I always fancied myself as a bit of an actress at school, despite the fact that my most significant roles were ‘leper number 4’ in Jesus Christ Superstar and the main man himself in Pudsey Bear: The Musical! (yes, that was an actual show, and no, thankfully there is no photographic evidence).
I probably won’t be treading the boards again anytime soon, but it turns out that being a mother affords me PLENTY of opportunities to work on my acting skills!
Some of my greatest acting challenges so far:
- The ‘where can she possibly be hiding?!” game. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that children are absolutely sh*t at hiding. I spend at least 30 minutes each day elaborately searching under sofas, behind curtains and inside saucepans for Miss O, whose hiding place of choice is generally behind her hands, about 2cms away from me…
- Containing the mum rage when J let her unleash her inner Picasso on the kitchen units “Let’s not do that any more darling; if Mummy has to spend the entire evening scrubbing your doodles off the cupboards, how on earth will she find the energy to furiously whisper expletives at Daddy once you’re in bed?”
- My shocked ‘she did WHAT – that doesn’t sound like her at all!!’ face when Miss O’s nursery handed over her third ‘Child A was a bit of an arse to Child B’ type Incident Letter of the term (even though it sounded rather a lot like her, given that the last time we’d played peekaboo she got overexcited and nutted me in the nose)
- The delighted ‘oh, you’ve got ANOTHER Kinder Egg; how lovely!” reaction. I chuffing hate those eggs. You think stepping on a piece of Lego is bad? Kinder Egg toys are a whole new level of pain. And why are the pink ones so lame? What kid wants clothes horse Barbie with pointless mahoosive handbag when they could have a Marvel action hero??
- That casual nonchalance you adopt when they refuse to eat their dinner yet again…‘ahhh no bother, let’s just sit here for a bit and see if you fancy something – just a bite? No? OK, how about I leave some in a bowl for you?’ [toddler laughs and skips joyfully out of the room]. Inside, you’re crying with frustration and wondering why Jamie Oliver’s kids will eat Chinese steak and tofu stew, but yours has pledged unwavering allegiance to Captain Birdseye…
- The “Oh isn’t she funny, she’ll have to move in with you!” carefree laugh/casual hair-flick when desperately attempting to peel Miss O off Nanna to take her home. Are you having a giraffe love?? I GREW you, I gave up wine for A YEAR for you, I can’t even remember the last time I watched anything that didn’t star a talking animal – FOR YOU; how am I not your favourite?!? What a kick in the bloody teeth.
- Trying to look pleased when you unwrap a gift that someone’s bought your child, and it’s one of those toys that you know is going to ruin your life, i.e. Shouty McFlashy Lights; the 1000 piece play set… it’s tricky to simultaneously gush over how clever they were to find it, and rack your brains for the perfect counter-gift to buy when their little darling’s big day rolls around (ideally something that farts glitter and plays ‘It’s a Small World’ on a loop…)
What are your Oscar-worthy parent performances?