Beads of perspiration were running down my face. I wish I could say it was ruining my make up but I don’t wear make up. My eyes were getting blurry and my glasses were getting all fogged up.


My hands were shaking uncontrollably. Why did I even bother? Why did any sane person ever bother to do this? I know it was in all the “Good White Lie” Magazine but this was beyond ridiculous. This was harder than putting on a cloth diaper on a wriggling baby.


I really needed to concentrate but there was a throbbing pain in my right hand. Maybe, just maybe…steady, steady…


“WOOHOO! I’ve DONE it!” I said rather proudly as I managed to crack all the eggs! My first baking attempt and I was sure I nailed it. Today was looking to be a successful test run for the real thing.

“Mummy, there is still an egg shell in here!” said Gordon Lizzie very sternly at my mixture.

“And it says TWO eggs, Mummy, two, not three!” chimed Ethan Ramsey.

“Hush, I’ve done it right, ok?” I said but my children did not look like they believed me.” Trust me, I had to pass a Mummy exam, you know!”

I then did what most of us Non-Nigella Mums would do, I unceremoniously dumped ALL the ingredients – egg shells and unsifted flour into the pan and into the oven.

“Mummy exam?” Lizzie asked, “What did you study?”

“Oh, the usual, Lizzie, I learnt how to be you know…..do Mummy stuff.” I shrugged and I was relieved that she did not ask to see my certificate.

I went to University, have two bloody degrees, was a qualified Psychologist and could sign off on diagnoses but I never realised that it would take me another 4 years of Mummy University of Life to study and PASS the how to (Mummy Stuff) :

  1. Braid Hair
  2. Transform Optimus Prime
  3. Tie pig tails
  4. Build Lego Sets
  5. Be a Jedi
  6.  Dance the Chicken Dance
  7.  Play video games
  8. Be the Next Might Morphin Power Ranger
  9. Build train tracks
  10. Speak like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
  11. Tickle Elmo — and why do we have to Tickle Elmo is a philosophical question worth pondering
  12.  Make Play Doh Creations as they look exactly on that box
  13. Learn all the names of the Pokemon – an excellent mnemonic strategy
  14. Bake from a Box
  15. Explain why Superman wears his underwear on the outside?
  16. And then explain why Barbie does not own any underwear? (this deserved a thesis to itself)

And then when the four years are up, you realise that there are more crazy things to learn!

“Come on, Mummy, I have to go to school now,” Lizzie piped, jerking me back from my daydream where I was writing about the “Barbie, the World’s First True Feminist and her Lack of Underwear which Inspired the Feminist Movement”.

“It’s my news day, Mummy. And I want to show my friends the Lego rocket I made.” Ethan tapped me on my shoulder, this time, rudely interrupting me accepting my Mattel Peak Prize for “The Real Reason Why Barbie does not Wear Underwear”.

“You can show it to me and Lizzie,” I said.

“You’re family. You’re not my friends.”

“Says who?”

“Mmmmmhhh, it’s probably the law or something…” said my wise 7 year old, “It’s like what you say about Daddy’s family…”

“What did Mummy say about my family?” Sean asked as he walked in at that moment.

“Mummy said that Auntie Becky had a HUGE……”

“Heart! OOoooookayyyyy…, didn’t you say we needed to go, Ethan? Say goodbye to Daddy now,” I quickly interrupted and then shoved my son to his room, “Quickly, Ethan! We’re going to be late. Get your Lego thing-a-ma-jig you wanted to show to Kevin.”

“Okay, Mummy,” said my son.

“What was that, honey?” asked my husband in a distracted haze as he started shoveling cereal into his mouth.

“Nothing, except that I am going to burn ALL my bras today,” I said.

“That’s nice, honey,” said my ever dutiful husband as he shovelled more cereal, hiding behind his iPad.

“Then I am going to shave Ethan’s head this afternoon,” I continued.

“Ok, don’t be too late,” said Sean.

“And I am going to buy Lizzie a puppy!” I said.

“Really, honey?” mumbled Sean.

