Tuesday, May 20, 2008

medals for mammies (and Daddies)


NF Medals

I was watching a documentary last night where a presenter mentioned that so and so and been in the navy during World War II and had earned two medals for bravery.
And it rankled just a little bit.
I mean, this individual just happened to be in a really stressful situation (evacuating a boat that had been torpedoed or something) and had coped. Helped a few other people, didn't freak out and then they get a medal.

And it made me wonder quickly (in the way that you do) if I was put in such a situation; would I cope and would I get a medal?

Of course I would.

The way I see it, all you have to do is assess the situation, stay organised and look for the best possible solutions and then mobilise people to do what you say.

Which is exactly what all of us "special" parents do EVERYDAY!

We all try to forget the bad times; that is the way of survival. But think back to the last really shit time you had with your kids and what the outcome was. If you are not in jail or a psychiatric hospital right now then I am thinking you coped huh?
Child who was at the centre of all that is perhaps right beside you, as Bratty is now, cuddled up and smelling all babyish and sleepy? And you still love them? You will get out of bed tomorrow and face the day able and willing and do your best by them.

Well YOU DESERVE A MEDAL!!

That is right. In war times medals are handed out for coping with extraordinary situations with courage and sensibility. Sure even the British Royal family manage to get medals in service. And I am thinking maybe that the limited tours of duty they do result in disproportionate medal winning if the amount of metal on their chests is anything to go by??
In peacetime we are just expected to get on with it.
I do not want to denigrate medal winning and wartime achievements.

My own Grandfather fought in WWII and was a "Rat of Tobruk" as Lord Haw Haw called them. I will do a separate post on Gramps soon (waiting for a local paper to send me the article they did on him) but he well deserved his decorations; not least for coming home to marry my Grandma and be our much loved and very indulgent Grampa for the last 42 years.

However. Mammas and Pappas all have to deal with extraordinary stuff in the course of child rearing and particularly in the face of special needs child rearing.

The first medal should of course be awarded to Mamma for growing a person in her body and pushing it out of a very small hole. Cesareans would get a special commendation as they are still traumatic but I know from experience where I would rather have stitches!! (The first pee is the killer!!) And my Caesar scar gives me no pain.

The next medal would of course go to Darling Partner for "Having to hear about it"

ahem.

The really valuable hardware would then come out for the folks who have to face the bad news in the hospital. That something isn't quite right. And there are people at home waiting for you to text them that "Mother and baby are fine"
But you can't.

You should get the parenting equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

And then there are the ribbons for getting home and getting them to feed. Getting them to sleep for the first night (or part of a night) or getting out of the house with all your clothes completely free of puke to go somewhere for the first time.
(You keep the ribbon if you last an hour).

The next set of medals will be awarded for any consequent deliveries of "news". If you can make it home on two solid legs and get people fed and bathed and off to their beds BEFORE you break down and cry your heart out. Stand up and collect your medal.
Get an extra ribbon if you actually had to go and fight for that news. Doesn't make it any easier to hear it when it comes.

And finally (or ongoingly) there are the weekly commendations and award for whatever shite you had to deal with that week. Including actual shite!
Seriously. If Eisenhower had to clean up as much Sh!t that I have in the past 8 years he would have given up the military and gone to live on an onion farm years before all that nonsense in Vietnam.
Parents who deal with toileting issues beyond the age of 3 deserve a medal of honor for every doody they have to clean up. Turds expelled in public places will get an extra commendation, particularly if you manage to dispose of them discreetly without anyone noticing.
A distinction for every nappy they have to change after Age 5. And a full red carpet and Oscar style awards ceremony for the first dry and clean day. I would get out my Taffeta ball gown for that one. In fact I may approach Tv3 and ask them to sponsor the "annual poop awards". Sure to be a winner with "Heat" magazine.

I hear you reading this and saying yeah yeah Hammie. Dream on but what difference will this make to us as we get up at 4am to deal with a child with autism who likes to take a FIESTA in early hours of the morning (as opposed to Siesta in the afternoon)

Well, my advice to you is to award yourself a Sploshy.
Download and print off my little starfish and when you have a shit night or day, print a few off and stick them on the bathroom mirror. Or the fridge or the microwave or wherever you are going to see them and remind yourself that you ARE FUCKING AMAZING!

Heck. Even wear it on your lapel for the day.

Nothing would make me happier than to go out into the world each day and see someone at the school gates or at the pool or stables or even in the supermarket, who has awarded themselves a "Sploshy" Or Two!!
or if you have a really shit day, and cope admirably:
5 of them!!!


And the next time we march as parents (god forbid but the way the health service is going that will be the next campaign)

I want to see parents out there with their chests emblazoned with medals just like my Gramps on Anzac Day.

Because as the song says. We can be Heroes. Even if it is EVERY day.

xx

3 comments:

mammy said...

Brilliant!!

'Sploshys' .....theres a campaign in them there 'sploshys'
Patent them dahling :)

MV ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi there
I was reading your post and thinking – yes we are all heroes. But are we heroes by choice or would we prefer to be honest cowards just like our next door neighbour? I know the answer to that myself… I remember seeing a documentary on tigers where mother tiger refused to feed her blind cub…survival of the fittest? God help me, that has crossed my mind when the A word was first mentioned…along with killing myself, my husband and my neighbours! Ah well…my husband had survived, as did my neighbours. And I got my medal in the shape of a Save the Queen coat. Working on my next medal now …
Regards, V
P.S. Putting together 2 words now – did I ever think we’ll see the day?

Anonymous said...

Hey Hammie
Yes we are heros! For every day we put on our lip gloss and wipe up poo with manicured nails (the gals anyway). For replying to everyone who says "poor you" that "yeah it's tough but look at me...there's no victim here" (i descend from a very long line of pedigree victims and it's a hard one to snap out of). We wear our medals in our laughter lines and speak them in the wise words of experience.
Hope the book is coming along OK. You're a gem
Love
FrancesJ
XXX