I had a very happy childhood.
Looking back, I remember shedding a few tears over the odd scraped knee or when my sister pulled the head off my Malibu Barbie, but I can only recall a mere handful of occasions when I experienced such trauma that my tear ducts took a major beating.
The first beating?:
THE DEAD HORSE:
I howled for a month after watching Artax gasp his last breath and sink into the 'Swamp of Sadness' in the Neverending Story. The sadness?...Well, you shouldn't let it get to you, and sadly it got to him. Not even Atreyu's magic necklace could protect him.
The excruciating pain of seeing this horse drown stayed with me into adulthood and I have steered clear of muddy puddles/swamps ever since.
Furthermore, I now resent Peppa Pig for encouraging my kids to jump in them. In the back of my mind, I'm terrified that the 'sadness' will get to them and I'll lose them forever...and not even my Elizabeth Duke pendant from Argos will save them.
My next childhood trauma had to be:
Again, I cried for a month after that lush deer was shot dead leaving Bambi all alone and to this day, I will not eat a deer- even if it is wrapped in breadcrumbs.
Deer is off the table!
*NB. Fish fingers are still ON the table as I didn't find the death of Nemo's mother all that traumatic*
Aside from the horse and the deer, the most damaging of all childhood traumas had to be:
THE 'CHICKEN LEG'
I cried for weeks after a phantom poo in the shape of a chicken leg floated up to the top of the bath water one day. My brother and sister decided to join forces to blame me for the appearance of the unsightly stool bobbing on the surface of the soapy water and they called me 'chicken leg' for months afterwards.
I cried incessantly out of sheer frustration knowing that deep down it was my brother who laid the lustrous log.
Yes Dave, if you're reading this, I know it was you!!
* NB. Despite this experience, I still eat chicken...whether it's wrapped in breadcrumbs or not...but I have to say that a chicken leg will be the last thing that I will go for at the family BBQ. Too many painful memories.
THE TEEN YEARS:
As a teenager, things were a bit more intense. The death of fictional creatures and poultry-shaped stools were the least of my worries. Puberty kicked in, hormones were raging and I found myself with many more important things to shed tears over.
My main troubles were:
I bawled like no other when Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana died. I didn't smile for a whole year and wore black lipstick as a symbol of my grief.
My Mother, being distressed by the black lipstick, cornered me and asked me if I was worshipping the Devil. I realised then that the teenage angst had perhaps gone a bit too far. So I ditched Kurt, slapped on some of Rimmel's 'Heather Shimmer' and started listening to Mozart instead.
But worse than losing Kurt was:
Full waterworks happened the day that my beloved Steffan Rees dumped me to go out with Bethan Davies. This hideous event coincided with the day that Bethan wore a real bra to school for the first time and flashed it with pride to anyone who wanted to see it.
It was from Tammy Girl (size 30AA, she bragged)... and Steffan was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. That bra and it's contents turned out to be far more appealing to the eye than my substantial VHS collection.
*NB. These were hard times, especially as I didn't get my Tammy Girl 30AA bra til nearly 8 months later...and even then I couldn't fill it.
As an adult, I am pleased to say that I grew out of such childish ways and matured into a perfectly stable and emotionally-contained individual.
Sure, I'd weep in a particularly sad film or when I was dumped by the odd jackass or two, but generally speaking I was in control of my tear ducts and was capable of leading a normal, reasonably tear-free existence.
And then I had babies.
Now? I am afraid to say that it is not nuclear war or alien invasion that will cause armageddon, it will be me. The flood gates have opened and I fear that I will drown us all.
For now, since having kids, I cry:
1. When anyone vaguely decent sings on the X Factor.
*The contestants who were dumped by their abusive boyfriends and who grew up without Fathers and who were raised by their blind Grandmothers in particular really get to me. I bawl!*
2. The moment the baby crowns on One Born Every Minute.
I can hold off through an entire episode of OBEM, but the second that baby's head forces it's way through the vaginal canal and bursts into the wide open world, I wail until the snot drips off my chin.
3. Seeing old men eating alone in restaurants.
I don't know why but there's something terribly tear-jerking about seeing an old man eating his meat and two veg alone in public.
4. Weddings....not just those of my friends, but those of anyone- anyone at all.
Given that I am a musician by trade and perform in hundreds of stranger's weddings each year, this uncontrollable sobbing stands to ruin my career. There isn't much of a market for a hysterical cellist and it's only a matter of time before I get sacked for stealing a Bride's limelight.
5. When my kids do anything for the first time.
The first haircut: I sobbed. First poo in the potty: Tearfully elated! First tooth falling out: heartbroken. First day at school: hysterical. Injections? Inconsolable!! Christmas? Ridiculous!
Birthdays?...get out the life raft- or we'll drown in RIVERS!!
I could go on and on about what now makes me cry, so I'll narrow it down before my laptop explodes or I get arthritis in my fingers from excessive typing.
I basically cry:
When anything nice or bad happens to me.
When anything nice or bad happens to anyone that I know.
When anything nice or bad happens to anyone that I don't know.
I bawl at:
The news, radio talk shows, talented kids, talent in general, an empty wine fridge, homeless people, cute babies, ill babies, old people in wheelchairs, when I feel loved, when I look at my husband playing his bass (he's amazing), when my Dad is standing at the BBQ (he's adorable), when I watch my kids sleep, when someone tells me I look nice, when I hug my Mum, when toddlers fall in the playground,....and so on and on*
*reaches for the Deep Heat and Ibuprofen to take the edge off my finger cramps
I believe that having babies has done this to me. I was perfectly normal before but since having them, I have turned into an over-empathising wreck.
They say that kids destroy your body. And they have...but they have not only taken my waist, my ability to wear thongs and my firm chest (ain't no 30AA gonna support these low hangers) , but they've also ruined my tear ducts! They have been totally destroyed!!
And this realisation is terribly upsetting.
But it's okay because my parents are here to visit at the moment and they'll cheer me up. My Dad is about to light up the barbecue. My Mum has even marinated some....
uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh