I’m well rehearsed in the act of taking day care calls at work. You know the ones: Your son has hit his head – he has an egg.’ ‘Your son has been bitten – he is missing half his ear.’ ‘Your son won’t settle when he’s wearing pants, are you ok if he goes pantless for the afternoon?’ Yep, all fine.
However, recently, I was hit with a doozy:
Day care: ‘Hey Ali, umm… did you pack Alfie’s bag this morning?’
Me: ‘Sure did. What did I forget?’
Day care: ‘So, there’s a pair of men’s undies in Alfie’s bag, but no t-shirt.’
Me: ‘Shit. Ok. Can he wear the undies as a t-shirt?’
Day care: ‘Probably not, because that would be inappropriate. Don’t worry, we can find something in lost property for him to wear.’
When I picked up Alfie later that day, I looked into his deep, clear blue eyes and I felt a bit sad. You poor bugger being left with only a pair of men’s undies, which, might I say, could have totally been worn as a singlet. What kind of mother am I?
This question popped into my head a while back. I was meeting some mums for brunch after swimming lessons. I was on top of the world and super organised. I had packed a swimming bag, snacks, nappies, activity stuff… everything. I had put my swimmers on under my dress before I left the house to make those evil swimming logistics friendlier once we arrived at the pool.
The lesson was ace, the kid thrashed about in the water, drank some, spewed some up and did a wee in the shower afterwards. He had a great time. However, when we were getting changed ready for our brunch date, I realised I had forgotten to pack my undies and I only had wet swimmers to cover my bits under my dress.
I decided to brave it. I rocked up to the café sans knickers. My mates had already arrived and I noticed the bench that I had to climb over to get to my seat. Goddammit.
In the true spirit of Princess Kate, I gracefully climbed over the bench and sat all through brunch FULLY aware of the fact that I wasn’t wearing any undies.
I didn’t mention it to my mummy pals at the time, because I was slightly mortified by my 32-year-old self, who can have a mortgage, shop using a trolley, and reverse park, but can’t FOR THE LOVE OF GOD pack a pair of Rios in her swimming bag.
So, what kind of mother am I? I’m a mum who will go pantless so my kid can experience the ultimate in café delights, extra curricular activities, and day care madness. I will free-fanny for my kid so he can have the best time with the best people, making best friends.
I highly recommend doing it sometime. All mums deserve a bit of freedom.
But, as a colleague said to me this week when I resigned from my job: ‘Don’t let the door hit ya, where the good lord split ya.’