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Posts Tagged ‘mothers group’

When all is said and done, I like to think I give good facebook. Why, just the other day, my status update read:

[The NDM] got dressed up, went to the city, drank cocktails, watched a great show, drank more cocktails, didn’t fall over, caught the bus home and threw up. In that order.

Which summed up my recent Mothers’ Group Night Out quite nicely, with the omission of one or two important facts. 

Such as that we drank piccolos of champagne on the train into town, which we hid in our handbags between sips, like teenage girls but classier. Or that I let Mistress M and KT give me a Generation Y hairdo. Or even that many of us had started drinking at 3pm. 

And then there was the groovy bar in which the aforementioned consumption of cocktails took place. It was a strange and wonderful place. For one thing, the interior consisted of fake grass and garden furniture. But even stranger still, was the mix of clientele. On one table, there was a group of middle-aged men in anoraks, sporting “bum bags” (aka the more titilating “fanny packs” in the US), like they were on some kind of walking tour of the city. And on another table was the most sedate hen’s party ever. Despite their traditionally outrageous headgear (which politely alerted the public to their hen party status) they sat around like they were having afternoon tea with the local vicar. And what’s more, the party was starting to wind up and it was only six o’clock.

“What the hell is wrong with them?” I whispered to KT. “You’d think somebody was getting married or something…”

But KT was too busy eying off an untouched plate of sandwiches on their table. Which I myself had clocked the very minute we sat down. 

“Do you think they’re going to eat that food?” KT whispered back.  

“No. Do you think we should nick it?”

Yes.

Of course, the waiting staff must have been onto us. While I say we were whispering, the truth is we were probably using our Outside Voices because of all that fake grass. Oh, and possibly because of all that alcohol we’d drunk, too. Anyway, the very second the last of the hen’s group left, the waiter swooped in to start clearing away the table.  

But that didn’t stop us. Or, rather, it didn’t stop KT, who boldly went right up to the waiter and said: “We couldn’t help but notice those sandwiches haven’t been touched. Do you think we might have them, please?” 

The waiter, a prim young man was visibly horrified. He was clearly someone who had never finished off a butterfly cupcake that somebody else’s two year-old had already licked the cream off, let alone someone who pushed the bounds of The Five Second Rule as far as five hours with alarming regularity.

“Those sandwiches, madam, are chicken!” he exclaimed. “And they’ve been at the table for over two hours.” And then he shook his head firmly at KT, and then, for good measure, looked over at the rest of us, and shook his head firmly again. 

“Hey, I’m the one who says ‘No’ round here!” I felt like shouting. But then I realised that “round here” wasn’t my own habitat, and that there was no room in the Big City for the rather dubious food hygiene standards I applied in my own home. 

KT, unruffled, came back to the table, her head held high.

“Well, it’s a waste of good food!” she exclaimed loudly, in her best mother voice. And we all tutted disapprovingly and muttered things about “the youth of today” and “what a sinful waste” until we had drunk enough cocktails to forget all about it. And when I threw up later, it had nothing and yet EVERYTHING to do with those chicken sandwiches. 

Still, if it’s all the same to you, I’d prefer it if the prim young waiter didn’t find out I threw up later that night. I have a feeling he’d shake his head again and maybe even say “I told you so!”. And that just would not do.

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I almost jumped out of my seat with excitement when my cousin L-Beer recently told me about her mothers’ group. It was just as well I didn’t, as I was in a moving vehicle at the time and we all know that jumping out of one of those seats either leads to grave injury or, at the very least, being issued an official warning by a passing policeman. 

You see, L-Beer lives in the Eastern Suburbs of Another City – an area famed for  its New Mothers working off their baby fat two days after the birth by doing “pramercise” along the esplanade and frequenting solariums with creche facilities. So when I caught up with my beloved cousin at her parent’s house recently, I asked her about her mother’s group, thoroughly expecting that her description would make me clench my fat lily-white fists in not-so-silent rage. However that’s not what happened at all. If anything, those pudgy white fists o’ mine were punchin’ the air when she was done.  

