Saturday, 26 October 2013

Lesson 10: For You, Mum.

You will never read this.

So I guess this is a fruitless exercise. What is the point? 

Maybe I don't know. Maybe after ten years of saying very little about how I feel I just needed an outlet to say:

It is so unbelievably shit that you died. 

Being a mum is really bloody tough. 

I need you now. 

I long for phone calls and shopping trips and catch-up coffees. Sometimes when I see other mums and daughters out together I feel like somebody is twisting my stomach. I look away quickly, but I have seen it. It hits me. And I miss what I will never have. 

I miss what you will never have. You will never know that you are a grandmother. "Nanny Debbie" we call you, after Henry pointed to the picture I keep of you on my bedside table and asked 'who's that?' He was delighted with the answer.

We play the 'who's at the door?' game when visitors come round. Last week, when asked 'who's at the door?' Henry replied (with a smile) "It's Nanny Debbie!"

I love him for wanting you to be at the door. But at the same time  my heart broke. 

The late 80s with us girls

Some day soon I will have to explain why you will never pop in for a cup of tea, or pick him up to take him swimming. And why when we say we are going to 'Nanny Debbie's beach' it will be an outing to the beautiful spot we scattered your ashes.

It is all so remarkably sad.

I want you to know that I will think about you every day for the rest of my life. And I know now. How you must have felt knowing you had no control over leaving us to grow up without you. 

Because now I am the Mum. 

And though I find it a struggle I will do a fabulous job at bringing him up. That's a promise. 

After all, I learned from the best.

The Unmumsy Mum

Oh how we miss you. And Crumble the dog.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Lesson 9: The Motherhood Exam

Five test questions every woman should have to pass before being allowed to take delivery of a small person. As seen in all good parenting magazines*

I have highlighted my selected answers in bold and you can see my score at the bottom. Feel free to play along at home. 

1. Is your favourite noise whinging and/or loud irritating play spaces filled with other peoples' children?
Yes, I can't get enough of moaning and screaming children. 
No *shudders at recent soft play encounter*

2. Are you thrilled at the prospect of looking like an older and more haggard version of your former self - almost instantly and for EVER?

Yes, a mature new look!
No. I'd rather not age 10 years in 10 months. 

3. Have you had enough of spending any money on yourself?

Yes. Who needs things for themselves?
No. A new outfit and/or toiletries not bought in Lidl would still be nice once in a blue moon.

4. Are you such a fan of sharing that you would like to spend every waking minute of the day with a smaller person - even toilet time?

Yes. How lovely, like an extension of myself.
No, I prefer to wee/cook the dinner without an irritable other person clinging onto my leg. 

5. Would you enjoy even the simplest of outings becoming a mission with a child in tow? 


You scored 0/5. You are not cut out for parenthood. Probably best to stick to the day job for a few more years, or perhaps forever. 


That explains it. 

*This is of course all lies. I made it up in a fit of toddler-induced rage. 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Lesson 8: Pushchairs, Public Transport and Panic

If the pairing of 'Pushchair' and 'Public Transport' does not instantly make you shudder, I want to know why. Why. And how. HOW do you do it? I guess the last question is somewhat of a rhetorical one, as I think some parents just cope. 

I like to call them The Copers. I, on the other hand, have come to the conclusion that I am not in this coping camp.

Today, I embarked on my first proper train trip accompanied solely by a child. I don't mean steam train/train at the zoo/small farm train, I mean actual train with set times and set seats and a set sense of panic. Granted, this journey was to be only one hour. With no changes. An hour. How hard could this be? 

Where do I start in summarising today's train adventure? Perhaps the bit where there was nowhere to put the folded-down pushchair and I spent an eternity blocking the entrance to Carriage C as I tried to squeeze it in besides somebody else's luggage whilst my child tried to get back off the train *redness and sweating*. Or the bit where my toddler threw his regurgitated banana down the aisle of the train and I had to go and pick it up with a tissue, much like you would scoop up a dog s**t. Perhaps the bit where we got to the destination station and had to get in about five different lifts before I had calmed down enough to find the lift that would take us to the f***ing exit.

For the return journey, I was prepared.
We had Rowntree's Randoms *bad mummies club.* We had a Fireman Sam Activity Book. We had a new 'sports car' toy from Poundland. We arrived fifteen minutes early to allow for a wee stop.

And then I saw it. Right there, on the information board.

15:13 to Exeter - CANCELLED

Jesus Christ. Have they not met my child? I considered asking that question at the Helpdesk, but am pretty sure 'What the actual f**k do we do now?' was what came out.

'You can get the 15:44 love, though it'll be busy so you may not get a seat.'

This was funny. I mean this was HILARIOUS. Think about it. I had spent the day worrying about how my toddler would cope with being confined to a seat again. And when it came to it, I needn't have worried - there weren't any shitting seats.

Yes that's right. For the return journey, we sat on the floor of the train outside the toilet between carriages C and D. In amongst other agitated passengers and my stroller, which was being propped up by the knee of a random (but very kind) traveller.

There was no space, no chance of getting the activity book out, and nowhere to hide my sweet-giving. I had to admit publicly that I was bribing my child with sweets (as in 'if you stop racing your car over that man's briefcase you can have a foamy ice-cream). The shame.

I wish I could provide you with an upbeat ending to the tale of the train and the pushchair. Granted, I did get a day out with my lovely sister sandwiched between the journeys, but I am still none the wiser as to how people function with prams* on public transport.

Lesson 8: Taking your pushchair on public transport? Don't. Just don't.

*I am also none the wiser as to how people function with children on public transport, but I suppose The Copers just do. 

The Unmumsy Mum