I Probably Don’t Trust You

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

I just spent two weeks in Spain with four of the most important people in my life: my mum, my dad, The Boy, and our daughter.

These are some of the few people I should trust, and do trust, with my daughter’s life, health and happiness. My dad took her off walking down the beach to throw stones into the sea and look at rock pools. My mum took her out for walks for ice creams and to the butterfly farm. I happily sent my baby off in their arms so, do I fully 100% trust them? Hell no.

I love my mother, I love her massively and she’s a wonderful mum, but

a) Rose would be fed ice cream for every meal

b) Rose would be fed crisps for every snack

c) Rose would grow up convinced she’s absolutely perfect and can never do anything wrong

My father on the otherhand… oh my father… well…

a) Rose would be sent off into the Wilderness armed with nothing but a trowel and half a turnip and informed that he’d pick her up in a week because it would be “confidence building”

b) Rose would be thrown into the sea and told it’s time to “sink or swim”

c) When Rose tantrummed he would tie her up by one ankle and throw brussels sprouts at her until she stopped

Don’t get me wrong, each style of parenting has it’s benefits in small doses. She is a good girl and deserves treats… just not when she’s in the middle of behaving like a little brat and being told no treats because she threw a mug across the room. She does benefit from and enjoy being given challenges and facing fears… but I’m a big believer in the value of snuggles and safety.

Photo Credit Marta Koton

Photo Credit Marta Koton

If I trust these people as much as I do, but still not that much, it’s pretty obvious I think that I probably don’t trust anyone completely. Not with something as important and significant and valuable as raising my incredible little human.

But how about The Boy?

Him I trust and here’s why.

On one of the kareoke nights I got drunk. Smashed. I tried to sleep on the bathroom floor and had a full toddler style stroppy tantrum when he tried to make me get into bed. When Rose woke in the night he went to her, held her close for cuddles in bed and left me to sleep in the big bed alone. In the morning he got up with her without question and left me to sleep off my hangover without judgment or criticism.

One night she had an absolute fit about going to bed, she was screaming and crying, really upset and absolutely exhausted but fighting off sleep with a passion. I had been holding her, soothing her, stroking her face. I had given her stern face and walked away for her to calm down. I had tried rocking her to sleep and giving her milk. Nothing had worked. He left me to it, just being there and patient until eventually he advised I come and sit with him, then said, very gently, “Rose, it’s okay. You’re okay. We’re here. We love you. Everything’s okay”. She promptly lay down and went straight to sleep.

When Rose tantrums she can do it in style. Serious style. He never gets angry, never loses his calm. On the Friday morning she had a massive, breathtaking meltdown of epic proportions. Next door my dad disappeared. My mum kept popping round to offer to take her out to do something nice. The Boy remained calm and firm, took no nonsense but spent the entire time assuring her we are there and we love her. When I stepped out for a minute’s air he stayed and dealt with it. He ended the tantrum by holding her close, rocking her, and kissing her then handing her to me so she could fall asleep in my arms.

I don’t trust anyone with my daughter. Not fully. I might trust them in the short term, I might trust them not to hurt her and I might trust them to do their best, but generally I don’t, especially after her bio-dad disappeared from her life taking my ability to trust other’s with him quite resoundingly. But The Boy? The Boy I trust. The Boy has proven himself time and time again to be worthy of that trust, and that is not something I take for granted.

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!



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