I am Singing Your Song Mum

IT’S JOHN LEWIS AD DAY!!

It’s here!  The ad has been released online with the first TV screening expected at 9.15pm tonight.

I LOVE the John Lewis ads.  I get excited and all of my teaching plans are paused every year.  I shall spend the day watching it and analysing it with my students and being happy happy happy in my job; its cinematography, its soundtrack, its narrative structure, its messages…

And this year’s homage to Elton John ticks all of these boxes.

It’s not as immediately Christmassy as I would have liked.  It begins as what seems like simply a tribute to the legend that is Elton John, but as the flashback structure becomes clear and we can begin to anticipate what’s coming, the emotions kick in.

And at the end, it is indeed Christmassy.  In fact, there is so much Christmas and so many feels concentrated into the last 20 seconds, that you’ll feel like you’ve been hit by a Christmas Pudding.

If the face on the little Elton doesn’t melt you into a thousand pieces as he bounces into the Living Room of his home on a Christmas Morning in the 1950s, then I don’t know what will.  He is every child.  He is all of us, full of joy and hope and anticipation.

And the message?

“Some gifts are more than just a gift”

Well, it’s more than that.

This is not just a hat tip to Elton John.

Actually, this advert is NOT about Elton John; it’s a tribute to his Mother. TO ALL mothers.  (And to his Grandmother!)

How?

Because it is his Mother who sees his potential, who encourages his talent, who feeds his ability.  It is his mother who watches with tears of pride in her eyes.  It is his mother to whom he looks when his nerves fail him as a young boy at a school recital, who has given him all that he needed to succeed in life… And succeed he did (and does).

And it is no doubt his Mother that he is thinking of in that final scene, where his smile is sad, but full of memory.

In fact, when we see the clip of a young Elton in a recording studio, the music becomes almost inaudible as he sings “My gift is my song and my song’s for you.”  His Mother gave him the gift of music.  He returns the gift to her by dedicating his song to her.

Because, without his Mother, where would he be?

Now, I’m off to show my babbies this beautiful piece of Christmas magic and to make sure they all recognise the message in this ad… and that they all go home this evening and thank their parents for giving them all of the gifts that they have…

And then, I’m going to price Pianos for my little superstars…

I am Sorry, but Yes You Will Mum

“You will , you know!” 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕

“Everyone is the perfect parent…until they have children.” Who said this first? I have no idea. Who says it now? Me. Every single day!

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I am the proud and enthusiastic Mama bear of a 6-year-old Drama Queen and an almost 3 year old Dictator. I spend my days winging it through EVERYTHING… breakfast, school runs, work, homework, dinner, bedtime, marriage. Some days, I feel like I NEARLY have my shit together.

Most days, I want to stomp my foot, throw and tantrum and call for my own Mammy! To many, I seem like I hold things together.

Those closest to me, know I’m a fraud.

I don’t know what I’m doing.

I don’t deal with everything in a calm and mature fashion.

I don’t adore my children every single second of every single day. I don’t always have the schedule sorted.

I don’t always remember everything I’m supposed to.

I don’t always know what’s wrong with the baby, just by her cry. I don’t always have a sparkly clean house. (Actually, I don’t EVER. Who does?)

I don’t always remember to wash the uniforms.

I don’t always want to get my No Diggity on in the bedroom. I don’t always feed them homemade meals.

I don’t always give the right answer.

I don’t always say the right thing.

I don’t switch off my brain, even when it’s His turn to get up with them.

I can’t. Because I “Mammy” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sometimes, I yell. Sometimes, I bribe. Sometimes the fridge is empty. Sometimes, I’m so exhausted that I let them eat breakfast cereal for dinner. Sometimes, I pretend I don’t hear the monitor and carefully kick Daddy so he’ll have to get up instead. Sometimes, I let them watch TV…a lot. Sometimes, I swear.

Sometimes, I wish it were bedtime at 3pm. Sometimes, I cry so hard that my Husband doesn’t know what to say. Sometimes, I like being at work because I get to finish a coffee in peace…and I don’t feel guilty. Sometimes, I get a babysitter and go out for dinner.

