Monday’s theme seemed to be parenting, or not. Heart-breaking for so many characters. Three parent-child bonds struck me in particular.
Sylvia and Roy. Hayley is at the end of her tether with Sylvia’s remarks about her in loco parentis skills with Hope. Inferred, but not said, is because Hayley is really Harold, how could she be expected to cope with a baby. Hayley’s unusual flash of temper causes Sylvia to explain her own feelings about being a parent – of Roy. It’s not complimentary to Roy, and he overhears. But through the non-verbal form of communication that they seem to have, they come to understand the other’s position. They reconcile to the extent that Roy defends his mother against Becky’s wisecracks to her! Who’da thunk it!! And Sylvia, with the support of Roy and Hayley, indulges in cooing and cuddling baby Hope. Oh, I think Sylvia is an absolute prize. I’m liking her more each week.
Sean and Dylan and Marcus. Note my arrangement of their names. That’s how Marcus is feeling – tacked on at the end. While he is expected to tend for the child as if he’s his own, he can’t cross that invisible line into feeling like a parent. Seem familiar? Becky and Amy? As much as I like Sean, if he doesn’t get over himself and this “I’m the daddy” foolishness, I won’t be blaming Marcus if he heads for the door.
Leanne and Stella and lost baby. Leanne finds out she’s pregnant right when she’s dealing with her biological mother returning and wanting to play happy families. She is lashing out unreasonably at Peter about Carla and pretty much everything. Peter’s response is to go into a huge sulk and talk of going to Portsmouth. Oh, that makes sense, Peter. When Leanne realizes she’s gone too far with insulting Peter, she goes to the top of the stairs to call after him. Trips, falls all the way to the bottom. Of course, Stella is the one who finds her. In that she’s stalking Leanne, it’s not surprising.
In the hospital, Leanne and Peter are told she has miscarried. She is devastated, Peter not so much. Relief? Guilt? Disappointment? All three? Stella, like a bad penny, turns up. When Peter is not in the room, Leanne gives way to her sorrow and sobs her heart out. Who comes into the room but Stella. And no, she doesn’t back out of the room. She sits on the bed. But just when I’m thinking “Good Lord woman, haven’t you got the sense to go away!”, Leanne turns toward her, clearly thinking the same thing I am, but then folds herself into her mother’s arms and sobs. Maybe at that moment, she’d have done the same if it had been a post sitting on her bed, or Norris. But it’s her mother, and her mother for the first time since Leanne was a baby has the chance to comfort her child. Unfortunately, it’s over the loss of Leanne’s own child.
And a fourth. On Wednesday James admits all to Ken, and blames him and the 1960s for it all! It’s a version of a defence I remember using in my own childhood: ‘I didn’t ask to be born!’ Even after he knocks Ken down and leaves him unconscious on the floor, Ken protects him. Is that parental love or guilt or just reacting in total disbelief? I don’t know.