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Easter angst

Holiday horror looms on the horizon

Hot House

This article is taken from the March 2023 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issues for just £10.

So my interview came out on Mama Medley. To recap, Mama Medley is my bestie Pandora’s sister’s website, extolling the virtues of living “the Mama Life” — whatever that means. N.B. we emphatically aren’t allowed to call it a blog, even though I thought blogs were so antiquated they’re cool again. But apparently not.

Anyway, my interview met a profoundly damp squib of a response. As in, under 50 likes on Instagram. Admittedly more likes than my occasional photos of food/shoes/kids garner, but still deeply humiliating. For context, there’s an ex-Made In Chelsea cast member on there whose interview got 97,000 Likes. And even an anaesthetist — for some Help The NHS initiative — who got more than me.

I’m now doomed to have them round for an olive branch Easter lunch

So it’s safe to say that my fears I would be cancelled for citing my biggest “Mama Fail” as “allowing Baby Lyra to eat Foie Gras”, were unfounded. I didn’t ever actually do this, needless to say. It just seemed like a safer bet for the LOLS than referring to my actual Mama Fails. Like the time I let Hector take a selfie sitting on the kitchen table, and he fell off and got concussed because we’d gone for a poured concrete floor.

Anyway. In other “Mama News” the uniform debate at Hector’s prep is rumbling on, with River — the child in question who identifies as non-binary — now officially allowed to wear the girls’ skort, but NOT the girls’ actual dress.

When River’s parents protested that this was an infringement of rights/freedom, and threatened to take it to court, the head basically told them they were welcome to take their fees elsewhere. #independentschools.

Back at ours, having successfully avoided Will’s moronic brother Harry and his nightmare wife Jocasta since our disastrous holiday in Paxos last year (culminating in Jocasta leaving the villa with their terrible child Rocco, and accusing me of undermining her parenting style) I’m now doomed to have them round for an olive branch Easter lunch.

Not only will this entail sweating over a leg of lamb that only Will can actually eat (obviously Jocasta is vegan, rendering me and our kids notionally veggie for the day to save face), but we will also inevitably have to discuss the elephant in the room.

I do enjoy seeing how frankly miserable and badly adjusted the whole family appear to be

Ergo, Jocasta’s mothering and how the shit hit the malfunctioning ceiling fan in Villa Constantine. Probably once I’ve stress-drunk a bottle of Chablis, and she’s stuck to Seedlip all afternoon. Jocasta is a proponent of Gentle Parenting, having given birth in the post Gina Ford era. So in her eyes, “Cry It Out” is tantamount to abuse. Possibly worse. And since my three were born pre-2014, when Supernanny and her ilk ruled, I still have such hideously dated notions as Time Out and The Naughty Step imprinted on my unconscious. Not to mention an entire eighties childhood of being bribed with E-numbers and TV to shut up, or overhearing adults saying “Just ignore her and she’ll stop.”

Anyway, suffice to say Jocasta and I do not see eye to eye on how to deal with a tantrum. Though I do enjoy seeing how frankly miserable and badly adjusted the whole family appear to be — especially Rocco.

This, inevitably, is blamed on him being “a Pandemic Toddler”, as if six months of missing Monkey Music were more formative than being brought up by Jocasta. Actually they practically celebrate his misery. Apparently a cheerful child must be pitied as a future “people pleaser”, because happiness signals repression and avoidance. So lunch should be fun.

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