Belfast Telegraph

Going to the loo with an audience... and other mummy superpowers

By Claire Harrison

It's just three days until Mother's Day, that annual occasion to stand back and marvel at our mums and all they do for us without one word of complaint. Being a mother takes a lot of patience, selflessness and adoration, but the rewards are endless. It's also a job that gives you skills and talents of an almost superhuman nature.

As a tribute to all mums, particularly those with small children, here are the top 10 reasons to explain why they are just so incredible.

1. Normal human beings need around eight hours of sleep a night, but not supermums. Oh no, they can live on just four hours of sleep every single night - for years on end. And it doesn't even need to be four hours of uninterrupted snoozing. They really, really, really don't mind getting up several times in that time.

2. While we're on the subject of sleeping, did you know that mothers also don't need the full space afforded by a double bed? They have no problem sleeping soundly while balanced precariously on the extreme edge of the bed to make sure that any midnight visitors get plenty of room. Therefore, it's absolutely no problem at all when the small visitor decides to sleep in "starfish" mode before doing several rotations around the bed and ending up sideways.

3. It might look like our bodies are built to do all the normal things that bodies do. But mums are actually human climbing frames too. Necks are not just for holding your head up, they're for swinging off, backs are for horse-riding and toes are for stamping on.

4. Only wimps like to sit down and enjoy an entire meal completely uninterrupted. The same goes for a cup of tea. Mums don't mind having to get up and down from their seats at least eight times during the average meal. And we don't need two hands to eat it either. One-armed eating is the norm, leaving the other arm free for swinging off or chopping up sausages to cool them down.

5. Only a mum has the courage to hang out in public with someone with a habit of announcing "Mummy, I need a poo. Mummy, did you hear me? I need a poo right now!' at 140 decibels.

6. On the subject of toilet habits, only a lightweight likes to go to the toilet without an audience or sustained knocking on the bathroom door from someone saying "Are you finished yet? Are you finished yet?" repeatedly.

7. The ability to walk in a straight line without being tripped up or pulled to the ground is totally overrated. Mums don't mind taking an occasional face plant when a small figure comes from nowhere to literally get under your feet. Being pulled back by your pockets and sideways by your arm while trying to walk somewhere is great fun too.

8. It's not at all frustrating to cook for someone who changes their mind more times than the direction of the wind. It's not at all annoying to serve up what was requested 10 minutes earlier only to hear: "I hate that! Can I have something else?"

9. Being ignored one minute and then facing endless questions the next is the best part of the job. Only a mum doesn't mind having vocabulary limited almost entirely to the words "No" and "Don't do that", even though it has no effect. And there's nothing quite like finding answers to wide-ranging questions like "Why?", "Why?" and, finally, "Why?"

10. Despite the pain, interruption, hair-pulling, mind-changing and endless frustration, given a choice, no mum would have it any other way. Now that's talent.

Men’s Day poster scores an own goal

Many thanks to those of you who pulled me up on my offer to let the boys have an International Men’s Day sometime, because, of course, one already exists.

For the fellow oblivious, the blokes get their day in November every year with the aim of celebrating their unsung contribution to society, highlighting how they can be discriminated against and thanking them for what they bring to family, community and childcare.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

I was particularly tickled by a poster its organisers used to big up the men and the fight against terrible injustices like gender stereotyping — four lads, arms around each other, cheering and hanging on to a football.

Zoolander Steels the show in Paris

The fashionista set aren’t known for having a great sense of humour — so thanks to Derek Zoolander for injecting a bit of fun into Paris Fashion Week. No, it wasn’t part of an outlandish plot dreamed up by Ben Stiller.

He and his co-star Owen Wilson actually turned up on the catwalks of the French capital this week as their alter ego models, Zoolander and fierce rival Hansel.

Zoolander is still ridiculously good-looking and even managed to help Vogue editor Anna Wintour crack a smile. And he proved his character has moved with the times since the 2002 film by posing for a series of selfies. Of course, no self-respecting selfie would be without that timeless facial pose, Blue Steel.

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