Archive for November 25th, 2008

Mummy Mardi Gras

November 25, 2008

We’re at it again.




Is that a word? My spell check says not.


But then Google wasn’t once.


Anyhow. We’re at it again.


Iota says they let her in because she’s a Mummy and she’s British.


I am too. It says so in my passport. Not the Mummy bit. Just the British.


Hat’s origins are a constant source of puzzlement to her. Once, once when she was at Real School, she was obliged, as part of a class project, to design a poster to illustrate her birthright.  Our finished product disappointed Hat; it did not, like the example provided by her teacher (who was from Brighton), indicate where Hat came from.   We knew which children were from Holland or England or Egypt or Tanzania because they had written in bold letters, ‘I AM FROM …’ and added a badly drawn flag by way of explanation.  All our effort did was illustrate that Hattie had a grandmother who must be very old (judging by all the sepia photographs I used – which taught me not to be a show-off) and a dead grandfather who used to ride a bicycle.   


‘Who’s that?’ she asked, indignantly as I stuck a photo of paternal grandfather onto our piece of card


‘That’s Grandad Simon’, I said, and then, gently, in reverent tone reserved for the departed, ‘he’s dead now’


‘No, he’s not’, she snorted, ‘he’s riding a bike’.


Hat’s teacher asked kind and interested questions about all the dead grandfathers and long deceased great-grandparents staring from liver-spotted images bearing testimony to lives spent in India, the Congo, East Africa. 


How exotic she remarked.  Hat didn’t think it was exotic.  She would rather have had a poster decorated like her teacher’s, with pictures of Brighton Pier, Cadbury’s chocolate, pink and white complexioned children.  And a Union Jack. 


Her passport, the same maroon and gold of my own, helps to ground her when our poster clearly did not.


Her big brother, though, would rather be Indian. Largely on account of Sub continent cricketing prestige I think.


And her sister insists she’s Australian. She has never been to Oz and she has not a single relative Down Under. But Australian she is. She says. At 15 I think I remember thinking I could be/do/have whatsoever I chose.


How glorious unsullied youth is.


So. Back to the British Bloggy Carnivalling Mummies.   If I had to select one this week it’s be Grit, a home-schooler (leaden phrase: makes me think of ugly shoes, tie-dye dresses and underarms that need depilation) like myself (who wears no shoes, has never worn a tie-dye dress in her life and whose underarms are baby smooth); Grit’s entertaining post puts happy pay to any lingering suspicions that parents who teach their own kids either take themselves too seriously or are too painfully worthy for words.



Go take a peek.


Then come dancing on the cyber streets.