Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

June 16, 2009

It's a jungle out there

I have gained many new skills since becoming a mother, but only recently did I realise I have become much braver.

Last week, crèche held a ‘Graduation’ ceremony to mark the completion of the playschool year. As part of the celebration, we were told that ‘Dave’s Jungle’ would be putting on a show. I presumed this would be a puppet show or some out-of-work actors dressed as animals. How wrong I was.

‘Dave’s Jungle’ was quite literally a man called Dave (who looked like he’d just returned from several years surviving in the jungle) and his collection of exotic (I prefer the term scary) animals.

Most of the children were very excited and couldn’t get close enough to the action. Max, however, wasn’t showing any signs of enthusiasm, pulling me in the opposite direction. Resisting the urge to scoop him into my arms and head for the hills, I found my mummy courage, marched purposefully towards a 50ft long python (well, at least that’s how big it looked to me), and started stroking it.

‘Look Max, he’s lovely, come and touch him’, I heard myself saying. With a little encouragement, Max crouched down next to me and tentatively poked his finger at the snake, then his whole hand and soon, there we both were, patting a very large snake. Well, what else would you be doing on a Wednesday afternoon in June?

Unlike Max, I didn’t come home with a diploma, but I did award myself a Mummy Bravery badge to go with the others in my collection for 1) getting a large spider out of a shoe, 2) not running around like a mad woman when a wasp landed on me, 3) picking up a very fat worm and 4) letting out only a mild whimper when a moth flew into my face. Things I could only do because I had to put on a brave face in front of the kids.

Motherhood may not be for everyone. It is most definitely not for wimps.



  1. Hi Hazel..
    Glad to hear you are getting practice in early with snakes and the likes.

    The good news is that a friend of my (eldest) daughter had her 21st recently and part of the entertainment featured a similiar guy - with a big snake! No laughing in the cheap seats.. it was a snake and he was fully dressed.. there were some fairly dodgy photos of some of the girls though!! Perhaps he is now limiting himself to Montessori and pre schoolers - a lot safer I would say!!!


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