Friday, 16 October 2009

She's Not my Daughter

There was once a time when I was an embarrassment to my husband. I know - surely not you cry? Not me. Not me of the effortless 'I just got out of bed and look gorgeous image'. Yes, I know - I do like to make myself laugh on a Friday morning.

But, yes. Me. Me dressed in an ill-fitting, so-huge-you-look-like-a-blamange-in-a-duvet ski suit who isn't able to (a) walk a step without tripping up in ski boots or (b) carry those stupid skis that won't stay together even if they're glued, let alone rest nonchalantly on my shoulder and allow me to look at least a little bit cool.

It was truly hideous. Did I ever say I hate Skiing? Well I do.

Husband, on the other hand, is not only French, but was born and brought up in the Alps. He is, I say through gritted teeth, the epitome of French cool. Remember that ski scene in James Bond - The World Is Not Enough or the one in Bridget Jones - The Edge of Reason? Well, he filmed them.

How we ever ended up together is anyone's guess.

But we did. And there we were, pre-children, pre-marriage, hanging out in Courchevel 1850 being cool. Well he was. I was just waddling after him trying not to slip up in those pesky ski boots.

And that's when it happened. The moment when I realised he was embarrassed by me.

'Oh hello (insert appropriate French name - I fear I may have blocked it out). So good to see you. It's been such a long time. No, no. I'm just here for the weekend. Oh right yes. This? This is my, er....friend, Emily'.

I grimaced.

Friend? Huh. Bloomin' cheek. I think the word you're looking for, husband-to-be, is girlfriend. Fiancée even. Future wife possibly. Partner. Love of my life. Anything. But not your bloody friend like we've just met and I've been hanging around like a bad smell.

So I think I may have not spoken to him for a while.

But it's fine. I'm over it. Really I am. Ahem.

Anyway, me dressed up as Bridget Jones isn't really the point of the story, but it's good to be reminded...

Because a couple of days ago I took my darling Renée, her of the 'I may only be 5, but I can swim and cycle and climb and run and generally do all the things my Papa can do just as easily', to the swimming pool. And do you know what? Part of me thinks it can't be true. But I'm going to confess anyway. I think I may have been a little bit embarrassed.

As I sat on the side of the pool, with the other Mothers (all of them who's children seemed to float, rather than sink), my heart fell. Why was she sinking? She's normally really good (of course she is, she's my daughter). But, seriously she is. She loves swimmng. And if she didn't, well she'd have no choice anyway because she's been going once a week since she was 4 months old and I dread to think how much money we would have wasted otherwise.

Now I'm still not sure what actually happened, other than the fact that she had temporarily forgotten how to swim, but when another Mother asked me which one my child was, rather than saying

'That one there. The one that's coughing and spluttering and sinking, and heaven forbid, possibly drowning',

I chose to be rather evasive, and instead muttered something along the lines of,

'Oh she's somewhere there. I can't really see her. They all look the same with their hats on, don't they?'

I am an awful mother.

Renéee I love you.

Husband you are forgiven. I finally understand.


  1. That's very funny. The world upside down.

  2. The tables have turned. The scorned has become the scorner.

    I'm just reeling from your revelation on my blog. No tea and toast after labour? Life can be so cruel. There is no justice.

    Have you found a helpful support group? NTTT - No Tea and Toasters Together?

  3. Oh God that is funny. Loved the remark 'like a bad smell'...made me really chuckle. I had a similar experience at swimming this week. Except I couldn't get away with disowning Johnny Drama as he spent the first 15 mins of his lesson shreiking 'Mama - watch me' as he mucked about and patently ignored everything all the well behaved children were doing. Then he let go of the side, partially drowned, scared himself witless, ran screaming from the pool and flung himself into my arms and refused to let go. Oh yes, a regular little water (cry) baby. I was just so proud.

  4. Ha ha! Don't worry flower we all want to disown each other from time to time.

    I was singing in the supermarket and noticing embarrassed expression on daughter's face asked if she was hoping the floor would open and swallow her up. She replied no, but she would quite like it to open and swallow me. Gulp. OK then.

  5. All of my family are embarrassed by me. Nobody wants to be seen with me! What can I say?

    Am I bovvered?

    You are a great mum

    Love RMxx

  6. Mwa - Oh my whole life is upside down! I should be used to it by now!

    Iota - Oh don't. I'm only just recovering now. No tea, no toast, no sleep, no life. The list is endless. Thing is, if I start a support group it will only remind me of all that was lacking...deep breaths now...

    Liz - I wish it hadn't been that way, really I do.

    Nicola - Oh ho ho ho. That is too funny. Gah - children - who'd have 'em hey? They're just too much sometimes. I can just imagine your scenario though - and it's making me laugh!

