Whenever I go to the town centre I can pretty much guarantee that there will be people trying to get shoppers to sign up for various charities. The Northern One calls them charity muggers. I’m a bit more ‘charitable’ as they’re usually unfailingly polite and don’t pester you if you say you’re in a hurry or just not interested in their particular charity.
Most of the time they try to attract attention by saying ‘Good morning’ or ‘Good afternoon’ or ask someone if they can spare a couple of minutes and when they use this approach (and I’m not in a hurry) I’m more than happy to stop and chat to them for a bit. I listen to what their charity aims to achieve before explaining that we already donate to several charities every month in the form of direct debits and that we can’t really afford any more at the moment but when we are in a financial position to support more charities we will definitely consider adding them to the list.
Everyone needs to earn money and maybe these particular people feel that by being out in all weathers trying to drum up interest for their particular charity that they’re doing something positive and beneficial in addition to being able to pay their bills.
They’ve been out in force this week (maybe because the weather has been so nice) and their methods of attracting attention have become much more inventive and, in some cases much more annoying.
On Tuesday, while I was out with Squidge in his pram, a rather enthusiastic young man (God I’m old) tried to get me to come and talk to me by calling ‘Hey, Supermum’.
I ran past him with the pram, my head down, thankful for my sunglasses because they hid the tears that had sprung to my eyes. I did manage to gasp out ‘Sorry, I’m in a hurry’ as I shot past. I didn’t want him to that he didn’t think I was completely lacking in manners.
It wasn’t his fault but on that day I felt like anything but Supermum.
We weren’t out for a walk that day because I was a good mum.
We weren’t going to the park or to feed the ducks or anything fun like that. I hadn’t thought that it would be good for Squidge to be out in the sun or that I hadn’t even remembered to bring the pram parasol with us.
We were out because I couldn’t cope with trying to entertain him in the house for a minute longer. I was completely fed up with him making a mess, throwing toys around and dropping food on the floor because he thought it was funny to look over the side of his high chair and wave at whatever he’d dropped.
I know these are completely normal things for a one year old to do.
His way of exploring his environment; discovering different sounds, experimenting with textures and generally finding out what different things do and how they react with each other.
I couldn’t take another second of it.
I was hoping that if I walked around for long enough he’d fall asleep so that I could have half an hour just to try and organise my thoughts. I wanted some peace and quiet, to listen my classical music and decide what I was going to write about next.
In the end it doesn’t really matter what my motivation was. We both got out and about and made the most of the sunshine, I got some exercise and Squidge got to indulge in his favourite sport of people watching and generally having a good nose at everyone and everything.
He occasionally called ‘Mama’ to check that it was still me pushing the pram and not some random stranger who’d taken over while he wasn’t paying attention but apart from that he was quite content to sit, play with his pram toys and just generally watch the world go by. I still talked to him as we walked, pointing out the various things that we could see and hear until he fell asleep with his sunhat over his face and I breathed a small sigh of relief.
I know that every mum has days where they feel like they can’t cope and when they’ll do anything to just get to bedtime without losing their marbles.
It’s just I feel like I have more of these days than days where I feel like I’m doing well.
Maybe I’m being too hard on myself (I know that in reality I am).
At the end of each day we’re both still alive, we’re both washed and dressed and fed. The house may be a tip and I may not have been organised enough to get us out and about but Squidge has had plenty of time to play and I’ve not spent the day following him around so that I can tidy up behind him.
There’s been plenty of kisses and cuddles and giggles and I’ve managed to grit my teeth and (mostly) smile when he’s dropped his lunch on the floor for the umpteenth time or lobbed toys full of water over the side of the bath.
I may be tired and soggy and generally a bit fed up and in need of a hug and a large G&T but Squidge has gone to bed happy and usually sleeps well (unless he’s cutting another buggering tooth).
I may not be quite ready to start wearing my undies over the top of my trousers just yet but I’m doing ok.
Just don’t call me Supermum, ok?