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.