I am “So it’s Results Day” Mum

Although it is many moons ago, Mammy remembers getting her Leaving Cert Results.

Mammy was certain that the contents of the little brown envelope were going to change her life. Had Mammy’s life REALLY depended on the contents of that little brown envelope, quite frankly, I’d be living an utterly dreadful, mediocre and half-arsed attempt at one. πŸ˜‚

Because the results printed on my little scrap of yellow paper were quite awful, if I’m very honest. The only mark I remember (or tell anyone about!) was my A1 in Honours English. Go figure. As for the rest of them? I’d say the examiners only passed me so that they wouldn’t have to read my verbal diahorrea again the following year. πŸ˜‚I’m not exaggerating either.

But the other grades didn’t matter. The A in English was all that mattered to me, both then AND today. Yes, I got into college, but not until I had spent a week back in the brown uniform 😣😣 convincing myself that I needed to repeat. It wasn’t until the second round offers and a trip to meet (attackπŸ˜›) the Dean of the English Department in Coleraine, that I finally got my place on the degree course. (I might have only been 17, but I was a stroppy one!πŸ˜‚)

English was all I loved. It was all that I wanted to study and, as the little brown envelope told me, it was apparently all that I was good at… All that I was good at THEN. At 17. Turns out, I’m good at a whole load of things. I just didn’t get to take exams in singing, dancing, shopping or eating. The Big LC recognised my ability to understand Shakespeare and write stories off the top of my head, but it didn’t (and couldn’t) know how strong I was at things like organisation, being a friend, laughing or pulling pints. So I was crap at French. Biology for me ended after the section on photosynthesis. But although my math grade was dismal, I challenge you to find ANYONE who can work out a % as quickly as me when I see the word “SALE”. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

So there. Now, almost 20 years on, I’m a teacher and of COURSE I value the Leaving Cert. I love teaching the course and I try my best to encourage my Babbies to give it their best shot. But I also know that they are teenagers. That they have a LOT going on. That some of them have things going on in their lives that are a WHOLE lot more important that exams. 😒 That whole some of them will give it their ALL for 2 years, on the day of the exam, it might just not happen. And sometimes, that at 18, they’re just not quite ready for the ridiculousnpressure of the state exam.

For a whole load of reasons, tomorrow is a huge day for our young adults. But that little brown envelope is only that. An envelope. Despite what it is inflated to be, it is NOT the most important piece of paper in the world. Yes, the letters and numbers inside it will have an immediate effect. Yes, some doors will open and yes, some doors will close, but what is written on the page does not define them.

The Leaving Cert does NOT know our children. It doesn’t see the kindness. It doesn’t measure their ability to change things. It can’t recognise their skills as motivators, or thinkers, or makers, or doers. It does not define them, nor should it. And as parents, yes, some of us might be disappointed tomorrow. But mostly we should be proud, because regardless of what is on that page, they are OUR children and they have done their best and we must remind them that they CAN do whatever they want. Because WE know what they can be.

There are ALWAYS options and sometimes, the path that they are so determined to be the ONLY one for them right now, was never the right one for them…it usually takes a few years for them to realise that however. But they will. πŸ’•

So tonight, tell them how brilliant they are. And leave them under NO illusion that no matter what words and letters are on that piece of paper tomorrow, that you are and will always be proud of them and that you will help them to get to where they want to go, may it be straight through the college door or in a longer, roundabout way. But all roads lead ahead. And before they know it, they won’t even remember what was printed on the page!

It might be almost 20 years since I opened my little brown envelope and had my heart broken in a million pieces, but trust me, everything happens for a reason. πŸ˜‡ Tonight, I send love to all of the young people (especially my own Babbies😘😘) and to all you exam parents whose minions face the brown envelope tomorrow.

And remember, that little brown envelope does NOT hold the key to their future. They hold that key already.

It’s right inside them.

And no piece of paper can change that. XXX

It is Feck-it-up FriYay and Mammy has done a wonderful job of fecking ALL of it up today. πŸ˜‚

Mammy has been asked some very difficult questions today.

