Dear Chicco, About Your Advert

After my 3.40am wake up on a Saturday morning I like to watch some Dawson’s Creek on Sony TV. In between the sickly sweet, utterly false, utopian, fictional drama – I have become aware of your advert. This one …

I feel we need to have a little chat about it.

The woman in it appears to be well rested, her hair is done and she has a lovely face of make up. Where are her bags? Where are her wrinkles? Where is the mascara smudged across her pale, sleep deprived, dry, pained face? Where are her roots? Why isn’t her hair matted and greasy? Why does she appear to have showered in the last day? Why does she look so happy?

Why doesn’t she look like an extra from The Walking Dead?

Why is the baby dressed in a clean, white baby grow? But more importantly, why is he sleeping soundly? He appears to be fast asleep. If this is the case – why is his mother awake? And if she is awake why isn’t she on Twitter, glugging coffee, brushing her teeth, watching Judge Judy and frantically rubbing baby wipes under her arm pits (all at the same time)?

Where is the bedside table of crap?

Including:
Several used baby wipes
Sick covered muslins
Three cold half cups of tea
A large glass of orange squash
Several packets of wipes
nappies
Chocolate digestives
a take away pizza box
Tissues (used and unused)
a TV
dust covered books
a breast pump
dirty baby bottles
one red wine stained wine glass
Some empty packets of quavers
Gripe water and saline solution
pain killers
a half eaten lemon drizzle cake

Why is her other half hugging her? Why is he sleeping? Why is he also happy? Where is his beer gut, grey hair and furrowed brow? Why is he in the same bed as her? Why isn’t he in a separate room? why isn’t he snoring?

Most importantly, why is she not spitting at him through gritted teeth “It’s your fucking turn you fucking arse hole!”

Now I know what you’re thinking – it’s an advert. Adverts are supposed to sell us the ideal – the dream. But I fear you are treading on thin legal ground here. Aren’t there some rules about false advertising?

I don’t worry for myself – I am a mother of two. I’m experienced. I am worried about the new parents to be – they might stumble across your advert after some love making and a lie in. Over their eggs Benedict and bucks fizz they might say “oh look sweetheart, doesn’t that look great?” “Yes pumpkin” he will reply, “let’s buy that!” and they will look forward to the day they will resemble the folks in your ad.

Over nine months later they might come knocking on your door asking for a full refund because daddy’s new nickname is ‘useless tit’, they haven’t slept in thirty six hours, and he’s spent the last four hours Googling “why is my baby crying” and “flights to Peru” on his iPad.

Can I suggest you just dial it back a tad?

First off – put the man in a separate room. The last thing she needs is to have to deal with a large sweaty, snoring lump hogging the bed and the duvet.

She needs to stretch out and if he is there and “doesn’t hear the baby crying” in the night the next time you’ll see her will be in a factual documentary about Spousal smothering. The theme tune of which will be “He had it coming” from Chicago.

Next – get rid of the natural lighting and the beautiful sun beams across the sleeping baby’s face. She should have black out ‘blinds in a box’ on her window that she had to buy after her neighbours complained about having to see her walk about with her breasts out wearing only her pants for two weeks straight. The last thing she needs after being awake for fourteen hours is a reminder that it is now day time outside. The lighting should be dimmed with the constant flicker of a mute Judge Judy lighting up the room from the table of crap.

Now make her a bit more realistic. I know she’s got a gorgeous baby and all – but no one is that smug. Keep your actress up for a few days and make her live on a diet of biscuits and toast for a week. Keep making her hot cups of tea and tell her she can’t drink them – don’t let her wash, or brush her teeth for a day or so, tape some earphones to her head and play ‘this is a song that will get on your nerves’ for seven hours and finally slap her across her face with a wet trout for good measure.

Make sure there is a side table of crap.

Lastly – get a baby model with a cold or colic who is wide awake and likes the sound of his own voice.

Yours, sleep deprived mum of two x

 

Mummy's Writing, Darling
Dear Chicco, about your advert

 

Why is it you?

mummy's writing darling

Why is it you?

 

At age two, to a goose, I wouldn’t say boo
whereas you son, would shoot it and stuff it too.

Why is it you?

who cant sit still, while fifteen others do,
Who has to play with the fire extinguisher on the wall,
while everyone else is queuing, single file, down the hall?

Why is it you who has to snatch the block off the three month old,
who doesn’t seem to acknowledge anything you are told,
who needs to jump up and down at the front,
who has to roar, bark, gurn and grunt?

Why do you always rugby tackle the babies,
leap and stomp and stamp on the daisies?

When others are sitting, listening sweetly in a trance,
why are you performing a deranged, erratic, river dance?

When everyone is singing ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ notes
why are you trying to shove the maracas down your throat?

Why is it you – and seemingly no other?
Can you not see everyone judging your mother?

When you turn five and all you ask is why,
why, why, why, why, why?

I shall say, great question son, glad you asked
Why, when you were two, were you such an arse?

poetry, mummy's writing darling
why is it you?

SaveSave

Mum like no one’s watching

Mum like no one’s watching

Apparently I have always had an issue with people looking at me. My mum said when I was tiny I would say “Mummy, why are they looking at me?” when out in town. She would say “because you’re so pretty sweetheart” (Mums always know what to say) but of course I didn’t believe her. As I got older and she got less patient she would say “Stephanie, people don’t care about you! They’re too worried about themselves.” But this worry of what other people think of me has remained.

