Donegal mum Maria Rushe pens an open letter to a stranger who witnessed a family power struggle.
To the Lady in the Car.
I know that right now, it does not look like it, but yes, yes they ARE my children. I am not trying to kidnap them.
Yes it may look like I am a stranger, dragging them against their will to a world unknown, to torture and penance, but trust me, the only one enduring torture and penance at this particular moment, is me. (and perhaps your eardrums.)
I am not a stranger however. I am their Mammy. I carried each of them in my stretched womb for 76 months… I have loved, fed, clothed and nurtured them since their births, and I spend the entirety of my existence working to provide for them, both spiritually and physically. Sometimes, mentally too, but that’s mostly Me. I have paper to prove that these little ones, who right now are screaming and hollering so much that I forgive your raised eyebrow, ARE INDEED MINE. I also have the stretchmarks and ruined ladybits as a receipt.
Right now, as I fight with my Twoublemaker to get her into the car seat in the car that they know well as ours, I wonder if I had an ACTUAL receipt, would some shop take them back…even just for ten minutes? Her plank is stronger than any grown Man in our Jim, and her ability to remain in said position despite Mammy’s manipulation, begging and near force, is RIDICULOUS! While she refuses to allow her arse onto HER car seat, the 6 year old wails because apparently going home with the woman who feeds and clothes and loves her, is a punishment worse than anything imaginable. She too, is crying. WHY? Fooked if I know…
What I do know however, is that to a stranger, it looks like the crazy sweaty woman in her honking gym gear has randomly pulled up to the childcare and lifted the first two children she bumped into. It looks like I am a monster, determined to steal them to sell them for rubies or diamonds…or gin or something.
And as I finally force, (not gonna lie, she didn’t go gently…), my uberstrong fartypants into her seat and strap the crying one into hers, I get into MY seat to start the car. I turn off the radio as I can’t hear it over the pair of them anyway. One is now asking why it is not Friday so she can have a treat, and the miniest one is screaming “POP POP POP” at the top of her strapped in little lungs.
I look across and see you smile at me sympathetically and I wonder if your children also like to play the “Let’s make her lose the will to live as she straps us in the car” game. I believe it is their way of expressing their love for me… They love me dearly, they do.
We begin the long journey home, to the house where YES we do all live together, and of course, after approximately 35 metres, both of the little rascals are singing and chattering away in the back seat as if NOTHING has just happened.
I imagine them high-fiving each other behind my back, their eyebrows communicating in secret code, “Go us… we’ve made the wench pay. Now, let’s work on getting pizza for tea.”
“What’s for tea Mammy?”
Take that Bitcheepoo. (Yes, they’re getting pizza… )