Archive for the ‘Shame’ Category


Like sorting Lego into colours, listing your worries makes you feel like you’re making progress. In both cases this is an illusion.

I’m supposed to be revising my manuscript. I’m supposed to be making the characters appear at the right times and the jokes be funny and the poignant parts be more plentiful and the scenes that don’t carry the plot forward be gone. But I can’t because I have too much panicking to do.

When I get like this, my first instinct is to panic at other people. Those in prime position to cop the panic are H and my Mum. I’ve panicked quite hard at them over the past few days and they’ve, in one voice, said ‘make a list of all the problems’ and ‘take the list to your counseller and stop banging on to us’. Obviously they said this in a nicer way.

What they probably really meant was ‘make a list and publish it on the internet, so there is a permanent record of your lunacy’, so that’s what I’ll be doing this morning.


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First prize for The Pun With The Most Elaborate Set-up: H announced this morning that his watch is set to 'Green H mean time'.

We’re back from our holiday a bit early, because there were a number of issues in our lives that needed tending to. Things were outstanding. (Don’t you love that word? So much nicer than ‘overdue’.) Bills needed paying, friends needed seeing, physiotherapists needed consulting and H and I needed to acknowledge that two weeks alone on a farm with a toddler is one week too many.

Among the outstanding tasks is  May Blossom’s eighteen-month checkup. What Dr Who-style wormhole in time has allowed eighteen months to pass since her birth five minutes ago I do not know, but there you have it. (more…)

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It was my birthday yesterday and I behaved like a shit. It happens every year. I spend the lead-up acting all nonchalant about it and not giving a toss about what plans are made and what presents I get, and then I complain about it all after the fact. (more…)

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My toddler thinks I am a massive hypocrite. I can’t convince her otherwise.

Last week I was grating a raw beetroot into a pot of soup (this soup, incidentally, which is so delicious I almost ate H’s portion before he got home — the beetroot is my addition, because it was lurking in the compost drawer of the fridge). May Blossom was sitting at the kitchen table eating her dinner.

When she saw me with blood red hands, dropping what looked for all the world like shreds of myself into the pot, firstly, and very sensibly, she freaked out. She burst into tears, wringing her hands and crying ‘Ow, Mummy. OW!’ I stopped at once and washed my hands, showed her that most of it was washing off and she calmed down. (more…)

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Very soon May Blossom will be seventeen months old. Since one of the purposes of this blog is to serve as the baby book she never had, because  for ten months I couldn’t find a pen in my bombsite of a flat, I’ll tell you a bit about my girl these days.

May Blossom loves to play. Anything that involves chasing, shrieking and creating mayhem gets her seal of approval. Yesterday she and her mate Seamus (the same age) invented a game I dubbed ‘Letterbitch’. It involved both of them standing in front of the fridge and using violent flailing arm movements to swipe all the magnetic letters onto the floor, while shouting what sounded to me like ‘BITCH!’ over and over again. It was extremely funny. Only later, when relating the tale to someone, did it occur to me that they were probably yelling ‘FRIDGE’. I’m not used to them knowing many real words yet. It unnerves me. I’m sticking with Letterbitch. (more…)

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May Blossom has recently stopped calling me Mummy and now refers to me as Money. Either she has developed a speech impediment or she is channelling Vince Vaughn in the 1996 indie hit film Swingers. I am leaning towards the latter option, because she also drew the picture above when we were out at dinner the other night. It’s not just me, that’s a martini glass, right? She is so money.

In other areas of my life in which I am clearly not money, I went back to the gym today for the first time since I was five months pregnant. It was not, as they say, a complete success. It turns out there is a difference between fat and fit. I thought that since I had lost all the weight I gained with the pregnancy, and since I spend all day every day running around after a toddler, that I would be fine with a proper workout. Not so much. (more…)

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Today May Blossom and I went to a new (to us) local playgroup. There, in front of eight or so other mothers and a dozen kids, she had a complete meltdown. It was a proper toddler-sized one, complete with tears, snot, foot stamping, shrieking and furious air-punching. It came about because she had been driving around for ages in one of two big plastic toy cars. She loved it. A little boy, a year or two older than her and quite shy, clearly wanted a turn, so I explained that and after giving her the chance to hop out and give him a go, I removed her from the car. You’d have thought I’d drowned her kitten.

It probably wasn’t as awful to others as it was to me, but most of the other mums there have two or more kids, and I suddenly felt like a complete beginner. Were they judging me? Did they think I was a bad mother? Or worse, did they think May Blossom was a horrible child? It was a trial visit and if we are asked back it could become a regular part of our routine. I so wanted us to make a good impression. (more…)

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Decorating: done (yes, all my bookshelves are this pretentious)

There are but three shopping days left until Christmas, dear reader(s). You’re probably sitting back smugly upon reading that fact, thinking ‘Well those are three more days than I need, because I am very organised and superior and all my gifts are bought and wrapped elegantly and sitting under my real Christmas tree which is tastefully decorated with charming and whimsical ornaments and soft white twinkling lights. All there is for me to do is sit back and peruse my Christmas menu, most of which I have already prepared and which is macerating, marinating, steeping, gelling and otherwise improving itself in my walk-in pantry and my huge fridge.’

Well bully for you, reader. Things ain’t looking so pretty around here. A few minutes ago, in a new  low of parenting, I procured a Christmas stocking for my child from a printer toner shop. For free. Basically, I begged it from the window display. (more…)

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Is there something in your house that is vile and shameful? Something you and all who dwell with you close your eyes to and ignore, but you can’t really ignore it because the more you try the more it becomes the only thing you can see? Something you pretend is brown grout, when deep down you know that as ugly and dated as your nineteen-forties bathroom is, even back then no-one used brown grout. Something that deep down you know is mould? (more…)

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