….I am not. I proved that yet again this morning when, after an hour and a half’s faffing about, I didn’t realise it was time to take Poppy to pre-school. And I had forgotten to make her lunch. I drove like a maniac and we made it, of course we did after all tons of parents let their little darlings find their own card with their name on (very irritating), but not without more than a modicum of stress. And questioning what on earth I had been thinking as I dicked about on the internet all morning and listened to the news.
It’s not the first time I’ve done something like this. I vividly remember an occasion when Josh was about the same age as Poppy (so a good 9 years ago) and was also at pre-school while Jake was at proper school. I knew what time I needed to pick both boys up but for some reason I was only thinking in terms of Jake’s pick up time, not Joshua’s, a good 10 minutes earlier. As the time of Joshua’s pick up arrived and I glanced at the clock, the horror of my stupidity struck me and I had to run all the way to pre-school, normally about a 10 minute walk. This was before I had taken up running too so you can imagine how that went. I was pretty disgusted with myself and I have to say I didn’t do it again but it made me late for Jake as well and my stress levels were off the scale.
Clearly I’m very absent minded and it probably doesn’t help that I’m not one of those “yummy mummies” (I really really really really hate that expression) you read about in the paper. You know the ones, all hands on with Tarquin and Fenella, dividing their days up with nature trails, crafting, art lessons, tennis lessons, samba band practice and all the other middle class rubbish I can’t be bothered with. Tarquin and Fenella would never be plonked in front of the TV all day long, even if some of the programmes do have some educational qualities. These mummies are all in direct competition with each other and while I can see the benefit of a lot of what they do, who really has time for all that? Life really is too short to be cleaning glitter and homemade play-doh off every available surface. We read a lot of books, play silly games and do lots of crazy dancing, is that not enough? Do I really have to feel guilty that we don’t leave the house much to follow other pursuits?
I don’t think any of my children have suffered from my more hands off approach to parenting. They all enjoy reading, even Hattie who was “reading” Peace at Last to me this morning by pointing at the pictures and talking gibberish, with the odd exclamations of “KITTY!” They all enjoy drawing, one thing I do actively encourage at home because it doesn’t make much mess if you only give them pencils. Both boys do well at school and apply themselves to it, both enjoy sports but equally they both enjoy computer games. Poppy, while a bit (a lot) of a handful at home is very well behaved at pre-school and is coming along in leaps and bounds and I’m sure now that she has the opportunity to do all the messy stuff I won’t let her do at home she appreciates the fun of it all the more. And there’s no question that all of the children appreciate my love of baking, and for the boys that has extended into them wanting to bake too.
So while I am a bit rubbish and am a fully paid up member of the Mean Mother’s Club I think I’d rather be like me than Mother of the Year.