    Reasons - Oh hilarious. Yep, my children hate me singing too (and I have such a wonderful singing voice...NOT)!! But they hate it even more if I dance. Yes, it's so cliched, but they really do...and they only 2 and 5. Heaven help them when they get older.

    RM - Oh darling - you do make me laugh. I'm over the being disowned part, although I have yet to recover from the disowning. The guilt is tremendous!

  7. You should be ashamed of yourself! A daughter, drowning, and not a poo in sight. You wait until she's 14. The tables will turn once again...

  8. Ha ha - the thought of you in a pink ski suit! What were you thinking?!! On the other hand, I can vouch for the fact that your daughters can swim! And in the most dangerous waters in fact, the white plaster rafting of the Butlins poo(h)l x

  9. Maddie - I am honey, really I am. So ashamed. My poor little baby - drowning while I disowned her. It's too hideous. But I gave her some sweeties afterwards and she's none the wiser.

    Nixd - Oh thank goodness you're here - you see everyone - she can swim - I have witnesses!! Thanks sweetie. And what was I thinking? Heaven knows. Never again though. Never again...

  10. We have the same skiing situation over here. My husband gracefully swishes down the slopes and I lag behind, falling, cursing and crying.

    And we've all had those swimming pool moments!

  11. How can you hate skiing with a French hubby????

  12. I am French and brought up near the Alps and still HATE skiing! I almost broke my coccyx on a school trip for trying to be cool on skis and of course me on skis look far from cool!
    And also Craig did call me his "friend" on a couple of occasions too, and I still resent him for that too! :)

  13. Haha! I remember the first time I went snowboarding, Mr Baking Mad pretended not to know me.

  14. i'm sure she'll pay you back by using the same technique when she's a teenager!

  15. Not judging at all! I denied SC was mine when she stood in front of the name board in the playground the other day having a massive sulk, arms folded and staring at everyone over the rim of her glasses. Seriously... not mine.. spawn of the devil! x

  16. Also... I "Zombie chicken'd" ya! (I know you have it already but I couldnt help myself! x

  17. HAHAHA. This happened to me too, the 'friend' moment. We have been exes since then. Men, really.
    Re pretending not to know your daughter... I can't really relate, as I am just sitting in Starbucks, trying to pretend I am that independent super cool chick, as opposed to the over tired mum who left little L home with her daddy.

  18. Stiletto Mom - Oh Skiing is just the sport of the devil. I hate it. It's so damn undignified - but then I probably wouldn't say that if I was good at it (have never liked anything I'm not good at)!

    A Modern Mother - Oh I know! I have no idea. I can't imagine he would have ever thought he would have ended up with someone who hated skiing. Crazy.

    PHM - Oh thanks Peggy - that's made me feel much better! Yep, hate skiing - and yes, I've had awful accidents in the past as well (almost severed my leg once and found flesh in my hair afterwards). Lying on the beach reading a book is much more my kind of thing!

    bakingmadmama - Hello and thanks for stopping by! Yes, it's truly hideous and totally undignified. I think i would have disowned my husband had he looked like me at the time! Humiliating.

    OP - Oh I hope not!!! Renée, if you're reading this, I'm sorry darling. It's just that really, there's no need to sink like a lead weight any more.

    That Girl - Hee hee. Oh they do know how to embarrass us don't they? Do you think we did the same to our parents? I can't imagine it's true! Ever...! And still love you for the Zombie Chicken. Promise I'll get round to it soon xxx

    Met Mum - I know - you'd think I would have learnt my lesson back then wouldn't you? I think I may have ignored him for a few days. Although he says it was all a confusion with the language!!! Hmm. Stil not convinced. Ooh and lucky you. Yes I remember those days. When you've got one child you can still pretend you're young, free and single. Unfortunately the moment you have two you can't pretend any more!! Enjoy it while you can xxx

  19. Your post made me grimace and smile all at once. I wasn't as gracious as you were when a similar thing happened to me with my boyfriend (now hubby). I think I threatened a break-up. There was history with a previous boyfriend that led to the over-reaction. You can guess the story. Anyway, your sinking/swimming daughter story also reminded me of my super-athletic but water-averse days. Try as I might, I simply could not float. Then a swimming instructor told me that it was because I had very little body fat which made me less buoyant than the average person. I don't have a problem floating now though.

  20. SAHM-I-AM - Oh I wasn't gracious at all - I don't think I spoke to him for the rest of the day!!! And yes, I can guess the story - but I don't think it's overeaction!!! We want to be introduced as beloved ones...!!! And we shouldn't accept any less.

    As for the swimming - maybe that's the key - I need to feed my little one up a bit...thanks for the tip! ;-) xx