Wednesday 26 June 2013

Being shamelessly middle class – and apologising for it…

You go away for 24 hours and you come back fully aware that you need to shout it loud and proud.
My kids go to private school because it never entered my head that there was an alternative. Or words to that effect.
My name’s Tattie Weasle and I AM Middle Class.
If there’s one thing I learnt during my brief sojourn in Town (London for the uninitiated) at the glorious Britmums Live event, is that to have an authentic voice you need to be true to yourself.
For years I have been apologising for being Middle Class. In fact that is one of the traits of being Middle Class (pronounced “Clarse” as in arse) – forever saying that you’re sorry for being so.
That being so, I now humbly beg forgiveness.
If I were Working Class I’d tell everyone to “Foxtrot Oscar” and “What You LOOKIN at” and if I were Upper Class – well I wouldn’t speak to you anyway, or if I deigned, I might raise an eyebrow in askance.
I think being Middle Class is very confusing as you vacillate between being very proud for being so and worrying what others may think of you.
There’s a lot of guilt being Middle Class.
In fact there are 9.63 million Google hits about it and I think that is a lot.
Secretly though it’s not so much guilt as fear; fear of being laughed and derided by the Upper Classes or else beaten up by the lower orders and having everything taken away.
Thus you land up trying very hard to be invisible by seamlessly blending in to one and frantically claiming solidarity with the other. One requires expensive shopping trips and claiming that you know who won this year at Burghley and that yes you do know your chukka from your bump; and the other renders you incomprehensible to English speaking nations as you reclaim your Working Class roots (Class now pronounced as in ass) along with dropping you aitches and hastily adopting a mockney accent even though your antecedents hailed from Wales.
So it is with a great deal of trepidation and frantic crossing of fingers that I promise to speak with my own voice – possibly for the very first time in my life.
And I won’t be apologising…well, not all the time!

Thursday 20 June 2013

Bringing up boys - one dog at a time!

One boy and his dog...
"If that little bugger goes anywhere near my new boots!!"
I'll what? - Sell it after all?
Of course not.
They are as bad as each other. No blooming respect for anything.
Out the kitchen door, straight up the stairs and into the bedrooms. Slippers, socks, biros, teddies - nothing is sacred. He's been up on the table, in the dishwasher. He's stolen from the fridge and piddled on the carpet. Chewed two baskets and nearly given me a heart attack appearing from the laundry room with my knickers in his mouth
That puppy is worse than his mother, and I thought she was the ultimate Wicked Whippet. This one! Well, he is the devil incarnate, a diablo and not helped one iota by his new master.
Thick as thieves. One forever in search of the other.
I don't know whether to congratulate or kick myself.
You might have guessed but I finally gave in - he's got his dog.
I suppose it was kind of inevitable that I'd let him but I hope he never really knew that. I hope he felt that he has really earned his dog. It was certainly hard going.
I cannot count the times he 'lost' the dog for continually answering back, showing attitude. For lack of respect and thumping his brother.
But for all of those mistakes there were a thousand good ones in their place. Being kind to others, laying up the table, clearing up the dog mess without asking, and more than that for keeping on trying at school even though it never seemed as if there was any progress at all.
There he'd be struggling away with no reward; being knocked back countless times but still trying.
He's won the ultimate challenge. He kept his end of the bargain - just.
So I am keeping mine.
Another wicked whippet enters the annals - welcome to the pack - Jet Bag!

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Bad Mother Moments #4 - A case of not believing when your youngest says he’s feeling sick while looking at a plate of salad…

This is What I Think of Greens!
It is a truth universally acknowleged, that a small boy in possession of a dish of greens, must be in want of a way to get rid of it. And if that way is to throw–up then throw-up one must.
Problem is this does not endear you to your parents - in particular your Mum, who lives in fear that you will never grow because you don’t always eat your one a day let alone your five.
Thus was I faced with a rebellious small boy on Sunday evening flatly refusing to eat his salad.
“It makes me sick!”
“Horrocks! Greens never made anyone sick!”
“They will you know! They’ll make ME sick!”
Shades of Violet Elizabeth  Bott, I thought murderously. We have been battling for months with Bog Boy to get him to eat fruit and veg, especially the green stuff, and after a long half term, and an equally long Sunday, this latest mutiny was one too far and I flipped:
“If you throw up I will make you eat it all back up!”
I didn’t think he was going to be sick, honestly I didn’t! I just wanted him to stop being a pain in the neck and just get on and eat his supper including his greens. I was tired and I wanted both my boys in bed so I could finally relax safe in the knowledge that tomorrow it would be someone else’s problem.
I gave him a gimlet-eyed stare and stomped off in to the TV room before I said anything further. Sometimes it is safest to leave them to it.
There was very little sound from the kitchen and all seemed to be going well but then there was the most almighty wail. The kind of wail that has any parent up in a flash. The wail when you know your child is not mucking about and that this is an emergency.
The sight before my eyes was not pretty but it was the terrible moans escaping from Bog Boy that wracked me most:
“Oh NOooooooo” he sobbed almost incoherently, “I’m going to have to eat it all up!”
Of course I didn’t make him do anything of the sort but I was still angry. Little toad had drunk so much water he’s effectively made himself sick.
Fast forward to Monday and off they trundled to school with Bog Boy still behaving  in a ridiculous manner saying he was going to be sick if he ate breakfast.
He was still complaining at suppertime but everything had gone well at school so he had to be alright surely.
Supper was lovely Spaghetti Bolognese with a rich homemade tomato sauce. I promise he did not eat that much but at 10 o clock just as I was going to let the dogs out and trundle off to bed I heard a creaking on the stairs and was met by a wan little face with the most enormous eyes.
“I really have been sick this time Mummy and I didn’t make myself!”
Oh boy had he been sick several times along the corridor, the bathroom and oh dear god all over his bed the floor and everywhere – even bless him on his teddies Jelly and Puppy! There was not a hope in heck that he had made himself do this!
I felt SO very guilty! My poor little mite had been telling me he wasn’t well and I bad mother had totally ignored him!!!
PS. My Poor little mite is not going into school until Thursday and in the meantime he is sitting next to me playing on my ipad. The best cure for being sick he says….

Go on you know you want to...


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