Thursday, May 21, 2015

Where are the mothers' awards?

Last night, after my wife went into hospital to have her gall bladder removed, I became a mother. It was, I must admit, a chastening experience. As my eight month old son pawed and bit at my chest, hysterically searching for his lost supply of milk, the three year old turned our bed into a trampoline, and shouted his demand that I help him test the engines of the fleet of toy cars he keeps in the lounge room. I spent hours rocking the baby in aching arms, feeling a little like a miner panning endlessly and hopelessly for gold. At about two o'clock, when the evening had begun to seem endless, I filled a water bottle with milk from the fridge, stowed it under my shirt, then revealed it to the crying baby. He wasn't fooled.

I realised last night that the rituals I had associated with parenthood - making bacon and eggs for breakfast, kicking a ball in the park, running after a balance bike - call for far less stamina than breastfeeding and lullabying. Thank goodness for relatives, and for the fact that my wife is home today.

How odd it felt to rise this morning from the lounge room floor, where I had eventually coaxed that baby boy to sleep, shamble to the mailbox, and find my photograph inside the latest issue of our local newspaper.

The Western Leader has run an article about my receipt of the inaugural Mayoral Literary Award, and allowed me to describe the book and film I'm making about Auckland's Great South Road. I am grateful to see the paper giving coverage to my writing, but after the experiences of the last eighteen or so hours I have decided belief that the mothers of small boys should permanently be celebrated on the front pages of every newspaper in the world, and allotted awards of their own.

I'm off now to drink a glass of milk and take a nap.

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]


Blogger Rachel Fenton said...

Good to see your brief sojurn into wimmin's work wasn't a wasted experience.

Congrats on your award!

1:27 pm  
Anonymous Scott Hamilton said...

Cheers Rachel. For the record, I do change nappies and bibs and wash clothes and dishes and do various other drudge jobs, but breastfeeding - boy...Those mothers need to form a union!

2:35 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Breast feeding is beneficial to an infant as it happens so it is good you tried that, albeit rather deceitfully.

But sleep is essential for health...

My youngest daughter has two boys under 3 and a 12 year also. And the other daughter has a 2.5 year old. So they are at that stage. I used to administer bottles and change nappies etc but I worked also.

It is a pity that women are not given more to stay at home (as my mother did) as children need a mother I think.

However if they need or want to work, more support would be good.

8:19 pm  
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