Motherhood – not quite what it says on the baking tin

About six months ago or more I bought a Peppa Pig cup cake pack from T’co-op.

I saw it, in between the cheese aisle and the wine aisle and I had a vision: There was me in my kitchen, two ankle biters next to me on cute stools. We were all wearing matching novelty aprons. My eldest was cracking an egg into a giant bowl. My youngest was adorably licking the wooden spoon. Icing sugar filled the air as we all chuckled spooning the mixture into the cup cake holders.

“Just think of the instagram pictures!” I thought! Just think.

Well six months passed and I glanced at the packet between making mountains of toast and wiping arses and cleaning and laundry and drinking and the time never came.

This morning – I don’t have a clue what possessed me but the baby was napping and my three year old was on his tenth tantrum of the day and maybe I was still drunk but I thought – let’s do it! I announced to the child “shall we make some cakes?” with smug glee.

I was finally going to be one of those mums who mother fudging BAKES BABY!

He looked at me with about as much enthusiasm as the average person would if I asked them if they wanted to help me lance a boil.

We weren’t wearing aprons. We were both wearing sweaty onesies. We weren’t in the kitchen as we can’t possibly fit in due to the bags of recycling and wine bottles as well as the oven being a death trap. No icing sugar filled the air because we are renting and I am a control freak.

Did he want to crack the egg? No.

Did he want to pour the mixture in? No.

Did he want to stir? Hell no!

Did he want to lick the spoon? (obviously the best part of baking). Did he bollocks! He looked at the spoon of creamy goodness like it was a pile of cockroach anuses on a Bush Tucker Trial.

He actually started crying like he was being tortured.

Then came the pleasure of waiting for the fuckers to be cooked. Turns out 12 minutes in child minutes equates to 100 hours of pure Hell. Then having to explain we couldn’t put the icing on (which I had already managed to fuck up) until they were cool brought another trauma no doubt he will be reliving to a counsellor in twenty years time – or Jeremy Kyle.

This is not how I envisaged mother and son baking time to be. And no I didn’t include the baby – are you crazy? Bull in a china shop springs to mind. A piglet in a cake factory would be a closer analogy. I have enough problems. The two of them would probably gang up on me and I would end up being pushed into the oven like the witch.

So we eventually iced the bastards and popped a sticker on the top.

They were as hard as rocks and tasted like scrambled egg. Despite this he seemed to enjoy eating them but I have a feeling Mr Kipling would have made him happier.

I am not deterred though – I want to make Gingerbread men this Christmas, but now I know the truth and my vision has shifted. Just like our vision of motherhood changes after being slapped in the face repeatedly with the wet kipper that is reality.

Instagram / Pinterest – they lie! Our perfect visions of motherhood are utter bullshit. Motherhood – not quite what it says on the tin.

“We made a cake didn’t we?” I chirped to him.

“Yes” he said.

“Is making cakes fun?” I asked.

“No” he said firmly and went back to watching Paw Patrol.

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Why the mummy hangover is the worst hangover in the world

mummy's writing darling

Why the mummy hangover is the worst hangover in the world

It’s three o’clock in the morning and a man whispers into your ear the most erotic phrase known to a mum:

You promised you’d get up with them.

What? What the F… Where am I? What is that noise? Is that a recorder? and….and… a tambourine? Who gave them those? I will find them and I will kill them. Why can I taste gherkins? and salt? What day is it? Is that a tattoo… Percy & Thomas BFF? Whose shoes are those? When did you get a fillet of fish? Why don’t we have painkillers in this house?

What’s that smell? Oh…the…indignity! 

I don’t get out much. I think I can count on my hands how many times I have been ‘out’ since becoming a mum. My social life basically now revolves around Line of Duty and drinking wine at home in my pyjamas. A Saturday night is when you’ll most likely see me opening up the Just Eat app and perhaps, tackling a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of a nice harbour or steam engine. I generally go to bed at eight thirty unless Love Island is on.

So when I get to go out I am more than a little giddy. In fact – I am ecstatic. I am ruddy thrilled. I’m like a toddler at toast time. And that is before I start drinking.

The mummy hangover is like a regular hangover but times 8000. Why? Well.

  1. You were already drunk before you went out – drunk on the idea of a night off from the kids, drunk on freedom, drunk on getting dressed up, drunk on life!
  2. You are too excited. People will find you strange. Stranger than usual. You’re like a small Shitzu humping the legs of any adults there because you can talk about things other than superworm and Thomas the shunting engine.
  3. You will be overly generous with your money and buy drinks for everyone there, strangers even because you “never go out! The drinks are on me! I love you all” even though you basically live on tax credits and selling old coats on ebay.
  4. you’ll want to drink all the drinks. No more cold tea for me but oooh. Look at the choice. I’ll have to have all the drinks because I only go out once a year. So let me just taste all the cocktails on the menu.
  5. Before you leave you’ll tell your other half that you’re so grateful to be able to go out and leave the kids with him that “you’ll get up with them in the morning.”
  6. Typical hangover cures are off limits to you. Full English breakfast? Nope. Hot shower? Nope. All you’ve got is Balamory, cold coffee and a three hour aimless search for painkillers in a house where all you can find is junior calpol and antacids.
  7. Noise, so much noise. Noise. Too much noise.
  8. Bed? No you can’t go back to bed.
  9. My head. My head.
  10. I usually go to bed at eight o’clock. You will never ever ever get back those hours of sleep you missed.

 

So there you have it.

On an unrelated note. I went to see Absolutely Fabulous last weekend in a cinema that served alcohol. I can’t remember much of the film but I can tell you that I woke up in my bra, I had seemingly bought every meal that Macdonalds make on the way home and had an Uber bill for close to £40.

My husband informs me that I woke him up on my arrival home as I couldn’t figure out how to shut the door and was just slamming it continually against the frame.

 

 

Beholden

beholden

All days he’s had a yogurt-propelling snotty nose

and scrambled egg squelched between tiny sweaty toes.

All of the screeches and screams

tacky teething gels and nappy rash creams

with all the go-to-fucking-sleep nights

the fatigued and frazzled baby-Father fights

and the live long days of exhaustion

your long lost independent lives

tantrums, and he-won’t-eat-his-bastard-food slights

and you never wanted children anyway.

But then there’s a moment

isolated, suspended in your slack off Sunday

where you see:

with just one goofy, gapped grin

the reflection in your next of kin

it’s what you were both foraging for

all the thirty plus years before

and the cut-throat love throttles you

like gobbling down a podgy gold watch

and you see:

for the first time this week

his chimp-like rump

his bitty belly portly and plump

his full force, warm and fed

seeking his soft, safe, mummy-made bed

the prosperity you’ve both had

plummets through the navy nursery floor

and you swear

you won’t take parenthood for granted anymore.

 

Our love

our life

My Boy,

you were seen tonight.

 

Commended in the 2014 Mother’s Milk Books Writing Prize