Gone are the days of learning the good old alphabet and putting together the words, just because.
Now, it’s all different. And obviously, it’s much more effective. Of course it is. Who am I to question it?
I’m used to it now, but initially when Mini-Me came home calling letters by their sounds, I couldn’t deal with it at all.
Suddenly, dog was not spelled Deee-oooh-Geeee. Apparently now it is Di – oh – Ga. And C-a-t is Ki-aaaaah- Teh.
Now that she has finally started to blend the sounds together, Mammy is excited. I am excited for when she will be able to disappear into worlds unknown, and go on adventures with exciting new friends, all from the comfort of the sofa or her own wee bed. Because to this Mammy, reading is the greatest gift that we can give our children. Without a da-ooh-uh-(silent)ba-ti…
Now, because Mini-Me is learning through Irish, her sounds are slightly different to what I as an English teacher would expect. And never was this more clear that on holidays last week.
“Well done Darling!”
“Yes that’s right! Look at YOU reading all by yourself!”
And then we sat down at a table, on which was screwed a sign. The sign simply said “NO PICNIC”
She got “no”, Noooh bother.
“No. Try again.”
“Almost darling. Try it in two parts”. Clever mammy here covers the first syllable of the word, thinking that if we broke it down, it would be easier for her to decipher.
“Pi – iiii – See… I KNOW I KNOW! It’s PISS!” she screams in exuberance, at the top of her voice, in the middle of the outdoor restaurant.
“It IS Mammy look! P-I-C is PISS!” And language barrier or not, every adult in the place, turned to look at the feral Irish child, roaring PISS at the top of her voice, as proud as punch of herself.
Aren’t phonetics phun?
Phuck my Liphe…
“And that’s how valleys were made!” says Daddy, utterly proud of himself as he helps Mini-Me into her carseat. He’s just had her looking over one of Donegal’s most beautiful valleys, The Poison Glen.
They’ve stood out, looking and pointing and chatting, with Daddy being ‘the business’, informing her, teaching her, being the Daddy of all knowledge, and her little ears taking it all in. I’ve been in the car with a sleeping Princess who quite frankly couldn’t give a hoot about anything other than when she next gets to eat or sleep.
He straps himself in and starts to drive.
‘Did the Ice-age really happen then?’ she asks, still wide eyed.
‘It did indeed.’ he answers smugly.
‘Oh Millions of years ago.’
I’m enjoying this. It’s nice having someone else answer her questions! It reminds me of when I was her age and my Daddy knew EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING too. I was in awe of him. (I still am.)
The Him’s enjoying it too. He smiles his handsome smile at me as he stops at a junction. Superdaddy…
‘Millions of years ago Daddy? Really?’ There’s doubt in her voice/
‘Yep. Millions and millions of years ago…’
‘And was it really cold?’
‘It was. So cold that everything was covered in ice!’
(I know what’s coming in the way that only a Mammy can know what’s coming…)
‘So did Granny have to buy you a warmer coat?’
And just like that, his ice bubble was shattered into millions of pieces. It’s amazing how quickly thathandsome smile can be replaced by Grumpy grump!
I turned up the heating. It was suddenly quite chilly in the car…
“I hate you Mammy”
Ok, well I haven’t quite heard that one yet, but it’s coming. However, I do hear “You are the WORST Mammy EVER!” at least once a week. I reckon we’re building up to the H-bomb…
My answer to her when she screams at me is usually “I love you too”, or “Why thank you very much.”
What I want to say is this:
“My Darling Daughter,
No Sweetheart. I am not the “worst Mammy ever”.
OK, I might be crap sometimes; I might shout and scold and sometimes I scream so loudly that I wonder if the neighbours aren’t putting on their shoes or finding their coats in fear; but this does not make me the worst Mammy.
OK, I might put awful food in front of you, like soup or vegetables, but just because you would prefer colourless Freezer food doesn’t make me the worst Mammy. Sometimes Mammy doesn’t have the time or energy to cook 3 different dinners and do you know what? Sometimes, you’ll just have to eat what’s given to you.
OK, sometimes Mammy says no. “NO”. One little word that frequently ruins your little day. This is something you might have learned to get over by the time you turn 26. I’m not going to give you everything you want, when you want it. I am going to make you help me to unload the dishwasher, or pick up your dirty clothes, or tidy your toys. Not because you are my “Servant” as you so frequently tell me, but because I don’t want you to grow up being a useless and entitled cretur who expects the world to owe them something. I will teach you what my parents taught me. You want something? You work for it. You try and you fail and you try again. You are entitled to nothing. Harsh? Now maybe, but when you’re older, you’ll get it…along with a job as soon as you’re able to get one.
