About the book
The era of the yummy mummy has finally gone.
To celebrate this, Shari Low has taken a baby wipe to the glossy veneer of the school of perfect parenting and written Because I Said So to show us the truth about motherhood in all of its sleep-deprived, frazzled glory.
This is a book that every experienced, new or soon-to-be parent will relate to – well, hallelujah and praise be those who worship at the temple of Febreze. For over a decade, Shari wrote a hugely popular weekly newspaper column documenting the ups, downs and bio-hazardous laundry baskets of family life.
Because Mummy Said So is a collection of her favourite stories of parenting, featuring superheroes in pull up pants, embarrassing mistakes, disastrous summer holidays, childhood milestones, tear-jerking nativity plays, eight bouts of chickenpox and many, many discussions that were finished with the ultimate parental sticky situation get-out clause…
Google play: http://bit.ly/2p0LdYZ
I always knew my family was unique. Last Sunday, we managed to disprove three commonly held theories: not all dads enjoy Father’s Day, not all family days out are fun events, and not all mothers like shopping.
It started at the crack of dawn, when Callan jumped on husband’s head brandishing a home-made card and asking if it was time for the cake yet. He hasn’t quite mastered the differences between Father’s Day, birthdays and Christmas. As far as he’s concerned, if there are cards they come swiftly followed by an iced sponge in the shape of Santa or Bob the Builder.
As husband wiped the sleep from his eyes and waited expectantly for the usual parcel of socks and beer, I announced that this year his present was to be something much more special than a hastily wrapped token of our love and affection – we were going on a family day out to the shops where he could pick anything he wanted. As long as it cost less than twenty quid or could be purchased using the Argos vouchers I had left over from Christmas. A day out with the family? I think he’d have preferred a dozen Budweiser, but he put a brave face on it.
He didn’t realise that I had an ulterior motive: I needed to indulge in a spot of panic-buying for myself. With two toddlers and a chronic lack of babysitters, my shopping sprees normally consist of me lying on the couch with a coffee, a Kit Kat and the Next Directory, but this was an emergency – I’d been invited to a posh lunch the next day and had just discovered that my ‘smart functions’ suit would no longer button up.
We trotted off to the nearest mall, where I diverted us into the first ladies’ fashion shop we encountered. ‘Just a quick look,’ I promised, scanning the room for something that screamed ‘suitable for posh lunch’. I spied a gorgeous suit and was flicking along the rail looking for my size (it’s normally at the very back and labelled ‘super-stretchy’), when I heard a strange clicking noise behind me. Husband had run off in one direction chasing Brad (two) and had momentarily taken his eye off Callan. Cal had seized the opportunity to ram his trainer-clad feet into a pair of kitten heels and was strutting supermodel-style across the shop, much to the horror of the assistants. I was mortified. I de-shoed him, bought the suit and vacated the premises before they made us pay for the footwear or called security.
I should have stopped there. But I’m a woman. I’m programmed with a gene that compels me to check every other store within a mile radius to ensure there isn’t something nicer than the thing I’ve just bought. And, besides, I needed a new bra to go under the suit. After two hours and a full-scale reconnaissance of every store in the centre, husband had the demeanour of a man on death row. Every time he suggested calling it a day I reminded him petulantly that we were only there in the first place to buy him a present. If I were in a Marvel comic, ‘moan deflection’ would be one of my superpowers.
On the way for a lunch stop, Callan spotted a golfing event that had been set up in the atrium, allowing kids to hit a few balls into a net. ‘Can I have a shot, please?’ he demanded. The ‘please’ did it. ‘After lunch,’ I promised. The minute the last morsel was cleared from our plates, he took off like a whippet. Naturally, I panicked and gave chase, hobbling along on blistered feet shouting, ‘Stop that boy’ to the bemused passers-by. By the time we caught up with him he was clutching a putter and teeing off. I was almost touched by the sweetness of it – until he realised that the putter looked quite like a Star Wars Lightsaber, adopted the posture of Luke Skywalker and thumped his wee brother.
‘Look, forget my present, let’s just go,’ husband demanded over Brad’s screams. ‘Absolutely not,’ I replied, steering him in the direction of those electrical shops that have lots of man-type gadgets. Fast forward two hours, husband still hadn’t seen anything he wanted and I’d cunningly manoeuvred us into Markie’s underwear department. It was chaos. None of the bras were in size order and the rails were so low that I had to squat as I rummaged for one that would fit. By this time, one of my sons whom I’ll refrain from naming, was wearing a rosebud-pink bra on his head with the cups over his ears shouting, ‘Look Mummy, I’m a Fimble.’
‘There are a million bras here, how difficult can this be?’ husband demanded in impatient tones.
I didn’t have time to explain the complexities of gravity-defying underwear construction, because in a fit of boredom Brad suddenly launched himself at my squatting form, sending me sprawling across the floor. Another moment of dignity. Another swift exit.
I never did get my bra. Husband never did get his present. And I think the kids’ faces are probably now on wanted posters in the shopping centre’s security office.
‘Do me a favour,’ husband asked when we finally poured ourselves into the car. ‘Next year, just buy me socks and beer.’
About the author
Shari Low has published eighteen books under her own name and pseudonyms Millie Conway and Ronni Cooper. She is also one half of the writing duo, Shari King. She lives near Glasgow with her husband, two teenagers and a labradoodle. http://www.sharilow.com
Follow Twitter: @sharilow Facebook: @sharilowbooks