For those who read my last blog about being a stay at home dad, this is my second in the nail-biting build up to the publication of my novel ETERNITY LEAVE in early 2021, in which I lay the facts and accompanying evidence utterly and unashamedly bare. In that well-thumbed first blog, I promised to talk about ‘Blue Cow’…

For those of you who missed this cartoon bovine leaving her field, getting on a red bus and going off on day trips to various parts of the globe, returning on the same bus as the sun goes down, that’s all you need to know.

I believe it was in Corinthians where it roughly said ‘when I become a grown up I put away childish things’ and so on. Don’t quote me, on anything really if you want to remain credible. I think the idea is, that when you put away those childish things, there is other fun stuff in the grown up world to play with, and you only tend to get the childish stuff out on a Friday night. I, on the other hand, was not occupying the adult world. During the day I was in charge of three little girls who did a good impersonation of a drunken trio. I was steeped in a world of gruesome nursery rhymes about petty thefts and commensurate beatings. (Tom, Tom the Piper’s son I believe) and Tubby custard. Instead of being on the super highway of adult experience, I was fast tracking back to pre-pubescence and beyond at sick-making speed.

I became increasingly unable to engage with adults. They understood the economic and political landscape, yet had no understanding of how a tiger can come to your house for a jolly cup of tea without ripping your head off, or that there is an elephant that looks like a Dulux colour chart. To salvage what was left of my self-esteem I walked away from the big people’s world, not without baggage. I am a man, and this is where I begin once again, to extol the virtues of women. Where they seem immune to the issues of roles, badges and standing, or the need to measure their femaleness against the next woman, I was utterly infected. This is where, believe it or not, ‘Blue Cow’ comes in.

One day, when we were watching the said blue beast, the girls grinding their gums on a rusk, me hacking my way through a whole packet of plain chocolate digestives and coffee so strong I could smell the caffeine on the insoles of my trainers, I had an idea. I knew I couldn’t compete with the little boys and their big cars in the adult world, but I could stay stride for stride with Blue Cow. The girls would definitely respect me for that. After all, ‘Blue Cow’ was a TV personality and someone to whom I could aspire and more. This was going to be the thing to fill the chasm where my self-esteem used to reside. This was how far from the land of normality I had drifted in my beautiful pea green boat- I was aspiring to measure up to the daily excursions of a blue cartoon cow.

We were going to go to all the places Blue Cow visited- the super-market, where the meat counter must have come as a bit of a shock, the zoo and the park to name just three. The girls would know that I was equal to if not bigger than Blue Cow. How many people can say that? How many people would even want to say that who aren’t receiving some sort of professional help? Me, that’s who.

I should have realised then the danger of allowing my life to be driven by a blue cartoon cow because she was doing more interesting things than we were. We even made a cardboard ‘Blue Cow’ and took her on our little trips. The girls of course, believed ‘Blue Cow’ was real. To you lot, I look like a grown up and therefore should know this is not the case. Nevertheless, because I had taken out all my childish things once again when I was supposed to be an adult who only looked at them in secret, ‘Blue Cow’ began to find her way inside my unconscious mind until I think her imaginary psychology became wired with my own.

I neglected my adult’s rationale that cows don’t sit on buses where people turn a blind eye, or cows evacuate their bowels everywhere, so the upholstery is utterly ruined, or that a well-nourished Friesian can’t fit between the seats of a double-decker, or carry cash or have a bus pass, or go anywhere other than a field, a milking shed or a slaughter house to become a vacuum-packed jigsaw of itself. I overlooked these incidentals, because ‘Blue Cow’ had taken on a life inside my head and we were fighting for space.

Each morning we watched Blue Cow to see where we would go next. Weird as it may seem, I felt replete with my achievements in that child’s world full of childish things. I might not have been able to match up to the movers and shakers in the grown up world, but I was giving Blue Cow a bloody good run for her money.

The last day we watched Blue Cow, I remember it was raining and my simple hope was that her trip would be to somewhere dry. We waited with some excitement as Blue Cow left her field and got on the bus with the strange people who think nothing of a cow sitting on the seat in front of them and emptying her bladder without conscience.

I can’t remember which of the girls said “I wonder where we’re going today?” because I was frozen to the spot as I watched that barefaced bovine get off the bus, trot over to a space rocket and go to the moon! I actually think she smirked as she took off.

If you are an adult, please feel free to leave a comment.

Simon x