In the car, enroute to the paint shop… (because Mammy has realised she is going back to her OTHER full time job in 3 weeks and so doing all of the jobs I have put off for the past 2 years must obviously begin! πŸ˜‚)

“Mammy, When are you going to die?”
Mammy chokes… “Not for a very long time I hope!”

“Are you going to die before me?”
(Christ alive I do hope so!) Erm, yes Baby, because I’m older, but not for a verrrrrrry long time.

“But who will look after me when you die?”
You’ll be all grown up by then pet. Now let’s talk about something else. What will we have for tea?

“Are Rhinocerouses dinosaurs in real life?”
Erm… No, sure the dinosaurs are all extinct and rhinocerouses are still alive…
“Nocerouses do NOT STINK Mammy. Dat is NOT very nice.”

“Where is Heaven?”
(Feck it.) “Do you not think rhinocerouses stink then?”
“Mammy! Answer me. WHERE is Heaven?”
(Fuckitty fuck fuck fuck…)
“Erm… Some people say it’s above the clouds. Some people say it’s all around us. I’m not really sure…”

“Can I bring my stuff wif me when I go?”
“To Granny’s? Of course!” (Phew!)
“No Silly, to HEAVEN!” (I can feel her rolling her eyes in the backseat.πŸ˜…)

“So do you just go to sleep and wake up in heaven then?”
Sometimes… Baby these are very hard questions to answer and you really don’t need to be thinking about thisstuff today. Now, what will we have for tea tonight?”
DISTRACT, DISTRACT, DISTRACT… πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

“Mammy?”
(Oh God get me to the paint shop…)

“How do giraffes lie down?”

Alleluia!
I can’t answer THIS obviously. (Is it even a valid question?) But I CAN revert to my favourite answer “I don’t know, but we can look it up when we get home OK?”

And at least if we DID look it up, there’d probably BE an ACTUAL answer! Unlike the other questions.

Who said we should tell our kids the truth?
WTF do you do when you don’t KNOW the answers?

And even if I DID google them, there’s a pretty good chance I still couldn’t give her answers. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

So yup. Add a “Friday-Fablis-Freezer-dinner” to my USELESS attempts at answering her questions and you’ll see that it wass INDEED a successful Feck-it-up Friday.

Therefore, Mammy feels that it is utterly acceptable and justifiable to pour some grapes… 🍷🍷🍷

How did you Feck-it-up today? 😚😚

Oh and YES I googled it…

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/784457/April-the-giraffe-how-do-giraffes-sleep-standing-up-lying-down

I am Sentence Smell Mum

We’re all about the senses here at S-Mumble Hill today.  
Princess’s favourite sense is TASTE.  She’s quite like me really.  She loves to eat…  Her CONSTANT eating is becoming a problem however. 

Why? 

Because it’s becoming difficult to get her backside out of the cupboard or off the kitchen chair long enough to GO ANYWHERE or DO ANYTHING!  I used to worry about leaving the house without nappies in the bag.  Now, I break out in a cold sweat if I realise that I forgot to put a banana or fruit in it.

Her most used word each day is “Muh, muh, muuuuuUUUUUHHH!” (More, more, mooooooore!)

Mammy went for Sense of TOUCH.  I decided to listen to my hairdresser and buy some Argan Oil for my dry hair. As I rubbed the 3-4 drops through my wet hair, my sense of touch informed me that it wasn’t quite enough, and so I slabbered a big dollop of the oil between my palms and rubbed it through my hair.  Then, I dried it…or tried to.  Because, no matter how much I blasted the hair with the dryer, it remained heavy and moist and shiny. 

 I bunged on my baseball cap as I didn’t have time to wash it and headed on into town, like an uberskank, and of course met EVERYONE I know in the space of 30 minutes.  If I squeezed my hair there’d be enough oil to make chips… which would be quite handy if Fudgeybum gets hungry again.

And then, on our way home, Mini-Me announces “Mammy someone’s spreading Slurry!” 

Indeed there was slurry.

“Slurry is the Irish for Poo you know Mammy?”  (Eh…no, it’s not actually.)

