Parenthood is…

Anecdotes from the chaotic world that orbits a modern and extremely busy mum of four.

Mirror, mirror….

on 31/10/2013

Becoming a parent teaches you so many things about yourself – it opens your eyes to see the person you really are. This is not always a comfortable thing, mind you – having children is like having the most honest mirror possible and incessantly asking it “Mirror mirror on the wall, what is the most hideous thing about me, pray, tell me all?!”

Example 1 –
Isly was dawdling while doing her morning teeth, face, hands so I was chivvying her. She turned to me and said “You’re a very grumpy Mummy”. Obviously not happy that she’d been quite wounding enough, she paused to think, then corrected herself: “No, you’re a very OLD, grumpy Mummy!”!! Alas, the girl speaks the truth – tiredness (and heel-dragging children) make me grumpy and time has made me old!!

Example 2 –
After a particularly tasty Sunday roast a few weeks ago, I had (I blush to admit!) particularly stinky wind the next day. Upon giving the children breakfast, I accidentally let one slip. Gabriel promptly burst into the most heartfelt tears, declaring “I don’t want my breakfast any more” and running from the room to the sanctuary of ‘Animal Blankie’ and the bottom of the stairs. I am, apparently, THAT repulsive after stuffing!! (It took some time, much apologising, even more coaxing and a lot of fresh air to restore him to the breakfast table and his usual good-humour.)

It is not, however, just the children that tell me how it is – my subconscious is a great fan of pointing out my failings and the less-delectable elements of my life:

Example 3 –
The other night I dreamt that I was making a youtube guide to changing an exploded nappy – so it seems that even in my dreams, where my imagination could take me to anywhere it wants, I am still just wiping crap off someone else’s backside!!!!

My children and subconscious can rest easy though, I do know my short-comings – as a parent in particular, and as a human being in general!

Example 4 –
I recently went to a wedding. For once I got to put on a dress, some jewellery and, really pushing the boat out, I thought I’d even pretty myself up with some face paint (not actual face paint, I think I’d better clarify – not that that would be totally out of character – nowadays, with the near-insanity that parenthood brings, I could quite easily imagine myself thinking it a good idea to turn up at a social event painted as a butterfly – or a tiger – or perhaps it’d be fun to go as a dragon..?! – but literally just some lipstick, eye make up and face powder). I didn’t get a chance to get the make-up on before the taxi arrived (if you’re a parent, you will know that it is nigh-on impossible to get fully ready for anything if you have children running round your feet!) so put it on in the taxi, using a small hand-held mirror. I was quite pleased with how I looked, felt almost a little glam. The first indication that I was NOT looking quite as I imagined came when I realised that the pearl lariat I was wearing (imagine a necklace you wear like a scarf), was swaying violently from side to side whenever I walked, almost to the point that I was in danger of taking a fellow guest’s eye out! I tried to adjust it, thinking maybe I’d got it draped a bit one-sided, but it again did its best to wound anyone in close proximity! And that was when it occurred to me – it was swaying because I was waddling! It seems years of pregnancy have made my “there’s a baby’s head in my pelvis” waddle permanent! But, my appearance-epiphany did not stop at my walk resembling that of a fatted goose, no – it got worse when I popped to the loo upon arriving at the reception and happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror! My reflection was so bad I actually did a double-take! The make-up I had so painstakingly applied had not, as I had believed, rolled back the years to reveal a fresh-faced twenty-something – instead, the powder had served as a highlighter to every single wrinkle and crinkle, the lipstick had run making me look like I’d just devoured some raw flesh and the mascara had turned my eyelashes into a set of over-dark charred twigs! In short, my face looked like a witch’s mask! I promptly tried to remove as much make-up as I could and remained self-conscious for the rest of the day!!

But it is not all bad – I also know my strengths! Ingenuity and multi-tasking being two such attributes:

Example 5 –
Quite a while ago the toilet pipe started leaking in the middle of the night – we had no plumbing tape and no DIY shop was open at that time, so I tried to think of what might act as a good substitute, from all the things we had in the house. Instead of heading for the tool box, however, as most would probably do, I headed instead for the medicine cabinet! I grabbed a roll of medical tape and started winding it round the leaking seal, just as if bandaging a wound. It stopped leaking and, (touching so much wood right now!), has held up ever since…. (I have so tempted fate there!)

Example 6 –
The night before Toby’s Christening, I needed the loo at about 4.30 in the morning. Sitting there, I suddenly thought, “hmm, I need to wax my legs – I’ll do it now while I’m sat here anyway…!” So, I spent the next 20 minutes listening to the dawn chorus (another one to cross off the ‘to-do’ list!), ripping the hair from my legs and doing as nature intended. It’s a little thing I like to call “me time” (it’s as close as I get nowadays!)!!

I’m just so damn rock ‘n’ roll! 🙂


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