Waking up in Limavady this morning, Daddy announces “Today family, we shall to the Giant’s Causeway go! And on the way, Daddy shall impart impressive knowledge of myth and legend that will excite you and awe you and suitably remind Mammy of the fountain of knowledge that I am.”
And of course Mammy was impressed, but Mammy also wondered how the hell Daddy can remember stories and mythologies about Giants who pretend to be Babies from 35 years ago, and yet he can’t remember that the bin goes out on a Thursday night…like EVERY Thursday night. But Mammy does not say such. No Mammy has had an idea.
“I shall drive Husband of Mine. I know the area better than you do.”
“OK Wife.” agrees Daddy, “Then I shall be the imparter of knowledge and wonder upon our children while you drive.”
Mammy is delighted. Because Mammy shall now be able to take a small detour. Mammy shall swing by her old University where she shall point out her old stomping ground to her children and Husband, who shall be suitably impressed. The girls shall Ooooh and Aaaaaah at Mammy’s trip down memory lane and Daddy shall imagine how hot Mammy must have been as a hip and cool student (Big HAHAHA here!) and Mammy shall be dramatically nostalgic and quietly reminiscent, as she tells her minions about how wonderful life was at UUC. She shall smile to herself as she recalls the memories that shall never be told… well not until the girls are approximately 28 years old and Mammy has had too much gin.
And so off we went.
“I’m just going to swing into my old college for a quick look” quips Mammy as she turns left instead of right.
And yet now, Mammy wonders why she did. Because Mammy got an awful shock.
Mammy was not prepared for the fact that things have changed so dramatically. Sure it has to be only 5 or 6 years since I was here? And yet in that short time, some Tossbot has taken it upon themselves to CHANGE the whole campus. And I’m not just talking new signs and buildings. I’m talking MOVING entire buildings.
Firstly. The gate was blocked with those ticket bollards. Apparently students can now afford carparking? WTF?
Secondly. Yes indeed there were LOADS of new buildings and fancy constructions. There are even windmills on the campus. This, I could deal with.
We drove past the old halls, which seemed to have shrunk slightly. “Oh look, there are the front steps and there is the computer lab. It had internet you know? 24hour…” Daddy is looking at me as if I’m a lunatic. The girls are less than impressed.
“There’s the diamond and there’s the theatre Oh and that was where I used to get the bus home and OOOOH LOOOKIT, there’s the big walkway. This takes us to Mammy’s favourite part of the campus. It was where the Student Union was.” (Where Mammy was a student rep, where she was opinionated and indignant in meetings and handed our flyers on Student rights and STDs along with free condoms and where we thought we were changing the world as we drank our cheap pints and loved life…)
“Yes, it leads to the South Building, where… where… ”
“Where the fuck IS IT?”
“What are you talking about woman?”
“The South Building. It’s GONE?!”
“Maybe we’re in the wrong place?” Daddy is now certain that Mammy perhaps shouldn’t be in charge of a moving vehicle, which she has stopped at the end of the walkway, which goes to NOWHERE!
“What the FUCK? I went here for FIVE years. I walked down there EVERY day. It had the library and the bar and lecture halls and the Union offices. WHERE THE HELL IS IT?”
“What did you lose Mammy?” asks Mini-Me.
“Mammy lost a building Darling.” answers Turbotwat.
“I did not… I can’t… WHERE THE HELL?”
“I’m sure they didn’t demolish a full part of the uni Darling. Look there are trees and everything.”
I want to kill him, but I can NOT argue with the trees. Not just little baby trees. No. Full sized feckers that I could climb if I weren’t in such shock.
“It was here.I’m telling you!”
“Of course it was pet. Do you want me to drive?” He’s enjoying this way too much.
“No. I don’t.” Because I know where I’m going. I’m going to drive around this campus until I find a site map to prove that I am NOT mad.
And I do.
And just as I thought, the building is now a field.