Sometimes, I hand the baby to Himself as he comes through the door and go for a run, or a pee. Sometimes, I feel like I’m so utterly useless that someone, somewhere will certainly report me to an authority of some kind.

But ALWAYS, I love.

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I am NOT a Stepford Mammy. I will never get it ALL right. No one can, because a perfect Mammy doesn’t exist, and as long as I love my girls fiercely, I’m already doing it right. The moment that a Mammy realises that there is no such thing as “The right way” or “the proper way” of parenting, is light bulb moment.

When you recognise that YOUR choices for your family are NO ONE’s business, a giant weight will be lifted off your tired shoulders. You don’t have to justify your parenting. You don’t have to explain why you breastfeed, or don’t; why you chose this school instead of that one; why you put the baby in their own room at 3 months, or why they still sleep in your room 2 years on.

You don’t have to justify your parenting to ANYONE. The ONLY people who matter in your home, are YOUR FAMILY. And nothing or nobody outside of that matters.

If you are expecting your first Baby and reading this, with your jaw on the floor, thinking “I will NEVER do those things!”, You will you know!?

You will bribe. You will eat leftovers. You will survive on 2 hours of broken sleep. You will use Babywipes for EVERYTHING. You will hate your partner for sleeping. (Sometimes, you will hate them for breathing! 🙂 )

You will enjoy watching kids’ TV. You will have a favourite CBeebies presenter. You will spend your money on the best you can afford for your kids, while wearing a 15-year-old t-shirt yourself. You will be so excited at the offer of a babysitter, that you cry. Oh, and you will cry; tears of frustration, tears of worry, tears of laughter and tears of pure, unconditional LOVE.💕

Because being a Mammy is sometimes crap, but it is ALWAYS wonderful.

And if you are wondering if you’ll be a good Mum?

You will, you know. x

I am So you think you won’t Mum?

10 things I thought before I had kids:
1. I shall never shout at my child:  Oh you will you know.  Actually, it’s more a case of shouting at yourself really, because if you are having to shout at all, chances are that you’ve reached that wonderful stage where the little minions have decided to ignore every single fricken word you say, until you are screaming it at the top of your lungs like a mad woman.  And do you know what else? Even THEN, they’ll probably not listen to you.

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2. I shall love my child unconditionally always.  Yes,  indeed.  But that doesn’t mean that you have to LIKE them unconditionally or always.
3. I will never have to deal with a tantrum in a shop:  Oh yes you will.  The 30 seconds of your Minion’s meltdown will feel like an HOUR and even though no one is looking at you, you will feel like the entire shop has stopped specifically to watch your little Hell Demon throw his strop.  You will burn a new shade of crimson that you never even considered possible, and you will discover dexterity and wrestling skills that you didn’t know you possessed as you wrangle the wriggler out the door.  And yes, you will growl through gritted teeth and swear that you’ll NEVER leave the house again.
4. I will only feed them healthy, nutritious, organic home-cooked meals:  For the most part, we all manage this one, most of the time…mostly.  But trust me, Freezer Fridays are a thing and Leftovers are a blessing in disguise. I write my weekly meal planner on the fridge most Sundays.  At the beginning of the week, it makes me feel like I’m the bestest Mammy ever.  By Friday, it reminds me of just how hilarious I can be sometimes.😂 But hey!  They get fed don’t they?         Most days.
5. I will never be manipulated by a toddler: Yes, yes you will.  And even when you are using the bribery and blackmail (that you swore you’d never resort to), you’re still being manipulated by the minion.  And this is not reserved for toddlers.  Signs of parental manipulation can appear as early as Day 3 of your baby’s life, when they learn that if they make a certain noise, you’ll react.  And it never ends.  Our kids manipulate us forever… My Daddy loves me most you know. 😉😉

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6. I will bath them every night:  Ok, some parents DO manage this one.  If you are a Daily bathermum, I salute you and am in awe.  I NEVER got into this habit.  There are 3 reasons that mine get bathed.

