Friday, 23 January 2009

One body, two Grits

I am a better educator than I am a mother.

As a mother I slump all slattern and sloven and foul mouthed, what with under-the-breath curses, betrayals, denials, fuckthisshittothat noihaven'twashedthesoddingknickers i'mleaving i'vehadefuckingnuff.

And I'll bet my own mother's ghost is hovering over me right now, groaning, holding her head in her hands. In despair at my motherhood, she'll resolve at the first opportunity to snatch hold of the scruff of my neck and give me a walloping in punishment for smart-lipping her granddaughter not five minutes ago, when I growled that if she squeals that whiny voice once more about being forced to wear yesterday's leggings, I will sell her to the dustman.

Because this Mummy Grit to Squirrel, Tiger and Shark, she is foul. Don't tell me otherwise. Dismissive, impatient, hard edged, talk to the hand. I don't know where this bad mother came from. All I can say, mother ghost over my shoulder, is that I am sorry about my bad mother ways. You can tell me I take after the mad, bad father ghost.

But, mother ghost, watch over me here today with an educational day, and I will do you proud. I listen to Squirrel, Tiger and Shark. I talk reasonably. No blasphemy stuff. I argue through points of views, theories, alternative approaches. We reach consent and agreement and harmony and throughout I have a patience that I can't believe is really me.

Really, the educator Grit is much nicer than the mummy Grit.

Perhaps I learned how to be educator Grit from two years teaching in School Hell. Kids routinely did bad stuff, like shoot each other, peddle drugs, engage in gang warfare and fight till the blood ran red over the ping pong table. I listened every morning to who got beaten up, who made the girl pregnant, who was thrown out from home, who paid what for a heroin wrap and why that is a worse deal than yesterday. After that I had to deliver a pastoral lesson on how to manage a budget shop at Tesco. No wonder the experience gave me practice in how to be patient in adversity; how to draw deep breaths, sigh, dodge bullets and just get on with it.

You see, mother ghost, even though I fail you daily on being the caring, gentle mummy Grit, the mirror of how you always tried to be with me, don't give up on me. Because there is hope for me yet as that kind and tolerant educator Grit.

The educator Grit took your granddaughters to the space centre today, and was truly calm and patient and talked through history and astronomy and asteroid melt down and physics and maths and never once lost her cool, and the little gritlets even saw the starshow twice, thanks to educator Grit's sweet talking ways.

And we discussed Galileo, saw Saturn in the bath, made Mercury freeze, threw asteroids, launched space rockets, danced in the stars and everyone was simply happy.

Bad mummy Grit

Good educator Grit


Kitty said...

Well call me weird (plenty do) but I think it's GOOD to show our kids that we are multi-faceted, and that it's ok for them to be multi-faceted too. I used to feel horrible for getting angry, but then my own mother said 'sod it! It's appropriate to be angry - it's not wrong to show them that!' ... and you know what? She's right.

Surely teaching them to be themselves by being YOURself is the best thing you can do?

Take care. x

Anonymous said...

You are an incredible mother and teacher - I have no doubt that most of your friends are in awe of what you do and that the gritlets will look back on their childhoods with utter gratitude.

You have every right to have moments of stopthef*ckingbusiwanttogetoff - you have to recognise those to stay sane!

katyboo1 said...

At least you have educator Grit to make you feel better, more competent and human. I just have the one Katyboo, bad mother extraordinaire, foul mouthed harridan who has to constantly apologise to her children for her shouty, intolerant ways.

You are way ahead.

Michelle said...

LOL I tell mine I would have to pay the dustman to take her away. Actually get money for her . . . hmm there's a thought.

Mean Mom said...

Oh, it's so hard to be the perfect mother. Don't believe anyone who says they are. One of my older friends says that she never got angry with her children. The only thing I have to say in reply to that, is that she must have had very boring, apathetic children, or she has a bad memory. I've never said that to her face, of course. I've just said it to myself, at home.

I used to find that I could be very patient, with my 3 lads, on the first, second and third day, then on the fourth, I would erupt. As long as they don't get to hear the swear words, it's OK - really! ;0)

Katherine said...

My kids used to be *shocked* by my Square Words (what they used to call them). But I confess they were "OH BUM!" "FART!", "IDIOTIC BEHAVIOUR!" and "POO!"

Here's a local homeschooler friend's blog, if you are interested Grit:

Mom de Plume said...

Hi Grit, came by from your comment on my blog and glad I did, I am in awe and envy of parents who are able to homeschool their children. I have one of schooling age - almost - and she would drive me crazy and yet you manage 3. a great mother, whichever face you have on :)

Grit said...

kitty, i know you are right, and dig says the same, that the kids should know to recognise anger! in the classroom teachers should be calm, so when i am in an 'educational' setting then my training tells me to become much more 'teacherly' (ie patient!) but then i become motherbonkers over something much more trivial in the car park. i'd like to get the balance right!

thank you, mud!

katyboo, i really have days like that too, where i am foul from 6.55am to 11.55pm!

michelle, there are laws about selling your children. it is a cruel world.

thank you mean mom, that makes me feel better!

thank you katherine! i have been there this morning and amended my sidebar!

welcome, mom de plume, and you are very kind. i fear the gritlets would not use the word great. and probably not in 20 years time, either.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

It's good to know that there are clearly two facets to you and that they are so easily distinguishable. At least the kids will always be clear about who they are dealing with and life will be very predictable. Don't worry about being a grumpy mother, I'm sure it is in reaction to some impossible situation. Having three even aged children can't be easy. I would be grumpy too.