I had to 'talk' with Martin yesterday about Josh, only it didn't go exactly as I had planned...
We were going to the park to feed the fucking ducks when Josh fell over next to my feet. He was still rolling round on the floor and Martin's eyes went from me to Josh, from Josh back to me (he probably wanted me to pick him up from the floor - male exploitation strikes again!) My eyes went from Martin to my feet, then back to Martin and then on to the ice cream van pulling up beyond his left shoulder.
He huffed and picked Josh up, who also noticed the ice cream van.
After I had finished my Twister (yummy) Martin gave Josh a loaf and I pushed him into a hoard of geese. We sat on a bench to talk.
'What's wrong Posie? When Josh fell over you just kept staring at the ice cream van'
'I know. I like ice cream, but I'm not going to lie anymore Martin, I haven't seen you alone now for quite some time. Josh is always there and well I can't help but think you are exploiting me as a woman. Next thing you'll be asking me to breastfeed.'
'But Josh loves you, P! Why the other day I was reading him a story and he called you Mummy No. 2"
"Oh that's great, so now Josh associates me with shit!'
I was incredibly annoyed and when Josh came back over Martin ran off somewhere. We were alone.
"Hello Josh - did you have a nice time over there?" I was trying to sound nice.
"I heard what you said Posie Rider." I looked down to see Josh staring right back at me. He had suddenly acquired a proper grown-up voice and his hands sat resoundingly on his hips. He was tapping his toddler foot, aggressively. "If you think you can get away with my Dad and not me you are not right. I am big boy and you do like I say, do you understand?"
I was furious - yet more misogyny and at such a young age!
"Or what Josh? What ARE YOU going to do about it?"
Josh growled, clenching his little eyebrows. He lifted his hand high above his head. "Or else I do like Dad does - bang bang!"
At that point Martin came running back over the hill. He gave me a kiss and it smelt like he had be drinking. Heavily. I was speechless and Josh gave me a big hug upon seeing his father return. The hug of betrayal.
What did it mean? Did Martin hit Josh? Am I safe? Does Josh want to kill me? Am I a woman?
What do you think? Something is definitely brewing. I am reminded of one of my literary heroines: Judith Coalstream. She was a real life woman and it was up to her to solve the death of her mother. Had someone played her mother foul? Had she been...murdered? All eyes pointed to her brother Harry, and she was the only woman brave enough to accuse him. She got it all wrong of course but I'm must more intelligent than her and I live in the future.
Martin...I'm watching you.