Fascinating parallels between old-fashioned ‘symptoms of madness’ and contemporary ‘symptoms’ of being a parent.
TWELVE SIGNS OF MADNESS (OR MUMMYING)
There are some interesting similarities between (old-fashioned) signs of madness and the very ordinary contemporary signs that you are a Mummy. I have come up with twelve as a result of a couple of mad things happening in my day today.
1) Talking to yourself (providing a commentary of your day for your baby)
2) Referring to yourself in third person (Mummy is just making you some toast now..)
3) Washing your hands obsessively (Yucky – is that vegemite or… )
4) Asking questions out loud (What shall we do today? What will Mummy wear today?)
5) Checking your behaviour (Mummy left the tap running again)
6) Counting everything out loud (How many orange toes does Mummy have?)
7) Speaking in disjointed sentences (Orange toes – Oh noes. What are you having on your toast?)
8) Daydreaming/appearing vacant (…)
9) Strange objects found in unusual places (Today I found a clothespeg in my shoe and a sock in my handbag)
10) Having the feeling that you are being followed (At knee height…)
11) Becoming more forgetful
12) ? (see 11)
How many of these symptoms are you suffering from?
(I suffer from all of them).
The day that inspired the madness:
Today I had to rush to a meeting and, with a small toddler-free window, I thought I had time to paint my toenails (bright orange). Sadly there was not really enough time and I had to leave with wet nails and put the heating on in the car (pointed towards my feet) so that they could dry in time.
I put the windows down and the heating on full so that I wouldn’t get too hot. (It was all about the nails because I feel like I never get any pamper-time to myself and, for whatever reason, nails were on the top of my to do list).
If I had launched myself properly into the public sphere people would come to one of three conclusions:
1) She is mad
2) She has children
3) Her giant pregnant belly is clearly getting in the way of her seeing/reaching her feet
My nails look like a rushed job and need fixing (probably a whole re-do) to be honest – but now that I think about it – my behaviour with wet paint, heater, orange toes, rushing and windows was…
Later today I was playing with my toddler in the sun and we were making piles of stones. We made a mini stone-henge from the gravel on the driveway, then we filled the watering can with stones and afterwards we threw them all back into the gravel-sand one by one listening to the sounds they made.
Looking out the window now, there are still small neatly-organised piles of stones in random places on the deck and, if I were a stranger passing by, I would come to one of two conclusions:
1) Mad people live there.
2) Children live there.
Luckily for me, the pram on the deck, the small boots and the handprints on the windows all excuse the look of madness. (A little bit at least).
P.S. I am not really ‘mad’ – but I do madly love my little mini person – despite the ‘mad mummy symptoms’ he has given me…