What is the best present you can ever give a parent? The answer is not those bootie things that however cute the little fuckers are (boots not children, though the boots would probably suggest some kind of mutual responsibility), will only stay on the baby’s feet long enough for the parents to take the obligatory Facebook thank you photo. There are much more sensible presents like vouchers for nappies, or even as my clever sister did for my second child, a large box of frozen meals from those nice people at Cook. She even included (which just goes to show what a wondrous person she is) some toddler meals in there as well. So though I was hindered from truly embracing the new baby survival diet of jaffa cakes, nutrigrain bars, bananas and toast and I have just about forgiven her, on the plus side at least my oldest child did not get scurvy. Nor indeed was Annabel Karmel herself forced to blaze into my house with a long stem sprouting purple broccoli staff denouncing fish fingers as junk food (lies – fingers in ears!) as she razed my house to the ground leaving nothing behind but a small boy with a lightning shaped scar running down his forehead. Whaaat? I’m not saying Annabel Karmel is Voldemort but I do sometimes think she sounds curiously sssibilant.
Anyway I fear I have veered somewhat off the point *pause… cracks open third bottle of beer* as the best present to get a parent and I mean any parent; the ones with little babies; the ones with big babies; the ones with toddlers and up… is a lie in. Oh the beauteous feeling of not having to wake up at whatever hour your children dictate. The stretch, the yawn, the realisation you don’t have to wake up, the turning round, the stroking of the pillow ‘oh so soft’ and going back to sleep.
I realise that giving someone a lie in is a tricky thing logistics wise as you need to sort of be in situ quite early in the morning. But (and I shake my head sternly at you) the problems are not insurmountable. You can just turn up fairly earlyish – to be honest anything before nine – and we can go back to bed. It’s not maybe quite as good as the full lie in, particularly as if the children are anything like mine they will have been up from just past six, but we are parents we will take anything!!
For me absolutely the best thing about mother’s day is not the home made cards – it is the guilt free lie in. In my view Mother’s day should be a bit less of this.. .
and a lot more of this…
The kiddoos are obviously welcome to bring me food – I will not complain about doing my favourite thing in my favourite place – but only after 11. And after my reinvigorating 12 hours I won’t even be grumpy when they steal my croissant and smear jam all over my duvet.
This is why sleep is the best gift to give anyone. It’s not just good for the body it’s good for the soul. A mother with at least a full eight hours under her belt is much more able to deal with well… pretty much everything. We smile more, we are brighter, we look better and we feel sexier. You see all those men in playgrounds on a Saturday morning. They aren’t there for the bonding time with their children. They are thinking maybe, juuust maybe, I might get some tonight.