I take a snap and send it to two of my old college buddies with “WTF is South Building?”
Within Minutes, I have messages back from them both, providing me with suitably shocked and aghast responses to share with Turbotwat to prove that I am (as usual) right.
In fact one of them goes so far as to send me an ariel shot of the college from when we were there, just to shut him up!
“When were you last here?” asks The Him, who is only teasing me in fairness. (but who for a split second had me doubting my own mind!)
“Not long enough ago for thon tree to have grown…”
“What year did you leave?”
“Darling 2003 was 15 years ago…”
I didn’t speak. I drove straight to Portstewart to find my old flat. And there it was. The pub next door is now a Christian Church and there is a Shopping Centre at the gate, but all I wanted to know was if the door of Number 6 was still yellow.
For some reason, this was important.
And thankfully, Yellow it remains.
A bit like myself who thinks that things stay the same as you remember them.
It’ll probably be another 15 years before I return. And then I shall find that tree and I shall climb the fecker, if not to remind myself that I still can, to embarrass the hell out of whichever daughter I am dropping off!
Shared on #BloggerclubUK
Ooooooh it’s Friyay.
Today Mammy took a notion.
Mammy is going to surprise the girlies by bringing them to meet Daddy for a surprise dinner date and we’ll have a lovely family evening with our two well behaved darlings, who Shall eat their Yummy dindins. Then we shall have the joy of watching them eating Pink icecream, the adorable little munchkins, before going home for a relaxing bedtime where Daddy would put them to bed while Mammy pours a glass of grapes and puts her Tired feet up for a good old Corrie wedding…
Mammy is a deluded Twatsickle who often falls victim to her very own Disney Princess notions. 😂
But never fear.
Mammy has her very own Mini whose main purpose in life (today anyway) seems to be to knock Silly Mammy off her Disnified perch.
We did meet Daddy.
From the second we sat down, Mini-me was a wagon. A proper little shitsickle. She made Princess look like an angel. That IS Quite the achievement! I won’t go into too much detail but when I tell you that ignoring the waitress, refusing to order, asking for a cocktail, bursting into tears because Mammy ordered for her, sliding onto the floor, scribbling on the menu were only a FEW of her party tricks, you can imagine the rest.
Mammy and Daddy spent the date sending each other apologetic “what we’re we thinking” looks and starting conversations they both knew would not be finished before they started.
Mammy wished she could go back to correcting exams and considered that she should have just gone home to cook the freezer contents. Daddy wondered why he had ever thought that leaving work early was a good idea… I’m guessing that only for fear of Divorce, he would have happily gone back to his BFF Jim.
They did go home: After NO dessert. They did get the girls to bed: After NO story and plenty of the special strops reserved only for the first Friday night after school holidays…
Mammy did pour grapes.
And just like Mammy’s fairytale picture of her evening DIDN’T happen, neither did the Corrie Wedding.
But See there’s where Mammy is going wrong… sometimes life is Corrie, not Disney.
At least with Corrie, you expect disaster!
Here’s to all you Mammies who got a reality check from your little Notionwreckers today.
And here’s to Poor Sinead… she’s better off. It’s only have ended in no icecream and wine.
How was your Friday?
Mammy has “That Friday Feeling”.
Once upon a time, “That Friday Feeling” meant going straight to a licensed establishment with one’s co-workers for a bevvy or beverages. Or it meant finishing work with an air of excitement at the prospect of going home, spending a few hours primping and preening oneself to perfection, trying on 46 different outfits, popping open a bottle of something exciting at 6pm and stepping into high-heels, before going into town with whoever for dinner, or drinks and a boogie.
It meant not only the excitement of getting out, but also the joy of KNOWING that you could lie on in your bed until whatever time you wished on Saturday morning, before deciding to be very “grown up and sensible” by staying in on Saturday night.
Or you know, getting ready and going out ALL over again!
Oh, how things have changed.
