Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Secret Diary of a Demented Mother

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Secret Diary of a Demented Mother

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jenny Lesley

I was trying my best for a Good Mother award this week. I had remembered it was Shrove Tuesday due to an in-depth discussion about why it is not called Pancake Day and what the spiritual meaning of Lent abstinence was which took place before breakfast! I didn't initiate it, I am always too bombed to speak in the morning, never mind discuss what I would like to give up for Lent and why.

Tuesdays are always stressy as I have to get Carys to ballet in an impossibly short time after school. It always takes far longer than I think it should take to get four children assembled, to the car and on to ballet school. It then takes an even more unreasonable amount of time to get one small prancing girl out of school clothes and into a vision of pinkness complete with magic wand. She is doing her first exam soon so we are supposed to be practising putting their hair up into neat little buns. What a shame no-one reminded me of this before I had her hair cut last week so it is about an inch too short to be put up. It says something for my desperate need to get it right that I seriously considered hair extensions! Anyway, once Carys twinkles her way into class I usually have 45 minutes to kill with three children. I have had to rearrange that last sentence several times as the urge to omit the "with" sometimes becomes fairly strong!

Fergus is always at the whingeing, ready-to-sleep-but-not-quite-convinced-he-wants-to stage. Kieran just wants to get home and get on the Gamecube and Emma just wants a TV fix. So usually we just go home for half an hour, which doesn't work well because, if Fergus does go to sleep, I have to drag him back out into the cold again. Kieran doesn't get enough time to play a whole game of anything and Emma is invariably half way through whichever American trash teen programme is on. So they all moan at me.

This Tuesday, being Shrove Tuesday, I decided we would go home and make batter for pancakes. The plan went wrong, as mine do, as soon as I picked them up. Emma was looking anxious.

"Muuuuum, " she said in that You're Not Going to Like This But sort of voice that 12-year-olds use. …

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