Tag Archives: motherhood

A bit of a rant but is it really just me who feels this way?

Dear Emma,

Well, we’re crashing towards Christmas and it’s all set to be the season of discontent round here. I mean let’s face it, this month is the ultimate test of your parenting abilities or lack thereof.

And who the hell invented Christingle anyway, which in this family starts with the children pilfering any spare change before fighting over the candle and is followed by setting light to the kid in front’s hair with the flame before a quick trip to casualty after one of them has poked the other in the eye with the cocktail stick. And whoever thought playing “orange” bowling whilst waiting in A&E was going to be a good idea. What Christian message can I possibly extract from all that?untitled (42)

But that was last year and this month I surpassed myself by forgetting the service altogether and then collaborating with my beloved and coming up with an excessively elaborate lie about why we hadn’t taken them to the service.  You know when you’re pretend crying and faking a candle wax allergy, you may have taken things too far!

And then this week there’s:

  •  The first of the nativity plays (cue my child being the only child with, dare I admit it, a grubby tea towel on his head amidst the other bespoke nativity costumes but at least I didn’t, like previous years, induce a febrile convulsion in my child by over heating them in a sheep costume. And yes I say “first of the nativity plays” because I’ve got a total of 4 performances to sit through which is more than any parent should have to endure).
  • Christmas hat day (am I really going to be judged on my ability to read the school newsletter and digest this gem of a pain in the arse activity).
  • The school disco (oh that’s only 6 trips to the school in one day then as all my children have different disco slots and don’t get me started on the clothes).
  • The “take a home made decoration to school day” (why can’t they make that in school – I’m beginning to get hysterical!).
  • The make a Boomerang and a Didgeridoo day. Just don’t ask.
  • School open day (a complete cop out on the school’s part, when any self respecting parent is made to smile desperately at 22 meaningless school books and wonder why they can’t just give us an end of term report instead – that’s 45 minutes of my life I’ll never get back!)

December 2010 051

And how is it that, with only 10 days left of this long and agonising term, I’ve only just realised that my daughter doesn’t have any shoes, school socks or shirts and that my middle son has been wearing his sisters trousers to school for the last 10 weeks!

And they call this the season of good will and wonder why most mothers secretly slip into a gin bottle at the first reasonable opportunity. Bring back Scrooge – all is forgiven! Surely next week will be easier?

I’m not blind, i’m just misinformed.

Dear Emma,

thF32NZO5UI’ve decided not to tell my beloved that I accidently reversed into his car last night and then, as a result of my surprise, shot forward and hit his new fence. There were mitigating circumstances, I just can’t think what they were and these things do tend to upset him in my experience. And after all, my tow bar was already broken and I’m sure with modern technology, number plates are now overrated. That said, if he looks closely enough, he may just see my registration number emblazoned on his passenger door.

You see that’s the trouble with getting old (and in my case buying a pair of glasses from a dodgy salesmen which look great but actually seem to make my sight worse). Last week I woke up and was alarmed to see that I’d come out in a nasty attack of ringworm on the side of my face. ringworm parent Anything is possible in this house so I took myself sharpish to the doctors, only to be told that I had in fact just slept on a button. And a badly sewn on one at that according to the doctor which I thought was an unnecessary detail. Oh the double humiliation of an ageing skin.

And it also turns out that the man I accused of being a murderer on the train from London because he had the feet of a killer, wrapped in black sacks was actually just wearing special cycling shoes and held a respectable job at the bank. But again, how was I supposed to know that and I don’t think he needed to call security and have me thrown off the train. I mean that was hard to explain to the school when I was late for pick up again! Thank goodness for the presence of a cute puppy to throw the headmistress off the scent (and to blame for eating those “Parent Good Behaviour” forms which I still haven’t signed (8 weeks now and counting- wondering if I can dodge then for a whole year)!

But on that note, I have to leave you my dear Emma because I can smell the sweet smell of another incarcerated meal and the dulcet tones of a husband coming through the door who may have spotted the large dent in his car. This is going to require an awful lot of gin to smooth over and let’s just thank the lord that I changed the password on my (well his) Paypal account before he got home or it could get ugly.