Now while Mammy does get the odd night out, it is usually prepared for by a spray of dry shampoo, grabbing a top that doesn’t need ironed and a 5 minute slap on of the muck-up; sometimes after the girls have gone to bed, or sometimes my speciality…the one legged Babby-swing, where Princess swings on my leg as I try to apply mascara.
But while I am not going out tonight, Mammy still has “That Friday Feeling”‘; you know the excitement, the relief and the joy? It might be slightly different to what it used to be, but it’s still here… just like me really.
Now, “that Friday Feeling” means much more:
- It means no homework for Mini-Me.
- It means excitement at the prospect of not having to make lunches for the morning.
- It means firing the contents of the Freezer into the oven and not feeling one bit bad about it. Call it “Freezer Friday”. They love it!
- It means no work for 2 and a half days!
- It means not watching the clock to make sure the girls get to bed before 7.30pm (and some nights, watching the clock to MAKE SURE they are in bed by 7.30pm!)
- It means a mental switch off from school, where I can allow myself to NOT worry about the notes I need to do, or the copies that need marked.
- It means knowing that when they are in bed, that I can sit on my arse on the sofa and watch whatever I want, without that feeling of “I should be doing…”
- It means being able to spend time writing, or reading, or simply scrolling the interweb to watch what other Mammies are doing with their Friday feeling.
- It means putting on our PJs once we all get home and not feeling one bit bad about it!
- It means being able to say “yes” if Mini-Me asks to watch a movie at 6pm.
- It means being able to pour a glass of wine without feeling dreadfully uncouth and Scummy Mummyish for drinking on a school night.
- It means pouring a second glass if I so wish.
- It means not having to plan out what everyone is wearing before bed.
- It means not setting an alarm clock…
- It means a generally happier, more relaxed Mammy, because there is a certain celebration and achievement in the fact that I have made it through the week with all of my Minions and myself mostly in one piece.
- It’s a joy that is difficult to describe, but Friday evening is absolutely my favourite time of the week. And while it might be different now, it’s just as exciting and it’s much more wonderful as when I was young and free.
Now, I’m old(er) and not so free, but I’m a better me and I’m exactly where I want to be. So bring on the fluffy socks and grapejuice Ladybelles.
It’s Friday and It’s Fablis.
Have a good one.
Mammy was sick last week.
Not sure if I mentioned that.
It wasn’t quite as bad as ManFlu. (Thank the Lord and the Little Donkey…)
But it did leave me festering in the same clothes for three days. Trackies and fluffy socks and serious coziness at all opportunites.
So much so, that when I turned up to collect Mini-Me from “afterschool” on Thursday, she eyed me suspiciously.
“Are you better Mammy?” she asked as I strapped her into the carseat.
“I’m feeling much better Darling.” I answered, shocked and chuffed in equal measure that she even knew I was sick. (At least somebody noticed…is that a violin I hear?)
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. Mammy will be all better by the morning.”
“You’re NOT better Mammy.”
“Why do you say that?”
“You’re still wearing your slipper socks under your runners, aren’t you Mammy?”
“Dat’s how I knows you’re not better yet.”
There you go then! Nothing to do with symptoms or temperature or medication… just look at my feet apparently. THAT’s how you know when I’m reeeeeally not well. 😂😂😂
It’s officially Christmas and I’m officially back on my heels after 3 days of horrid flu. It’s a long, long time since I’ve been forced to my bed for a few days, but I am up and ready to rock once again!
And what better way to start the final month of the year, but with an email from the prestigious eumom.ie with a link to their featured “Writer of the Month”… who just happens to be little old ME for the month of December!
I am so excited to be featured by eumom.ie and even more chuffed that it’s this month. I am taking it as a sign, a sign that after another crazy year of writing and blogging, I am on the right path. Where it will take me, I still don’t know, but it’s fun and it’s going somewhere… And I am ready to walk it, bumpy or not!
Here’s the link to my post. I hope you enjoy!
