As much as I love my son, I have to admit, he sometimes bores me. Is that the most awful thing for a parent to admit?
OK, it's not actually HIM who bores me, but his interests: Star Wars, Lego, playing endless Mario games on the Wii.
I've tried to steer him round to other pursuits: Scrabble, for example. It went well the first couple of evenings, but then we had a falling out when I failed to be amused over his constant making up of words.
Then we both signed up to a tennis club as I thought that would be a nice bonding experience as we both love to play. But eight year old boys want to play with other eight year old boys, not 38 year old women with dodgy knees.
Every weekend we go for brunch at Costa. This used to be our chillax (his word, not mine - makes me cringe) and chat time, but as he's got older he's taken to sneaking his DS into his pocket, and whipping it out as soon as we sit down. He doesn't want to talk about school or his friends beyond telling me he's done 'nothing' all day and that everyone is 'fine'.
He will give me lengthy explanations about his computer games and the different levels he is battling through. And he will talk animatedly and non-stop about the contents of his Dr Who magazine or some amazing Lego construction that he's found on the internet. But it's all pretty one-sided. I have nothing to contribute. So it has become as bit, erm, dull. Like awkward small talk at a rubbish party.
I suspect he has the same conversations with his dad, but that HE probably appreciates and encourages them, which then makes the whole situation another thing for me to feel guilty about as a single parent.
I can't help but worry about the implications our sudden lack of communication could have as he gets older; will he get used to not having conversations with me, and just not tell me anything at all? Like most single mums, I DO worry that the family break-up and my child's lack of an on-tap, at-home-father could lead to problems further down the line.
But having said all that, I have written this to a background noise that is my son explaining the ins and outs of the level he has just completed on a space game he has been playing online. My ums and ahs and nods have obviously been conversation enough for him as he is still nattering on ten to the dozen. He's now asking me to have a go. Perhaps the key to all of this is just me participating a bit more... but I am certain I would find it easier if it were not all space ships or mustachioed plumbers rescuing princesses from castles...
Are you a single mum who worries about her involvement in her son's life?
What interests do you share?