A Room 101 of One’s Own

by Mothership on February 14, 2009

There are so many delightful things about motherhood that I didn’t anticipate.

I didn’t know, for instance, that my beloved firstborn would frequently bring me small tributes from the natural world. Painstakingly selected bouquets of heart-shaped autumn leaves; a knobbly rock from the beach imbued with mythical properties; a leaf from the garden partially eaten by a caterpillar “Mummy, this shows you gave a butterfly a life”

I was as yet unaware that her small brother would make his first intelligible phrase a declaration of love.
Abubwoo” . And this would be reserved for me and me alone with that special head-on-the-side-beneath-the-lashes shy smile that will be guaranteed to dupe me into any shady scheme he may plan in future.  (If he is anything like me there will be many.)

Oh the dizzy, giddy, desperate, helpless, foolish, besotted passion I feel for these children is near boundless.

Yes, that’s right I said near boundless. But I do have my limits.

I came back from dropping my cherubs at nursery today and decided I would tidy the house before settling back into my office (electric blanket -check, plump pillows – check, plug in laptop -check, change back into power pajamas – check).

It shouldn’t have been too bad, really. Just a couple of breakfast things to wash, groceries to put away, valentine chocolates to hide from myself etc.


The children had at some point taken it upon themselves to be  ‘creative’ and had thus opened The Art Cupboard of Death while I wasn’t looking. (cue screams, thunder, sound of cackling witches etc)

You could say that I only have myself to blame. What kind of idiot puts crayons and play-doh within easy access of a one year old anyway?

I didn’t want to limit their creativity, you see. I wanted them to be able to do nice pictures whenever they wanted and have lots of lovely fun with cutting and pasting and glue and that sort of activity that good mummies provide for their tots. 

In my defence, Four never ate glue sticks. She listened when I told her not to draw on the walls with markers. I simply don’t understand why she is suddenly giving her brother “mascara” with a laundry pen! And why is that pen in there anyway? HusbAAAANND?!

Today they got the jumbo tub of playdoh open and made a ‘why-end pizza’ on the floor which involves taking a disc of dough the size of my head and jumping on it until it is flat and as one with the living room carpet (did someone say voodoo?)  and then decorating it with bits of detritus that they find in dark corners of the room. Then they offer you a slice and you to pretend to eat it. Yum! (Note: One actually does eat it)

Plus there were stickers. Fucking STICKERS EVERYWHERE.
I hate stickers. How did they open the box that is padlocked with a kryptonite chain and get to the four billion stickers that they then plastered the legs of each chair and the table plus the baseboards of all the kitchen cabinets with? And how did this all happen while I was just doing a wee? Stickers are not even an‘art supply’. They do not encourage creativity, they just encourage the children to affix stupid shapes all over my bottom at Trader Joe’s while I try and pay or else they save them and put them on the inside of my car window where they will remain long after I have flown this mortal coil.

I rue the day these vile things were invented and I curse the seed of their creators!

They must be cast from my life if there is to be room for the golden light of my own pure thought! (nb  Impure thoughts fine too, I’m not fussy)

So today, in honor of three writers* whose lives span as many centuries, I am creating a signature space to store the things about motherhood which I loathe and fear most and also don’t have anywhere else to put because my house is full of ghastly toys and machines that go ping. 
I don’t exactly want to throw them away forever because, frankly, they’re such good material, but on the other hand I don’t want them lurking around my every day life making everything so damn messy while I’m trying to keep up with the Stepfords.
I plan to slip into the room alone, the pen as my foil, and prance about with these horrors until I can successfully write them off. Touche! Then I will emerge calm and triumphant, you can read all about it,  and all that will be left is to check my stats obsessively while I am supposed to be making supper.

There is a slim chance , however, that if I lock enough of my neuroses into the chamber I might forget about them completely and become one of those smug, contented ladies who bore the tits off the rest of us by reporting only the good news (have a nice day!) because that is all there would be left of me.  If this happens, please alert me via nuclear missile and I will unlock the door and eat everything inside.
But I’m getting ahead of myself..

*(Virginia Woolf, George Orwell & Me, obviously)

Mothership’s Room 101 of Her Very Own.

In it I place:

Playdoh, Stickers, Whining, Disney Princesses, ELMO and his song (Husband, are you paying attention?), Vomit, Amusement Parks, Non-washable markers, any toy that makes music not created by the child, books for children written with poor grammar (yes their are lots that are real bad), the visible trauma of pregnancy on formerly stonking bod, Observer Woman, Dr. Laura, Signing Times videos with that lady with the enormous mouth, the endless snot that streams, unchecked, from the noses of small children, and many more..

Oh! Pardon me, I need a break to wipe the froth of remembered rage from my chin..

While I do that, please, tell me:

If you had a little money and a Room 101 of your own, what would you put in it?


1 Tara@Sticky Fingers February 14, 2009 at 2:09 am

Ah yes stickers. I too have suffered at the hands of stickers. Big time.
You know when they stick them somewhere and you end up using the end of your nail desperately trying to scrap it off whatever it’s ruining.
I did blog about it ages and ages ago (when I wrote a blog for the paper I worked on) here http://blogs.coventrytelegraph.net/fromdawntillrusk/2008/06/stickers.html

I FEEL your pain!

Tara@Sticky Fingers’s last blog post..Do you find it hard to make friends?

2 helen brocklebank February 14, 2009 at 3:13 am

Just adore this: so funny and so resonant (stickers!aaarrgghhh! Our front door is plastered with them. Art cupboard of death: how DO they get that open? It kills me! And you’re right: they’re so quick. Mine are like ants: their mission in life is to transport one thing from one room to the other so one finds the whisk in the bathroom, your passport in the downstairs loo, one of the only pair of shoes that still fits Thing two ends up in the porch etc.)
Anyway: when I’m not on the blackberry and policing small children, I shall treat myself to a good look at your blog. And thanks for the tips about botox: have just tried the rival product to Allergan: fingers crossed… I love botox.