This week’s Thoroughly Modern Mammy column for Donegal Woman is an updates post on Christmas Survival for the Mary of the Poppins types…
“Surviving Christmas,” “Christmas Survival Tips for the Working Mum”, “How to Survive Christmas”…
I googled these last night.
Some of the “advice” online is nothing short of HILARIOUS. I fear most of it may have been written by one of the following:
🎄Mary of the Poppins herself
🎄Someone without kids
🎄A Man… 😂😂😂
Here are some of the best pieces I gleaned, followed by my honest and polite responses: (Buckle up!)
1. “Be Prepared.”
No sh*t Sherlock. As opposed to waking on Christmas Eve and remembering to buy a turkey and gifts? Seriously… This is a useless piece of advice. It’s like telling a woman to calm down. When in the history of the world has telling a woman to calm down, resulted in her calming down? Never. So telling a Mammy to “Be Prepared” for Christmas, is NOT helpful.
2. “Buy gifts throughout the year and wrap them as you go.”
Now this one I can partially agree with, except S-Mum’s version would read “Buy gifts throughout the year, put them somewhere safe and then forget all about them until the week before Christmas, when you have all the gifts bought and then open a box or bag or suitcase and find all the PawPatrol jigsaws you bought in July. Or even better, find them when you’re putting the decorations away in January!”
3. “Choose a theme for your gifts to add that personal magic”.
Here’s a theme. Shut. up. Most of us just about manage to buy for everyone we have to buy for. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll remember someone on Christmas Day and freak out with guilt and embarrassment and mumble some crap about it not being delivered on time, before popping to the loo to order on Amazon with next day delivery.
(But if you doooooo want to add a personal touch and be remembered fondly by your loved ones, put glitter🦄 into all of the cards and gifts so that their floors get clattered and you are applauded for spreading the magic of Christmas. Go ahead, I dare you! 😂😂)
4. “Place delicate or expensive ornaments on higher branches.”
Ok this one, I can empathise with. Especially if you have toddlers or dogs. 🐶But in reality, put delicate or expensive decorations in the ATTIC and leave them there until 2026.
5. “Ice the Christmas Cake 2 weeks before Christmas”
Or in real life, remember on the 23rd that for some reason you need a Christmas cake to have in the kitchen which will never be cut or eaten. Then you’ll either pop to Marks of the Spensive or decide not to bother with cake this year. Either way, it doesn’t really matter does it?
6. “Decorating the home should be a family occasion followed by a family meal.”
Oh really? Should it really? If by “family meal” you mean a bottle of wine after the kids have all gone to bed, then yes…yes this is true. 😅
Decorating the home is, for most, a painful and highly stressful process which generally takes more than one afternoon and involves tears, mess and even declarations of divorcing children… and husbands. If you can get the actual tree up in one go, save yourself the stress and put everything else up by yourself, on your own, without the rest of the family annoying your head. After bedtime is ideal.😘😉
7. “Keep alcohol locked away.”
Out of the reach of children yes, but keep the key in your frilly fricking apron Mammy Poppins.
8. “Stock up on essentials: batteries, bread, milk and cream.”
Why there is no gin or wine on this list, is beyond me.
9. “Go Christmas Shopping without children. Bring a drink and a snack with you.”
Who the hell wrote this? It is common knowledge that drinking while shopping with your children is frowned upon in civil society. Oh… they meant for the children? Ohhhh… I knew that. Well, here’s an idea. If you can get someone to mind the minions for an hour, OF COURSE, go Christmas shopping without them. Then, if you really want to follow the Perfect Mammy rule book, have a drink and eat all the snacks… by yourself!
10. “Create a cleaning schedule for your home to keep on top of things this Christmas”.
There aren’t enough swear words for this one. A Cleaning Schedule? Who the hell has time to write a cleaning schedule? In the time it would take me to write a cleaning schedule, I would probably have half the cleaning done. If you can keep floors lego free and counters salmonella free, you’re doing great! You deserve a treat. 💚
Riddle me this Mammies? Why would you spend hours cleaning before opening the boxes of decorations that are going to cause the whole place to need hoovered and dusted again in an hour anyway? Why?
