Thursday, June 20, 2024

All That Glitters Ain’t Gold

As I’ve mentioned, more than once, I was never going to have children. Ever.
I was far too selfish, I liked life as it was and there was a whole host of things related to babies/children that I just knew I wouldn’t be able to deal with.

  • Lack of sleep
  • Childbirth
  • Cankles
  • Poo
  • Temporary sobriety
  • Sick
  • Snot
  • Playgroups
  • Routine

Once I had children, I actually surprised myself at how well I adapted to all of these things, handling all of them with the grace and dignity for which I am known.

Well, almost all of them.

There is one area that I haven’t adapted to, haven’t figured out how to deal with and I still spectacularly fail at.
Sick (known as Sparkle from hereonin)

I just can’t cope with it, not even if it’s my own child. It’s my Kryptonite, it makes me weak. I go into meltdown.
It’s my absolute Mummy fail.

I remember being at infant school and Adam Read sparkled on the reading carpet. Before I knew it I was sparkling too THEN I got told off for copying! I wasn’t copying at all, that’s just how I roll apparently.

Luckily my children are so very rarely ill that this hasn’t raised much of an issue. Until yesterday.

Walking home from school Aoife told me she’d had 8 cups of water and they’d given her a tummy ache. It’s the last week of term, she’s exhausted and it’s been a really warm day so I thought maybe she’s just feeling a little run down. Besides, she managed just dandy with that Mini Milk I just bought her.

We got in and she seemed her usual self. No she wasn’t going to get changed, she didn’t care that she had ice lolly down her leg and I was mean to even suggest she should get changed. Nothing untoward here.

We were at the dining room table writing thank you cards and looking at her Summer homework when Seth decanted a large cup of squash over it all and pulled the chair, with Aoife on it, over.

Quite rightly, Aoife had an epic meltdown, I put everything in the oven of a conservatory to dry and told her it would be OK but I started to suspect all was not well when she kept sobbing at intervals. So we sat on the couch having a cuddle.

Then it happened.

She sparkled everywhere.

I threw her to one side and leapt off the couch (not my finest parenting moment I admit) it was an endless stream of sparkle. Seth came running over saying “Oooooooooooo” wanting to play. I whipped him up and put him in the conservatory, then remembered how hot it was in there and that the remnants of his last destruction were drying out so took him back out again. Aoife was still sparkling.

I was saying “It’s OK baby, Mummy isn’t ignoring you I just need to store Seth somewhere”. Seth was chomping at the bit to get to the couch and have a good look. I stored Seth in his highchair, got some towels and looked across the room to Aoife and the couch.


I could feel it beginning.

*retch* “Right. We need to get you upstairs and stood in the bath”
“My favourite dress is covered in sparkles”
“I know darling we’ll sort it *retch*. I need you to *retch* stand up and *retch* lift the front of your dress and *retch* go upstairs”
I realise I’m stood with my hand over my mouth feeling faint.
Aoife started to cry
“I’m sorry Mummy, I’m sorry I sparkled”
“You don’t need to *retch* be sorry *retch* you can’t help *retch* being poorly”.

Aoife heads up to the bathroom, I walk to the couch with the towels.

Look at it.

Walk away.

I stand there debating how I can remove the couch from the house without seeing the sparkles all over it. Then I wonder if maybe I can just set fire to the couch right where it is and control the fire somehow so the whole house doesn’t set alight.

Then I call Rory and ask him as calmly as possible if he could please come home right now and clean the sparkles up.


I go upstairs to Aoife and grab the shower to start hosing the sparkle from her dress. It’s too much. I have the shower head in one hand whilst I hang my head over the toilet heaving.

Aoife says “It’s OK Mummy, grown ups can sparkle too sometimes” (and since birthing children, pee at the same time – exciting).

I manage to get Aoife showered and ready for bed without *much* more retching. Rory arrived on his white horse, cleaned the sparkle and restored order in life again. Seth watched on in bemusement from his highchair wondering if any food was actually going to be given to him (and put on a great display of disdain when he realised it wasn’t).

I felt terrible, I’d had to comfort Aoife from afar when a good Mummy would have been sat there holding her hair, covered in sparkles. Not running away trying not to sparkle herself.

I will never be able to cope when my children sparkle all over the place.

That’s my Mummy fail,  the area I KNOW I’ll always let my children down.


This post was first published here. For more from Me, Annie Bee click on the image below or any of the recent posts.

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