Some days I find myself feeling a little like a professional, a little like a mummy, a little like a wife, and a sprinkle like a real woman, but generally not a complete anything.
I think that part of unsettling feeling is caused by the developing breed known as the ‘yummy mummy’. Once upon a time, this phrase was used to refer to a mummy who looked a bit yummy, but it has since developed into a whole new class of society with fit in rules and traits. Some people belong naturally, some people can feign belonging, and some people, like me, will just never make the grade. Take for example my afternoon swimming with one of the kids. There are significant differences between my experience and that of the yummy mummy. Some of these are real observations, and some are thoughts which I have and I am sure will be echoed by other mummies, whether true or not.
The yummy mummy will have planned the entire half term in morning and afternoon slots, a trip for the kids to the water park being one slot. I ended up going to the water park because after a glass of wine or two, when I couldn’t get the last kid to go to bed, I resorted to blatant bribery. I assumed that I would find a way to get myself out out of it today, probably by spending money in a toy shop. Sadly,the kid was having none of it, so off to the water park we went.
The yummy mummy will know the way to the water park as it will be a regular outing for her little darlings. I avoid the water park at all costs seeing it as a widdle infested swamp teeming with viole infants. The yummy mummy will never find herself having to phone her husband at work to ask how to make google maps talk on the iphone as the sat nav still has the France maps CD in from August’s holiday.
The yummy mummy arrives at the pool with each child having its own designer swimming bag. She will have appropriately coloured towels for each child. This is in contrast to me shoving my swimsuit into the PE kit bag packed by the kid, assuming that he will have packed the essentials like shampoo and towels.
Suffice to say, you will never see the yummy mummy leaving her little darlings in the changing room and running semi clad back to reception to get change from a £5 note for the locker. Aside from the fact she wouldn’t embarrass herself by producing anything less than a £20 note in public, she doesn’t use a coin, she uses a Waitrose key ring token.
The yummy mummy keeps her beautifully ironed hair dry throughout the entirety of the swim. I can’t keep mine dry getting into the pool.
Each of the yummy mummy’s little darling’s will enter the pool with age appropriate flotation devices, in the correct gender colour. She would never turn up with no flotation device having forgotten that the child accompanying her cannot swim, and will therefore have to spend the next 2 hours hanging off her neck.
The yummy mummy has not only managed to apply makeup today, but keeps it intact, mascara and all, throughout the swimming session.
The yummy mummy confidently stands in the shallows, showing off a still even tan from her summer relaxing in the sun. I hide under the water to disguise the child inflicted bruise and bite marks, not to mention the guinea pig bite marks, and long since faded patchy tan.
The yummy mummy may have had the same number of children as me, but her body has handled it oh so much better than mine (she probably does yoga and stuff).
The yummy mummy elegantly rides the water flume as do her little darlings. I cling to the railings all the way up due to an overwhelming fear of heights, then demand the kid ride down in tandem with me due to a fear of water slides.
When the yummy mummy emerges from the pool, she and the darlings enter the human blow dryer. Me and the kid enter the same cubicle and trip over each other while sharing the one towel he packed for himself.
The yummy mummy has an array of organic child orientated shampoos, conditioners, bodywashes and talcum powders. These are applied in a precise order to each uncomplaining child. I have some dregs of shampoo, but my kid won’t get in the shower anyway.
The yummy mummy produces a labelled packed lunch for each little darling to eat after swimming. This contains such ingredients as organic quinoa, carrot batons and farm fresh goats cheese. I give the kid a bag of Doritos and a pot of homous that I thought to throw in at the last minute.
The yummy mummy is probably going home to make organic fruit marshmallows in the shape of bats to hand out to trick or treaters tomorrow. I am going home to battle with 4 kids, then drink gin and snuggle with the guinea pigs. I will sort out trick or treat tomorrow.
So does it really matter? No. Not really. You see my kid kissed me about 20 times today and told me how much he loved me and how much he loved swimming. He would probably hate organic quinoa and he loves Doritos. He would prefer I spent time taming his guinea pigs for him than making marshmallows. The yummy mummy’s kids probably love swimming, quinoa and organic marshmallows. My kid thinks it’s funny that I am scared of heights and waterslides, and is mature enough to love me all the more for doing it for him.
On the rare occasions I brave a trip with my brood to eat in public, I am conscious that we must be every restaurateurs worst nightmare. I usually spend at least 20 minutes towards the end of the meal using the napkins to pick up the food debris scattered over the floor, table and chairs, and sometimes over other diners.
On a mission to buy bathroom tiles, after the second shop, the brood went on strike. They cried, yelled, and the alarmed store staff ran around trying to secure various piles of loose tiles while I tried to catch all of the kids. Nonetheless, I was determined that we would go to the third and final tile shop on my list. I decided that bribery with fast food was the only way to achieve this. Having secured promises of good behaviour in return for a serving of chips, lemonade and various other junk food, we went to a fast food restaurant nearby.