So there were the Top Ten pieces of advice from the various Perfect Mammy websites…
There were a few little nuggets in fairness. Some of the better advice included “Scale down your expectations”, “Invent your own traditions”, and “Give yourself a break.”
Another gem that I completely agree with is “Buy disposable baking trays”: I stock up on aluminium turkey trays every year and everything is cooked in them. It’s a life saver!
Alos, Yes to shopping lists. And sublists. (Any list! I do love me alist!) Plan your meals for Christmas week and do the shopping based on the list. It will save you from buying piles of stuff that you won’t actually use. Will you actually use that goose fat or are you only buying it because it’s beside the cranberry sauce you’ve lifted…that no one in your house eats.
AND remember to factor in Christmas Eve Dinner too. Don’t do my speciality… realise you have a fridge full of food and nothing for the dinner when you finally get back to the house on Christmas Eve. This will lead to arguments about who is going to the shop AGAIN, or toast for dinner.
The “Preparing for Christmas” articles largely did what they always do however; they put undue pressure on already busy parents to stress themselves to create a Hallmark worthy perfect Christmas card-esque scene that, in reality, is nonsense.
Do what YOU want to do. Buy what YOU can afford. Cook what YOU like to eat. If you don’t like mince pies, don’t fricken buy them. If you want to let your kids open all of the presents on Christmas morning, do it! If you like to wrap all the everything, do so. If you don’t, DON’T!
It’s that simple. We don’t need a survival list to survive Christmas, we need to give ourselves a break and enjoy it, because if you take a second to stop and look around you, often in the midst of lost presents and superfluous food shopping, you can see a little bit of magic without having to buy it.
A perfect family Christmas is like a Perfect Parent… all that’s REALLY needed is love and what works for YOU!
What is your favourite “Survival tip” and why?
Mammy is rather chuffed to see Friday evening.
Mammy doos LOVE Friday evenings.
I tried to be a very good Mammy this evening, ignoring Jim in favour of lifting my girls early, with plans to do some festively frolicky arts and crafts with a lovely Christmas-Card-making-set that I procured in the Aldi-everything last week, to drink hot chocolate and have a Hallmark worthy Mary-of-the-poppins type evening, where they’d play happily while Mammy magically transformed the vegetables in the fridge into wholesome homemade soup for my minions.
How mammiful of me, eh?
In reality, I had an extra hour of them screaming “NO WAY”, “She HUT meeeee!” and “STOP iiiiiit!” at each other and at me, while I delivered a Freezer Friday Special of oven baked cardboard for them to smear all over the floors. Then we watched 65 Cartoons, Princess fell asleep standing up 👇👇👇and we had a generally riotous bedtime chaos…
I didn’t shout as much as usual however and both have gone to bed reasonably content 💞and (finally) temperature free… (Is it bad that I now get more upset if we run out of Cal-of-the-pol, than I do if the graperack runs out? 😂😂)
The arts and crafts stuff remains in the car. It’ll probably still be there on January 1st as I’ll have given in to the cheap, cheerful and mess-free joy that is 30 cards for a penny in the pound shops! 😆😣😅
I HAD indulged in my usual Thursday night Domestic Goddess cleaning splurge last night, in the hope of doing feck all tonight. Right now, it looks like a creche puked its contents onto my living room floor.
There is however a shiny new grape glass from TK-Maxyourcard sitting beside the bottle of grapejuice that needs a snog…
How was your Friday Ladybelle?
Hit me with a gif to sum it up! 😚😚😚
So I’ve been suffering a bit from the oul writer’s block.
Well, actually, I’ve not REALLY. I’ve just been busy this past week or two.