“And….we’re having Cake for Dinner tonight.”

“Sounds perfect…Dinner…” Sean did not even bother to look up once as he shovelled cereal mechanically into his mouth.

I sighed as I shoved more cereal into Sean’s bowl, grabbed my two kids and slammed the door behind me. The smell of Cake success wafted after me as I held the important blue paper in my hand.

Ethan held Lizzie’s hand and began talking about silly things – about the pebbles they spotted on the ground, the sticks that were sometimes worms, snakes or swords, the clouds that looked like Roger Rabbit chasing his own tail or eating his own poo poo. I smiled as I watched the two siblings speak their own special nonsense.

But my smiled disappeared and the hairs on my arm stood when we walked into Ethan’s class. There were no silly giggles, no children rolling around, no story telling or snatching of puzzles this morning…it all seemed a little too quiet. The children were standing in a circle, as if waiting to meet the real Santa Claus at the North Pole and they were almost afraid that Santa already knew that they had flushed the goldfish down the toilet bowl.

There in the middle of the room was Christopher, Tabitha’s son, basking in his robe and all his glory. In his hand, he held a stack of purple coloured envelopes with a child’s name written on it.

It was….no, it couldn’t be….

Holding forth in the royal court, Christopher was telling them about his upcoming Seventh Birthday Party, the High Society Event of the Year, where “Ted Sleeping” would be performing “Pooping Out Loud” and  Poop Magazine had bought the exclusive rights to publish the first photographs.

Christopher made a big show of going up to each child and presenting the purple card with a flourish. He slowly gave the cards out to everyone and the stack in his hand grew thinner, till there was only one more envelope left.

Christopher turned his attention to my child.

Tabitha wouldn’t? Not her own child?

He smiled, waving the little purple envelope, Tabitha’s choice of weapon. I could feel Ethan stiffen and I looked at him and he looked at me, rather timidly but expectantly.

Would he? Not my child, my mind said.

Christopher smiled and my son stepped forward and held out his hand expectantly. Tabitha nudged her son away from mine and steered him gently away. Christopher then pulled out the last sparkly purple envelope and handed it to the child behind my son.

“Thank you, Chris,” Sam, the child behind my child, said excitedly.

Tabitha started congratulating her child on a job well done on the public spectacle of a well executed hit.

Everyone in the class, except my child, had been invited.

It was….a very Public Bloody Birthday Party Invite Hit.

“Why, hello Megan, “ Tabitha smiled sweetly to me, “I didn’t see you standing there…”

Sure, because I looked exactly like one of the pillars and I am so short that I would have been blocked by 20 First Years.

“Your first Committee Meeting is next week?” she asked as she peered at the blue paper, “Is that your flyer for the board? You’re having Cake? Oh what a great idea. I do so hope it’s an Adriano Zumbo or Mary Berry recipe… ”

My face burned as she smirked.  She then slowly glided out of the classroom, as a sloth would without even bothering to hear me reply. She was like an almost jaded celebrity, with used up love for her fans.

I looked at Ethan and I quickly checked his vital signs – upset but still have a heart beat. I did what most mothers would do, I promised him cake after school. Luckily, he became distracted when Kevin asked him about his Lego Toy. I wouldn’t know the real damage until he came home that afternoon.

My eyes stung as I dropped Lizzie off at Kindy. I had to hold on. I stood nervously at the notice board, the paper rattling in my hand. I took a deep breath as I pinned the notice on the board.

Come JOIN us for the First Meeting of the School Fete Organising Committee! FREE Cake and Coffee provided.

The idea that seemed good then didn’t seem so wonderful anymore.

I walked out of that school, and went home, with my head hung low.

There was no one at home except Betty Crocker. I took my Cake out from the oven and surveyed the weird looking semi burnt state and I did what most mums would do when we are finally alone and we know that there would be no one to hear us.

I ate that burnt cake, as I allowed myself to cry.

When Agent Spitback tries to be serious, she becomes The Mulk.

Follow her on the silly brick road at https://www.facebook.com/agentspitback/

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© ELT 2015. All rights reserved

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