Saturday, 30 April 2011

Feet in the gutter, looking at the Stars

When the children are safely tucked up in bed, something comes over me. Having spent a very large part of my day attempting to be a wholesome, sweet, Mary Poppins kind of mama, night-time mama is a different beast. Night time mama comes over all Tourettes and breaks out in expletives. Not in a shouty, stressed out way, but rather, to make up for a day of "oh my's" or "my goodnesses". You know, famous five speak.

You worky mamas can swear in the car on the way to work, or get it out on your lunch break, say, or in the loos, or just generally when having some behind-the-scenes banter with colleagues. Its a release.

Now I don't swear at my children, except for very, very, rarely if I am super, super wound up, and generally I try not to shout at them if I can avoid it. But having little ones surround you every minute of the day, including when you go to the toilet, or take a shower, or take a walk down the garden to dump veggie peelings, or whilst you are getting dressed, or cooking, or even, whilst trying to sleep, requires a superhuman amount of patience and restraint at times.

So night time Paula gets a bit gobby! Yes it all comes out! A string of vocabulary to make a sailor blush.

It's not so much that I have one big expletive outpouring, more so much a sprinkling of *&%$ and a smattering of @)(*&^% whilst going about my evening.

Oscar Wilde once said

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars".

I am perfectly happy to be a high brow, low brow hybrid. I'm the kind of lady that is happy and feels nourished, on a soul level with reading the great works of say, Kahlil Gibran, or Herman Hesse. Deep, existential, spiritual works. But give me a teeny tiny sneaky peak of something as naff as say, Grazia every now and then, and I feel (secretly) equally grounded. I can't help it.

My hubby and I are eclectic to the core and this is perhaps why homeschooling suits our family so well. Our kids read beautiful, innocent books such as The Story of the Root Children but on those same bookshelves you will also find, say a CloneWars annual. Kind of high brow and low brow for kids. A slice of the achingly beautiful, delicate, naturalistic alongside slightly uggish, animalish, boyish, alpha male junk. Now some may see this as a schitzophrenic approach to child-rearing, but one thing that folks might sometimes (rightly or wrongly) accuse home educators of is being too narrow... of denying their children the eclecticism that school life can bring. Of not exposing children to enough ideas and different viewpoints. But I'm all about yin and yang.

It does good to remind ourselves to be open to the animal and the erudite in us, to embrace both the muck and the stardust of which we are made. It's wholesome in the truest sense of the word.

Now, where did I put my mutha-ucking cuppa tea? I'm parched.