Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tasty Tuesday: beach breakfast (and confessions of a slack mum)

I'm spending a lot of time at home this week - mixing up working at home with looking after Ellie. The childminder is on holiday and I'm getting into my stride as a SAHM.

Clearly, I'm quite a natural at this mothering lark, because by 8am she had refused her breakfast and I was already wondering how I was going to wear Ellie out enough so that she could go for a nap in the morning... and in the afternoon. After all, if she needs two sleeps it's got to be because she's had such a good time. Right?

Fortunately today is a gloriously sunny day. So by 8.30am we were out of the door and walking up the beach to town. I bought a newspaper, a coffee and a pain au chocolate for our breakfast picnic at Peter Cushing's View* and then onto the park.

Ellie can't refuse a pain au chocolate. She makes it look as though I haven't fed her for a week though, the way she jams into her mouth. My diet technique for the day was to only buy one croissant and let her have all that she wants of it. So I got none - a zero-calorie triumph for me.

Back at home, I decided to copy our fabulous childminder and encourage Ellie to sit down for juice and fruit while I read a story - four times. I tried picking up others, but What Colour is Love? is all that she wants. The repetition is good thing, isn't it? Maybe it's just because she likes the sound of my voice.

Though of course, I know why she likes me reading to her. That's when she knows she has all my attention. I'm not tidying up, cooking or .... dare I say it... blogging.

But then the time came when we both agreed it was time for her morning nap. How could I tell? I think it had something to do with how she wanted to launch herself down the stairs. 

The irony is that if I pay proper attention to playing and being with Ellie, she will get worn out and go for a sleep. Pleasure seems to bring its own reward. At least it does with this child. Today.

It's a funny old thing this motherhood. I love spending time with her and she makes me enormously happy. Yet I still love it when I get my own space back. And if she goes to sleep without tears (as she has done just now. Hurray.) then I don't feel guilty about it either. Although I do. Damn this maternal ambiguity.

*Peter Cushing was known for playing Dracula and other spooky parts in Hammer Horror films of the 70's - oh and he was in the first Star Wars too. He was a much loved local celebrity around town. The 'natives' of Whitstable (named after Whitstable native oysters) don't just think you have to be born here to 'belong' - it helps if you have your own personal Peter Cushing experience too. He said of himself, 'I'm a gentle fellow'. I think this is a lovely thing for any man to say of himself.

14 comments:

echoeve said...

I love it when I get to be a SAHM, but I also like when I get my own space back as well.

However, the only times I really get to be the SAHM is when the kids are sick, and taking care of sick kids is no fun. I think I'd rather be a work.

Amanda said...

How nice to be able to walk to the park. You must live in town. There is definately no where worth walking to around me.
We do drive over to the beach and there is a big park over on Jekyll that we frequent.
I think it is great when we can take a turn doing a new job.(being a SAHM) It validates our original choice and also lets us gain perspective on someone else. Did that make sense? I tried to use too many big words and I think I even confused myself.

Amanda said...

I guess we now know the truth. You will always be so much cooler than me. I clicked your superheroine link and I'm Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Really? Why didn't I get Trinity? I never get to be who I want to be on those things.

CC said...

I know what you mean. A week at home for vacation starts really well and then ends up with me begging to go back to work!

CC said...

amanda, IMHO Buffy is WAY cooler than Trinity. And she gets to save the world, over and over and over. None of this side kick stuff ;) Plus, I'm Buffy too, so that makes it extra cool.

Sass E-mum said...

Agreed. Buffy is way cooler than any other superhero. I think you should be glad Amanda, and if you aren't... just 'fake it till you feel it'. He he.

SaraLynn said...

i love being a SAHM, but there are days (tantrums,potty training gone awry) I wonder what on earth I was thinking....is that bad?
now I have guilt...must find chocolate....

Working mum said...

Ah, I remember daytime naps!

TexasTesla said...

Ah, the joys of motherhood. No matter how much you love your child, you need your own space back by the end of the day - if not sooner!

Cajunchic said...

I have to ask what is a pain au chocolat?

I feel the same way about needing me time. A lot of SAHMs act holier than thou when I say that I have to have at least thirty minutes of me time a night and I have to get out of the house at least once a week but I do have to for my sanity. A happy mommy is a better mommy and personally unlike some people I do not believe that we are meant to be with our children 24/7 day in and day out.

jakelliesmom said...

Sounds like a very nice day - I hope you both had a chance to nap. Those outings can be exhausting!

(I'll let you in on a little secret of the SAHMs - but don't tell anyone. We don't always go out of the house on exciting and enriching outings. Sometimes a trip to the market is enough fun for one day!)

Reluctant Housewife said...

She looks so cuddly and sweet with those little rosy cheeks. Honestly, what a cutie.

I feel the same way about the time with the kiddos vs. getting time to myself. I love both.

And, Amanda... Buffy's cool. She always has the best come backs. Trinity... pft. She just wanted to get the guy.

Cajuncchic: Pain au chocolate is a chocolate croissant. Very tasty.

Now I have to ask... Can I have a pain au chocolate? International pastries never have calories...

MamaGeek said...

Oh I felt this! It's a fine balance being a SAHM - being a Mom and seeking your own sanity can be a fine, albeit rewarding, line!!

LaskiGal said...

Maternal ambiguity . . . oh, you are so right!

I think that is what I have to do with J. He needs to be worn down more! He is anti-napping. Ugh! I do need my space . . . just a little.

I love how Peter Cushing referred to himself. He was one of my faves . . .