Guest post: The new mum's Christmas Carol
Having finally managed to get the baby, and herself, to sleep, MN blogger Wry Mummy is rudely awoken by the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future - and they deliver a gentle reminder of what Christmas is really about
Posted on: Wed 24-Dec-14 10:08:38
(8 comments )
Last night, exhausted by midnight card-writing, present-wrapping and half-hearted swipes at the sticky sea that is our kitchen floor with a woefully inadequate floor wipe, I fell into an uneasy sleep. As the clock struck two and I cursed it for almost waking the baby, I realized I was not alone…
“A sparkly top?” an eerie voice sneered, holding up my discarded Christmas list between two fingers as if it were a dirty nappy bag.
“Yes, why not?” I said, into the darkness.
“When do you suppose you're going to wear that?” asked the Ghost of Christmas Present, for it was she.
“I was thinking on Christmas Day?” I stuttered.
“A sparkly top? With your children? And all the gravy and the regurgitated sprouts and the melty-Quality-Street hands?”
“Oh,” I laughed. “I don't mind one bit when the children get me messy,” (it was a dream after all, and she was getting my goat) “I'll simply pop it in the washing machine!”
“But - really, a sparkly top? Won't it accentuate how tired and, if I may be frank, un-sparkly you are?”
“Oh, well I was going to wear posh make-up…”
The Ghost of Christmas Present broke off into peals of laughter.
“I suppose that's on your list too!” she spluttered.
“Well, I wouldn't mind…”
I turned on the light and looked at my old list, thinking I could just replicate it for this year. A bag of smellies, perfume, heels, champagne… well, this won't do, I thought. Where's the laundry pen? And the Dyson handheld?
“Ever heard the expression: stable door, horse, bolted?”
“Oh, puff off,” I cried, burying my head under the pillow.
Hearing no sound after a few minutes, I dared to look up again. The pesky Present Ghost had evaporated, but in her place was another apparition - they'd come and gone in complete silence, the sneaky little spirits.
This girl – for she can't have been more than 25 – was wearing a party dress and sipping a giant cocktail.
“I jusht popped by to help you write your Christmash lisht,” she slurred.
“Oh, go away! I. Am. So. Tired. Just leave it on the side, will you?”
“Sure,” she hiccuped, and tottered off through the window pane.
I tried to go back to sleep, calculating the maximum number of hours I could get before the first child woke up. Three. And 22 minutes. Brilliant.
Of course it was hopeless, so I turned on the light and looked at my old list, thinking I could just replicate it for this year. A bag of smellies, perfume, heels, champagne… well, this won't do, I thought. Where's the laundry pen? And the Dyson handheld?
2014's list may be worryingly domesticated, but could I think of anything I wanted more? Could I hell. An air freshener is far more appealing than a new perfume I would only wear on special occasions. I'd rather be happy every day than once a year, thanks.
Rather smug at accomplishing both my list and a Zen-like spirituality, I finally fell asleep.
What felt like seconds later, though, the wee one woke up. Groaning with sleep deprivation, I got up to sit with him in his chair, staring wildly into the gloom, thinking about how exhausted I was and how much I had to do the next day, while soothing him back to sleep.
I must have dozed off, because suddenly there was another ghost before me, beckoning me to the door. I put the baby carefully back in his cot and went to stand with her. In a theatrical voice, she began:
“I am the Ghost of Christmas Fu-”
“I know,” I hissed, “let's get it over with before he wakes up again.”
“Who?” she said, and pointed back into the room.
My son's nursery was suddenly a teenager's bedroom. As I started to run towards the un-rumpled bed, my visitor said, “It’s OK, he's fine - just out at another party.”
I sat down on the chair. I didn't care how knackered I was, or that I hadn't sorted out the stockings. I just wished I was still holding my little boy in my arms.
So, family, you'll be delighted to hear: I don't care about my Christmas Present, I just care about my Present Christmas - and so concludes my tale.
Merry Christmas, one and all, and may your stocking be full of premium cleaning products.
By Jess Paterson
Love it! Just sneaked in for an extra peek at 16 momth old DS.
That's great, so true about the air fresher versus perfume!
Why do people make rude comments about something that doesn't affect them?
You could just, you know, not read it?
Thanks for your kind words, MrsRaegan. Happy Christmas!
I didn't read it all. I was cringing after a few lines which I wish I hadn't read.
Lovely post. I just went to check on DD(4.5) and she woke up as I was settling her duvet. She looked up and gave me a big hug and a sleepy, "I love you mama." Lovely Christmasy feeling.
Mind you,I felt fantastic in my sparkly Christmas dress too, so there does come some balance!
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