Being thick skinned is an essential part of parenting twins plus two, but the middle of the day, when gin o clock is still some 5 hours away, can be a dark moment. So it was in this mood that I found myself endeavouring to order from a fast food chain I had not been in before. The great thing is that they offer multiple sides, drink choices and desserts in the little darlings kids meals. This is also the reason I will never eat there again. While I was trying to get out of the spotty teen what exactly the options were which I was meant to choose from, the kids were of course running riot around the restaurant. I was balancing one screaming twin on the counter as the other was clutching my leg and the older two were playing catch chase. It was not the disapproving looks from the other diners that did it for me. Those I accept as standard. What got me was that at the point at which the leg clinger sunk his teeth firmly into my leg, and I yelped nearly dropping the twin on the counter and the older two bumped into an elderly man carrying a coffee, the spotty teen began to laugh uncontrollably at my predicament. It took him some time to compose himself and finish taking my order.
Instead of pointing out just how rude he had been, I had a little chuckle to myself about just how long it was likely to take him to clean up after we left the restaurant. He watched me scurry back and forth 3 times with 3 trays of food to the table, while the kids snatched at the food arguing about who’s was who’s. When asked whether I would like a stirrer with my coffee and milk sachets, I even managed to avoid answering ‘no, I am looking forward to stirring the milk into the scalding coffee with my nose’ and instead said politely ‘yes please’.
It only took until the ice cream sundaes for the sweet revenge I had anticipated to materialise. It came in the form of an excited call from the 3 year old asking me to look at the picture of a rabbit she had drawn. She had drawn a large shape on the window using her hands to apply the ice cream methodically. Instead of my usual reaction, which would have been to instantly seek mountains of napkins to clean it up, I whispered that it might be nice if the rabbit had some baby rabbits, grass, sun in the sky…
Pets at Home are delighted to introduce the new Human Birthing Service (PABS)
Here at Pets at Home we understand the difficult choices faced by expectant mothers. Where should I give birth? we hear you ask. You may have to consider a hospital birth, a birthing centre, or even a home birth. Our new service means the choice is simple. The answer will always be a Pets at Home birth.
Specialist services unique to Pets at Home
- First Time Mothers.
If you are expecting your first baby, you will understandably be worried about your care during labour and delivery. We can assure you that we employ only the best doctors, nurses and midwives all of whom have a great deal of experience in maternity services. You need only look at the team from our Pets at Home Store in Huddersfield (where we initially trialled The PABS) to see how professional the Pets at Home service is.
2. Multiple Mummies.
Expecting twins, triplets or more? Worry not, we have it covered. Our specialist team have experience of assisting deliveries involving up to 10 offspring at a time. You really are in safe hands.
3. Emergency procedures.
There is always the possibility that you may require surgical intervention. In every Pets at Home store which has an in store vets, we have set aside one of our surgical rooms for human births. Occasionally, if we have a vetinary emergency at the same time, you may be required to share the theatre with an animal. However we have special screens with pictures of puppies on them, and these will be used to separate you and the animal, thereby maintaining both parties dignity.
4. Information packs, stickers and aftercare.
We promise not to depart from our standard animal purchase aftercare plan. We will provide you will a full information guide relating to your baby. This will cover key topics such as:
‘How do I Care for my New Baby?’
‘How I can expect my New Baby to behave in certain situations’
‘What should I feed my New Baby?’
We also operate a helpline should you find you have any further questions about your newborn. This is not 24 hour as it will be you who has the new baby, therefore never gets any sleep. However, it will be open during normal store opening hours. Our helpful staff will answer any query you have about your new baby.
Included in your pack will be a blanket and a sticker with a picture of a puppy on it for your new baby to wear.
5. Returns Policy
We do offer a return policy, but please note, all babies must be returned within 14 days, with proof of birthing (included in your aftercare pack). We endeavour to find new homes for all returned babies.
6. Questions and Price Information
Please contact your local Pets at Home store for details of PABS Centres, and price plans.
Please note that all birthing mothers may bring their existing pets as their birthing partners (limited to 6 per mother and not permitted to include animals considered dangerous under the Dangerous Animals Act).
Please note, terms and conditions apply and may vary. In particular, we reserve the right to designate farms as birthing centres in ROI.
Every Friday I make braised steak in gravy for dinner. Every Friday I serve it to the children and twenty minutes later scrape it, uneaten, into the bin amidst cries of I hate gravy, it’s not fair, my friends ALWAYS have pizza on Friday. Today, I decided to save time and cost. I bought a large tin of Tesco value dog meat chunks in gravy, and served it up with potatoes and green beans.
Ok, the suspense is over. I have the Bathstore’s reply to my request for clarification. It is this:
Bathstore 20 October
Hi, the offer we are currently running is up to 25% on non sale items, this varies depending on the product. Thanks, Andrew
What I conclude from this response is that:
1. Andrew doesn’t understand the Bathstore sale definition either.
2. Andrew from Bathstore does not think I am funny.
3. My husband does not think I am funny either. He thinks I am slightly deranged.
4. I amuse myself so that’s ok.