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So this weekend is Mother’s Day, and to celebrate it I’ve re-written Julia Donaldson’s ‘Monkey Puzzle’, which in our house is called ‘The Lost Mummy.’ It’s pretty easy to get lost as a mummy, I think. Which is why we all need a little butterfly to help point us in the right direction…
The Mummy Puzzle
“I’ve lost someone somewhere, not sure how
But I turned and she’d gone – she’s missing now.
I liked her, I think, and I’d like to re-find her –
Can anyone help me, give me a reminder?”
“Hush little Mummy, don’t you cry
I’ll help you find her”, said a butterfly.
“Let’s have a think, how big is she?”
“She’s bigger”, I say wryly, “than she used to be”.
“Bigger than you? Then I’ve seen your lady!
Come with me, over here where it’s shady.”
“No no no, that’s an elephant!
(Though the size is right, that you I’ll grant)
The woman I knew wasn’t a wrinkly hunk
Her skin wasn’t grey and her eyes weren’t sunk.
She didn’t have snot stains up to her knees,
And could pass the fridge without snaffling cheese.”
“Thinner, you say? Then she’s very near
Quick little Mummy! She’s over here!”
“No no no, that’s a slithery snake!
(A fashion faux pas she would never make).
The woman I knew wouldn’t dress like this –
Nor be covered in spit-up, or eau de piss.
She didn’t dress in her wardrobe’s dregs
And on occasion she’d even shave her legs.”
“It’s legs were looking for now you say?
I know where she is then, come this way!”
“No no no, that’s a spider!
(She wasn’t this scary to your average outsider).
She wasn’t disgusting, or hairy or fat,
She never had as many legs as that!
She wasn’t bogged down in a tangled web
And could rise above her lowest ebb.”
“So she lives above? You should have said!
The woman you seek us above your head!”
“No no no! That’s a parrot!
(You’d be better at this with cards of tarot).
She had eyes and TITS that didn’t leak,
And her ears weren’t assailed with squawks and shrieks.
She wasn’t tied down – she could spread her wings
And her well-slept steps had plenty of springs.”
“A ha! I’ve got it! She leaps about?
She’s just round the corner, without a doubt.”
“No no no! That’s a frog!
(The woman I seek didn’t live in a bog –
She didn’t much like poo at all,
And bodily fluids used to make her bawl).
Butterfly, butterfly please don’t joke –
I’m here talking to insects to keep me afloat!
She knew what she wanted, before she got muddled
And pitied the people around her who struggled.”
“She was sure you say, and even serene?
Then just over here, this woman I’ve seen!”
“No no no – that’s a bat!
(It’s asleep upside down, you fluttering twat!)
Why, oh why are you getting it wrong?
Can’t you see that my patience is no longer long?
I did say she had wings – so that’s a good call,
But even in those days she wasn’t that small.”
“So your woman is big – let me think…
She’s down by the river having a drink!”
“No NO NO! That’s the elephant again!
(As a therapist I’m scoring you 0 out of ten)
Butterfly butterfly can’t you see?
None of these creatures have EVER been me!”
“You never said the woman in question was you!”
“Of course I did! And I thought you knew!”
“I didn’t know, I couldn’t you see,
I’m just a butterfly – why talk to me?”
“You’re right, my annoying wee fly of butter,
(And clearly round here you’ve monopolised nutter).
Bugger off now and go drink some nectar –
You’re not qualified for the counselling sector!
“I may be a-flailing but I’m not yet full-drowned
I may have lost someone, but something I’ve found –
That my heart holds more love than I knew existed;
That I’m strong in more ways than could ever be listed.
That happiness isn’t a night on the tiles,
And no one’s immune to a baby’s first smiles.
“She’s definitely lost, that woman before –
But I think if I found her I’d find her a bore.
“Yes she had continence, self care and career,
(While I still have bowel hanging out of my rear),
But did she have snuggles and cuddles and gurgles?
Could she interpret what’s meant from the faintest of burbles?
Could she soothe any hurt with merely a kiss?
Was she somebody’s everything, all they could wish?
“She could wee on her own – and that might be nice,
She could stay up past ten without thinking twice.
But she didn’t have small hands to hold in her own
Or endless play phone calls to make on play phones.
She didn’t hear ‘Mummy I love you, you know’,
Or ‘Mummy, you’re funny, come on, it’s your go’.
“I’m afraid, on reflection, she must remain lost
That woman I knew, who still coiffed and flossed.
She wasn’t as tired but she wasn’t as blessed –
And maybe that’s why I was put to this test.
“So you did help me Butterfly, after all,
To see some of the good stuff I couldn’t recall.
“Maybe she’ll come back one day in the future
But right now I’ve found being me now is SUPER.
I’m no longer puzzled and I’m no longer lost –
Lepidoptera advice? I’d rather get sloshed!!”
And with that I turned and sashayed to the door,
(An exit marred slightly by the toys on the floor).
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