Firstly, she reassured me that her mothers’ group was nothing like the horror stories I’d heard (and no doubt bored her with in that bombastic way of mine) and that she’d fallen in with a great bunch of girls. And to prove the point, she went on to tell me about how, on the first night they went out together, they went around the table each sharing with the group what they’d done BC (Before Children). I think I might have stifled a yawn at this stage of her story, expecting that they’d all revealed themselves to be PR reps for footballer’s wives or professional Brand Advocats for Prada. But no! One of them – somewhat reluctantly – admitted to the group that she was a Psychic. 

“Oh, oh, oh!” I exclaimed, perking up immediately.”Does she ever say stuff like ‘Let’s not meet at the park next Thursday because I sense rain…’ or are you ever tempted to ring her up with those day-to-day parenting dilemmas like ‘Should  I put Baby C down for a nap at home now and be late for my lunch date or should I run the risk of her not sleeping in the car and be on time?’ or even ask her what the hell to make for dinner tonight? Or… or… or…”

I might have gone on (and on) with that oh-so-amusing tangent, except L-Beer told me to Stop Right There, Sister-Girlfriend-Cousin-Whatever because the Psychic wasn’t the night’s biggest “reveal”. That came from an even more unassuming woman who owned up to being a Dominatrix.

“Aarrrrggghhh!” I shouted, literally beside myself with excitement by now. “Does she dress her baby in leather onesies? I can bet there’s one household where the Naughty Spot’s not just a chair in the corner but a room with chains and spikes and…. Oooh, does she ever say stuff like ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child’? Do you think she ever threatens anyone with the whip?? Hmmmm, I guess you could count on her children being extremely well-behaved. And… and… and…”

I started groping around in my handbag for my pen and paper to  a) write some of this Comedy Gold down before I totally forgot it and b) to get L-Beer to sign some kind of release form to allow me to use it on my blog. 

“Wowzers!” I enthused, looking up from my notebook temporarily and noting the rather bemused and possibly frightened look on L-Beer’s face. “This blog post is writing itself!”

As it turned out, the blog didn’t exactly write itself and as usual I’ve had to “write it in fits and starts… with small children dangling off me like christmas decorations” (just to somewhat tragically quote myself – see “The NDM Guide to Blogging“).  And doesn’t it just show? But I love it how, just when I think I’ve come to the end of my bloggin’ road, I have a conversation like that one or the cat walks in with a mouse in his mouth or the children get possessed by the devil at the local shopping centre or the Love Bus turns a 3 hour trip into an 8 hour one by breaking down in the middle of nowhere (that post is still to come), and lo! I’m back in Bloggin’ Business, baby.

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At mothers’ group the other day, one of the mums showed us her breasts no less than four times. I don’t know why, but I chose to share this with my husband, which is exactly the kind of thing that makes him perk up a little and say “I should come to mothers’ group a bit more often”. But then, this is the man who always hopes the Girls Nights Outs I go on involve my friends and I romping around in our underwear hitting each other with pillows. Which is almost what happens, except it’s more like Bollywood-themed parties where we get drunk and dance a lot and where usually mild-mannered lawyers say things like “Man, my sari keeps getting in the way of my air guitar”.

Anyway, I quickly added that this exhibition of breasts at mothers’ group was strictly a one-off. You see, one of our ranks (MW) has surgically upgraded her A-Cup Peanuts to C-Cup Hooters and she’s very excited. And for very good reason: they look spectacular and they make her feel All Woman (with just a dash of silicon thrown in for good measure). 

Not surprisingly enough, my husband asked if anyone had touched them, though he hastened to add that this question was the result of an Inquiring Mind and not of a Perverted One. I sighed: No, no-one had touched them. However, I was hoping that, at the upcoming Christmas party, we might all get drunk enough to cop a feel, perhaps as part of a blind-fold test where we put her C cups next to another set of C cups to see if we could feel the difference. Except – of course – gravity would give the game away: one set would be up where we’d all like breasts to be and the other set would be more at waist level. Unless we did the test with both participants wearing the same type of bra, maybe with a little lace edging to enhance the whole “cop a feel” experience…

I suddenly realised I was thinking all this out loud and that my husband was hanging off my every word (for a change). “I think I’d better get [local dad] Matt-Guitar-Murphy in on this.” he said, somewhat dazed. “We can sit in the corner with a few bottles of his Home Brew and Just Watch. You won’t even know that we’re there.”

