Hmm - mother's day - not all it's cracked up to be

So much is promised for mums on Mother's Day.  A blissful sleep in.  Gorgeous children collaborating with humour and joy to serving you breakfast in bed.  Beautiful gifts purchased thoughtfully from an expensive department store.

OR ... it could look like this:

Friday:  Tears at breakfast because we couldn't find enough $5 notes around the house to pay for my presents at the Mother's Day stall.  The 4 year old did use her own money (apparently she knows what a $5 note looks like - this was news to me) and went happily off to the preschool mother's day stall.  I suggested that the Tupperware measuring set looked good, but she went STRAIGHT for the cellophane wrapped pink bubble bath.  Handed over her money and happily stuffed it in her bag.

She spent the whole walk home in the afternoon pestering me about when she could open her present and I gave up suggesting it was actually meant for me, her mother.

So she opened it up and kept it for herself.

The big day arrives:  I am happily and deeply asleep (have to add that husband is away on a conference for the weekend so there is no soft landing when it came to waking up).  However, the small child is whispering in my ear "When can we open your presents Mum?" and "Can you help me wrap up (wait for it) YOUR (Ah, ha! It's apparently now mine!) present?".  So I find myself, still very much asleep, wrapping up my own present, which had previously (see 'Friday') been wrapped.

Then the wailing starts.  One of the plastic flowers on the card that the 6yo bought at the stall has fallen off.  He's a perfectionist and so we're straight into crisis mode.  Still half asleep I find myself fixing my own card.

 But this is not OK - because now I've seen the card and "the surprise is wrecked - W R E C K E D Mum (more wailing)".

So I make my breakfast and hop back into bed.  I announce that I will now be receiving presents.  I open:

  • A mug with 'Coffee' written all over it - ("Sorry Mum, I know you don't drink coffee, but they'd run out of all the tea mugs by the time I got to the stall").
  • Some dreadfully stinky body spray to match last year's allergy causing hand cream (still decorating a shelf in the bathroom) and fragrance sachet (Ocean Fresh) that smells like something I'd use to clean the toilet.
  • A cute snow cone with a Japanese lady dressed in a kimono stuffed in it (you kind of have to see it I guess)

I say, of course, all the right things.  I tell them they can now watch TV (ie. - leave me alone).  I read my book, drink my tea and it's all good.

I love being a Mum - I seriously do.  And they are sooooo excited about these presents.  But I think next year I'm going to plan better and get Rowan to take them shopping for things I need or would find useful.

Mind you, the whole day was quite funny and so far removed from any advertising I've ever seen about Mother's Day.  Just quietly, I would have quite liked a pair of winter pj's, but I suspect that I'm just incidental to the whole thing!

2014 postscript:  They're still buying me things from the mother's day stall.  Can't fight the system!  


Taara said…
Such a funny post, Jenny! My kids are too small to even know what Mothers Day is, so I rely on my hubby to make it "special". Although I told him all I wanted was to sleep in (didn't happen). I think when the kids get older and attempt to do those things to make a Mothers Day special, (like cooking mom breakfast in bed, wrapping presents, writing cards etc) they may realize just how useful and special mom is :). And if they understand just a little bit about what it's like to be a mom, well, that will be a present enough for me.
Vanessa Murphy said…
That is so funny! My oldest is at school for the first time this year, so I've now had my experience of the $3 gift from the stall (she did well) and the tantrum when I opened her bag on Friday and saw all the mother's day craft BEFORE mother's day! Disaster!! She was so excited about my presents, I got woken up to be asked when I could open them (Daddy was out of our household this morning too!). She finished the day saying "Mum, I've had a really lovely mother's day"!! I couldn't help LOL-ing to that one!
Merrin said…
Oh Jen...I was in fits of hysterics reading this!! (hope that was the intention? if not... I was crying tears for you!?!) Thank heavens Sam was sick on Friday so I didn't have the whole "Wow, thanks for the BRIGHT RED plastic wallet that you now want me to use..." Hope you at least got a good nights rest...
Motherhugger said…
I also received the Japanese lady in the snow cone. The children organised that I attend Ooh La La Beauty Spa, which involved them rubbing my hands and feet with the creams they bought at the school stall, and painting my nails with the nail polish (which resulted in crying when I suggested it isn't supposed to be dripping onto them) a face mask, and covering their lips in the lipstick they bought.
Thanks for giving me a good laugh before the serious business of going off to teach some classes!
Sarah said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said…
I couldn't help but laugh at your 4yo and her wanting to keep your present for herself. I wonder how many presents my mum pretended to like over the years lol. This year we got her a very practical present - a knife sharpener.

That is a fantastic photo of your kids!
simone r said…
You should see the salt and pepper shakers I got. Really big with white, orange, green, and blue stripes. For the picnic set, maybe?
Karen said…
Here's our Mothers Day stall experience: I scored a fan, one of those folding ones. I got one last year as well, from the same child. He didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with getting me the same thing two years in a row (even though I haven't used last year's yet...). He also found me a folding shopping bag which might be useful. And a wind chime with a rather large butterfly on it. I don't mind wind chimes but they do collect dust.
And my kids were so excited about the gifts here too, so I said all the right things and then had a giggle about it after they left the room.
I wouldn't mind seeing a picture of your Japanese snow cone lady...she sounds a bit interesting.
And I'm with you...the best thing about Mother's Day is being left alone for a while to read a book and have a hot drink.
Sandra said…
your kids still let you take their photo???
Kath said…
I have to say there is something kind of cool about receiving a "no. 1 mum" champagne glass from the mother's day stall. It's year 4 and this is the first year that I didn't get some permutation of a candle holder. I think it's reminding me not to take it all too seriously.
Love your story of mother's day, and your love for your kids (you're gracious to 'let' your husband go away, too.)
Pip said…
I had forgotten all about those mothers day stalls... thankfully not a Tassie tradition. I actually enjoyed mothers day this year - normally a bit ho-hum about it but the girls attempted to make me lunch (which was very funny), and the best bit was that they made a deliberate effort not to argue with each other.
Jenny said…
Love this post! I got the mug filled with lollies (same as last year from one child). The previous mug is in a box by the front door waiting to go to the op shop - my 15 yo somewhat cynically asked if I was going to wait a year or put this year's mug straight in the op shop box!

I remember buying a BIG bottle of perfume for my mum and being devastated that it sat at the end of the bath for years without being used.

Having helped at the mother's day stall for a few years I love seeing the kids excitement as they pick the presents for mum and have to remember that when I open my own!

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