OK, Mammy might be bad when she doesn’t always do what you want. When she doesn’t give you your way. When she turns off the TV or tells you you’ve had enough chocolate. When she doesn’t allow you to be completely in charge of the house and our day and the mood in our home. Because sometimes, we have places to go, or Mammy has work to do and while these things might interfere with your colouring or PJ Mask binge, they have to happen and it’s nothing personal my Darling.
But even when you are determined that Mammy is indeed the “Worst Mammy ever”, you don’t REALLY think I am. No. Of course you don’t. You probably think that Mammy is a royal pain in the ass and you’re angry and frustrated that you’re not getting your way.
Life’s a bitch. Mammy isn’t. It’s just my job to prepare you for it. All you see is Mammy blocking or ruining your fun. But that doesn’t make me the worst Mammy ever. It just makes me a Mammy.
And when I’m doing all of these annoying and frustrating things that are driving your little emotions to a new level of anger and tantrums, it’s not because you’re bold and really hate me, it’s because you don’t yet have the logic or words required to make sense of them. And that’s OK. Sometimes Mammy doesn’t have the words or the logic to figure out how she feels either.
I could say all of this until I am blue in the exhausted face and you’ll still only see that I turned off the telly, or that I didn’t buy Coco Pops… because you’re 5. (and a half and three quarters). But someday, (probably when you have your own minions and find yourself saying No more times a day than you blink), you’ll get it. And you’ll understand why sometimes, being the worst Mammy in the World makes you the best Mammy in the world…and it’s the hardest thing to do.
Because as long as when I say “No” and you say “You’re the worst Mammy ever”, we both know that underneath the snarls and snots, we are really saying “I love you”, then you keep shouting. And I’ll keep saying “No”. (Most of the time.)”
Giving in would be much easier. But I won’t have you being brought up thinking that you are the centre of a world which owes you everything you want. Yes you are the centre of mine. Yes, you can have whatever you want, but only with hard work and determination and resilience. And to learn these fading life-skills, (and trust me Darling, they are fading), you have to learn the word “NO”.
Because if you don’t hear it at home, where you ARE the most important person in the world, how will you cope when you hear it in real life, where you aren’t?
To you, I might be the worst Mammy in the world, but to me, you are the best daughter, so I guess we balance it out nicely eh?”
I love you,
Today, Mammy feels a bit like Peppa Pork.
Mini-Me discovered at 6.45am that she can FINALLY whistle. And whistle she did, persistently and consistently, until 7.30pm. It was quite impressive. The only time she stopped whistling was when she was talking, which was quite a bit LESS than most days, as obviously, talking now comes SECOND to whistling.
Now, remember please, that as today is the FIRST DAY of the whistling, for every ACTUAL, succesful, WHISTLY whistle, there were 23 muted, spitty, soundless blows… It was cute until 7.10am. For the rest of the day, it was feckin IRRITATING. She whistled/SPAT at EVERYONE today: shop assistants, friends I bumped into, my buddy who visited, the Grandparents, the aunty, the postman, the guy filling up the petrol… EVERYBODY.
And she’s getting better already. I’m being all Super-soccer-mum, encouraging her and reminding her 36 times an hour in my sing-songy Mammy-of-the-Poppins voice, that “See how good you can get at things when you keep practicing!?” Partially because I’m slightly impressed by her determination ajd partly because Mini-Me suffers from that syndrome I like to call “Why-am-I-not-good-enough-to-be-in-the-Lympics-after-one-lesson syndrome.
But all the while, I’m feeling slightly pissed off and Peppa-ish. See, here’s the thing. Mammy can’t whistle. Never could, never can, never will. And while Peppa could hang up the phone on that bitch Suzie Sheep, Mammy here has to cheer the little spitter along, like her own private fucking cheerleader and pretend to be ecstatic everytime she blows out a feckin NOTE rather than a salivated facefart.
So yes. For the ONLY time in my life, I can empathise with the Pig Prat.
😣😣 But I’m luckier than Peppa Pork, because Mammy is old enough to have a glass of grapes to try to remove the whistling from her ears now that Mini-Me has gone to sleep. 🍷😅
(On another note however, look at what ELSE happened today, 👇👇👇👇 4 x eggs with double yolks!
Apparently it’s good luck? Apparently it means twins? Let’s go with good luck eh? )
How was your Wednesday? 😘😘😘