I love Mother's Day. I start loving it around February when all the emails from companies wanting me to write something about their product because it's perfect for every mum start arriving. It's one of our favourite pastimes in the office, announcing, like the first blowfly of summer, when the first email about the next significant date arrives. I've had Valentine's Day emails in October, Christmas in July, back to school before the previous school year is even over.
And what's even better about the Mother's Day ones is the wide-ranging variety of products that are perfect for every single mum. Vacuum cleaners, slippers, yoghurt makers, power tools, electric toothbrushes, even paving stones. What woman wouldn't want a nicely defined path through her garden. Oh, please.
And books. All sorts of books. Rural romance, historical fiction, domestic noir, self-help. Books are always a great reminder that you get too little time to yourself to actually read anything.
It's hard not to be cynical about Mother's Day. Kids, make me a nice cup of tea and get into bed for a snuggle and I'll be good as gold. That's all I want.
But I thought it might be a little fun to have a play with a list of books sent through by the great team at Walker Books, who specialise in the best children's books ever. This is in no way a reflection on them! Remember when the kids were little and you'd get them on your knee and read some of these. Now the kids are just about 16 and 14, Blossie and Monster all grown up. (Those of you who have been reading along might be as shocked as me by the knowledge of that.)
When this list of books came in - "our favourites all about mothers, family and love that are guaranteed to make the number one woman in your life smile" - I couldn't help but rewrite some of them now I'm a parent of teenagers and am full of hindsight. Or full of something at least.
Guess How Much I Love You, subtitled When you're asleep. Little Nutbrown Hare was quite a rascal. All that bounding and hanging off his mother's ears. Imagine that for another 16 years mother rabbit and you might be, almost, at the end of your tether. Yes, you'll always love him to the moon and back. Sometimes you'll howl at the moon. But is there anything more perfect than a sleeping child? I'm going to crawl in beside them and gently wake them up for as long as I can.
Mum Goes to Work, subtitled To get away from you all. It's not a career, it's a place where you can drink a whole cup of tea while it's warm and go to the toilet by yourself. Where people don't grunt at you, in the main part, and where you can talk about more than The Wiggles or what's happening on Snapchat. Mum Goes to Work is a tribute to all busy working mums. Mine comes with a prepackaged ready-to-microwave dinner.
My Mum Says the Strangest Things, subtitled, And I can't print most of it here. Is it just me or do you get a little more potty mouthed the further your kids get away from the potty. Ok, maybe it is just me. Apologies. But I'm kind of proud that my kids are smart enough to comprehend the several hundred connotations of f**k that I have been known to utter. There is a companion edition, subtitled, Several Times, because the need to repeat yourself has become more prevalent.
This is the Kiss, subtitled, That you never want me to give you in public. When's the last time you smothered your lot in sloppy kisses in public. Granted, mine still proffer a cheek in the car at school drop off, and come for a cuddle, most nights, before bed. But in public? In front of their friends, at school events, at sports matches ... not happening. But you learn to take the kisses when you can get them.
Owl Babies, subtitled Can just wait because mum's having a night out. In this classic, three baby owls wake up one night in their hole in a tree to find that their mother has gone. So they sit on a branch and wait ... Darkness gathers and the owls grow anxious, wondering when their mother will return. She will. She always does. But sometimes she returns stinking of beer and her feet are sore from dancing and she doesn't really want to see you until noon the next day. Go find your father.
See, it's possible to find a book to suit every mother. Tell me what book best describes your mum, and have some fun, and go in the draw to win some new release out of the library here. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org