“I KNOW that it’s Slurry, because I have a good SENTENCE SMELL,  you know?”

“Of course you do Darling…”

And Mammy used her other sense, her COMMON sense, and changed the conversation…

I am Some Real Mums on the Tellybox Please Mum

Real Mammies lose it sometimes.
Real Mammies do NOT behave like the Mammies on the TellyBox…
Fact. 😢
Real Mammies, while we do indeed have our Mary of the Poppins moments, do not spend our days answering our minions in edumacated and enthusiastic, sing songy voices. Β πŸ˜…
So why do the TV shows aimed at our minions portray only Mammies who would give the authors of the Positive Parenting books the same satisfaction that one gets from polishing off a box of maltesers all by oneself?
Sickeningly sweet, always smiling, perky and positive and always saying the right thing, these Mammies dress head to toe in Marks of the Spensive, have Stepford Mammyesque hair doooos, and would put the most prim and perky primary school teacher to shame, with their well laid out everything and their general competency in all things Mammy.
But riddle me this Ladybelles?
If these shows, (which MUST be applauded for their educational and developmental content and tones), can Β portray the world of a wobbler or a toddler or a minion so well, WHY do they lie to them about what parents should be?
“It’s OK (insert character name here). It’s normal to feel sad/confused/excited.” Β the furry, talking animals tell their owners on our screens, before talking them through their emotions and making the world a wonderful place again.
But WHERE is the Mammy, or Daddy, who is tired? Where is the Mammy who explains firmly that NO, you can’t hit your sister or NO, It’s NOT OK to throw toys? Β Where is the teenage sister who is throwing “shade” at the Mum? Β Where is the Mum wiping yesterday’s yoghurt off the school uniform with a Babywipe as the child goes out the door? Where is the 4 year old crying that they can’t find the shoes that are RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM? 😑😑
Just once, I would LOVE to see Topsy and Tim’s Mum lose her shit. I’d love to see her looking like crap, with bags under her eyes and toast stuck to her arse. Β Just once, I would love to see one of the delightful, BFF twins throwing a complete strop because their beautiful Mammy puts beans too close to the fishfingers.
The Kiddy Channels should do a post watershed episode of Bing where “What would Flopsy do?” is answered by Flopsy “Flopsy will drink 3 glasses of wine when you go to bed Bing…you little prick,” and where we get to SEE Topsy and TIm’s Dad eating the remains of their uneaten dinners before he scrapes them in the bin, while Mammy cries at the table because she’s failing at EVERYTHING and huffing that “NO ONE EVER LISTENS TO MEEEEEEEE!” πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯
THEN, I MIGHT take them seriously, because at least I would possibly get some understanding about MY emotions and MY struggles and I might feel a bit more NORMAL!

 

Now, where is the remote? Β I really should turn the channel over from the “Has gone to bed. We’ll be back in the morning screen!” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

How was your day?

I am Sssssh I’m Reading Mum

​I actually can’t remember the last time I read a book.

An ACTUAL book.. you know..with a plot and characters and twists and resolutions and stuff?
Since Princess arrived, I’ve had the same book sitting beside the bed.  “Making it up as I go along” is a collection of essays and articles by the very wonderful Marian Keyes.  It’s perfect for busy mummies, because you can dip in and out of it and you don’t feel like you have to start over again if you haven’t lifted it in 6 weeks. It’s delightful.
But this week, seeing the trailers for The Girl on the Train ignited a little spark in me that I thought had disappeared.  I wanted to READ A BOOK.

