I have reached the end of another day. Finished clearing away dinner, tidying up the living room and sorting out the laundry while Gareth baths the children and I look down at myself to make the unfortunate discovery that once again, I look like a tramp.
My hair is unsalvageable (must not have a fringe, must not have a fringe), I have Jackson snot and puree on my shoulders, moist biscuit on my sleeve, the trousers I am wearing are too baggy, the flairs of which are caked in “street” from being dragged around all day. I look like I’ve been accosted by a restaurant bin bag. Don’t get me started on the rest of me; tatty nails, smudged mascara, unshaven legs, and feet that should be soaked in E45 for at least a week. I just rested my head on my hand and found some “mush” at the back – eurrck!
When I think of how many people have seen me today I wished I’d worn a sign saying ‘this is not how I started off at 8am today!’.
I think I am especially irked by my hopeless appearance today because I’ve been reading Pamela Druckerman’s ‘French Children Don’t Throw Food’ book, and the French mothers she describes convict me that it is possible to have a baby and a toddler and not look like I’m the one that can’t find her mouth with a spoonful of puree and whose sense of style is to dress in whatever she can find in reachable distance, be it from the dirty washing basket or the bag of clothes waiting to be taken to the charity shop.
Of course I blame the children. Jackson’s daily routine is to find as much dirt and gunge as he can whilst out of my arms so when he is in my arms he can loving share it with his unsuspecting mother, who should learn not to wear black, ever.
Minnie wants to constantly re-dress herself but with only 10 items of clothing from her wardrobe, so it’s always a combination of purple fairy skirt, cherry patterned leggings, 3 different pink t-shirts and a few odd socks all in the purple/pink colour scheme. It breaks my heart every time I suggest she wears her navy skinnies and Breton top and get a decided no in return. Don’t get me wrong this dressing independence will be confronted any day now, but at the moment Minnie taking herself off for 15 minutes to rotate her pink t-shirts buys me time to get the washing up done or surf the net for a house to buy. She will be wearing red in the not too distant future!
Perhaps my motivation to work out how to stay smart should come from the ‘lead by example’ principle. Then my daughter might realise that looking like a vagabond isn’t actually a desirable look. I dream of us looking like the model French family – neat, tidy and clean, but I guess for now I should be satisfied that my teeth are brushed and the children’s nappies don’t smell.