So much is promised for mums on Mother's Day. A blissful sleep in. Gorgeous children collaborating with humour and joy to serving you breakfast in bed. Beautiful gifts purchased thoughtfully from an expensive department store.
OR ... it could look like this:
Friday: Tears at breakfast because we couldn't find enough $5 notes around the house to pay for my presents at the Mother's Day stall. The 4 year old did use her own money (apparently she knows what a $5 note looks like - this was news to me) and went happily off to the preschool mother's day stall. I suggested that the Tupperware measuring set looked good, but she went STRAIGHT for the cellophane wrapped pink bubble bath. Handed over her money and happily stuffed it in her bag.
She spent the whole walk home in the afternoon pestering me about when she could open her present and I gave up suggesting it was actually meant for me, her mother.
So she opened it up and kept it for herself.
The big day arrives: I am happily and deeply asleep (have to add that husband is away on a conference for the weekend so there is no soft landing when it came to waking up). However, the small child is whispering in my ear "When can we open your presents Mum?" and "Can you help me wrap up (wait for it) YOUR (Ah, ha! It's apparently now mine!) present?". So I find myself, still very much asleep, wrapping up my own present, which had previously (see 'Friday') been wrapped.
Then the wailing starts. One of the plastic flowers on the card that the 6yo bought at the stall has fallen off. He's a perfectionist and so we're straight into crisis mode. Still half asleep I find myself fixing my own card.
But this is not OK - because now I've seen the card and "the surprise is wrecked - W R E C K E D Mum (more wailing)".
So I make my breakfast and hop back into bed. I announce that I will now be receiving presents. I open:
- A mug with 'Coffee' written all over it - ("Sorry Mum, I know you don't drink coffee, but they'd run out of all the tea mugs by the time I got to the stall").
- Some dreadfully stinky body spray to match last year's allergy causing hand cream (still decorating a shelf in the bathroom) and fragrance sachet (Ocean Fresh) that smells like something I'd use to clean the toilet.
- A cute snow cone with a Japanese lady dressed in a kimono stuffed in it (you kind of have to see it I guess)
I say, of course, all the right things. I tell them they can now watch TV (ie. - leave me alone). I read my book, drink my tea and it's all good.
I love being a Mum - I seriously do. And they are sooooo excited about these presents. But I think next year I'm going to plan better and get Rowan to take them shopping for things I need or would find useful.
Mind you, the whole day was quite funny and so far removed from any advertising I've ever seen about Mother's Day. Just quietly, I would have quite liked a pair of winter pj's, but I suspect that I'm just incidental to the whole thing!
2014 postscript: They're still buying me things from the mother's day stall. Can't fight the system!