I think I then tried to change the whole topic of breasts, but he came back to it from another angle a while later. “What should I say when I see [MW]?” he asked. My advice was to keep quiet, unless she herself brought them up (no pun intended). And then, it was probably not a good idea for him to do what I did when I first saw them, which was to exclaim “Hello, boys!!!”.

We then workshopped some possible comments he might make, thinking he could give his remarks a financial slant since that’s his (albeit accidental) current area of expertise and that would keep them purely professional. For example, “I heard you’ve boosted your assets portfolio”. Or  “I hope your husband is getting a good return on his investment”. Or “That’s one investment which will guarantee a happy ending these-a-days”. Or…er…

And finally, we (rather sensibly) decided it was probably best for him to avoid her until the novelty wears off completely for everybody –  say in about twenty years. And in the meantime, if he thinks that I’m going to tell him the location of our Christmas Party, he’s very much mistaken. My lips and shirt buttons are completely and utterly sealed.

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A person could drive themselves mad pondering the “What ifs…” and the “If only I hads…”. For example, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I’d left that open pack of cocktail franks at the back of the fridge for another six months. Or if only I’d stopped at just one piece of chocolate rather than the whole ruddy block last night, whether my “apron” would feel a little less inflated this morning. 

My husband no doubt has had some “What ifs” on his mind since we caught up with The King and his lovely wife (The Queen?). The King and my husband had worked together for a major British newspaper when we lived in London and The King had gone onto Great Things, whereas my husband had been dragged kicking and screaming back to the colonies by his wife, along with his four month old son, who also did a good line in screaming and kicking all that long long journey home. It all could have been so different, though. In our final months in the UK, my husband had gone for a promotion at work and we agreed that, if he got it, we’d stay in the UK and if he didn’t, we’d go to Australia where he could languish away in a dead-end academic job for five years before finally getting himself a “proper job” where he’d get to wear a fancy-man suit, start a campaign for “International Sean Connery Impressions Day” and end up running from his desk to throw up no less than six times the morning after a big work party. Well, we didn’t know that’s what Australia had in store for him at the time, but that’s what ended up happening. Fact. 

If you ask him what life might have been like for us had we stayed in London, he would no doubt paint you a picture of himself cycling about on his trusty bike through the beautiful green parks of that fair city, putting in a hard day’s graft on a world-class publication, slipping in a pint (or three) at the pub with the lads after work and eventually coming home after closing time via the kebab shop. Which is pretty much what he was still doing up until the time we left. Life for me, of course, had changed considerably with the arrival of Mister Justice and my days were largely spent waiting for my husband to cycle home with the smell of lager and garlic sauce on his breath. 

But enough about him – it is all about me, after all. What would have happened to me if we had stayed there (other than waiting around for my drunken husband to come home)? Would financial necessity have driven me back to the arms of a rubber chicken in my manager-minding job (see “Chicken of Persuasion“)? Would I have gone on to churn out two more children in the home counties or I still be passing myself off as part of a “hip’n’happening London couple with a child”? Or, if I had managed to swing a Stay-At-Home gig, would I have found myself a mothers’ group full of gloriously boozy women with which to while away those long long afternoons (see “The Hostest with the Mostest” as a stirling example of this worthy past-time)?

For the answer to that last question, I’ll quote my friend Fee S in the UK, who had the following to report:

My usually breezy and very funny friend B—- (four boys 2-7yrs years) had a face of lead when I told her about your mother’s group, which sounded all fab and modern. She practically screamed at me “Have you been to a mother’s group here? Have you? Have you? It’s shit! Shit!”

Fee then went on to regale me with some horror stories of cold cups of tea in dank church halls – with not a hint of cheap bubbly or a schmancy hors d’oevres to be found. In an instant, I realised exactly what my life would have become had we stayed in the UK:  I would have found myself on that Road Not Taken either drinking mournfully by myself of a Thursday afternoon or – worse yet – stone cold sober. Oh the humanity!

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