Thursday, 29 July 2010

Week 3: Two Minutes Peace...

Croissants and Crosswords
This time last year I was enjoying my Sunday morning eating a croissant at 11 o’clock in the morning, inhaling cappuccinos and reading the travel section of the paper in my pyjamas. This year it is Sunday morning at 11am and I am ready to lie down in a darkened room, with a cold compress on my forehead, and a G&T in my hand; unfortunately, I also know that I won’t get the break I need until sometime after 10 pm once my lovely little one is asleep for at least a little while. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change her for anything, but I would give my left pinky for two minutes to just sit down. When she was born and sleeping all the time I thought I was the perfect parent – everyone had told me I would be so rushed off my feet with no time to myself but obviously I was doing something right because she was the perfect cherub. Smug. Now that she is teething and won’t be put down, I see what they all meant! So here is my two minute wish list… If I had a terrific two minute break, what would I do with it?

Have a cuppa
I would make a cup of tea. And then drink it. While it is still warm! I have forgotten what warm tea tastes like.

Tidy the House
I know this sounds like it comes from The Good Housewife Manual Circa 1956, but, having a two minute blitz, throwing baby related junk into the cupboard and chucking dishes into the sink rather than littering the surfaces of every room in the house, actually makes me feel a real sense of pride and achievement. Perhaps I could even warm the husbands slippers while I am at it…

Flex My Brain
I’d pick up a crossword or a Sudoku or find a game on line that gives me a chance to think about something. Think really hard. OK, fair enough, I probably won’t get anywhere with it, but just getting the old brain technology whirring feels good. But it does just reinforce the fact that my baby has stolen my brain.

Run up and down the stairs a few times
No. Seriously. I mean it… Get the blood flowing, get the muscles working, get out of breath and work up a bit of a sweat. We house bound, baby bouncing mammas and poppas forget to look after ourselves and, for me, this much exercise would feel akin to conquering Everest.

Pretend it’s a Sunday Morning
So I’ve tried and tested this one… I can heat, plate and eat a croissant, whilst reading the travel section and pouring a cappuccino down my throat in two minutes before the baby tells me she wants me to pick her up again; she is reminding me that those days are gone, and while I might think I can recreate it, she is in charge now!
The Mummatron

Two Minutes...
Once upon a time, when I was a young mother, if I had been guaranteed two minutes peace and quiet all for myself what would I have done?

Improve my mind by reading an obscure Russian novel by an obscure Russian author? Probably not

Sling on a leotard, pop in the videotape, then leap about in a futile impersonation of Jane Fonda doing aerobics (how come SHE doesn’t grunt like I do?) Probably not.

Plaster on a face pack, ready to scare the beejeezus out of my children when they woke up? Probably not.

Eat a whole bar of chocolate the size of a small car and wash it down with a glass of wine? Possibly.

Eat the family size pork pie which has been calling out to me, in tantalizing, if somewhat greasy, tones, from the fridge all week? Almost definitely.

Whilst munching I would have shut my eyes against the chaos around me – how did that toy get up onto the ceiling light? Is that potty in the corner full? What is that nasty looking thing poking out from behind the settee….?

But, these days two minutes doesn’t seem nearly so long, it would take me almost all that time to get up the stairs to spend my two minutes gazing at my delicious granddaughter peacefully sleeping.

Granny Bloggings

Friday, 23 July 2010

Week 2: Aspirations

Hopes & Dreams
It’s interesting what people want for their children. In our strange era of Jordan inspired, celebrity microscope TV, it seems that many people want fame and fortune for their progeny. I’d rather that little CK grew up to be a punk nihilist with a ring in her nose (like her mother), than a celebrity. Although, I guess if she grew up to be a vegan, then maybe I’d start to worry.

In the paper this weekend there was an article about the growing UK industry of child beauty pageants in which children dress in a variety of Barbie-esque guises and parade around trying to cure cancer or seeking a solution to world peace. Not an easy task, I would imagine, in a spangly lurex number and size 13 high heels. The parents of course claim that the kids wanted to do it, but how did said kids (girls and boys by the way – oh yes, none of them are safe) hear of these contests? Surely not when they were out in ‘Bucks with their Gal Pals, sipping a babycino…

So I started to think; how do you allow your child to grow up with their own dreams, without steering them in the direction of what you wish you had? How will I stop myself from steering her towards Oxbridge, towards a happy marriage to a successful man, towards annual holidays in the Maldives.

