Five ways motherhood has messed with my mind

OrchardPraise be to Gina and that little book of potty training wisdom, for on Sunday Zee had a major toileting triumph (and that’s all I will say on the matter, no one but us needs to know the, erm, finer details). ANYWAY, he achieved what Gina had promised he’d achieve, in seven days, his little face was so filled with glee, and my heart was so filled with pride. Somehow whilst thinking about all of this, I kept finding myself wondering how all these rugby players’ mums must be feeling during the World Cup.

This is a strange link but bear with me.

Now I am a mother, it seems there are a few things I can no longer think about, see or do as I did before . . .

You see an epic try; I wonder ‘Did his mother cry?’

It’s safe to say I am not the ideal person to watch a rugby match with. I like the idea of it all; I’m very patriotic, love to belt out the national anthem and really appreciate a good sense of occasion. But during England’s first match against Fiji, it took me 20 minutes to realise they were playing in red and I asked Adam ‘What is a scrum, exactly?’ I was still keen to watch the match against Wales on Saturday though. But whilst all those around me were losing their heads, I was sipping gin and pondering how overwhelmed with pride those players’ parents must be and that I never, ever want my baby boy to play rugby, ever. Not ever. Not my choice, I know, but still. Ow!

Broadchurch? I can’t even.

Earlier this year, with all the hype around the new Broadchurch, we thought we’d have a look at the first series. Better late than never? No, just never. We lasted about five minutes, until the harrowing scene when the mum realises her son isn’t at sports day and that was it. We looked at each other aghast, said ‘No way’ and switched it off. Not these days.

That horror novel? Can’t go there either.

I used to be all about the horror novel or film – the scarier/gorier the better. Maybe it was an antidote to all the children’s books I worked on, trading a Magic Kitten or Pigs in Planes by day for a Karin Slaughter or Paranormal Activity by night. Just last week I realised the new book, by a writer whose debut I’d enjoyed last year, was publishing soon. ‘Yes,’ I thought, ‘I’ll be adding that to my list’. It’s not a horror so it’s fine.Then at Charing Cross, I saw the tube poster for it, with the book image and the single strapline ‘The cot was empty.’ Simple, brilliant, powerful – but not for this mum whose young son sleeps in a cot.

So over hangovers

Ooh I still love a glass of something bubbly or an ice-cold Hendricks in one of those big fun fishbowl glasses, but these days the very thought of a hangover gives me the dreads. Zee seems to have developed some kind of a radar so he just knows when I’ve gone out Out, and subsequently wakes, screaming ‘Mummy, MUMMY!’ just as I drop off after a rare night gallivanting. Water and paracetamol have never been more important than when faced with a toddler after a shandy or two. Peppa and the iPad are very much my friends in these situations as well.

Pub lunches

The idea of a long lazy pub lunch with a few drinks is SO NICE, but the reality is so awful. It’s just a colossal waste of time, with a toddler who doesn’t want to sit still for longer than the five minutes it takes to messily eat what’s in front of him. I don’t want to spend the whole time worrying and shrieking ‘No!’ as he shrieks ‘BOING MUMMY LOOK BOING BOING ON THE LADY’S HEAD!’ with the balloon from the trying-to-be-helpful staff. Sigh.

Obviously, the sole reason for all of the above brings me more delight than any book, TV series or roast in the pub ever could. Those gory novels or shows filled with murder and all things awful I may well be done with, but as for the pub lunches, we’ll most definitely be back.

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