A) It’s the weekend

B) They’re so rotten that I have no choice but to wash them if I want to keep up the facade that I have my shit together.

C) In the event of a Poonami or a Pukenado.
7. I will never swear in front of my children:  Yeah, good luck with that one. 😂 Try not to swear AT your children.  That should be reserved for special occasions, but swear in front of them, you shall. And do you know when you’ll realise it?  When they repeat what you’ve said at full volume in front of the WRONG person, you know, like the local priest or the PHN, or the School Principal, or…a Sanctimammy.  And sometimes, as mortified as you are, you’ll be slightly proud that they have used the expletive in the correct context.
8.No other child is as special as mine:  This one is true.  My children are the most special in the world…to me. 💖💖

 

9.Being a parent can’t be that hard. Everyone does it:  hahahahahahhahahahhahahahhahahah.  Yes, everyone does it. And most of those everyones at SOME point wonder WHY they did!
10. I will never turn into THAT Mammy:  Oh my Darling.  Yes.  Yes you  will.  Every one of us has an inbuilt ability to be THAT Mammy.  You’ll surprise yourself.
I’m sure you could add your own Ladybelles xxx

 

 

 

I am She’s starting Preschool Mum

Next week, our Princess, like so many other Wobblers, will be taking her first steps into the big bad world without Mammy or Daddy.

Now starting Pre-school is not quite the same as starting School School, but if your minion is about to start Pre-school, it is perfectly acceptable to be feeling it right now. It’s good practice for how you are going to feel when you’re packing their school bag for Baby infants.

In our house, I can see it play out already. How? Because Princess is not my first baby to suddenly grow up on me. And yet she’s my first last, and suddenly time is spinning and I can’t keep up.
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It’ll be a typical last Sunday night in August. For 30 years, this particular Sunday night has been a dreaded Sunday night because it marks the first day back at school for this Teacher Mum. I never actually left the education system, so it’s routine by now. Every year, I insist on going out somewhere for the day. I refuse to cook dinner. I try to get an early night. But this year, it’s not about me. It’ll be about Princess.

Her new outfit will perfectly pressed and hanging in the bedroom. I’ll have everything that they need laid out for the morning. The table is already set for breakfast. She’ll been read a special storybook that Daddy found online for Mini-Me about her first day at pre-school (with the name cleverly changed and Mini-Me under threat of no Netflix for a month if she tells her!) and will been tucked in to dream of fairies and muddy puddles.

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And I’ll pour a glass of wine and try not to think about the fact that tomorrow is yet another first in my baby’s life.

I’m leaving her to the same childcare place that she usually goes to, but she’s going into her Big Girl classroom. And she’s going to be going 5 days a week, instead of 2. It’s really no big change. She’s more than ready for it and she’s so excited about starting Naoínra that it’s quite contagious. It’s all good. She could be terrified and refusing to go, but she isn’t.

And I wonder if that is helping Mammy or making me feel worse.

As parents, we have to let our babies grow up. We mark every milestone. We remember every achievement. We let them go into the world, little by little, and just hope that what they receive from us at home is enough to arm them for what the world holds for them. Every little step is essential, and indeed we are very aware of how blessed we are that our mini-Me’s are healthy and able to step into the world. But it doesn’t mean we have to be absolutely happy about it, all the time!

As parents, we also have to trust…To trust the people who will be responsible for looking after our little darlings. We have to trust that their teachers will care for them; that they will be kind to them; that they will give their all to make them who they can be.

So while I feel that I need at least an hour with her new teacher tomorrow morning to go through a crash course, with power point presentation if I could, on what my Little Darling likes, what she’s afraid of, her habits, what upsets her, how she needs help with some things, how brilliant she is at other things and basically, everything about her, I know that I’ll drop her at the door with a smile, tell her to be a good girl and to have fun, and get into the car.

Then I’ll probably bawl my way to work.