Not a kindle. Not a screen… an ACTUAL book, made of PAPER and INK.
 From the minute I could read, I was EATING books.  Indeed, Mother often reminds me that I ACTUALLY loved to eat paper as a baby! πŸ˜‚ But seriously, the parentfolks couldn’t save the children’s allowance fast enough to keep me in Roald Dahl.  In fact, Mr Dahl himself couldn’t write fast enough for me.  I remember waiting for the next book. Oh the utter joy when the bookshop in Derry or Strabane FINALLY got “Going Solo” in!  (Remember how the Norn-Iron shops ALWAYS had the cool stuff in 3 years before here?) πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Between Roald Dahl’s masterpieces, I lived in Narnia and often went off on adventures with The Famous Five.  Life was good in my little world. I honestly would have read the side of the cereal box. There were never enough words…never enough stories…never an end to where the words could take me.  
Reading sent me to places I still only dream about visiting.   It kept me company.  It taught me that you can escape ANYTHING, forget about EVERYTHING and travel the world with the most interesting people, from the comfort of a chair or under the covers of your “Rainbow Bright” Bed.
My favourite place in the world to read was at a hedge in one of Dad’s fields, where I used to hide from my 27 siblings πŸ‘­πŸ˜‚ with my book and a cushion and a bottle of diluted juice! It was close enough to home to hear Mum call us for dinner, but far enough away that I felt like I was off somewhere magical. (I still read there.  I’m writing this from that exact spot. It’s where we built our house. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–)
And the amount that I read as a child MIGHT have influenced my career choice! πŸ˜‚  And it’s why I read to the girls EVERY NIGHT. I can’t even threaten no story at bedtime, because it’d upset me more than Mini-Me! πŸ˜‚

It breaks my heart when I meet teenagers who honestly have only ever read the books they had to read in school.  They see it as a chore…as a punishment even.  So when I can get them to actually ENJOY Shakespeare or a novel, or Heaven Forbid, POETRY, it makes me happy.  Do they all enjoy it? Probably not, but it’s not for the want of trying! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Before I became a Mummy and TIME got sucked into some other dimension, I read lots.  Mostly Chick-Lit if I’m honest…much to annoyance of the Him.

 “How do you read that muck?” (He’s never gotten over Bridget Jones 2!)  

“I teach John Donne for a living. This ‘muck’ doesn’t require me to think!”

(The Him loved to read too.  But then he met Jim and Jim is so needy that The Him rarely has time to now read anything other than edumacational stuff.)
So The Girl on the Train? Have you read it?
Apparently it’s a superb piece. And I want to read it before I see the movie, so I’m sitting here sniffing the pages and a little part of me is 10 again… I’m off on an adventure. 
Train departing Platform 1…

I am Swearing MumΒ 

​S-Mum has come to realisation that we should really stop swearing.
I say “we” to include ALL of the members of my family who sometimes swear; you know?  Me, The Him… Mini-Me…
In the past few weeks, little Miss Moral Knickers has upped her game of correctional disapproval.  If anyone drops a swear word, her reaction is to announce “BAD WOD!” with an urgency and fervour to match only a Mamma who ALMOST spills her wine.  Her speed and accuracy are AMAZING!
Mini-Me’s aunty stubbed her toe yesterday and, of course, reacted with a FABLIS rendition of JEEEEEEESUS CHRIIIIIIST!

BEFORE she had even pronounced the T at the end of Christ, we heard “BAD WOD!” resounding  through the air…from ANOTHER ROOM!

Even watching Peppa Feckin Pig, by which she is, (like most kids), for some reason ENGROSSED to the point that I doubt she’d notice if SANTAπŸŽ… HIMSELF walked in!, Her High-moral-horse-ness picked up on the expletive in the other room and had it suitably disciplined within nanoseconds.
Impressive. πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘


The funniness of her reaction however, is LESS FUNNY when she starts correcting non-family members. πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯
 Our Gardener was here earlier and got admonished for his accidental use of “Shit”.  He tripped over the dog-horse.🐢

 It was a perfectly appropriate use of emergency expletive, but not for Mini-Me.

“BAD WOD!”

(Thankfully, he too has bossy minions of his own…) πŸ˜‚
On Saturday, The Him announced “I keep forgetting to put that bloody box in the attic.”
“BAD WOD!”

“I did NOT say a Bad Word!?”

“Yes, you did Daddy.”

“No, I didn’t!”

“I heard you.  You said Bloody Box. Dat wight Mum?”

