LET’S go straight in, balls to the wall today.
Because I just handed over cash for the Mother’s Day stall at my kids’ school and I fear the worst. And by worst I mean another fecking bath bomb, a lavender satin eye pack or one of those knitted woollen coat hangers.
So I’ve put together a list of gift ideas. There is something for all budgets and ages. Five of them cost money and five don’t. Some of this list is passively aggressively aimed at my children — you’ll notice the hints peppered throughout. This column will be forwarded to their school email accounts.
And I’m quietly confident a lot of them will also apply at your place, so please feel free to print this and stick it on the fridge at home.
1. CLEAN HER CAR
Most of the sh*t in Mum’s back seat belongs to you. So get it all out, get a grown-up person to drive you to a car wash and make it shine like the top of the Chrysler building. Vacuum the inside and under the seats, clean your snot from the windows, polish the dashboard, get some lavender spray and get to work.
Bonus points if you can find and eliminate the unidentified smell that appeared around the same time you did.
2. GET THE HELL UP
When I come in to wake you up each morning don’t act as though I’ve sprung it on you, like it’s never happened before. Don’t react as though it is the most surprising occurrence to have ever happened to anyone anywhere. Remember that when I’m standing in your room at 7:15am, flicking the lights on and off repeatedly, we did that same dance 24 hours earlier.
Do you think that I enjoy being up?! B*tch please! Just. Get. Up.
Same goes for showering/dressing and cleaning your teeth. These are BASIC HUMAN NECESSITIES — you can’t fight them. We can do it the hard way or the easy way, but either way you’re getting cleaned and covered.
In summary, for Mother’s Day I just want you to do everything I ask the first time, not the 57th. Not half done, no hostage level negotiations to get you to wear shoes, just smile and obey.
3. FRAME SOME PHOTOS
Go through her phone and send yourself a whole bunch of pictures she’s taken, get them printed, put some in a frame (preferably ones that you and her are in together) then put the rest in an album. Not an ugly one with cartoon characters on the front. Make that sh*t fancy. Maybe it has a wooden front cover or a velvet one, just nothing that looks like Jemima and Big Ted whipped it up on Play School.
This is a great idea because no one gets a hard copy of their photos anymore. They just sit on our phones and when technology finally becomes sentient Terminator 2: Judgement Day style, all our happy snaps will be lost. Not your mother’s though, if you do as I say.
4. DON’T RAT MUMMY OUT
If I tell a subtle white lie in public, don’t correct me you lunatic. Be a team player. If the lady who runs the PTA asks me if I can contribute to the cake stall and I say, “oh I’d love to but our oven is broken,” don’t loudly announce, “No it’s not! You cooked dinner in it last night.” Traitors will be punished from here on out.
5. LET HER SLEEP IN
Seriously on Sunday morning get out of the house — quietly. Don’t stomp down the stairs/hallway, trip over, argue with your sibling(s) and slam the front door. Ninja the shit out of that exit, tiptoe like a pro. Then go and pick some flowers, get her a cafe bought coffee, maybe some pastries from the bakery and wait until she appears to lavish her with love and affection.
Sleep is more valuable than anything else. She needs it, she craves it, she thinks about it all the time. GIVE IT TO HER.
You guys, please. I am so tired of having people over and feeling panicked if one of them requires the toilet. Having to quickly think about the person who was in there last and realising it was one of you puts me in a state of panic.
I resent having to sprint like a mad woman to stop them before they enter the house of skid marks and do a quick scrub because you didn’t. Maybe I need to check with a doctor to see if your anuses are angled wrong? That is the only explanation I have left. Crooked sphincters or not, I want TOTAL TOILET CONFIDENCE this Mother’s Day.
7. MAKE YOUR OWN SCHOOL LUNCH FOR THE REST OF TIME
You are 14 and nine, and if you are old enough to complain about what I pack you are old enough to make it yourselves. I love you both dearly. I would take a bullet for you. I will always protect you. I just can’t begin to explain how much I hate making the school lunches. I don’t even know what it is about that small chore that is so offensive to me. I will happily cook you every other meal, just not that one.
8. AESOP HAND WASH
$40 hand wash is ridiculous and glorious but have you even smelled that stuff?! It’s luxurious and something she will never buy for herself. I mean, why would she — it’s $40 just to wash your hands. But if YOU get it for her and make sure only MUM uses it, every time she does and her hands smell of a fresh meadow and love and unicorn tears, she will think of you.
9. A pony named Abra-cassandra
Ok this is just a selfish one for me.. I’m willing to concede that not ALL Mum’s want this one.. I’m also well aware this is completely ridiculous and may cause a divorce at my house but – if the kid’s can somehow conjure one up, I will love her and occasionally pop a unicorn horn on her. She will be an inside pony and sit at my feet while I drink tea and watch Outlander.. I LOVE JAMIE FRASER.
10. APPRECIATE HER
Seriously, this woman probably does most things for you. Stuff you don’t even realise. She is the engine room of your life, the sunshine, the heart. Thank her and mean it, acknowledge her efforts.
Look her in the eyes and say: “Thanks legend girl, you’re tops and I love you.” That sh*t is free and it will make her feel less taken advantage of and will renew her vigour in parenting you.