Thursday, 23 August 2018

The trials of becoming a mother

It's a "poppy seed"...a "grain of rice"...a heart that starts to beat.
It's a "lentil"...it's a "chickpea"...it's an "olive" with webbed feet.
Twelve weeks go by, and then you reach a very special time.
You have a scan, and on the screen, you see your little "lime".

But still you have a way to go. The waiting's just begun.
Less caffeine, and no dodgy cheese. No alcohol. No fun.
The delivery is messy, and you don't produce a doll:
It's a living breathing human - though it may look like a troll.

And you wonder, "Maybe motherhood is something I can't hack?
My "pineapple's" so helpless and I cannot send it back."
On you, it seems, and you alone, the infant must depend.
It feeds - or not - and what goes in, comes out the other end.

That vision of the Mummy role, all calm and so serene,
Is plain nonsense as you struggle to establish a routine.
You're still flabby round the middle, and you know you look a fright,
But beauty sleep's elusive, when you're up eight times a night.

So what happened to the woman who was capable and strong?
Whose life's become one question: "Am I getting this all wrong?"
In your tiny son or daughter, you'd invested so much hope,
But now you lurch from hour to hour, and struggle just to cope.

What's arrived is not as specified! How can one feel maternal,
When your alien won't settle, and appears to be nocturnal?
Your existence is just one long round - of nappies, milk and chores.
Is your baby someone else's, for s/he surely can't be yours.

The "experienced" may tell you all the work will seem worthwhile
When, in six weeks' time, your little one rewards you with a smile.
Huh! It's little consolation, when you're down and feeling blue,
And you're thinking, "IF we get there, it's the least the child can do."

That twitched-up mouth's a milestone and it only marks the start:
There are many more to follow, and a mother must take heart.
Right now, both of you are screaming, but you will win through the tears:
That creature will be off your hands in, maybe, eighteen years.

S/he'll be potty trained, have learned to walk, and talk, and work, and play.
There'll be trials and tribulations, plus much joy along the way.
S/he'll have grown into adulthood and, with luck, will be your friend.
But as for all the stressing? The worries never end.



Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Potty training

Matilda was still wearing nappies.
We were worried because she'd turned three.
But our self-proclaimed "big girl", untroubled,
Never signalled the need for a wee.

Mum trawled for advice on the internet,
But still couldn't find what works best.
Being laid back and calm was no answer.
Getting cross just makes everyone stressed.

"It takes time." "It's hard work." "It needs patience."
Lots more stuff along similar lines...
"Your toddler will know when she's ready...
Just be watchful and pick up the signs."

Then, one morning, the miracle happened.
"I'll wear pants from today," M declared.
In a drawer, there were plenty to choose from,
For mummies are always prepared.

Thereafter, things go very smoothly,
Now the breakthrough at last has occurred.
Matilda gets on with her business,
And, so doing, says scarcely a word.

A week or so into the training,
Even Granny's begun to relax.
In the big bag she totes is a potty,
Along with the books, toys and snacks...

And the loo roll, the wipes, and the water...
Plus the "just in case" clothes that are spare...
We are now having lunch in a café,
When Matilda slides down from her chair.

She lifts out the Peppa Pig potty.
With no nonsense, it's put on the floor,
As she pulls down her knickers, we're watching -
As are neighbouring diners galore.

"Get it sorted out Granny," says husband,
But there's nothing that Granny can do:
She is horror-struck, frozen and helpless,
As the child does a wee and a poo.

The toilets, we know, are some distance.
But we know, too, that small hands need washing.
The receptacle has to be emptied,
As it's full, and its contents are sloshing.

We negotiate all the packed tables.
To exit at speed is our bid.
I've since ordered an upmarket potty,
With removable innards and lid.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Free rides for boy born on Paris train

I've emerged from cosy darkness,
My once tucked up limbs unfurled,
And instead am in another place:
A noisy scary world.

Is this what being born's about?
Good reason to complain.
It was peaceful inside Mummy,
But it isn't on this train.

I'm aware of people chuntering.
The service is delayed
But, with workers always striking,
This is normal, I'm afraid.

And, as if that were not bad enough,
There's grimmer news besides:
For a quarter of a century,
They're giving me free rides.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Cadbury's creme eggs (again)

After Christmas has gone,
Winter still lingers on,
But soon there is one consolation.
Every year, without fail,
Crème eggs are on sale,
And I cannot resist the temptation.

Just till Easter they'll stay,
Bringing comfort my way.
Who cares if the waistline may bulge?
Or if clothing gets tighter?
A dark day is brighter
For chocolate, in which to indulge.

And now here's a good wheeze:
I've discovered they freeze!
(Don't defrost them too fast - melted's awful).
So I'm planning to buy
A whole year's supply,
And stash them away by the drawer-full.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Logging in to Amazon

I'm very fond of Amazon:
It's quick and it's efficient.
My log-in details (always there)
Mean one click is sufficient.

I'd ordered sundry items,
But this time could not connect.
An alert box popped up warning me
"Your password's incorrect".

I'd never ever changed it,
(Though, it's said, one often should).
But they'd send a code to email.
This sadly proved no good.

If I want to access "Outlook"
I must leave the page I'm on,
Then - armed with all the info -
Return to it anon.

With care, I duly noted
All the digits they required,
But these proved to be "invalid".
Had their usefulness expired?

I tried once more, to no avail.
This really did now irk.
So "Contact Us" seemed sensible,
Except this didn't work.

My query floated round my head.
The words were well rehearsed.
I clicked the link, and then found out,
I HAD TO LOG IN FIRST!

Friday, 23 March 2018

Ode to Shelagh

Shelagh Simpson, who sadly died last month was, for many years, Catering Manager at the Jessop Hospital for Women in Sheffield. She was a larger-than-life character who was funny, kind-hearted and wont to swear a lot - thus becoming known as "Mrs Bleeding Simpson". Although on a tight budget she, and her admirable staff, consistently produced extremely good food.

Environmental Health Officer (and thoroughly nice man) Roger Hart was the bane of our lives. The kitchen was located in a Victorian building, and we lived in fear of what he'd find next (and how much it would cost to rectify).

This verse was written to mark the occasion of her retirement from the NHS.


The words to describe her aren't easy to find:
Shelagh's wholly unique; she is one of a kind.
To improve patients' food they've brought in Grossman (Lloyd)
But what good your Oliver, Smith, Leith or Floyd?

Who else but our Shelagh, without qualm or gripe,
Would scour Sheffield butchers to seek out some tripe?
Just because, if not found, we would find ourselves failing,
A little old lady, who's fragile and ailing.

Oh so many times she's been put to the test,
But has never been fazed, matter not the request.
A short notice buffet? No problem, we'll try...
Could you please do mince pies? Yes, I know it's July.

Her language is colourful - says what she thinks,
But she cares, and remembers what everyone drinks.
A few more of her sort's what our service is needing,
Her departure, I'm sure, will leave all our hearts bleeding.

E'en a Hart name of Roger, who comes unannounced.
What's he chuffin' found this time? On what has he pounced?
A temperature blip? A cockroach? A cricket?
She can now grab his probe, and knows just where to stick it!

She leaves with our thanks and our love and goodwill,
And a bleeding great gap no one ever could fill.
To the young docs, she's mother; tonight she's "mine host",
So please raise your glasses, Our Shelagh, a toast!