Solomon Grundy moves to East Finchley by Jo

[advert:mpu]On Monday I decided I should retrain as a primary school teacher. It’s fun, it’s dynamic and it’s creative. It has the advantage of school holidays and you can work part-time. Most importantly I handle three lively little boys on a daily basis so I reckon I could face anything. Slight technical hitch – it involves children – lots of them. You can’t bribe them with chocolate, CBeebies or threaten to take away their favourite toys. You are not allowed to shout, put them in the utility room, and you have to be nice to them at all times. Perhaps I need to rethink my mothering skills.

On Tuesday I decided to retrain as a psychotherapist. It’s interesting, challenging and fulfilling. It involves working with people and you can do it part-time. Most importantly having handled all my family and friends for so many years, I reckon I can face anything. Slight technical hitch – it takes years to qualify, it is expensive to train, and I have to listen to people all day who are upset.

On Wednesday I decided to think about returning to my current profession of marketing. It’s creative, diverse and no two days are ever the same. It involves convincing people to do something they might not do otherwise, and with an extra six years experience of manipulating my own children using numerous creative techniques I think I have only added to my skill-set and would do rather well. But will it really fulfil me…

So on Thursday I got to thinking outside the box. What new skills have I acquired through Motherhood?

Well apart from the small feat of giving birth three times, looking after three children under six years old, keeping them entertained, fed and alive. I think my greatest achievements are as follows:

First, there is the story telling. I did not realise quite how good I was until I turned to it in desperation as a distraction technique. Mealtimes were always a nightmare. It was the challenge on how to make my children stay at the dinner table (without the use of physical restraints) and actually eat their dinner. And so the stories followed. A favourite was the “pulling the turnip (organic, of course) out of the ground”, in order to actually pull the veg out you had to have more energy – and hence another spoonful of food in your mouth. Add a bit of farce in there, and they were putty in my hands. A particular crowd pleaser was the addition of Mummy falling on her bottom at the end - always good for an extra laugh.

As they got older the stories developed according to the children’s interests at the time. Barney had many a story about germs (yes, you read right). For some reason he became obsessed by stories of disease which I developed into battles of gore between red and white blood cells, the onslaught of the antibody and the victory of the body over evil with the help of the dastardly penicillin. The piece de la resistance to this story is in order for the body to be the victor you had to sleep to beat the germs. And so I solved the bedtime trauma of putting a four-year-old Barney to bed.

But perhaps my greatest achievement yet is my ability to herd. I am often spotted on my local streets with numerous children at my feet making sure they get from A to B in one piece. It is not as easy as it sounds, there are roads to cross, dog poo to navigate and often a rainstorm to endure.


Most importantly there is the mantra – I must not lose a child, I must not lose a child, I must not lose a ….I am like a meerkat on a BBC2 wildlife programme. Surveying the horizon for dangers, noting the colour of species’ coats and at all times trying to keep them in sight.

And so my career is mapped out. It’s Friday now , and I am thinking of retraining to be a tourist guide or a shepherd. I think there may be more money in the first, and you do get such a nice umbrella...



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