Friday, 27 March 2015

What's in a Name?

What's in a name? Well quite a lot actually if you're an expectant Muma, about to give life to a new human, and a whole new identity!

I'm not keen on responsibility, I mean, really really not keen; as a child I positively shied away from any kind of leadership - I recall on family holidays it was my younger sister who was entrusted with the room keys or the pocket money. Not me - please god don't trust me with that. Lost, broken, basically ballsed up. With this in mind you can only imagine my Pregnant Muma mind going into overdrive: The responsibility which was about to hit me; How the hell will I grow a child once they are on the outside?

But more to the point: What the actual fuck am I going to call them?!

If I'm being completely honest a name influences my opinion of a person before I have even met them. It gives me a clue as to their nationality or heritage, if they are a bit posh or a bit not, and sometimes even their age. I know you shouldn't have preconceived ideas based solely on a person’s name, but I just can’t help it!

It is this frankly unorthodox opinion overflow that made choosing our babies names SO HARD! Well, that coupled with the fact that my darling husband coaches tennis to children- a lot of them - for years now. oh and didn't want our children to have been named after ANY of his previous or current little charges.

HOLY CRAP. I think I threw the 5 different baby names books into a charity box. (5 may seem excessive but that only further demonstrates the responsibility I felt at choosing a name!)
Our 'naming conversations' went mainly like this

"How about Kate?"
"Nope ex girlfriend's name"

"Amelia?" (hopefully, I loved this one)
"knew an Amelia once, age 5, pigeon toed)

"Daphaney?" (Id got him - surely this was a newy, who cares if I didn't even like it!)
"I hope that's the hormones!" - ahhhhhh

And then Dan would begin:

"Jessica?" (He was noncommittal but curious ...)

"Never. School: terrible experience with a Jessica!"

“Perfect, If I was about to give birth to a pensioner”
And so it continued for months - about 8 months to be precise, for each baby. The constant back and forth, the frantic searching for my phone in the middle of Tesco's to tap in a newbie that I liked in my Notes section, handily entitled, 'NAMES I DONT HATE.' To help us out the first time round we had found out we were just looking for The Perfect Girls Name.
Alleluia we had done it - Human was safe and well and in our arms: TICK. Welcome Darcie. Never been taught by Dan, never encountered by me at school. In fact neither of us even knew a Darcie, except of course for Mr Fit-as-you-like Darcy.  Different spelling, done.

Two terrifyingly brilliantly crazy years passed, and you guessed it: back to square one!
But this time we decided a surprise was the order of play: a boys AND a girl’s name were needed.

"HOW CAN WE EVER MATCH DARCIE?!" - The mantra for the next 7 months.
Well we did, when Lila Grace arrived just over a year ago. How unusual a name we thought. How original we thought. You never hear the name Lila…

…Until you bloody have one.
For the past year every second child has been Lila or Isla. Seriously. In the last two days alone,  I have obviously been at parks and play groups which are only allowed to be attended by Lilas Or Islas. Hundreds of them, all of a sudden, bloody everywhere!!

There we were feeling all smug at the originality of our name choices. How our babies could be individuals, maybe even a bit quirky with the names we had carefully – no not a strong enough word, MATICULOUSLY selected.
How deluded we were: it’s not the name that precedes their individuality, it’s their quirky personalities. Their funny little ways, their interests and their character. Hang on - we are responsible for the nurture of that character aren't we? And have further responsibility  to introduce them to said future interests, don't we... ?! AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!
So 'The Name' was just the beginning.

Well really, come on - what's in a name?!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Best of Intentions...

"Your making it impossible for me to be the mother I always imagined I would be" - smiley crying emoji needed here...

