Part of being a Postmodern Mammy, is being a Mammy. An Irish Mammy. That distinctive breed of Mammy defined by their down to earth stance, comforting hugs and kicks in the arse when required. As I embarked on my own adventures in parenting, I never thought that I the Mammy would emerge in it. Rising to the surface like bubbles on boiling spuds. Oh no, I thought, I will be different! I am the new generation! However, as the Mammyism’s fall out of my mouth like… well… like my own Mammy. My own words have started to embrace me much like a Mammy’s hug.
And so, here is my definitive list of Mammyism’s to date:
1. We didn’t have any of that in my day
This was stated in relation to my son’s anger over the failure of touch screen technology battery power. He was disgruntled (read engaged in a full blown tantrum) when the battery happened to run out one Saturday afternoon. In MY day, after you had commenced the hour long set up of the Commodore 64 (which we were eternally grateful to have), finished the loading of the game – a tense wait, you could then play (in turns) a game where you could go either up and down or back and forth. And we were transfixed. Hours we spent trying to get a ball to bounce. Hours. Fast forward to 2015, and if my son sees ads on the TV he thinks the movie is over. Kids today eh?
2. Because I said so
The WHY phase. Or should I say, the WWWWWWWWWWWHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY phase. In terms of both endurance and creativity, so far this has been my toughest test of parenting to date. Having done the no, what and ignoring phases, this came at a dark stage of my patience. Coupled with the lack of sleep from a recent arrival of a baby sister – ‘because I said so’ was uttered before the words had formulated in my brain. I always believed I had reflexes like a cheetah – but it turns out this is purely a verbal response, not an athletic one.
3. Trick acting around
Bedtime in a toddlers life is a paradox. Toddlers get so tired approaching bedtime, that, in fact, they get more energy. I have often wondered when in life this skill leaves you, but I suspect it was so long ago. As my son pranced whimsically around with one arm successfully in pyjamas after twenty minutes of toil and effort on my part, the phrase ‘trick acting’ around was successfully born into our house in 2015. A low point energy wise, was not helped by the peel of laughter emerging from my husband’s office.
4. Have I left the gas on
I don’t have gas. My mother doesn’t have gas. My granny didn’t have gas. This is in fact, a great grannyism. Such is the power of this phrase that it has survived three generations of Mammy. A throwback to my great grandmother Anastatia, who had gas. And it is her I thank for the intermittent waves of panic that hit. This generally only happens to me approximately halfway to my destination prompting Bad Boys 2 scale explosions forming in my minds eye….
5. A great day for drying
Daddy – ‘How was your day darling?’
Mammy – ‘Great!’
Daddy – ‘What did you get up to?’
Mammy – ‘(Long silence……)Well… (More silence) I got all the clothes dried – it was a great day for drying.’
Daddy – ‘(Pause with quizzical look) That’s GREAT honey!’
I’m not sure what was worse – not being able to recall a single thing that I had done out of my ACTUAL non-stop day or the enthusiasm that my eventual response merited. What I MEANT to say was that in the twelve hours Daddy had been at work was, I had managed three half cups of tea, sat down twice and fixed five trains. The Mammyism in this instance was a direct result of running out of words, due in part to the afore mentioned why stage and also too much children’s TV.
My Mammyism’s have materialized as my parenting progresses. It continues to surprise and entertain me with the new challenges that parenting bring…
SURELY I can’t be the only one…. In fact, I know I’m not the only Postmodern Mammy…………?