Monthly Archives: September 2016

All Because the Lady loves

Once upon a time when I was single girl, in the days before wellies and well, em, boys, I was quaint and I did love a silver service. Knowing this, a wonderful friend once bought me an antique wooden tray. A egg shell coloured tray with gold rim, just enough space in the handles for a dainty lady to carry and the picture of two antique roses on top. Beautiful. I used it a lot, in my free time, when I wasn’t working, I lived like a retiree, going from one elegant cup of tea to the next. Ah, the memory of it.

Alas, there is nothing like life to come and add some rough edges. Trying to keep my beautiful tray from recieving the Brosnan young boy treatment, I hid it, under the socks; a guarentee that it would never be seen again. For with a gaggle of young sons, a farmer and yours truly, the dilemma of the sock mountain has yet to be overcome, literally.

This morning, in the rush for one pair of matching socks, just one, Lord, just one, I came accross my tray. It’s image must have attached itself to me for it hung with me whilst I ran two boys to school, got an emergency milk cluster shell at the creamery (I know), and the obligatory bottle of calpol for the feverish little one. And because my young man had not slept very well last night, he duly toddled his way up the wooden stairs for some much needed sleep.

So out came the tray.

Holding back on breakfasts, as mommys sometimes do, until the crew are all delivered to their posts, I had it all to eat now. I lay that beautiful tray on my table and on it I placed the warmed porridge with creamy milk, some fresh juice, brown bread with butter and jam, some coffee. It needed a napkin, some lovely (and by lovely I mean clean) cutlery, some brown sugar and a tidy space to lay it down. I dare not look around because you know what the house looks like, I need not describe it to you. No. Instead, know that the lady of the house enjoyed her peaceful breakfast looking out over the mountains of Kerry on a bright sunny morning as the last of the lavendar wave their goodbyes. I dare not come to the end of this post, and know that the lovely tray will have to be put away, maybe somewhere that from now that it will serve as a reminder to the quaint little lady inside who needs a quiet and darling old time.

He’s grand

Please understand. If you are a young mother in need of company, reassurance and a chat with your babe in arms then the mother and baby gettogether is a very valuable haven. But it was not for me. And it has taken me seven years before I can come out of the baby closet and tell you why.

I gave an hour of my life to a mother and baby ‘todo’ and I will never get that hour back. Nor do I want it!

Living in the countryside when you are a young mother is altogether very difficult. Living anywhere when you are for the most part alone with a new infant without your parents, siblings and friends to rant to is very difficult. You love your new infant but the trouble is he doesn’t come with instructions or a wide vocabulary or an ability to dress himself. Imagine!

So finding myself in a similar state when my first born very patient child was born, I took the advise of a visiting nurse (it’s always the nurse!) and took myself off to a mother and baby group. Now to begin with my expectations were high. I wanted to know how to keep this little person in good stead while keeping myself, well, sane. I wanted laughter, I wanted a little light relief, I wanted some friends. I don’t ask for much. Instead what did I get? An hour long conversation on poo. No. An hour long graphic and visual conversation on poo.

Only a young mother, breastfeeding her child or otherwise can fully appreciate the obsession that one has when her first born arrives with the colour of their, excuse me, stool. But put a group of young walking wounded sleep deprived women with young babies in a room is, or was in my mind, a reciepe for disaster. All it takes is one person to mention the poo word and they were off.

‘Yes, it was black and tar-ry on day one, and then it became more yellow and mustardly.’

‘Is yours still mustardy’. ‘Yes.’ ‘And smelly.’

‘Mine isn’t so much as mustardly as kind of greenish now. The nurse said that was alright.’

‘Can I see?’ And yes, she did reveal all. I was indignant on behalf of the babe in arms. But it didn’t stop there. All members of the assembled group joined in while I covered my sons eyes at the scenes of bare bottom nudity while rashes were examined and nappy contents continued to be dissected ad nauseum. And what was I looking for? What did this party need beside alcolhol?

Why, a sense of humour. Why are we mature adults not seeing the hilarity of talking about poos. Was I the only one who felt that I had just left the real for the surreal? That common sense had left the building and taken its buddy humour with it. Looking back, the only sensible addition to the meeting would have the presence of an older mother, a granny or mother of three grown children to periodically look up from her knitting and say ‘he’s grand’. Sitting there in the middle diffusing all anxieties with ‘he’s grand.’ ‘That’s nothing girl’, he’s grand’. For that’s how it was done you know, new mothers were held in the care of the wider family and shown how to rear their young and dismiss nagging worries with nonchalant shrugs and laughter.

So there you have it. I feel lighter for having said it. I’m sure there are more positive experiences out there in the world of mammy and baby meetings but I don’t want to know. I am no longer the young mother lost in a sea of questions about babies but beggining to become fluent in the language of the mature mammy uttering ‘he’s grand’ at every fall. ‘Up ow that, you’re grand.’

So come here you young mammies, please know, he (or indeed she) is just grand. Big love to you.