So I was feeding the ducks foccacia the other day, (yes I really am that middle class), with baby dog sitting obediently at my new Ted Baker boots, for once not trying to chew them. Darling daughter was scooting off on her micro scooter towards sons one and two, who were tussling for a stick with fat dog. Looking at my little family, for a moment I felt dangerously self congratulatory, wrapped up as we were against the January cold and sucking in that feelgood fresh air. Picturing in my head how when we got home we would all huddle around a board game in front of the fire, then I would whip up some organic vegetable pasta, the tv would remain off, the children would not complain.
But oh, how deluded can one woman be. Sons one and two remained in harmony for approximately 2 minutes. Son two sat down in the mud and cried saying he had run out of energy to get home. Son one started complaining loudly about son two being stupid, the park being boring, and how long had he earnt on the computer as a result of his small amount of physical exercise?
After trying to placate the boys (mostly by shouting, I confess), I locate fat dog and baby dog rolling in mud, sharing the remains of a dead magpie. Darling daughter, clearly feeling she’s missing out on my wrath, rolls her micro scooter in the direction of the lake, and joins son two in crying saying her ears hurt.
By the time we got home, me carrying a kicking son and daughter alternately on my hip up the hill, son one reluctantly dragging the mucky canines, I was near to tears. Resisted opening wine at 11.30am, but tv flicked on, pizza shoved in oven. Dogs forgotten about and left to smear mud all over newly shampooed playroom carpet. But I did get them out on a walk, right? Little victories, I tell myself. Little ones, every day. That’s what gets me through.
My little girl, aged two, asked yesterday if she could watch more “Peppa bloody pig.” This was immediately after my little boy, aged four, trying to locate his uniform, said “Jesus Christ, Mum, what have you done with my shoes?” If I’m going to diss other mums on this blog then I’m going to have to fess up to my own shortcomings. I am a Sweary Mum.
The thing is, I come from a long line of them. My mum is Welsh, which is a bit like being Australian in that “bloody” is definitely not a swear word. She was once called into my junior school classroom to account for my language. Shit the bloody bed.
Once, I went through an excruciating weekend “auditioning” to be a European tour guide. The audition process was the biggest embarrassment-fest, of public speaking, over-sharing, and those awful exercises where you stop someone from falling. It was run by two of the biggest puffed up, self important wankers I have ever had the misfortune to meet. And short of prostrating myself at their feet like everyone else seemed to be, I decided to just be myself. Turn up hungover, and wing it. Then they tore a strip off me in the final interview by asking if “I thought that my language might be, bloody hell, a little, shitting, inappropriate in a tour guide environment.” I’ve since thought of many cutting replies. But I just slunk away, in search of a pub, bubbling in my own shame.
I try not to swear. I really do. And I never EVER say the c word. My eldest child still badgers me frequently to reveal the mystical F word he has heard so much about on the playground, so I can’t be letting that slip all too often. If he asks if he can watch “Farting Phineas and Ferb” anytime soon, I think I may have got away with it.
I consider myself a parenting antihero. I have many failures to share. When my child falls on their bum, yet again, because I’ve failed to negotiate the bumps in the pavement whilst pulling that lurid little scooter and checking my iPhone at the same time, I know I’ve done wrong. Sometimes, though, others do wrong. And they just don’t seem to notice. So I thought I should point out some of the more common wrongs on here. I only wish I had the guts to say it to their face. But me laughing and pointing and saying “epic fail” mightn’t be considered appropriate behaviour. See, even I have boundaries.
So yesterday, at gym class, my little girl was waving her little ribbon stick around with some gusto. It is small and plastic. Also present in the class was a rather precocious girl with a name something like Rococco or Ammonia. Rococco made the mistake of coming too close. And my girl twatted her on the head. Not hard mind. Not even hard enough for Rococco to shed a tear. There’s a lesson in here for future dance classes Rococco. Don’t mess with my girl mid creative dance move.
Cue Overprotective mum. Head to toe Boden. All concerned face, and strokey strokey hair. Clearly her daughter was fine. But she insisted on pulling back her hair, checking her forehead, not once, but three times. There wasn’t even a mark. My girl is over the other side of the room by now. I mutter something half arsed about an apology. But Overprotective can see my heart’s not in it. My girl continues to channel her inner Strictly contestant. Atta girl. Don’t let them morons bring you down.