Listening to Oasis’s What’s the Story Morning Glory in the car on the way to the cinema, we all sang along to Wonderwall and She’s Electric but when Champagne Supernova came on we all fell silent, driving through the rain, until I asked them if they knew what a supernova was. They said no, so I told them it’s the end of a star’s life. “How long do stars live for? asked BUB.2. “Millions and sometimes billions of years,” I said. “Longer than us then?” “Yes.” “I wish I was a star then,” he said sadly, staring out at the rain, when just seconds ago he was doing Minions impressions. “But you are,” I said, before changing the subject to popcorn and sticking “Roll with it” on. Rainy, grey days are sh*t in the holidays but sometimes there’s just a flash of magic.
Children aren’t looking around wondering why Clara is fluent in French or Luke plays junior badminton or Minnie has stronger collection of googly eyes and fuzzy pipe cleaners in her craft drawer.
I saw one of those “quotes of the day” on Facebook the other day that read: “When I’m with Mummy everything is perfect.” I groaned and probably made a gagging face.
I must have had five or six conversations this week, with different Mums, about feeling guilty about not “doing enough” with their second, third or in one case, fifth child. We have access to millions of things our own parents didn’t: toddler groups, soft play, messy play, swimming, kids mornings at the cinema, craft ideas on Pinterest, baby music classes, sensory classes, sign language for babies, football for toddlers, rugby for toddlers, oh I could go on for eternity.
But the result of these wonderful itineraries are the perfect images of childhood and parenting that we see on social media, and the horrible feeling that everyone else is stimulating their child so much more than we are because we’re knee deep in laundry (literally) or trying to sort the bathroom cabinet out or matching up tupperware lids or bagging up old clothes or rearranging the toy storage or rustling up food and snacks fifteen times a day or looking for lost keys.
All I could think about was that silly Facebook quote and how suddenly it made sense. I think the little ones just want us to step away from Facebook and Pinterest, put our phones down* and smile happily into their little faces as they find a bug on the floor or they master a new karate chop on their brother.
I have touched on this before in my post “Lazy Pig”. But as half term looms, and my only solid plan is to visit Poundland for party supplies for BUB.2’s fifth birthday party next weekend (I dream big), I am going to remember that silly little Facebook quote and try to hold on to the fact that children aren’t looking around wondering why Clara is fluent in French or Luke plays junior badminton or Minnie has stronger collection of googly eyes and fuzzy pipe cleaners in her craft drawer.
They’re just looking at Mummy looking at her phone and wishing she was looking at them.
*Without my phone I would go mad, MAD, I tell you. I just should probably hold onto it for dear life a little less.
I’ve just had possibly the finest few hours of my parenting life.
The BUBs played “vets and jungles” while I pottered in my slippers. The baby slept straight after breakfast which left the boys to have a snowman bath bomb, full of delightful squealing and mutual drenching. When she woke up the baby got in too, splashing and standing and being happily jostled by her brothers. Soap bubbles on noses, wisps of hair, joyous chuckling, it was like it is in the adverts. They dried each other, played “towel mummies” and had naked “bum races” along the landing.
We watched films, had lunch all together at the table after which the baby decided to have another little snooze. We should go and get feet measured for new shoes but it’s all just so lovely here. It won’t be lovely there. I want to stay here.
This is after weeks of gut-wrenching lurgies, howling tantrums and hideous behaviour, nothing like the adverts, or like an advert for condoms. After weeks of trying to make Christmas happy but fighting against illness, of longing for a moment’s peace, there is this.
It’s exactly the same phenomena as when your split ends are causing you psychological problems but on plonking yourself down in the hairdresser’s
chair you suddenly look the best you have ever looked.
School tomorrow. The end of the best and the worst times is upon us. Until the next time.