Never mix wine with school events.

Dear Emma,

I can’t believe we’re hurtling towards the Autumn holidays already and I’m not sure about the children but I’ve certainly learnt a lot this term. For instance, I’ve learnt that you should never turn up to the school quiz night a bottle of white wine the worse for wear. Let me tell you neither gushing over the headmistress and telling her how much you love her, nor correcting the quiz master on his poor use of grammar and punctuation are likely to be well received.school quizz night

And in a similar vein, I also learnt that telling your daughter to tell her teacher that I don’t care if her handwriting is bad because she’s going to be a doctor is unlikely to make you popular in the staff room and confessing to the school secretary that the reason you missed parent consultations again, was that your school filing system amounts to nothing more sophisticated than the foot well of your car, never goes down well.

school holidaysI also learnt that when giving a speech to the local Speakers Club you need to be careful when describing your husband as a porn king and finally I learnt that as the holidays approach, you should always be mindful of the fact that your husband has fitted the roof box and never, ever under estimate the size of your when negotiating a small car park unless you are entirely happy about lieing to your husband about the resulting damage.

But on a lighter note, the said offending husband has kindly chosen the week that the cat got fleas and that we leave on holiday, to strip out the utility room, re- decorate the kitchen and fix the washing machine. bad parenting The result is I have several industrial sized piles of washing, water spraying everywhere, a Bulgarian stranger called Boris camped out in the kitchen in fear of the dog and a sitting room piled from floor to ceiling with miscellaneous kitchen and utility items that I hoped to never see again.  Is it unreasonable to be cross about having to step across a chain saw, punch bag and set of golf clubs in order to mop up the flood and feed the children? We leave for France tomorrow and I may not come back.


The cupboard is bare and the breakfast is burnt.

Dear Emma,

This week has been a week of lessons learnt the hard way. They need little expansion:

1. Never experiment with chemicals when cleaning the loo. The resulting explosion can be hard to explain.

2. Notwithstanding there is nothing else in the cupboard to put in their lunch box, jelly that is 4 years out of date will make your child sick (although personally I blame Grandma for that one).

mad mothering

They think I’m on a spectrum.

3. Just because your child has never mentioned that she plays an exotic musical instrument, doesn’t mean she doesn’t. Attend all school concerts to be on the safe side or risk shame.

4. Just because you get 45 likes on a Facebook comment, doesn’t mean you are either popular of funny. It’s more likely to be a case that your computer has a virus so don’t go bragging.

5. If your sister in law has a best friend called Nina de Pina (yes really) do not greet her with the words, “You must be a friend of Olga da Polga.” unless you are sure all concerned have a sense of humour.

6. Do not say “oh cock” to a teacher however extreme the circumstances.

7. Remain vigilant. Just because you think you have remembered all their homework, probably means you haven’t.

Hope your week was better than mine!





Hitting rock bottom

Dear Emma,

You know you’ve hit rock bottom when you find yourself greeting the wine section of your local shop like a long lost friend. And let me tell you, that it’s made worse when a senior member of staff from your child’s school and respected member of the community catch you in full blown conversation with that bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. I now know that there is no point, at that stage of trying to explain that it was in fact for later, when, at just after 9 am, they’ve heard you exclaim “oh thank god”.

Hello there!

Hello there!

And talking of rocks, this week I also learnt that taking 9 children and 2 dogs (one of which was on heat and without a lead) to the beach on the coldest day of the year, is not the cleverest idea, along with trying to drink coffee in the face of a strong prevailing wind or similarly allowing the children to take a sneaky pee in the face of it! A watery domino effect results, if you get my drift.

But looking on the bright side for a moment, at least the afternoon only resulted in one trip to casualty, no injury that could be really described as significant and as it turns out, she’ll be out of plaster in no time! As for the puppies, I remain quietly optimistic as to how that particular cross breed will turn out and comforted that this is one area of “sexual development” that I now won’t have to explain to the children.