“I did NOT!”
Me and Bloke stifling spontaneous combustion…”You did Honey. She’s right I’m afraid.”
He genuinely didn’t even realise he’d said it and proceeded to apologise. “Ah Ok! Silly Daddy didn’t mean to say that.  You were right.”
Cue smug little fartsickle shrugging her shoulders and saying “See! Told ya!” before flouncing to her room.
The Bloke starts to laugh.

We have the “very seriously good parenting We really need to stop swearing, before she starts repeating us!” conversation…
The Bloke buckles.

“BEFORE she starts? She told me yesterday I was a Duckhead.”
Oh.

Sweet.

Gemima. 😣😣😣
And that’s not the worst one.

I had jumped out and frightened her that morning and had a good old giggle to myself as she ran screaming down the hall.  Apparently what I didn’t hear because of my guffawing was her telling her teddy “She’s a BITCH!” 😁😁
So there you go.

  My Mother-Theresa-esque-Morally-superior Mini-Me is actually an absolute potty mouth.
I am officially terrified that she will decide to use her colourful language at school and her lovely young and polite Teacher will think she comes from a family of Potty mouths… She does of course, but it’d be nice to keep that hidden for a while.
Terrible isn’t it? I’ll await the referral Social Services and the disapproving eyebrows from the perfect parents who never let their kids HEAR them swear, πŸ˜‰ and I promise to try to be a better example to her.
But as a positive, she has been using them in the correct context, so as a language teacher I must commend that. πŸ™„πŸ™„


I’m often reminded by my parents of MY first day of school, where I seemingly came home from school and called my baby brother a “Wee Bastard.”

  My lovely ladylike Mum has never recovered from the shock, but sure look it…I turned out alright didn’t I? ( Tumbleweed rolls across page…)πŸ˜…
Goodnight Bitcheepooooos. 
“BAD WOD!” πŸ˜‚

I am Suspicious Mum…Β 

​S-Mum is suspicious.
It seems that my perfectly dysfunctional little family unit survived quite well in my absence this weekend.  I came home to clean children and a tidy house.  I was impressed. πŸ˜…
Even more suspicious is the fact that Mini-Me has been BEAUTIFULLY behaved today. 🌞🌞🌞

Like all day.

I didn’t have to scold or shout once.

And when I spoke, she actually listened…mostly. 
Seriously.  Something is not right.
Usually I automatically say things between 4 and 6 times in one breath, with the volume increasing each time. 

“Get off the baby…get off the baby…Get off the baby…Get off the baby…GET OFF THE FECKIN BABEEEEEEEEEEEY,” can happen up to 14 times a day.
Other lines I LOVE to repeat OVER & OVER ARE:

Put on your shoes please. 

Where are your socks?

Eat your dinner.

Get off the baby. (It happens a lot.)

Wash your hands please.

Where are your pjs?

Will you put down that feckin phone? (At the Him, not the girls obviously. Although I’d be as well saying it to Princess…or the Dog in fact. 😑😑😑😑)
I say these lines about 578 times each day and most of the time, I end up SCREAMING them before anyone even HEARS me.
But no.

  Today, Mini-Me was great.  She was quite fablis and now, she’s IN BED… NOT hiding outside the living door underneath the clothes-rack! 

She’s IN BED.

ASLEEP πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ.
My beautiful little angelic cherub is on her way to dreamland where hopefully she’ll dream of our AMAZING peaceful and non-screamingful day and her subconscious, or fairies or something, will teach her that THIS is how life SHOULD BE. 

Then, she’ll awaken from her slumber (after 8am) and continue on her streak of utter Fabulosity and perfection.

And I shall NEVER scream again.

And I will NEVER be cross again.

And I shall NEVER feel like NO ONE FRICKEN LISTENS TO ME!

And we shall all live happily ever after… until the Him comes home and looks at his phone instead of at me… πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
But tonight, I shall relish the VERRRRRRRRRY unusual feeling of a FULL DAY OF MUMMY WINS and rest my voice, because in reality, I’ll probably need it tomorrow!
What’s your “FAVOURITE” line that you LOVE to use?  You know? 

Over and over and over and over and over….🍷