When I brought my new born home I honestly felt I was on some sort of Big Brother new mum cam with a panel of Health visitors and midwives in some sort of forced torturous Gogglebox episode. I found any visits by professionals as stressful as previous OFSTED inspections – only I was in my pyjamas this time with one tit out.

Years later with my two year old and four year old boys I still have daily moments where I wonder who is looking and what they are thinking. My youngest has developed a new habit where he likes to buckle at the knees anytime he’s remotely unhappy. He reminds me of those wooden stocking fillers you used to get of a donkey – where you pressed the underside and the legs would collapse. He does this anywhere and everywhere, adding a skull throw down to really get the full effect. On mud or concrete – the choice is his.

When he does this I look around to see who my audience is. If I am really lucky it’s a fellow parent who I can roll my eyes at and they giggle at the ways of toddlers. If I am unlucky it’s an elderly Gentleman who almost holds his nose as he walks past worrying he’s going to catch something from my feral lot.

On the school run I walk down a gridlocked main road and see all of the people in cars watching us – my two boys just seem to draw attention. If I am lucky they hold hands and I see them cooing and ah-ing and I feel a burst of pride – look at me mummying really well!

However, the weight of worrying about other people’s opinions can’t be sustained. I retrace those wise mum words “people don’t care about you. They’re too busy worrying about themselves.” Maybe, as always, my mum is right.

I certainly hope so as I had to drag my youngest home by his reigns like a demented Dachshund after he removed his shoes, in the pissing down rain, as I tried to conduct an important telephone call and my eldest screamed because I wouldn’t let him hold his God damn chocolate egg. I hope the onlookers enjoyed that one.

Mum like no one’s watching – they don’t care as much as you think. Hopefully.

The imagined army of shite mothers

mummy's writing darling

The imagined army of shite mothers

A few weeks ago I was sat on the bus to work after carting off my kids to strangers at astronomically expensive nurseries when I became aware of numerous passengers avoiding the seat in front of me.

The lady next to me and I leant forward at the same time to see what it was that people were avoiding. The offensive item was a Dairylea dunker packet that had been left there. It was surrounded by gooey melted cream cheese all over the leather seat. The lady and I smiled at each other in a ‘aaahhh’ moment and she proceeded to clean it up with her own tissues. What a lovely human being I thought, so I smiled at her and told her that was a lovely thing to do. I shouldn’t have been so quick to judge.

The “lady” turned to me and stated “you know who that would have been? Some Mum.”

She said “mum” with a slight snarl.

She continued “some mum who didn’t give her kids a proper breakfast so just gave them a Dairylea dunker and then let her kid leave it all over the seat!”

I smiled back, my eyes dead, the realisation being that I have now accidentally bonded with the antichrist. I tried to inch my way away from her as I wondered a couple of things.

What is so wrong about a breakfast of Dairylea dunkers? Surely that’s calcium innit? and…

Why is it that folk are so quick to jump to a conclusion that mothers are generally shite?

Why is it that it must be a mother who is failing at mothering? Where was the dad when she was shovelling Dairylea in the child’s mouth? Why must it be a crap mum? Why couldn’t it have been an elderly Gentleman on his way to the opticians? Or a student rushing to an exam? Where is the sympathy for a busy working mum? Where is the love?

Can we please not assume that all mothers are generally shite? Can we, instead, assume that all mothers are doing their absolute best at a freaking tough gig?

And that Dairylea dunkers are a legitimate breakfast choice.

I should have said all of this to the woman but of course I didn’t. She got off at the University before stating “I better do well in my exam now, after that good deed” I smiled back. “Only if you’re studying ‘how to be a judgemental Gobshite’” I thought.

(Disclaimer – This post was not sponsored by Dairylea).

shite mothers
Imagined army of shite mothers

How to get through your first parents’ evening

First Parents’ Evening

He’s only four, he can’t have done much damage yet can he? Yet the mere idea of Parents’ Evening has immediately filled you with anxiety, not least, because you’re now the bleeding ‘parent’ in this scenario.

You can be a Teacher’s pet all you like … unfortunately that now means nothing.

They are now measuring your worth on what your precious first born has brought to the classroom and your guard is up straight away ready to prove he is a/ the perfect child b/ any bad aspects are purely from his Father and c/ any good qualities are down to outstanding mothering.

Your mind starts to race at what he has been up to when you haven’t been around: has he suffocated the class pet? Has he stolen someone’s free milk? Has he tied the teacher’s laces together.

 Or written ‘Mrs Smelly Bottom’ on the board?

As an ex teacher I understand the kiss-punch-kiss or compliment sandwich technique of feedback. So I sit on the tiny plastic seat hoping it doesn’t snap or get wedged entirely onto my arse and I await the results.

“He is doing great. He’s great with numbers. He’s got a fab memory.” O.k, there goes the kiss. I await the punch…

“He can get pretty angry, and he stamps his feet.” Obviously gets that from his father!

“He’s also overly tactile with other children when he gets excited and some of them don’t like it.” She finishes. We discuss boundaries.

He’s just full of love bless him. 

She finishes with lots of positives to finish her sandwich and I feel relieved. I also feel so grateful to the teacher who seems utterly wonderful and who I know from experience will be overworked and underpaid. I think about what nice gift to get her for the end of term. Box of wine should do it.

So – how do you survive?

Be prepared for the kiss-punch-kiss technique, don’t be overly defensive, remember they’re only four and be thankful they haven’t set fire to the class teddy, glued the numicons together or egged the Head teacher … yet.

First Ever Parents’ Evening