Dear fellow mum,
Our paths crossed on a London Underground platform. You with buggy and an older child in tow. Me – with a skipping Little Button.
It was excitingly late for my 6 year old. Almost 5 pm and we were still riding the tube after a glorious day out.
She was hopping from foot to foot with joy. Disheveled. Shattered. But still beaming from ear to ear.
You were walking head on towards us.
I saw you.
You made a funny loud kkksssstttttt!!! noise aimed at my Little Button. You gave a nasty look up and down at her. Then turning to your (much older) son, to make sure he was listening (I guess?), stared and said in a loud voice aimed at us ‘THAT……Is disgusting!’
Right away I knew what you were flapping about. It was the giant chocolate ice cream splurge down Little Buttons dress wasn’t it?
You didn’t like it.
I must have blushed the whole rainbow. Burning red. Feeling a bit mum-shamed. Embarrassed.
What have I got to be embarrassed of?!
My Little Button and her chocolate ice cream splurge down her dress? *A little mishap with a very drippy but super tasty ice cream in the dark theatre.
The fact that it was the end of the day and she looked like she’d been having the best summer holiday fun ever?
Did you think I was THAT stupid mummy who didn’t lug around spare clothes…. a quick change – to wipe away the traces of a marvellous day of playing, theatre watching and accidental ice cream dropping?
You see. Yes. She was a chocolate ice cream mess. But. It was the end of the day. Not the beginning.
Fun isn’t always squeaky clean.
There shouldn’t be robotic children not making a peep, trotting along like freshly pressed puppets in the summer holidays. *Any day really.
Fun can be messy.
It could mean crazy hair (that suddenly looks like it’s never seen a brush) after hanging upside down in an adventure playground.
It could mean squelching back home, soaked through, after an impromptu dip in some unexpected water fountains.
And it could certainly be a ketchup / slushy / ice cream splurged dress on the way home from… FUN.
Dear fellow mum. I’m not saying this to send ALL the embarrassment back to you. *Though perhaps I should be?!
I’m just here to say… don’t sweat the little things. Live a little.
And stop worrying about drippy ice creams… especially when the evidence of fun is on MY child, not yours.