Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hip Hop Boo

Boo - I love you so much.

Boo, apparently, is a hip hop term of endearment, it can also mean girlfriend or boyfriend to a rapper or a street kid...

For me my Boo is my smallest muffin - my Boo.



Falling pregnant with twins three months into a relationship meant that my life as a mother has always been on the fast track. I panicked for the first two years and have always worried: I'm not doing ENOUGH... I happened to fall in love with a good man, who not only helped me to procure twins, but who isn't, like myself, shallow and foolhardy.

He told me, from day one, the best thing we can ever give our babies is love. How right he was, and is, and today, six years and three babies later, I can see that time is right up there with love. Love is, without doubt, the one true gift you can give anyone; from it flows compassion, trust and friendship.

I'm in the minority amongst my peers, and most of my friends with children, in that I am and always have been, more or less, a stay at home mother. But we are without doubt the freaks of the playground. I feel embarrassed that I don't have a job to go to, money coming into the bank and somewhere to go to that isn't the kitchen or the supermarket. We are seriously uncool!

Yet I cannot imagine doing anything else than mothering my three children and feel incredibly lucky to have that choice.

Why is mothering a term of such embarrassment and shame?

When recently asked by an insurance company what my job was, the answer of mother was clearly not on the list on their computer screens thousands of miles away in India - and totally stumped them.

But it is not shameful is it? Surely we should be proud to have one of the oldest and most rewarding jobs in the world, the fact that we cannot switch it off once the button is well and truly pressed is unique and life-changing. To experience unconditional love is mindblowing, to feel such anger to tear the house down and fear to the pits of my soul if ever my children were lost or damaged is achingly impossible to describe, yet, we live it...every single day.

So it was with great pleasure, when a fellow stay-at-home mamamia, told me about Naomi Stadlen and her new book; How Mothers Love and How Relationships are Born. Her beautifully simple premise is the fundamental use of love in mothering and how important listening is.

I've spent this week listening to my children a lot more than usual and we have had so much more fun - they are, of course, clever, articulate, funny and wonderful founts of random information.

More than that, we have an incredibly important role in society and a great many people must be grateful for us stay at home mothers, notably; delivery men. We support our local communities, the schools, the nurseries, the libraries, the coffee-shops and help keep alive the simplicity of humankind...I hope.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Snowchild

I just adore, The Snowchild, by Debi Gliori, her gentle tale of Katie, a little girl with, apparently, no play-mates, who is always: "On the shut-out rim of one game was a small girl called Katie. Katie left-out. Katie-who-didn't-know-how-to-play."

Sweet Katie, why oh why are children so tough on each other? Gliori's delicate book carefully nudges this miserable subject, a child left out by everyone else. Until eventually one snowy day in the park:

"...full of friends, snowfriends, snowchildren, real friends, real children. And Katie wasn't watching them from the shut-out rim. She was there in the circle, playing with her new friend."

Her use of the hyphen I think is just perfect, sewing her thoughts together gently pulling us into her world.

The illustration is old-fashioned, evocative and very tangible, full of detail, so that both adult and child can look and look and look.

Published in 1994 the book is timeless.