Maternal Pride

28 May

No, not for the boy. It’s not what you are thinking.

Not that I’m not proud of him of course, hell I’m proud of him almost every day. Proud when he says please, proud when he speaks a new word, when he behaves himself at childminders, pretty much everything, apart from when he spits, blows snot down his chin and licks it or threatens to wee on me for a laugh.

But I digress.

No, today I am proud of me. And more specifically how, in the past week, I have somehow exhibited a few genuine maternal skills. And on top of that little bombshell, I have for once pulled my head out of my arse and put some long overdue thought and effort into being a nice daughter.

A few of you may be thinking “so what?” at this declaration, so I should make it clear right now that neither of these things come naturally to me.

As a mother, I’m all about the discipline: teaching right from wrong, controlling and containing the wild beast lurking inside my little devil of a child. But I’m seriously lacking the creativity gene. I’m also scared shitless of mess, chaos and injuries….. They bring me out in hives.

So when it comes to entertaining the boy, I prefer to stick to orderly, calm, quiet, or just sheer lazy activities such as reading, drawing, and “puter time”. Rarely can I conjure up the bravery and imagination to try anything even mildly “out there” and really fun.

But this week was different. This week was Grandma’s 60th birthday.

Normally on such occasions I prefer the grand gestures, and by that I mean expensive. But since my recent fertility treatment and it’s grizzly aftermath has done a pretty good job of wringing the bank account dry, this birthday would have to be different. I would have to pull my finger out and be creative. Gulp.

So here’s what I did to show Grandma I cared, and the boy a good time.

First off, Monday night. The boy came home from childminders and excitedly I suggested he paint Grandma a special picture. Like I said, the thought of where the paint might end up would usually be enough to send me into a panick attack, but today I was gonna LET THIS SHIT happen. Oscar would enjoy it, and we owed it to Grandma to make an effort.

So I stripped Roche Junior down to his pants (I’m not THAT stupid), covered the floor and covered him with an apron.

And off he went.

And for at least a few precious minutes the paint went wholly on the paper.

And then it went here……..


And here……


And on the kitchen cupboards, the work top, his socks, his legs and his hair.

And then I hyperventilated.

But the end result was a painting fit for Grandma, and a happy beaming boy.

Second, Tuesday night. The boy came home and I told him we were going to make some special cakes for Grandma’s birthday together. Brave.

I’ve tried baking cakes and cookies with Oscar before, but it has generally descended into utter disarray. So today I was going to need my wits about me and all the patience I could muster.

We weighed all the ingredients together (weighing….. maths you see! Reading numbers on the digital scales and counting as the weight increased. Good mummy). He beat the eggs, tried to eat the sugar, and eventually with my help, mixed all our carefully measured ingredients into a yummy cake mix.

We spooned the cake mix into cases (trying to get him to hit the cases instead of the baking tray was genuinely giving me heart palpitations at this point) and ever so gently put them in the oven, watching them rise every few minutes.

Then I made the buttercream (I draw the line at letting him mix icing sugar) and we decorated the cakes together.

Despite using quite possibly the simplest, most fool proof netmums recipe ever, Oscar and I were pretty ecstatic with the results.


Then in a final flourish, on Wednesday night, just an hour before the guest of honour was due to arrive for dinner, I screeched into the florists on the way home from work a whole 3 minutes before closing time to buy some giant balloons.

When I got home, I patiently helped Oscar write his name on her card, we wrapped her present together and hid her balloons.

When she arrived, Oscar proudly presented her with his creations and we sang happy birthday.

I have no idea if she enjoyed it, or whether she really would rather have just had some face cream. But seeing the smile on his face, and knowing the effort I had gone to to make this moment happen, left me feeling just that little bit warm and fuzzy.


2 Responses to “Maternal Pride”

  1. Russell Deasley May 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Making cakes and painting. It is the perfect kids time.

    …any cakes left?

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