored of me. She is my best friend in all the world. Except sometimes I hate her. Sometimes I want to punch her in the face and head and put maggots in her eyes.
Simon's crying quite loudly now. I'm a bit embarrassed of him page 18 and I don't really know what to do. There's only one other girl waiting and she's a girl that no one likes very much. She has a funny metal thing on her leg and I'm a bit scared she might kick me. When you feel cold, you really do feel cold. All you want is your jumper and going home and hiding under the blankets. If someone even gave me lollies I don't think I would eat them. You're not allowed to eat lollies at school anyway.
I thought that car might be Mum but it was just the maths teacher, if you don't have maths, you don't have anything. You can't fidget in maths class because then it doesn't go into your brain. I've been told off twice today. I was only jiggling my legs because they were shivering but Mr Adams got angry. I had to sit still but the shiver came back. And then when I got asked a question I found that the maths hadn't gone in to my brain, even though I wasn't moving at all. So I was stupid and cold. Also the boys were very loud today. (Where is my mother?) They weren't better than us at anything but they're louder about what they are good at. And Julie draws a better picture than you, but you like yours more, but it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter because the teacher likes hers. And not yours. And you try hard not to make it matter. You try very hard. But it does. It does matter. And everyone you look at isn't moving, everyone is sitting brown and still, and no one seems to feel cold the way you do, either they have jumpers on or they just can't feel it. But I'm not stupid, I'm allowed not to wear a jumper but why did they let me if it makes me feel so freezing, I don't know where my mother is and I really want to go home and no one moves around me so I want to kick them and shake them and I have this funny feeling like my mother might not come but she can't be angry at me for not having a jumper. It's not really my fault because it seemed so warm this morning and no one told me it was going to get so cold so how was I supposed to know and now I start crying, I cry a lot but it's not my fault it's getting dark it's not my fault if I'm stupid. My mother says that a lot.
And the rain is getting colder on my neck and little Simon is crying. All the other kids have gone already. Our Mum is often late but today I have a feeling like she might not come at all.
Please Mum, please be here soon. Please, I want to go home. Please God make my Mum come soon. Please Mum. Please come page 19 soon. I really need to go home now, please Mum, please be here soon. Please be here soon. And around me everything is slowly getting darker. I wish that I had brought my jumper. I hope my mother will come soon.