But now dearest Emma I must run, as I have to appear before the school’s “Maintaining and enforcing appropriate parental standards committee” in an attempt to explain that my youngest’s interpretation of Sports Relief day, was born out of a genuine admiration for and desire to be, Usain Bolt. Although yes, perhaps with hindsight, the face paint was a step too far.

Really Hugo? Can't you just  go as David Beckam?

Really Hugo? Can’t you just go as David Beckam?

A week of very poor taste.

Dear Emma,

If you’ve never found yourself eyeball to eyeball with a small worm emerging from your child’s behind then, let me tell you, you’ve never truly scrapped the murky low points of motherhood. Thereafter follow days of itching, much studying of poo, washing and unprecedented housework.

The woman in the chemist was kind enough to tell me that it was nothing to do with the state of my home but of course she’s never been there. Suffice it to say, it is an image that I’m quite sure I will carry with me til the end of my days and please dear Emma, don’t make the naïve mistake I did, by assuming if you tell your fellow mothers about this addition to your family, that it wouldn’t affect your popularity. Coventry, I’m back but at least I can re acquaint myself with that long forgotten feeling of clean sheets.

Carrying on my theme of bad taste this month, it was I suspect a mistake to let my 6 year old have an IRA party for his birthday. Although to be fair to myself, that wasn’t exactly how we planned it but how was I to know that balaclavas were so the rage.

IRA or children's party - you decide

IRA or children’s party – you decide

All I can hope is that with the  jaunty addition of a trilby hat we may just get away with it.  I’ll let you know next week.

Finally I leave you with my conundrum of the week. On stepping on half a dead rodent when getting out of bed in the morning (brought in by the cat I hasten to add and not a domestic escapee) – what is the protocol – flush or window? Beloved Husband has taken what I consider an unreasonable dislike to being confronted with the headless torso of a mouse when he performs his morning ablutions. Did I do wrong?

Flood mayhem

It’s been a month of hard knocks.

A belated and soggy happy new year to you Emma dear. Did you survive the crisis of Christmas and live to tell the tale? It’s been a month of hard knocks here and so to save you from making the same mistakes as me, herewith are the lessons that I’ve learnt in the last 4 weeks…

Mad mother

Early morning storm damage should be viewed from inside

1. Never leave your house in the early morning to inspect the storm damage without first putting on a bra. Scooping your breasts up from your waist whilst trying to introduce yourself to your new (and handsome) neighbour is never going to create the impression you were hoping for.

2. When your husband tells you that there is no earthly chance of the house flooding, be disinclined to believe him.

3. Guinea pigs can out swim large dogs when highly motivated but the kitchen is not necessarily the best place to put this theory to the test.

4. Guinea pigs have nerves of steel.

Flooded kitchen

Beware the over optimistic husband

5. Never answer the doorbell without trousers on. I am too embarrassed to even begin to elaborate on this one other than to say it involved a secret agent and you should always check the size of a table decoration before ordering on line.

Flood mayhem

The name’s Bond.

6. When a mother from the school  with whom you have previously had little contact, unexpectedly turns up for coffee, you can be reasonably confident that the consensus at the school gate is that you are having a nervous breakdown. It’s unwise in these circumstances to let them see you sitting on the kitchen table in your wellies whilst surrounded by flood water, composing bad poetry and drinking brandy at 9am in the morning. Apparently this does nothing to alleviate their concern.

7. Your child wont thank you if you chase the school coach they are on especially if you’re waving their pants!

8. Sleepovers and flooded kitchens don’t mix. Some mothers appear not to understand the need for boots with pyjamas.

9. When your husband tells you that there is no earthly chance of the house flooding again, be disinclined to believe him. Brandy and a bucket are likely to be your best option at this stage.

10. With enough practice, it is possible to fire guinea pig food from a toy gun into a marooned cage without too much harm to said guineas.

Emma dear as the rain starts to fall again, I’m off to inflate my dinghy and put on my waders. Hoping it’s drier where you are.