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The Shame of a Messy Car

Today, as I procrastinate on the web I find myself thinking of those little jobs that never get done. Sure, I could be working my way through them now, but cleaning the car out won’t enhance my career as a writer will it?

Of course I could do what I’m sure sensible people do and bring the rubbish in after each trip rather than letting the footwell’s fill up with wrappers, books, children’s clothing and various debris: That would be far too simple wouldn’t it? I have instead, a boot full of plastic bags, each one signifies my intention to tidy….. Before I set off on various exciting expeditions to the supermarket or the thrill of the school run, I load up the children into their car seats and add a carrier to the boot: for when I return home I shall bring in the wildlife!! On the very few occasions I have managed to achieve this, the plastic bags sit on the stairs for at least a week before my long suffering husband decides he has had enough of me walking past them and sorts them out himself….. Many a suitable child’s jumper has be worn and discarded in that car, only to be retrieved with such a lapse in time that it nolonger reaches the wrist.

But who cares right? I don’t often have car visitors. The other half has a quick jog round if the in-laws are coming for fear they will see it as another reason why I’ll never be good enough for their son….. If the MIL starts clearing it out then I know I’ve gone too far. Shame on me for allowing life to get in the way of a spotless car eh?. She does have a small point though, if passive aggressively made: It is fairly shameful isn’t it? I mean, I hate that moment just before I step out the car door, where I pray that a red bull can will not clatter out after me or heaven forbid, someone finds out we had drive-through Macdonalds a week ago… oh the shame!

Not too long ago the eldest opened her door, only for a sudden gust of wind to blow 10 sandwich bags across the playground (leftover from our half term trip, should H get travel sickness). Of course I then had a choice, do I run after them thus alerting even more people to the fact that I’m a complete Slummy Mummy, or do I leave them and risk the raised eyebrows of the few Chelsea tractor driving yummies who did see….. I opted for a third option, yes, I made it into a game…. Quick H, chase the bags, catch the bags, oh isn’t this fun….. Since that day the eldest has continued to ask me ‘when can we play the bag catch game again mummy?’….

The upside to all this however, is that as the car gets messier and messier I HAVE to get more organised in the mornings (?). I can now be found leaving the house at a reasonable time in order to avoid having to park at the school: I’m officially a walker now. The shame of being the parent who gets in THAT car is all consuming. I’ve seen more than the odd glance at the dashboard by families walking past, ‘wow mummy look at that’ the children point at the lose change, pair of sunglasses (yes, in the middle of winter) pieces of lego and wetwipes which festoon the ledge….. I can only hope that such families passing have the same walk/drive debate and can empathise…. If not, well…. Maybe they are cleaning out their cars rather than writing about not doing it..….
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Not as young as I used to be

Do you ever feel like you’re still 18? Oh I know I have a house, a family and a respected job, but every so often my little world is jolted by the reminder that I’m not as young as I think I am.

This weekend, in a rather belated family celebration, we went out for a meal. Now, going for a meal in our household is a rare treat, not because I like cooking so much (we have the obligatory fortnightly take-away), but because It’s too much hassle sometime to get, the children out the house, get ourselves out the house and be back in time for the bedtime routine. On this occasion my fears are confirmed, when, arriving at the family friendly restaurant (no swanky candlelit bars for us) we realise we have left the changing bag at home. The baby had done a poo and we don’t have his meal time paraphernalia, cue trip to local Tesco for husband while I wait for our order to arrive!

In walks a group of young people, I expect them to glance over (as young people do when either checking out the talent or the competition) they don’t see me, they order their Alco pops and instead, I’m greeted by a family of five and their screaming toddler… I send the mother a sympathetic look. Yep I’m not 18 anymore.

Our waitress is also in her teens, she looks affronted when I ask her to clean the highchair again (we had a terrible gastro incident involving a trip to hospital last time baby Roo ate from an unknown high chair) I feel like one of those clean freak mums, which if you saw my house, would def cause a raised eyebrow to these demands…. I waitressed once, I sneered at disinfectant wipe mothers but OMG I’m one of them now.

The waitress returns to bring our drinks, neither hubby nor I are drinking alco pops, or alcohol at all for that matter. Oh don’t get me wrong it’s not because we want to be responsible parents, I even offered to drive so he could have a West Country Cider but, we decide, neither of us want a sore head (or the other to have an excuse not to fetch baby from the cot at 3am). We have a coke each and I set about trying to calm the baby by whipping out my boob, the other mother throws back my  sympathetic look and the teens look a little disgusted. They are talking about music festivals, I on the other hand am reassuring the eldest that it’s fine to use a single crayon to colour in the menu: leave them out in the cold long enough and all veg turns blue….. Harriet is not convinced!

When did my life change? When did blue crayons become more important than blue vodka drinks and hairspray…. I still feel 18!

Just as the meal is brought out, hubby returns with plastic cups, nappies, wet wipes and, low and behold, disinfectant wipes!!

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You know you’re a ‘Slummy Mummy’ when…..

  • You buy new vests for the baby rather the tackle the washing basket
  • You have sung ‘mumma mumma me me me me more milkshake’ to yourself at least twice this year.
  • You wish it wasn’t taboo to do the school run in your jammies.
  • Your wardrobe houses 3 different sizes of clothes –
  • You can’t fit into any of them.
  • You own a Kath Kidson picnic basket, but 9 times out of ten have opted for pre-prepared sandwiches.
  • Going to the supermarket is a day out.
  • Despite being both appalled and disgusted with yourself, you have lingered on ITV a few seconds more than you should to find out who the daddy is –
  • You justified this by saying that it puts your life in perspective.
  • You wish it wasn’t taboo to attend baby groups in your jammies.
  • You use wet wipes to clean everything…
  • You say ‘that’s not my (insert noun)’ daily, and chuckle to yourself….. (Items include: dishcloth, potato, baby).
  • You can’t remember the last time you wore those must have heels (but you’re pretty sure no one wears platforms anymore).
  • Wearing odd socks is most defiantly a fashion statement.
  • You wish it wasn’t taboo to visit the newsagents in your jammies.
  • You have resorted to using curtains when throwing together a fancy dress outfit….

Can You think of anymore???

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