Who would have thought that my son's crippling condition of school phobia would lead to me writing five books, featuring in the Daily Mail, on BBC Radio London and THEN ITV's This Morning.
I'm so proud of my young man - from all of the bad, so much good has featured in our lives and today really proved that.
So ... I was up at 6am today ready for our cab to ITV at 7.45, in the vain hope that my face might wake up! Mum Fail #1!
Son fell out of bed at 7.10, bright eyed and bushy tailed - not an ounce of nerves in sight! Point to Son #1.
Arrived at the studios to the friendliest security man in living history, instantly put at ease in my sleepy and nervy state.
Directed through sets and storage area to lift - Mum Fail #2 - I hate lifts. Son told me not to be daft and so I got in. Point to Son #2.
And it's such a glam lift, how could I resist?
Me looking like I need a nappy change - just a tad scared by now. Mum Fail #3
ITV coffee and croissants, toast or biscuits before make-up
One view of the Green Room and the TV hubbie watched us on.
The framed photo to the left of the TV says,
'Please Tweet your performance on ITV's This Morning'
I have to say what a lovely bunch of people work at This Morning - we were made to feel welcome from the minute we arrived and everyone was just so happy! People who love their jobs and want to be there - special thanks to the lovely Flo, in particular. Son was so impressed, he's already been invited to send his CV in as he really wants to work there (BBC and ITV now!) Point to Son #3.
OK, so next I headed off to make-up. Lovely ladies but I will never let you near me again. You may have tried to curl my hair but you will soon realise it has a mind of its own and please don't cake me with STUFF! Mum Fail #4.
With my boy - coffee #1
This is where we hit Mum Fail #5 - weak bladder! Off I went to the loo ... and got lost. It's a big place, ITV! So Point to Son #4 - who then had to take me to the loo and bring me back each time. His comment? 'Mum! Please don't make me do this! It makes me look clingy!' Extra Point to Son #5 for humour and putting me at ease! How the tables turn!
Cool, laid back son - tweeting and chilled.
Hilarious! I was guided here to smoke, in the non smoking area.
Piles of fag ends at my feet!
So ... then we had our tour of the studio. Sooo tiny and really weird to see it when you've watched the programme on and off for so many years (throughout the whole of my pregnancy and breast feeding!!!).
We shared the Green Room with David Mellor and Tom Parker-Bowles (or Tom Parker Meat-Bowles, as son has now renamed him after he cooked horse free meatballs on the show!) Point to Son #6. Liz Fraser was also there - fellow Twitterer and author - but I didn't get the chance to say hello. Mum fail #6. We have since Tweeted one another and promised to say Hi, if I'm ever invited back!
And then it was 10.45 - the ad break and time for us to head to the set for our slot. Phil and Holly were lovely and SO eager to make us feel comfortable - kisses and hugs all round and a quick chat about our interview and ... BAM! they were into it! Unbelievably cool, calm, professional - Philip is so cute and Holly is glamour personified (like a lovely dolly fresh from the box).
The interview was over in a flash - I have now had the chance to watch it and I feel so very proud of my lovely young man. He was confident and well spoken and he made my heart swell with pride. Point to Son #7. I, on the other hand, looked like a woman attacked by fear and a make-up artist. Mum fail #7.
All those hours of panic were over and we headed back to the Green Room for coffee. LOOK at the mug they gave me!!!
And we were then given these signed photos to complete our morning out:
The Silver Fox
And the lovely Holly Willer-Boobie!
Our cab brought us home and we were just in time to watch it on ITV+1. Bad move! I was cringing and moaning about how old and YUCK I looked. Mum fail #8.
Son said, 'Yep, I looked OK.' and disappeared to Tweet and play on the computer without a second thought. Point to Son #8.
And then of course, we had the 'haters'! Amongst all the wonderfully positive comments on the show and on Twitter, you will always get those without a brain cell. This is old hat to us now - been there, done that. We've clearly helped so many people to start talking about their own experiences, I'm now past caring.
My final point would be this. Some may think that school phobia is just a 'label' but it's a very real feeling - it's not naughtiness, petulance or 'trying it on'. My son was not bullied or lazy - PLEASE people, listen! I just pray you never face anything like it in your lives - karma will be your reward.
And to all of you who have supported us along the way and those who have spoken out or asked for advice, I thank you and I wish you well.
Look at the son I have to show for it now! #SonWins