It’s been less “Writer’s block” and more “Mammy’s focked!” 😂😂
There comes a time every so often when this Mammy’s constant attempts to be a bouncing, caffeinated and enthusiasitc Duracell Bunny who has eleventy squillion plates spinning on one hand, while trying to squeeze 43 hours into a 24hour day, with a full time job AS WELL as being a fulltime Mammy, brings the blog to a little lull… and so by the time Mammy gets the girls and their random respective temperatures and snotters to bed each night this past week, Mammy has been fit for nothing else but planting her tired arse on the sofa. 😂
Even the thought of looking at a screen for more than a few minutes hurt my brain.
So I didn’t.
When I get busyful like this, I tend to cool off the interweb for a bit. Yes, I still browse briefly, but I don’t post as much. (I delete the apps off my phone for a few days so I have to really BOTHER to look at them on other devices. It works. Try it!)
I try to stock up on ideas and fun to write about when I get myself back into the swing of it, (and trust me, these two are firing it at me!), but generally, I recharge the blog batteries by putting it on the backburner for a bit.
I’m still here. I’m just not putting pressure on myself to write and I’m not looking at the screen as much.
Social Media is great, but it does no harm every so often to remember that it’s not real and that ACTUALLY, you CAN survive for a few days without it. Life goes on, and it can suddenly become much more focused on the technicolourful wonder that it is, when we’re not being distracted by the little screen quite so much.
Mammy is looking forward to getting some blogs and posts put together this weekend, and normal smumbles will resume soon…just as soon as I recharge my OWN batteries! 😚😂
And just so you don’t think I’ve lost my mojo completely, here’s an update of the death of Michael Jackson… Mini-Me had to draw a picture at school of someone who she knew who had died … guess who she drew!?
Chat soon Ladybelles.
Happy nearly Friday Day!
This week’s ThoroughlyModern Mammy is a letter.
😍To the Mammy I watched last week.😍
Last week, I found myself staring at you.
I couldn’t take my eyes off you.
You were dealing with your little one at an event, in front of lots and lots of people. And I couldn’t stop watching you, because you were beautiful. As a lady AND as a Mammy.
You were everything that I know I need to try harder to be.
Your gorgeous little one was being a child… jumping, playing, running. It didn’t take a fizzle out of you.
And every time you caught your child’s attention, you did something that melted my heart…
A smile so full of love and pride and genuine adoration that it lit up your face… and the face of your little one.
Why did it stop me in my tracks?
Because in your calm and smiling face, I saw what I know I should try harder to be.
I was sad. I knew as I watched you, that had that been me and Mini-Me, I would have been scolding and frowning, firing the “Get over ere now” looks and trying through gritted teeth to get her to stop, to sit down, to listen… I might have been smiling, but it would have been a “Yes I’m smiling, but inside I want to scream” smile.
Was this what you had on your face?
Who knows? There’s a good chance that if I sent you this, you’d laugh it off and tell me you were ready to scream, but it doesn’t matter.
All that your little one saw that day, was the smiling face of a Mammy. From that smile, your child only read “I love you”, “You’re fine” and “Mammy’s here”.
That smile said so much more than that.
It said safety, kindness, patience, understanding and love… a love that is unconditional and calm. A love that doesn’t care what other people in the room think. A love that radiated from your face, more beautifully than anything I’ve seen.
You were glowing.
And you inspired me.
In you, I saw what I could be if I just took a breath every so often and let my Mini–Me be…well, let her be mini. I’m tough on her. Of course I am. And I have to be. That’s parenting. That’s me. But sometimes, I need to try to be like you. You looked so much prettier smiling than you would have, had you been scolding.
Sometimes, we all just need to smile. To not give a crap how others see our children. To not give a crap how others see us as Mums.
It made my heart burst with love just watching you smile. I can only imagine the effect that beautiful smile would had on your little one.
What a lucky little one you have.
So I just wanted to say to you Mammy, you rock.
You’re beautiful and you’re inspirational.
And thank you,
Another Mammy. xxxx