3 Jessica K February 14, 2009 at 5:21 am

btw, love the show Room 101 (I know you hate tv) and have watched even back issues (or the tv equipment).
Legos, Bandai action figures that break instantly, people who question your parenting, overprotective parents, Disney movies esp. the classics, the making of great kids books into crap movies, Bratz (just for posterity), Hannah Montana and her ilk, Veggietales and those books that make noise.
I am sure I will have more as I am filled with rage today.
Can you send me some tips on botox or other antiaging remedies too?

4 Domestic Engineer February 14, 2009 at 10:53 am

In answer to your question, I would lock away the scores of quilts I have received for my two kids. I mean, how many quilts does a child need? What can they be used for? I am still trying to figure it out, but they are taking over my life. Plus, I have to send a damn thank-you note for every single one……aaaargh….

5 Jaywalker February 15, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Oh yes, I have an Art Cupboard of Death too. CFO shudders when he sees it has been opened. Its gaping maw is filled with so many sources of horror that they should use it for interrogations. glitter! Play-doh! poster paint!
I sort of did this recently anyway, so you know about sand, ketchup, socks, sibling rivalry and swimming pools. You can add them all too. And Bionicles.

Jaywalker’s last blog post..Hallucination keeps couple, 34 and 39, together for fifteen years

6 Mothership February 15, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Jaywalker, I must have missed that post of yours (how did this happen when I am slavish devotee?!). Have just been over to read it and now realise the perfect location for my room is chez vous. Perhaps in your good room? Then I can also add all the fights I have with Husband and your children will hear them instead of mine.. BTW what are Bionicles? I hate them already.
Domestic Engineer. Quilts. I don’t know what to say. What are people thinking?! Best suggestion is to line walls of child’s room so that you don’t have to hear them scream – good soundproofing.
Jessica- BRATZ!!! AGHHH! Let’s sexualise our children even before they can pronounce pedophile! That way by the time they are 7 we are ready to film Elementary School Girls Gone Wild. Fuck. I’m so pissed of already I can’t even get to the rest of your room.
Mrs.T. Ants! What a perfect description. Industrious destruction completely undeterred by any obstacle put in their way.
I had forgotten about rival to Allergan (not FDA approved yet so we don’t get it here) but I used to have it in the UK. Think it lasts longer actually. I am going to email you (and Jessica) all my best tips.
Everything, past a certain age, is all about maintenance, good lighting and injectable fillers.

7 Tawny February 16, 2009 at 3:36 am

ooooooh. Stickers, Pink (sorry I have had enough of it) Brussel sprouts, all the calories in chocolate, ignorant people who phone when you don’t want them too. People who tailgate…I could go on and on

8 Sass E-mum February 16, 2009 at 3:50 am

Elasticated bracelets. Because they inevitably break causing Peaches to unleash her OCD on collecting all the bits in a bag, only to empty them out where ever she is, and collect them all up again, repeat until madness engulfs…

Sass E-mum’s last blog post..First contact

9 Iota February 16, 2009 at 6:16 am

I love your list. May I add pink (someone has said that already) and ludo. Books of kids movies (they are just so lazily done, and make for such tedious reading). Ariel. The relentless trudge towards old age.

But I LIKE Bionicles!

Iota’s last blog post..Blogging and Margaret Thatcher

10 Pretty Mama February 16, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Good read! My room 101 would consist of every article of little girls clothing that reads, “Little Princess,” “It’s all about me,” “Angel Baby”…you name it! Sorry about the sticker shopping spree with Four the other day…just more decoration for your beautiful bottom…Ha-ha!!!

11 Jessica K February 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm

I admit I like Bionicles (and grudgingly the other action figures) as they promote imagination.
I hate husbands fascination with and lsut for technology and related stuff but I admit I have same relentless never ending fascination and lust for clothes even when completely broke.

12 Mothership February 16, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Pretty Mama, you are forgiven everything and anything because you are a SAINT and my children worship you as do we. Thank you for compliment re. bottom. How kind of you to say so! You already know my feelings about those T Shirts and will probably be glad to be spared the soapbox here..
Iota, I’m so with you on the books of the films. It’s so weird that they sometimes do books of the films that are already of books? Why? How? Ariel is one of my pet hates. I don’t know if you caught my posts that outlines my specific reasons for loathing her, but do check it out if you have a moment http://motherhoodthefinalfrontier.com/?s=ariel&x=0&y=0
Sass-E Mum Yes! Yes! Four does that too, and One likes to choke on the beads. Double the pleasure.
Tawny – why is the only available colour for girls PINK? WHY? WHY? And calories in chocolate are just plain wrong.

13 Coding Mamma (Tasha) February 17, 2009 at 8:18 am

I would second (or is it fifth) the pink. I would add poker chips (or ‘play money’ to R), which appear in the oddest places (one was sticking out of the letter box this morning – on the outside) and plastic food.

For some reason my blogroll is not updating when you update your blog, so I’ve missed a whole bunch of your posts. Will have to catch up, and remember to check manually.

Coding Mamma (Tasha)’s last blog post..It’s carnival time!

14 Coding Mamma (Tasha) February 17, 2009 at 11:42 pm


Coding Mamma (Tasha)’s last blog post..It’s carnival time!

15 Katherine February 25, 2009 at 6:34 am

Balloons, especially the sad looking withered ones that S#1 won’t let me chuck ‘cos you can still play footy with them; Hannah Montana (sorry D#1), High School Musical and Camp Rock

Katherine’s last blog post..Dummy Mummy? Are You? C’mon admit it…

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