Picture this: Clean dungarees, smooth French plaits- finished off with matching hair bands, and clips, shoes on the correct feet, oh with a PAIR of socks inside them, teeth brushed, and actually cleaned, a healthy breakfast of muslei with a piece of fruit washed down with a homemade smoothly, all consumed at the kitchen table while singing the alphabet song.
Ahhh this is what I thought I would achieve everyday as a muma. A Hollywood version of motherhood. Instead I seem to be in the staring role of a Carry On film! What's more I truly believe I could achieve this hankered after ideal- if it wasn't for my children!
Somehow our mornings go more like this:
Was-washed-possibly-ironed-at-some-point-now-scrunched-up-in-drawer outfit, hair grabbed at through shouting and then bribery and tamed somehow into a version of a pony tail maybe with with one clip- hopefully the Elsa one. One bed sock (madams current fave) and one trainer sized sock, shoes on wrong feet. Corrected- hopefully, but not always, before getting out of the car at nursery drop off. Breakfast would have been "NUTELLA I ONLY WANT NUTELLA", with a nesqik milkshake thrown together the minuite I step over the kitchen threshold at approx 6.50am. All gobbled down while I am asked one of life's pressing questions like "mummy when will the magic powers begin to come out of my hands?".
All to the backdrop of ToddlerMonster's morning whinging, or meddling. The new Toilet Dash game is seriously keeping me on my toes, and wearing rather thin now. She may only be half a metre tall but that girl could give bolt a run for his money once she has a found a lucky object destined for the porcelain treasure chest in her hand.
I'm resigning myself to the fact that this 'Perfection' can not be achieved one handed. As in actually ONE HANDED! It's amazing really how many chores you can do one handed! - load and unload the dishwasher, make dinner, bake a cake- yes really.
If I had the use of both hands, frankly I'd be dangerous! But maybe I would achieve that allusive perfection?!

You're invited! - Oh the politics of it all...

February approaches and the whispers of the Birthday Party Brigade have already begun. It seems  every child turns 4 in March, like its the rule. What was 9 months before that...? Oh yes, long summer nights ;)

It appears I had already missed the boat on inviting Darcie's birthing group to her party; Early Jan the 1st Save the Date text arrived! A party fixed on the exact date Darcie's party was intended to be for. Ah well - 8 less party bags to stuff full of sugary rubbish and plastic tat; Not such a bad thing.

This year all parents to little girls have been cursed by Disney: The Frozen Era! I have lost count of the amount of Frozen themed birthday parties my circle of mummy friends and I have been subject to over the past few months. If I hear Let It Go one more time...
Of course the first thing that comes out of Darcie's mouth as I utter the words with bated breath, "Any thoughts on Birthday party ideas?"  The reply made me wince, "FROZZZZZZZEN I WANT A FROOOOZZZZZEEEEEN PARTY." Gotta hand it to her - kid knows what she wants.

So, dutifully dotting Daddy and crazed muma set about planning, booking and trying to fiddle a Frozen party out of a tight budget. I'm thinking colour themes of the film, and not the actual Disney character plastic cups for £74565000000 for 10! Oh what a whinger I am. But seriously the amount they charge for a kid to have a drink out of a plastic cup which will inevitably be knocked over, soaking the bloody character gold plated table cloths, the super doper Olaf Napkins and pool a neat squash puddle drowning their party rings on the Elsa Plates -DO NOT PUT FOOD OR DRINK ON THE TABLEWARE!!!!! So, to save my hysteria we have settled on a few helium Elsa balloons which should last a little better than extortionate paper rubbish.

If the planning wasn't enough of a minefield it's got nothing on the complexity of compiling: The Guest List.
Apparently boys don't make the cut anymore: Q Muma reasoning with, and then pleading that some of her good mummy friends have little boys and it's not going to look good in Muma World if those ruddy little faces aren't sitting around that unDisney party table eating my Lidl nibbles. Phew good, 3 made it through to The List.
The girls were slightly more tricky. we went with a blanket invite approach: Whole class. If you have a tray - they'll be an invite in it!
DISASTER STRUCK: What should there be in all of these little darlings drawers: ANOTHER PARTY INVITE! AAAAAhhhhhhhhhh! Well we ploughed on, and amended a few invites to read 'AND SIBBLINGS'. - Most we know anyway and are thankfully lovely!
Etiquette dictates you should always reply to an invitation. I always do and feel it is the right thing to do. So, like always I replied to the Little girl's Muma which is also having a Frozen party at the same time as Darcie's. -Lovely little message it was, did I get a reply? Hell no I didn't! Did same muma reply to the invitation Darcie had kindly put in her friends tray? HELL NO! Seriously, manners people, manners.
Don't like to boast, but 10 out of 12 little girls in their class will be at Darcie's party. Pays to be nice in the playground...