But it’ll be fine, because I’ve realised that while I’m entrusting a teacher with the single most important thing in my world, I get to return the favour to other Starting-School Mums. Because for the first time, I truly understand the angst and terror of the Mammies and Daddies who drop their kiddies off at our school’s big blue door every September. I finally understand that I’m not just there to teach them English. I’m there to care for them; to be kind to them; and to give my all to help mould them into who they can be. And it’s the second best job in the world.

And while she is only starting Pre-school, it is indeed a big deal for our little family and for my little Princess. Yes, it might be just another day, but it’s one that we’ll remember forever. Yes, it’s going to be emotional, but it’s good emotion.

And to all of the Mammies and Daddies whose little Darlings are taking their first steps into Pre-school, School School, Secondary School or indeed third level, I send all of my S-Mum love and good wishes, because tomorrow is most likely going to be harder on you than it is on our kids.

So we’ll put on our big girl (or boy) pants and we’ll suck it up.

Because we are Starting School Mums (and Dads). 🙂

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I am She Goes, He Goes Mum

 

“OH DU TOILETTE…”

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The Throne…

Becoming a Mum brings with it many wonderful and exciting changes for parents. The “books” will tell you how new babies will test even the strongest relationship.  They do not tell you that one of the biggest bones of contention between parents is the process of the poo.
Let me explain…

(Read alá David of the Attenborough on a wildlife show…)
The female of the species becomes quickly skilled at excretion. After childbirth, despite possible  complications and difficulties with the bladder, she will quickly evolve into a bladder controlling machine. Caring for her young is always a priority. Even with a full bladder, the female can retain control under duress and highly stressful conditions, often balancing her offspring on her abdominal area. She is strong however, and will wait for the perfect moment to pounce on the elusive porcelain.  When the opportunity presents itself, the Mama will swiftly and skillfully do what she needs to do.
The female can relieve a full bladder in 8.5 seconds and it has been said that faecal excretion can take only 5 seconds. (Evidence of this has not yet been acquired as the female is so skilled and speedy that scientific equipment is not fast enough to measure the act.)  The female performs the essential and necessary act of excretion faster than any other species, and often with up to 4 of her young hovering around, or indeed ON, her.  Cleanliness is swift and onehanded in many cases. Other species have yet to evolve at the speed of the human Mammy.

The male of the species is entirely different.
The male is special. He makes quite the production of the animal act of excretion. The bathroom must be empty of all young. The atmosphere should be peaceful and relaxed in order for the full joy and relaxation of the event. Full concentration is required.  Men have evolved to require the help of a handheld device for the excretion process. Tablets are acceptable but the clever male prefers the mobile phone, as it can be sneaked into the room, past the female, more easily.  The male may require anything up to 45 minutes for the process.
It is very difficult and he ensures that the importance of and difficulty of his excretion is heard by his female if she dares to question the length of time he has been in his throne room. “I’m IN THE F$#€** Toilet” may he roared in a manly way, by the manly man, during his manly process, if he perceives disapproval or tutting from the female outside the door.  The delicate procedure is prolonged and made easier for the male by perusal of Bookface or Instagranny for the duration. This device aids in the relaxation required for the faeces to remove itself from the manly male posterier.

Sometimes, for reasons as yet unknown to scientists, the male will remain on the porcelain seat for much time after the act of relieving himself. It has been suggested that this is an avoidance of the reality of the children who are not allowed to bother him while in the special pooping room. This is not yet proven, but breakthroughs are expected in the near future as female scientists are working on remote controls to switch off the prolonging devices. Other exciting developments are self flushing timed toilets, although there are fears that such a device might be mistaken for self cleaning.)
The male reappears into the homestead calm and relaxed, thoroughly relieved and oblivious to how long he has been in the bathroom. The bathroom and the rest of the world have different time rules when the male excretes… what he feels to be 5 minutes, is often 37 minutes by the female’s observant and obsessive count…

The male excretion ends with a ceremonial greeting by the female which can be high-pitched and erratic.

This process remains as such until the female completely loses her mind and screams so much that the children become afraid to interrupt her, or they finally reach the age where watching Mammy poo is no longer interesting or exciting…

The Male checks his phone and wonders what all the fuss is about.
#takeashitalready #soblessed #peeinprivate