Wednesday 7 December 2011

A Long Time Ago BC

Remember when you worried about your exams?  Pshaw!  Wait till your child becomes ill and has a temperature in the 40’s.  That’s worry.  Remember when you obsessed about your hair/clothes and where you were going to go at the weekend?  Hard to believe, isn’t it?
Remember agonising about fellas and the world weary question “does he fancy me?”  The absolute innocence of it all!
Remember when you used to know all the words, plus backing vocals on all of your CD’s?  This used to be important stuff! 
Remember when you used to know about current affairs?  Boring, big person stuff, but you were still interested.
Remember the way you used to explode when someone spilt their drink on you in the pub?  God, remember the pub???
Remember when you were a size 8/10/12?  Ok, going to cry now.
All of this pales insignificance once you become a mother.  What on earth were you worrying about?  More to the point, where on earth did you get the time????
That was life, Jim, but not as we know it.  They say change is good.  Or a change is as good as a rest. 
Well, here’s one.  The thought for the day if you will.
Motherhood changes you. I refuse to say parenthood, because I’m talking, as a mother, to other mothers out there.  Daddies can fek off and find their own sounding board!   
Motherhood turns you into a liar, a stalker, a bore, an obsessive, compulsive deviant and worse!
You will lie when asked if your darling is sleeping through the night yet.  At least, if you have any sense you will.  You don’t want to encourage advice of any sort on this topic as nobody has the correct solution to this particular problem.
If your baby roars his head off day and night, smile brightly through the red mist floating in front of your eyes and tell people he is a good little sleeper.  He probably is once you get him to drop off; it’s just getting him there is the problem.  So you’re not really lying.  Much!
The first day you drop your precious child off to day care will be the day that you turn into a stalker.  If you’re not driving by the crèche to “see” if he’s ok when he’s playing in the garden with the other inmates, you’ll be on the phone every hour on the hour just calling to say hello.  And yes, the wardens in the crèche will name you the mother from hell.  They will recognise the sound of your car from down the road over the screams of the other children. And there will be nothing wrong with your exhaust pipe.)  Also, they will have conspired against you in that your child will eat all and sundry for them, including his fruit and veg, but at weekends, refuse point blank to accept anything from you.  You will send back in Monday morning with the sole purpose of being fed.  And then the day arrives when he hasn’t got you in a stranglehold when you’re dropping him off.  In fact, he barely gives you a second glance. He’s too busy trying to get to the Sticklebricks.    You allow yourself a moment of self righteousness.  You knew it; they are turning him against you.  
Do you remember that person who could bore for Ireland about her every ailment?  Well, move over sister because there’s a new Bore Snore in town.  You!!  You will derive great pleasure in informing everyone who will listen, and those who cannot escape in time, about your baby’s regurgitation tendencies.  The top and bottom end. In techni-colour detail. Over lunch.   It will become a source of great bewilderment to you why people don’t seem to share the same enthusiasm as yourself over what time exactly your baby went to sleep at and how long it took you to get him there.  And you‘re not completely sure but you’re almost positive you saw definite eye rolling that time when you began to describe how Jnr. sneezed, not four but five times in a row.  Honestly, it was so cute, if they’d only listen………..
I used to be obsessed with the way my duvet was tucked down between the bed and the wall.  It could not, under any circumstances, be seen to be poking up in any way. It used to make my skin crawl. Like all things that stop or change, something else will take its place.  In this case it took more than 20 years for me to find a new obsession – my first born and his sleeping routine.   Oh boy! Woe betide anyone who had the audacity to ring the doorbell when he was sleeping.  Meals were put on hold and there was hell to pay if a particular music box was played at the wrong time in the evening.
The conversation used to go something like this:  “That’s one of his cues for going to sleep, for crying out loud!!  Did you not know that?  Well, you should have!  I’ve only been doing the very same bed time routine for the last 6 months, are you thick?”
A similar one: “No, not yet!!  It’s not time for his bath!  Am I talking to the wall?  Did you not hear me?   I haven’t taken out his clothes yet or warmed his towel.  And keep it quiet, you’re talking too loud.  I’m trying to wind him down not wind him up.  What?  Shouting?  Who’s shouting?  I certainly hope you don’t mean me!”
Sometimes both conversations ran on the same night!
And yes, Mister Husband is still around.  Even if I did begin to talk like Chandler from Friends at times!     
The worst thing you could turn into?  I’ll keep this one short.  Mister Husband used to say it was my mother.  (He was joking, Mammy, joking!)  And I used to tell him it could be a lot worse. 
I could turn into his!  (I’m joking Eleanor, joking!)
You could, and probably will, turn into the Oirish Mammy. From hell?  I’ll leave that up to the discretion of others.  This mythical creature, an urban legend, the favourite subject of stand up comedian’s, comes in for a lot of flak.  Who else sends their child out, wrapped in three or even four layers of clothing to keep him warm, and then agonises about whether or not he’s too warm?  Who else will cook two, maybe three different meals a day for the Blue Eyed Child with only the slightest sigh of frustration when Jnr, opts for a Petit Filous out of the fridge?
Who else will iron tea-towels, socks, underwear, pillow cases, bed linen and the like and then put them into semi retirement for at least a week, in the hot press, before their child is allowed to wear them? Even the tea-towels.  
Who else crushes her offspring in a bear hug because he almost ran out in front of a car?
Sound familiar?  Too right it does! 
And so does this, I bet. Who else would go without to ensure her child doesn’t? 
Who else would stay up all night, forfeiting her sleep in order that she be near by should she be needed?
Who else would fight and roar like the mother bear she is, to protect her child from danger, be it big or small?
The Oirish Mammy.  That’s who!  Welcome to the best club in the world!!

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