You ever have those weeks where you suffer from “failure to thrive”?
This week I made custard so thick we could have repointed the patio with it. I served it in a square bowl with blueberry eyes and a cocoa mouth. It made Ben cry. Then there was the play date where our visitors tried valiantly to not see (or should that be un-see) my giant knickers draped over the airer. Please note… they were draped. Not daintily pegged. Draped. And let’s not forget yet another preschool birthday where I’ve once again missed the brief. Dress code? Princess you say? My little darling walked in wearing a llama print dress. A lone llama in a sea of Disney princesses. Alice matter-of-factly said: “Don’t worry mama, I’ll just be Llama Girl”. Bless her little heart.
As parents we beat ourselves up over our parenting fails… our #failuretothrive. I drove straight to ASDA after that party and bought Alice a princess outfit. I stuffed my
knickers Bridget Jones bloomers down the back of the couch. And the night of the freaky custard… everyone got Mini Milks. The thing is, our kids mostly never notice the flaws. And that’s exactly what David O’Connell and Francesca Gambatesa capture so perfectly in ‘When I’m a Mummy Like You!’.
This heart-warming story follows a mum and daughter going about their days – both the ups and the downs. It sweetly flits between their perspectives; there’s Mum, who’s doing her best and seeing all the flaws in what she does. And a little girl who just sees… perfection.
“I want to be a mum like you, Mum! I want to be a grown-up RIGHT NOW!
You make it look simple so it can’t be that hard
– Please, please PLEASE can you tell me how?”
Mum is rushed off her feet, not quite nailing the cooking and regretfully leaving her little one as she heads off to work. The little girl thinks mum makes it look easy, that everything she serves up is a “winner” and she just wants to walk in Mum’s shoes as she heads out to “take on the world”.
David writes beautifully simple rhyming couplets – leaving plenty of room to pause and appreciate all the love and warmth on the page. Francesca’s illustrations are gorgeously tender capturing the adoring looks between mum and daughter.
In the final pages, the little girl grows up. She’s now a Mum, with her own “mini me” in tow, and they’ve cycled over to visit Grandma. Admittedly, my tired eyes misted at the final line: “I’ll always be Mum, that won’t ever change. And you’ll still be my little one too”. Perhaps I’m getting sentimental in my old age, but after yet another fraught week of racing about, those words were a lovely reminder that at the day’s end, we all still have each other. And how very lucky we are.