Friday, July 22, 2011

Who is the fittest mum of all?

It turns out a day at the beach, mid-week, is the perfect time to get inspiration for my blog.

I decided to go with my three children and our aupair to cope with the horrid heath wave that is currently plaguing us and the lack of central air conditioning in our house.

As I rapidly and efficiently scan the area to identify the best spot to settle on, I find myself catching my breath at the sight! Oh  mid-week !  I was going to have to sit next to all the Stepfordy mums from the surrounding areas, who decided to spend the day at the beach with their friends and their children. On hindsight not such a relaxing day after all!

Still the hot breeze from the sea was relieving, and cooling down by the water was just what everyone needed! With a temperature of 39.5 degree Celsius outside, even the very cold waters around here, which normally give you leg cramps, became soon very appealing.

I am sure our arrival disrupted their day at the beach just as much they disrupted mine!
With a parenting style that can be spotted from a mile away: no fancy frilled hats, no beach coveralls (someone has to explain this one to me), no vitamin water, no superfluous snacks, no accessories, no useless toys, no picnic blanket. Our spot is bare and uninviting, nachos (a favorite for the ferocious local seagulls when left unattended) are replaced by a sandwich and a piece of fruit or a yogurt, and for mommy vitamin water is replaced by diet coke (with evil caffeine)!

But what really preceded us is of course the yelling, the cursing, and the threatening that could be heard from miles away,  an attempt on my part to scare the hell out of the terrible trio, so we could at least hope to get to the end of the day.

Sure enough not the role model these women were hoping to share their beach spot with. And this morning to top it all, mommy, coming out of a hellish week at work, had forgotten to shave!

With no shame I proceeded to show off an orange bikini "Doctor No" style ! As I sit nearby to cool off in the shallow waters with my son, I involuntarily indulge into listening in on their conversations.

To my surprise (or not), I end up witnessing what is commonly and famously known as a pissing contest. In a not so subtle way, they casually unloaded their judgement first on their friends and then on themselves trying to assert who amongst them was the perfect mum and domestic goddess. Topics varied from "who had the latest bedding from pottery barn and who had spent the most on it" (everyone agreeing 300 dollars seemed a fair price) to "whose kids scored highest on the baby growth charts".

Fascinating, I wonder if there is a unwritten code: "Must have pottery barn everything" !

The contrast deepens.  In a very stern voice I  threatened "eat your sandwich or you will see what happens to you",  while my rival softly and gently moved her daughter away from the water with:"sweetie lets move over here and make sand castles away from the water. Over there the sand castles get very sad when the water gets to them". I paused and asked myself "really?" "do they really get sad?".

Her demeanor reminded me of the female of the crocodile species who is phenomenally gentle at carrying her young with those same jaws which are also known as the "jaws of death".

I quickly return to yelling, nagging and threatening in yet again another desperate attempt to get my children out of the waters; while  doing so I wondered if a fitter approach  by gently and softly suggesting a giant crab is about to pinch their toes would work!

Still nothing beats a "sad sand castle".

No comments: