Um, was I dreaming? What time is it? What year is it?
No dream. And an awful smell. Stumble to said source of noise and stench.
“Muuummm, I was sick in my bed.”
Fully awake now. Husband by my side. Battle stations!
Me bathing Miss-not-quite-three, he hosing and washing bedclothes. Both retching.
The little girl and I got settled on the couch. 2am. It was then that my husband said to me, “Happy Mother’s Day!”.
Um. Oh yeah! It’s was more a mother of a week, with all of us successively succumbing to the bug.
Now it was all gone! Not the milk itself, obviously. But the tally of my toils. Not what a hormonal, sleep deprived Mum of three under three wants as a Mother’s Day present.
Oh yeah, presents! I got a mortar and pestle – just what I’d heavily hinted at. My offsider in the kitchen insisted she needed one too. So cute.
I’d recently broken a PB by breaking the french press I’d used to make the tea after a mere six months.
And there was the replacement. A lime green tea pot. Lime green. Lime. For years I had been collecting white plates and bits so that everything might at least vaguely match. My husband knew this didn’t he?
Am I sounding ungrateful? Yes I am*. Was I feeling guilty about being ungrateful. Ditto. It turns out my husband did know of my attempt at having something nice and matching (an achievement in itself!) but Miss-not-quite-three insisted on the tic-tac green hew.
I stewed on it for a couple of weeks, but did not stew any tea in the pot. I wavered between grinning, bearing and imbibing and traitorously exchanging.
It led me to think of a quote I once read by Tenneva Jordan:
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie
Has society moved beyond silent sufferance and martyred mothers? Is that the Mum I should be? Or should I instead stay in the kitchen and eat the entire pie myself?! Should I never did care which colour the pot is, but just be grateful that I had been given a present from my wonderful family?
So… I piped up. I felt terrible. I exchanged the pot for one which looks much better with the white milk jug and accessories.
It’s not really about a tea pot, but our identity as a mother. How much of our pre-parent individuality (and selfishness) should be maintained and how much does the for-the-greater-good role envelop us? This, like most of parenting, seems to be a balancing act – with me wildly wavering about in an attempt to keep things on the level.
Oh and that beautiful white tea pot? It broke three weeks later. I didn’t have the heart to replace it.
* I acknowledge this is a first world problem and express my appreciation for having one – along with the ability to complain online about it.
Postscript: I must be more like Tenneva Jordan that I thought… I gave Layne the last crumpet today without a second thought, and decided to make a peanut butter cheesecake for my birthday instead of cappuccino so she can eat some too!