This week my first born turned six and plans have been put in place to celebrate in style.
Tomorrow, for my sins, I will be hosting a party with approximately 16 five and six year olds hopped up on sugar and running wild through a playframe until their cheeks glow bright red and their hair becomes matted to their face with sweat.
There will be cake (which my lovely Auntie is baking as me and cake baking do not go together) and there will be party bags. No doubt the boy will be showered with presents and will be like the cat who got the cream - and all this will be on top of the birthday tea he had with his family on the actual big day.
Although my head may well ache from the screaming of the excited primary 2s - giving it lilty as they hurtle down the slide at some scary speed - I will also be filled with a great sense of joy to see the happiness on the wee man’s face as he celebrates his special day.
But - and it must be said - there is a part of me which wonders why he is getting all the attention? Was it not me, six years ago, who did all the hard work? Should I not be showered with presents and cake and told “Well done missus. He’s a cracker and you’ve done well to keep your sanity for the last six years.”?
You see I’m all for instilling a tradition of a mammy-versary. There is an old saying that whenever a child is born, so is a mother. It seems, therefore, perfectly logical to me that we mammies get a wee shout on the birthdate of our first born.
Yes, I know we have Mother’s Day, but Mother’s Day is a pain in the proverbial. We don’t get to relax - we are too busy sorting our own mammies, and our grannies, and our mother-in-laws and the wains’ godmammies. I spend the average mother’s day morning writing cards or trying to get the boy to write cards and then trying to get us all out in time for a celebration. Then we cram into an overcrowded restaurant for some mass produced dinner and are booted out three seconds after putting the last spoonful of apple pie in our mouth to make way for some other harassed mother and her brood.
A good deal of mammies will have spent her allegedly calm and lovely celebratory dinner spooning mashed mush into the mouth of a hungry toddler while trying to stop any older children from showing her up. She will probably have accompanied at least one child to the toilet and wiped their rear end or changed a nappy- which would put anyone off their banoffee.
The glass of wine she so wanted to sip casually will have been downed in a fit of overheated stress as the baby throws her spoon on the floor for the 25th time while her older child (who we shall put at around six for argument’s sake) declares his boredom and decides it’s time to go home.
As Mother’s Day inevitably falls on a Sunday, mammies the world over traipse home to start sorting out the packed lunches and school uniforms for the following day and generally fall into a heap with the sheer effort of it all.
Now, a mammy-versary would be different. Sure we would have our celebrations for our children, and sure we would still get them presents. But we would get presents too - just tokens to show our efforts are appreciated. We wouldn’t have to go for an overpriced dinner - but we would get the housework taken off our hands and actually have time to spend with our lovely children in a relatively stress free environment while reminiscing about our birth experiences and when our children were newborns. It would be a chance for a woman to celebrate her journey into motherhood and I can think of little nicer.
I do - perhaps rather sickeningly - sometimes thank my son for making me a mammy. He seems a little shocked when I tell him I wasn’t a mother before he was born - but he reacts with great pride when I tell him how he came into my life to make me a mother.
My journey into motherhood was certainly more memorable than my actual birth (and come to think of it now that I’m heading very quickly towards the mid-30s era I no longer have the same desire as before to mark the turning of the years).
So - marketing gurus take note - I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like to celebrate a mammy-versary.