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08/05/2011 / melgardener

All I wanted for Mother’s Day

Last year, for Mother’s Day, I had a very simple, very short list of requested gifts.

A sleep in.

I didn’t need expensive perfume, I had no use for another pair of slippers, my waistline certainly didn’t require any more chocolate (particularly after the scoff-fest that happened at Easter), and I wasn’t interested in being taken out for breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner.

All I wanted was a few peaceful hours in bed.

By myself.

Prior to last year’s Mother’s Day I had taken the precaution of sitting my family down and explaining, in very clear and basic language, my gift requirement. I feel I was eloquent, personable, calm and crystal clear – no room for misunderstanding.

Did it happen? In a word…no (well, to be fair, it would be a very boring blog post if all had gone as planned).

Morning came. The children briefly made an appearance bedside and were given immediate orders to depart and locate their other parent. This they did, which disconcerted me for a short time (it’s quite unlike their usual behaviour), then I remembered my strong verbal argument from a few days before, gave myself a self-congratulatory pat on the back, and quickly fell back asleep.

5 minutes later there was a tap on my shoulder and a little whisper in my ear: “Mum, do you want a cup of tea?”

I mumbled something that was supposed to sound like “No, thank you, darling” but I fear may have come out more like the roar of a grizzly bear awoken from hibernation a month too early. I vaguely remember hearing the scampering of little feet retreating at pace as I drifted back to sleep.

5 minutes later – Another tap, this time from a slightly larger hand with a slightly louder whisper: “Mum, are you okay? Are you having a nice sleep in?”

This time I’m sure I sounded more like a Tyrannosaurus Rex which hadn’t eaten in around a year and had just spotted a nice looking meal. More scampering.

5 minutes later – No more tapping, just a tentative enquiry from the relative safety of the foot of the bed: “Mum, I want to give you a cuddle. Can I come in? Just for a minute”.

Now it would have taken a much stronger resilience to guilt for me to deny that request so I sleepily lifted up the doona, shuffled across and allowed a small, warm body to climb in next to me.

Which was lovely for approximately three seconds before the little person decided to regale me with a blow-by-blow description of their morning so far, describe in detail what they’d had for breakfast, ask “when are you getting up?”, tell me about the apparently large mound of presents awaiting me when I did eventually get up, and generally wiggle and fidget around until I was lying half-in and half-out of the bed.

By this point I was completely wide awake and feeling very cranky. At that time I decided my family needed to be made aware of my disappointment with the delivery of my much-anticipated and longed-for gift so I decided to calmly and quietly sit them down and explain to them, using words of a developmentally-appropriate level, exactly what I had expected and where they had, so well-intentionally, let me down.

Unfortunately, my self-control faltered at the first eye-roll and I suspect most of Australia heard my shrill yells. Not a moment I’m proud of but I feel justified in claiming provocation.

This year? Same request. Made even more forcefully than last year (I included a written contract which I required all of them to sign – even the four year old who can’t write yet).

And the outcome? Well, let’s just say that I’m still in my pyjamas at 10.30am.

Happy Mother’s Day to my own fabulous Mum and all the wonderful Mums out there (particularly those who are no longer with us). How was your Mother’s Day? Did you get any lovingly-made gifts? How did you celebrate or remember your Mum?


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