What’s in a name?

“Do you mind if I go for a shit, Jen?”

Oh the glamour.  Oh the sophistication.  Oh the delightful femininity.  Oh the class.  Oh the reality.  This Saturday I looked beautiful.  There, I said it.  It’s not something I say very often, if at all.  But on the Milk Monster’s Naming Day I looked every bit the lady.  Two days on I’m back in my p-jays, smelling of stale milk, asking my sister to hold the boy while I go for a poo.  You couldn’t predict such a fall from grace.   So, before I continue to write about the present, let me skip back to where I left off…
So, last Monday I was merrily cursing the inventor of baby led weaning, as I chiseled food off the Tiny Tyrant, when all of a sudden my sister walked in the door.  Now, this is quite a normal occurrence for a lot of people, but when your sister lives hundreds of miles away, it comes as something of a surprise.  And a very wonderful one indeed.  You see, some weeks before this, I had asked her if she was coming to the Little Milkman’s special day and she had told me it wouldn’t be possible.  So the vision before me, as I was knelt on the floor at 1.30pm on a Monday afternoon, covered in cheese was something of a wonder.  Obviously, I cried.  And laughed and all kinds of liquids were expelled from me as a very fitting reaction to my only sibling appearing unexpectedly.  It turned out that her and my lovely mum had schemed between them to make it happen.  And I’m so eternally grateful that they did.
Now, as I have already eluded to, I’m the kind of gal who likes to bite off more than she can chew.  To put it more accurately, I like to sink my teeth into a T-rex steak without a thought for my molars.  My Milk Monster’s Naming Day was, of course, no exception.  I had planned to do the whole thing myself, including catering and I’d left everything until the week before.  I had even had the incredibly kind offer of a grandparent sponsored caterer, but I politely declined, in favour of having a breakdown while preparing things on sticks.  But despite my best self sabotaging efforts, the day was absolutely fantastic.
All afternoon friends and family told me how lovely it was and how they’d not known what to expect, as they’d never been to a Naming Day before.  I would then admit that…neither had I.  Which goes some way to illustrate the total idiocy that came over me the day I decided we should host one.  But as two very non religious people, in a world of Christenings and Baptisms, Daddio and I did not want to be hypocritical.  So a Naming Day was much more apt.  And as I have a genuine, real life, fairy godmother, I knew I could rely on her to make the day happen.  You see, my mother saw fit to Christen me, way back in the foggy and sepia past.  And very glad I am two, because from that day on, I’ve had my delightful Aunty Jenny to call upon for Godmother-type deeds.  The presentation of a Naming Ceremony was slightly more above and beyond than a lot of my previous requests, but she kind enough to agree and the service was perfect.  And the Littlest Silver has now been made official.
But back to the important thing…my prettiness.  You see, before I started storing children in my uterus, I was a very well turned out sort of person.  I washed and straightened my hair every day (unless I knew for certain I’d be home alone all day).  I would never have considered baby wipes and dry shampoo to be the solution to any problem outwith changing nappies and over zealous conditioner.  The idea of going without brushing my teeth was unspeakable.  And I’d never have answered the door forgetting I’d still got a boob out.  But nowadays, well, I can’t make my postie any promises that I will be decent while signing for a parcel.  (That said, I’m not sure he really minded.)  But on Saturday, I was a real, bone-fide pretty girl.  I had a petticoat on and everything.  My sister had worked her magic on my hair and had transformed it into girly ringlets.  Lindy Bop had come to my rescue with a dress design that was not only vintage style, floral and beautiful, it also allowed for boob access…a necessity at my son’s Naming Day (and possibly at other functions that I’ll never allow him to attend…).  I looked the closest I’ll ever look to a princess and I was over the moon to receive a ridiculous number of compliments about it.
So how, in just 48 hours am I back to the sweaty, smelly, slightly confused, mum mess that I was before the event?  Why couldn’t just a little, tiny smidgen of the glamour have stuck around?  Was it the cubic ton of sausage rolls I ate?  Was it the addition of a days worth of unmoved make up from my pores?  Was it the silent hatred coming from my youngest son for making him wear a kilt?  Whatever it was, it worked and it worked fast.  But strangely, I think I’m ok with it.  You see, being beautiful and girly and smiley and smelling of loveliness is, obviously fantastic.  But, it only leads to a requirement of repeating that level of fantastic-ness.  It is a high bar to have to reach on a daily basis.  Hair must be washed, legs shaved and arm pits sprayed.  Clothes must be pressed and colour co-ordinated.  Teeth must be brushed.  And while I do enjoy a basic level of hygiene (while preferring a much higher one) I am quite happy in my new, frizzy haired, fuzzy legged, crumpled clothed body.  Because when I do achieve, even the smallest of grooming achievements, it is the equivalent of a Mick Hucknall to Johnny Depp make over.  And who doesn’t want that?
It also means that Daddio is always very appreciative of the tiniest of efforts.  Which is just as well, as I tend to make pretty tiny efforts these days.  And he looks at me, as I wonder when I last plucked my eyebrows and scratch a bit of peanut butter off my cheek, and he says things like, “you really are beautiful, darling.”  And wonder why I don’t make more of an effort for him…then he farts…and the balance is restored…
But despite the farting and the sweating and the postie flashing, we cannot deny that we make incredibly handsome children.  Heck even the one I didn’t have a hand in making is possibly the most handsome 7 year old that’s ever existed.  And no matter how disheveled or windy or crumpled or hairy we are, they continue to seek us for our advice and guidance on the things that really matter.  Like “how do I get my dummy back in?” and “where are my socks?”  And chances are they will for some years to come.  And if we’re very, very lucky, we will continue to put their sock and dummy needs massively in front of our own vanity until the needs are those of their own children.  And they will look at their own, slightly grotty reflection in the mirror and think, “God I look like my parents!”
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