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

 

Children, in twenty years, guess who’s coming to dinner?

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Sons, I want you to prepare yourself for your father and I coming to dinner in around twenty years time (or whenever you hopefully move out).

I’ll ring ahead of time and insist you make my favourite – lasagne – from scratch, and your dad’s favourite – apple crumble. As soon as we arrive your dad will take off one shoe: Just one mind.

I’ll ask for red wine but will only drink it if it is given to me in a very specific cup and if you hold it to my lips whenever I shout. I will jut my tongue in and out of it without ever actually drinking it as that’s just how I will roll.

Once dinner is served your dad will refuse to sit at the table and announce he hates lasagne. He will cry and continually request chocolate milk and a bread roll.

I will eat your lasagne … If the stars are aligned, but be warned, if I get so much as a whiff of a vegetable I will straight up regurgitate it into your open hand. Half way through the lasagne I may decide it’s no longer my favourite – I think it was a different shade last time I had it – and I’ll demand dessert.

Your father will eat the custard, and the crumble topping but then he will discover there’s apple in the bowl and simultaneously shit himself and realise he’s only wearing one shoe which will devastate him.

He will then lie on the floor and eat any old food he can find in between the cracks in your floorboards that you cooked days ago. Probably lasagne – just tastier than the fresh lasagne on the table.

At some point I will want to hold my wine cup myself and when you’re not looking I’ll just let it tip out over your most recent or precious purchase.

We will go to bed at 7pm quite easily and instead of going to bed too, you stupidly will stay up to actually enjoy your evening and watch whatever the equivalent of Breaking Bad is in 2035. You will retire for the evening at about 11.30pm.

At 11.32pm I will start screaming as though I’m being slaughtered. As soon as you get out of your toasty bed I’ll stop. I will continue this every hour on the hour until 4am.

Your father will wake up at 11.45pm and start shouting out numbers, colours, modes of transport and favourite characters from his favourite TV program.

JEREMY CLARKSON!!!

JAMES MAY!!!

RICHARD HAMMOND!!!

He will continue to do this every two hours on the hour.

At around 3.30am he will crawl in the dark on his hands and knees in search of an object – any object – then find the radiator in the room and bang his object against the radiator until you give up and get up at 4am.

(He may find a tambourine or xylophone – you probably don’t remember even buying them! But he can find them like a pig searching for truffles).

The next day we will both insist on chocolate cake for breakfast and make you watch utter shite on repeat for 4 hours.

Just when you think you can’t take anymore Grandma will pop round. She’ll give you a leaflet about the dangers of drinking too much and how it makes you terrible sons and give us a chocolate cake and a cuddle and take us off to the pub.

Prepare yourself lads,

We’re looking forward to it.

(Revenge is a dish best served cold, and that lasagne better be stone cold or I won’t touch it).

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?

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Mum Lonely Hearts Ad

Seeking fellow mum to have strong coffee with and keep each other company during these terrifically isolating mummy years so I can stop talking aloud to Steve the Stegosaurus about how the toddler never listens.

Preferable: 

You will have a child a similar age to mine so they can entertain and amuse each other – so we don’t have to.

It would be nice if you were a big drinker. I’m not talking Bacardi on your sugar puffs or anything – but “shall we just have the bottle?” should be one of your most commonly used phrases.

If you don’t drink, we can get along – as long as you don’t tend to judge those who consider half a bottle of Rioja a ‘palate cleanser’.

You will be blind to my increasing belly – which we both know is just cake at this stage – and will not mention it until I am eight months gone (at least) or in full labour.

I don’t care what you eat as long as you mainly feed your toddler normal human food stuffs – the things I grew up on! Dairy-lee Triangles, spaghetti hoops, smash and fish fingers.

You will not judge me if you see me eating / drinking anything that is not on the ‘pregnancy approved’ list.

If you come over to my house you will always come bearing some sort of refined sugar and white flour combo and you will regularly say things like “sod the diet girl! Life is for living! What do you need to diet for anyway?”

You will like cats. More than children.

All suggested days out are planned carefully around my child’s and my own nap times. ‘Activities’ will involve sitting down with a cup of tea while children take care of themselves, glued to Cbeebies.

Talking of, you will not look down on any TV choices made by myself or my toddler (these can include ‘In The Night Garden’ and ‘Say Yes To The Dress’)

Full agreement that Mike The Knight is a cretin and Judge Judy rules.

If my child bites or head-butts your child during soft play – you will forgive and forget. And not assume it is because of their spaghetti hoop diet.

Essential:

A naughty sense of humour.
An understanding of sarcasm.
A willingness to be brutally honest about the toll of motherhood and pregnancy.
An ability to have a right old moan.
An empathy for all of parent kind.
Absolute honesty regarding your child’s talents, vocabulary and learning history/ potential. Along with an ability to provide video evidence of said child ‘talking about Fauvism whilst making Sushi’ before I am forced to entertain it.
Absolute honesty about your child’s pitfalls and willingness to see when they are being an arse.
Ability to see how wonderful my child is.
Non-judgemental about my parenting style (I don’t have one).
Non-judgemental on my choice of husband. (One man’s meat is another man’s poison).

I still want to hear from you if…
you breastfeed or use formula.
you co-sleep or put your baby in a cot.
you are a single parent, parent with a partner or husband / or wife.
you moan about your children all day long. I understand that it doesn’t mean you don’t love them – and it doesn’t mean you’re not a wonderful parent. As am I? Right?

What you will get from being my friend:
A laugh
An end to loneliness
A drinking / moaning / walking / coffee / doughnut buddy
Company
A supporter
I will defend you to the death.

I Need You.
Be My Friend.
Please?
I’m so lonely…
Apply within.
Bring Baked goods.

Mummy's Writing Darling
Please – send Wine

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.