Sunday, 29 July 2012

Mummy Olympics

The Olympics have commenced!  (Am I even allowed to say that, not being a major sponsor?)  And while I abhor the corporate machine grinding away, for me the Olympics is about the athletes who have worked their arses off preparing to do their best.  But there's another type of athlete, the Mummies out there, who are raising the next generation - a few Olympians among them - who I want to recognise today.  My darling friend Caroline, who has been an inspiration and a guiding light to me many times, has written about her very own Mummy Olympics...


About me:

I'm normal, BC (before child) I was a normal woman who spent time with other adults and held adult conversations and did adult things, I went to the hairdresser, wore white or black clothes and always had my nails and make up done. AC (after child) it ALL seemed to turn to shit. I've been known to go from normal, to lost, to neurotic, to broken in less than 30 seconds; that coupled up with no hair/make-up/nails done etc. can only spell out one thing: NEW MOTHER! After 18 months of being a new mother I have finally grasped that the life I had as an in control, social adult, with time on my hands, is long gone and has been replaced with express hair stay-on make-up and patterned clothes, but it’s all good as the birth of our daughter, Lulah had put a whole new spin on things and it’s all good in my books.

The Mummy Olympics:
Apparently the Olympics comes every four years, as any mother without a nanny will know, every day is a challenge of strength, agility, speed and stamina. It all starts at the crack of dawn in mid-slumber: on your marks, get set, cue gunshot (aka 1st howl of the morning), GO! And we’re off… and then greeted with the most wonderful smile, which almost makes waking up so early worth it.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner shot-put: you so know that you’re going to have something fired at you at great speed, whether it be milk or porridge, whatever the substance you know you’re gonna get covered. Through trial and error, or because someone’s told you, we know NOT to get dress until after baba has finished eating.

Wrestling: or should I say the nappy wrestle, we long for the natural development of our children as we all love to see them do new things; once learned, this can make the simplest tasks turn ugly and Lulah is no exception for this. After a wriggly slam dunk on to the changing mat she’ll wrap her legs round my hands as I go for the tags, only releasing so that she can get a foot in the soilage, once feet are soiled it’s a race against the clock to get these bad boys clean and out of the offending area while legs are giving Michael Flatly a run for his money, once the nappy is off, so is she with a full body flip on to the front, meaning I have to release my grip or dislocate her hip. When I’ve managed to put her on her back again the turning stats again; Mummy raises both gripped feet higher to inhibit flip but Lulah is still going for it, one leg release and Mummy goes in with wipe, Lulah is then released and both parties allowed to return to their corners, Lulah is returned to the mat with Mummy holding the feet in one hand and finger looped in nappy with the other. SLAM the nappy is up and Mum finishes with the tags, Mummy is left to clean soilage from surrounding area. Note to self don’t wipe poo on one’s face.

Despite what she tells you, she still looks
glamorous - AND she's teaching Lulah about
all important accessorising!
Pin the nappy on the moving target: should Lulah not want to return to the mat we have a new sport of putting the nappy on the moving target, with knees like the soles of my feet (from being on them too long), I quick shuffle round the room trying to pin Lulah with one had while unsticking and re-sticking the tabs on each side, quite some task as mine and Lulah’s head clearance is considerably different even when I'm on my knees; catching up with said child I then have to rearrange her, but cheeks so both are covered, mission accomplished! Now recover and repeat with clothes.

Toy Volleyball: how is it that Lulah still hasn’t learned to throw a ball yet but she can launch a toy some distance so long as you’re the target? I have had every toy with corners that Lulah owns thrown at me at one point or another, her favourite have to be wooden blocks, light, sharp and easy to aim, I'm a typical girl I never could catch…. Until now. And how comes they never feel the need to throw something soft?

Poker: I was never able to lie, I still can’t, but the poker face is your best tool against a gorgeous little horror who thinks funny to draw all over themselves with your make up, or empty your mother-in-law’s pot plant on to her cream carpet, or open the curtains in a changing room. This was never truer than a few weeks ago when I experienced my first mouth injury, leaving Lulah covered in blood, wave of panic and distress hidden, cleaned up and calm child as if nothing’s wrong – unleash tears in to G&T later, whether it’s for good or bad you can’t let it show, god knows all you want to do is burst out laughing/crying in an uncontrollable mess or take a photo, but as a law abiding parent you can’t, poker face it every time! And make sure you have a very good memory.

The 5, 10, 50, 100+ Sprint: OK so we all want our babies to stand up, crawl or walk, it’s the most amazing thing in the world when you see these things for the first time, but be warned this is where the real fun begins . Like moths to a flame, children can travel at speed towards anything they like the look of. These little monsters spend how many months not moving then they are like lightening! This is never truer than in the mornings as I fold the pram up and put it away in the nursery’s shed. Our routine goes: Lulah climes out of the pram, I take my handbag off the back, remove any nursery supplies and she normally stands there and waits for me to close and store the pram; clearly cars and roads are THE most exciting thing in the world so she’s off, handbag open on the ground, stack of nappies, pram half done, WHAT DO YOU DO??? No one in their right mind wouldn’t go after their child but then there you hand bag calling ‘steal me, steal me, I'm valuable’; is this a quandary we will ever know the answer to? Gold medal to the lady who told me about handbag insurance on my home insurance.

The buggy child press: Something I only started to experience when Lulah started to be more confident with her walking, she now has an aversion to sitting in the buggy, and it’s like I'm asking her to sit on a spike. It’s funny how many knowing looks you get at the nursery at the end of the day, children all practicing their planking skills as they go stiff as a board as you try and sit them in the pram for a quick skip home, and don’t you just feel like the worst person in the world when they kick up one almighty stink. My answer, she wants to lie flat out? I flatten the buggy out, lay the planking Lulah in and strap in quick and sit ‘em up! Works every time.

The one handed chore: Having me do one handed chores is a favourite of Lulah’s, she loves nothing more than to demand a cuddle or pick up the very moment I need to do something, I think it’s a sixth sense she was born with. Since becoming a mother I have mastered many chores, like buttering toast with a child attached: sit child on worktop, put bread, toast etc. behind child and spread like mad, this is not time for measuring out weightwatcher points or making sure you get to the edges, baby doesn’t care! This same tactic can be applied to many other things: opening cans, bottles, jars, but for god sake don’t let them see what you’re doing, you’re on your own then, go-go-gadget hand will be deployed and will remove all items from said worktop at lightening pace. The one handed chore can be adapted for carrying things, you may not have noticed but you actually have 4 thumbs and countless fingers to complete this, no checking now these extra digits are very shy and only come out when needed how else would you carry a small wriggly one, fav toy, changing bag, muslin, keys and a skinny latte eh? Us mothers also gain amazingly superhero strong legs from all the squatting and bending while performing one handed tasks, unfortunately this comes at the expense of completely shot knees, can’t help you with this one. Gold medal to the person who invented the baby sling.

Endurance: as every parent will know endurance is the key to everything in this sport, you have to keep your wits about you 24/7 so the Lulah’s of this world don’t run riot and grow up to be ASBO horrors! I wish there was a magic spell which you could use at such times when your resolve has dissolved, or if there is no one has let me in to the secret. What I will say, is keep yours and your partner’s intentions the same in front of little horrors, that battle can be held later out of earshot. They learn fast, so we have to learn faster and don’t forgot that it will end soon and everyone is in the very same boat as you at one time or another, and for when all else fails, there’s always wine!


Do you have any other events to suggest?

Cheers, KangaRue :)