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 25, 2010

Eliza Plum: Agony Mum

Well, isn't this marvellous. The terribly lovely Hot Cross Mum has let me 'borrow' her terrific blogspot page for a day every week. I'm not entirely sure what a 'blog' is, but anyhoo she has the place decorated reasonably well, so I assume she's quite respectable and doesn't attract any cyber riff-raff.

Let me introduce myself. I'm Eliza Plum, Agony Mum. This is a bit like being an Agony Aunt, but less like an aunt, and more like a mum. I spend my days offering my invaluable advice to parents in distress, whilst also ironing the occasional shirt for my husband and putting bleach into the toilets (at least the house smells like it has been cleaned). Since you are reading this, I'd like to personally thank you for dropping by. You won’t regret it, truly you won’t. As many of my regular visitors tell me, a moment spent with me feels like a lifetime spent with anyone else.

So, if you, like many parents before you, and many others to come, have a parenting problem which you are incapable of resolving on your own, even after a large G&T and a sneaky slice of Battenburg, please leave me a comment below*. It may be that the children refuse to wear anything which isn't infested with dinosaurs, or that they display a high dependency on biscuits or that they insist on doing everything all by themsevles when they clearly don't possess the necessary motor skills. Whatever the problem, I will endeavour to offer a solution, but please bear with me; there is only so much misery one woman can reasonably deal with whilst trying to maintain a jolly persona and a clean downstairs loo.

So, here's to helping. And remember, as I always say; "A problem shared is still a problem."

* call me fussy, but I do prefer that these begin with the salution, 'Dear Eliza'.



  1. Dear Eliza

    How nice of HCM to lend her blog to you for a day. She is a very brave woman.

    I have a parenting question for you:
    What is the accepted number of times to ask a four-and-a-half-year-old to put their shoes on?
    I was led to believe it was 3 times per occasion, but believe I have been misled. I seem to veer between 12 and 17.

    I blame Gina Whatserface (you know, the one who has no children of her own).

    What do you suggest?

    (a very hoarse and rather worn ask from asking) LCM x

  2. Dear Eliza

    Firstly may I say how lovely it is to see you returned to HCM's blog. My dilemma is as follows: much as I am enjoying the recent warmer temperatures, as soon as the mercury hits 25 degrees celsius my children remove their clothes and run around the garden buff naked. Earlier this week, playing in a friend's paddling pool, my four year old said "Mummy I have to take my swimming shorts off because they're wet". He then proceeded to run around my friend's garden in the nod. Most embarrassing. How should one manage these things?

    Yours, Embarrassed of Berkshire

  3. Dear Eliza,

    do you have any recommendations for making a toddler sleep longer? My two-year-old only managed a five-minute nap yesterday, didn't settle down to sleep until after 8.30 and was up again this morning at 6am pointing out that it was day and he wanted milk. He woke up his baby brother in the process. We have tried blackout blinds, putting him back to bed (absolutely no good) and chasing him round the garden to tire him out, but we suspect we might in fact need to source some heavy opiates. What is your advice?

    tired of Dublin.

  4. Dear Eliza,
    I have a child who pees in the cat's litter tray. Is it acceptable to rub his nose in it?
    Mortified in Co Monaghan

  5. Dear Eliza,

    How does one maintian an air of decorum when one's children are acting like feral children in public?


    Locked Indoors in Yorkshire

  6. Dear Eliza
    This is a question that I know may be a bit of a problem for everyone. Please can you let me know how I can poo in peace? Using a toilet in our house leads to a party in it when all I can do is wish for peace and dignity to continue my ablutions in.


    Desperately Needing A Moments Peace

  7. Dear Eliza,

    What would you recommend for the six-year-old, otherwise delightful girl, who has taken to using the word 'Loser'?


    Frustrated of Notts.

  8. Dear Eliza,

    can you recommend a brilliant bribe to encourage two young lively things to bog off for an hour so I can get an article written? I used up the telly option in order to write to you.

    yours in need of help,
    Mummy Mania

  9. Dear Eliza,

    How do you dissuade a 5 year old from trying to coax the next door neighbour’s smelly cat into our washing machine? I keep finding glasses of milk and tins of tuna in there. Or alternately, what would be the best bait for said cat as it really is quite smelly?


    Resigned of East London.


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