When I look at her sleeping quietly (finally), her nose unsullied by any rings, her whole life ahead of her I realise that what I want doesn’t really matter. Whatever she does, she will do her own thing and it’s up to me to support her. I’m pretty sure though, that if she does want to enter a beauty pageant I’ll be teaching her the dance from Little Miss Sunshine and helping her move towards the punk nihilist future she never wished for.
The Mummatron

When I had my children, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, (sorry daughter but we are talking the 1970's here!) I thought my sole aspiration was to get them through Life in One Piece. I simply assumed my children would grow up happy, healthy and perfect in every way - never gave it much thought to be honest. In those days the important thing was to forbid your son to play with guns (some hope!) and to give your daughter a tonka truck and dress her in dungarees. After three years of my son making guns out of lego, sticks, and even toast, I gave in. I was relieved to find he did not turn into a tiny version of Arnie or Rambo but was still a sensitive little chap with a loving heart. My daughter scorned her trucks but loved to stand on a chair next to me at the sink washing up (which is something we used to do in days of yore when a dishwasher was something we only saw in American films.) It was a relief to realise that it was not the domestic chore which appealed to her but the time to chat to her mum or dad.

And yes, I spent the first 16 years of my daughters' life watching Oprah and Neighbours with her so that I could make my feelings known about all the issues they raised. "If you get pregnant at 13 because you want a baby to play with, don't expect me to look after it!" "If you ever go out in a truck with interrogation lights on the top shooting kangaroos do not expect me to cook the steaks!" However, it was around this time that it finally dawned on me that saying, "when you go to university ....." all the time was perhaps a little too much like brain washing. After all, what I wanted was a happy healthy daughter who would be in a happy and stable relationship and maybe be a great teacher, and guess what I got - just that!
Although I have to tell you, reader, I hate the nose piercing with a vengeance, but I guess she had to have something to rebel over, some day I'll tell you about the annoying way she listens to Frank Sinatra and will NOT listen to Led Zepplin or Hendrix the way they should be listened to, at full volume!

Now my daughter has given us CK, another clean slate of a little soul to hold gently in our hands until she is ready to fly on her own, and my aspirations have not changed one iota!
Granny Bloggings

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Week 1: Weblog? What's that?

Why Blog Mummy Blogs?

So I thought maybe I would write a blog, but everyone keeps asking me why...
That, dear reader, is a very good question. Perhaps because I fancy myself as Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City fame. Although in flatter shoes. Having a lot less sex. And living in a suburban back water. Or perhaps because I am trapped at home caring for my treasured offspring (to be known heretofore as CK) and in desperate need of something to do.

Indeed, after 4 months of motherhood I have decided I need something more in my life. I want to give something back to the wider world (something more than just another rise in the over population figures); I don’t imagine that I can uplift, support or advise… I just hope that I can give you something to do at your desk at work while you are killing time 'til the weekend rolls around. Ah yes, I remember those days. In the immortal words of my muse Carrie, I couldn’t help but wonder whether another mummy blog is something the world requires. I guess only time will tell.
The Mummatron

Why Blog Granny Blogs?

Well I guess because I want to let any mums of small babies who may read this know that the years between birth and, “mum, can I borrow your car?” will go so fast that it makes your eyes blurr and your teeth itch, and that it is possible to survive them – just.

A day spent with a gummy, immobile, unspeaking, totally dependant infant can seem frighteningly interminable. When those days stretch out before you to a seemingly endless future horizon and you find yourself doing the glazed seven-mile stare of the living dead, after only four hours sleep, it can seem like a life sentence! But take it from one who has been there and done that, and believe me when I tell you that time will speed up as your child grows and very soon you will hear; “mum, this is my first boyfriend; mum, I’m getting married; mum, I’m pregnant; mum, here is your granddaughter….” And if I’m blogging, that’s because having a child keeps you in touch with the world for the rest of your life.
Granny Bloggings

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