news blackout?

Help me out on this one. I listen to the radio in the background all day – makes me feel like there’s another adult in the room, and how else will I keep up with the latest music? Hmm, well that one’s debatable since Radio 2 is so firmly embedded as the sixth member of this family that Poppy sings the jingles and likes to say “Pop Master with Ken Bruce” at random intervals.

But my question is this. Should I turn off the news bulletins when they come on every half an hour? The news, by its nature, doesn’t usually contain the most pleasant subject matter. And since the kids are like little sponges at the moment – soaking up every snippet of information round them, I’m often having to answer questions like, “who shot who in the head Mummy” and “why did that person have to die?” over the breakfast table. I wouldn’t let them watch or listen to fictional horror stories, so should I subject them to equally sordid headlines that happen to be true? And if I don’t am I being overly protective? Discuss…

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identity crisis

“hello and what do you do?” has to be the most boring conversational opener I can imagine. Many’s the time I’ve been asked this question at a party (we’re going back a few years now) and nothing makes me want to end the conversation with the asker more. It’s mainly because, as queries go, it’s about as revealing as “would you like a cheese or ham sandwich?”

Say the answer were lawyer, (not that it ever would be) that would tell the person not a stitch about me. Lawyers, like the rest of us, come in many shapes and sizes, from all walks of life and from both ends of the personality spectrum. Surely a more worthwhile talking point would be “who are you?” or better yet, “who do you think you are?” Now those replies would be worth a listen – unless of course the answer is still a lawyer with a preference for cheese toasties.

Who do I think I am? Watch this space, I’m still a work in progress… but the last five years have gone some way towards shedding light on the question. I’m three people’s mother which automatically makes me four different people. One for each kid and the one I’d like to be.

Which reminds me of a game of Guess Who the kids were playing recently in which Peter kept asking the same question over and over: “has your person got ears?” Needless to say, he didn’t win.

what’s in a name?

You may wonder at my choice of the word housewife to describe what I do – since there’s a lot more to it than being a wife… or indeed living in a house. But I’m not right keen on the other job titles, like homemaker (makes me sound like a construction worker) or full-time mum (show me the mum, who is not a parent 24/7), so housewife will do for now. And hey, let’s see if we can’t reinvent it just a little…

Praise and pants

Every time I go into M&S cafe for lunch I get complimented on my children. Last time I was there, an amateur philosopher (eccentric grey-haired man of the type exclusive to Cambridge) commented –  in Latin no less on my mother/son bond. Today Peter, Megan and I were enjoying a cheese sandwich when a lady came over to say what a good job I was doing with the children. Then when she found that I had another one not present at the time I thought she might pop with admiration. Alright Megan was on a smiley charm offensive and Peter’s table manners were top notch, but I do wonder whether it is indeed less down to my particular aptitude and more something peculiar to M&S shoppers… a keen eye for a bargain and a commendable family unit.

On another note – have you seen the price of pants recently? nearly 40 quid for 6 pairs of the husband’s preferred undergarments…