The Barefooted Toddler.

By Alison January 25, 2005 2 Comments 3 Min Read


I am having a stupid day. Finley slept in again this morning, which generally means I sleep in too, which one way or another means the entire day ends up being a right royal muddle. And I think you should know that I don’t do well in a muddle.

Tuesday is Moms and Tots day in the village hall here and while I do not wish to sound in the slightest bit petulant, I have to tell you that I find all conversation about sleeping patterns, rice cakes and Thomas the Tank Engine, beyond dull. But every Tuesday morning I go because I am a good Mommy and in our little neck of the woods, good Mommies attend playgroup, know the words to "The Wheels on the Bus" and are perfectly happy eating play-dough sandwhiches and drinking imaginary tea.

Most of the time I am a good Mommy. But today the Mommies of Lancashire saw me for who I really am.

In my panic to get out of the house and get to tots on time, I dressed Finley and put him in his pushchair while I ran upstairs to throw a bit of make up on my face, and try to tame my frizz. Standing in the bathroom I applied a little bit of this and a little bit of that, noting in horror that the one persistent grey hair I own was back with a vengence and trying without success to pluck it away, when the phone rang. Throwing make-up everywhere, I grabbed my coat and  to Finleys delight fell  down the stairs to answer it. There was nobody there. Cursing to myself, I grabbed my keys, said hello to the binman, and slammed the door behind me, as the clock struck ten and I silently congratulated myself on arriving at playgroup on time for once…

I was all smiles as I said hello to the village Mommies, took Finleys coat off, and led him into a hall full of screaming immaculate children and their equally immaculate Mothers. I was all smiles as I lifted Finley onto the slide and noticed that my poor little boy wore neither socks nor shoes on a bitterly cold January day. And I was positively beaming when I looked up and saw my reflection in the window, and saw two arcs of white concealer under my eyes, that in the rush I had forgot to blend.

So I sloped home, put the Fairy liquid in the freezer,  washed the same load of whites I washed before I left the house and considered crying when I spilt the only pint of skimmed milk in the house…

Mark says there is no hope for me. That no doubt I will be thrown out of Yummy Mummies, find myself on the front page of the Advertiser looking like a panda in reverse, for cruelty to toddlers and indeed, he insists, have to stand down from my role as Vintage HouseKeeper of the year because it is blatantly obvious I can’t look after myself let alone a house, a business and a one year old…


  1. Ella says:

    Today was toddler group for us too. I wish we had had someone as interesting as you made yourself sound to liven up our group a bit! Here's to all us mummies just holding it together.

  2. Shannon says:

    I thought I was the only one who loathes conversations only filled with Thomas and the sleeping and eating habits of toddlers. I stupidly thought that the point of getting together with other adults was the opportunity to talk of other things. Thank you for the affirmation that perfection is not a requirement for being a good mother!

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