Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Back to school and biliousness...

So yeah, it's Autumn, has anyone mentioned it? Due to my inherent laziness and world class procrastination skills you'll have observed that I didn't write a post noting that excited feeling you get in your stomach, the way you can smell fresh pencil shavings in the air, opaque tights, new boots, the glory of nature's changing colours™, the fact that I can now legitimately live on apple crumble or the imminent return of Downton Abbey.

That's not to say I'm not ridiculously excited about those things, I am. Boy2 and I dropped his brother off at school today and then went hunting for conkers. It was lovely, and our glossy treasures now reside in a fruit bowl by the telly, along with a few partially chewed pine cones he presented me with yesterday. [Partially chewed by a squirrel, not Boy2, although I wouldn't put it past him]. However, it took but a tiny fraction of the day. As parents of small children will be aware - the Summer holidays are looong, and when a much idolised big brother has started school already, the days until little brother can start nursery seem even longer.

I don't think I'm that hard hearted, but I must confess to being bemused by the Facebook statuses which appear every year about this time - full of wailing, tooth gnashing and breast beating about the dreaded 'back to school'. I'd understand it from the teens, but this is the parents.  Hmm, maybe there's a reason I'm not a 'Mummy blogger'. But seriously people, it's primary school, where they do painting and learn about the world, not a Stalinist gulag or Chilean mine. They get blueberries and mango for snack time these days, not two soldiers of white bread spread with Stork like we used to have. I've been a stay at home parent for 6 years - and I wouldn't change the time I've had with the kids for anything - but my mind boggles at some of these updates. How little imagination you must have to not know how to fill the hours til 3.15pm without your 'clever little man Ryan who is goin into year 2 now, bless LOL'. Come on - it's too rainy for the park, and there's only so much talk of Ben 10 and his intergalactic alter-egos a girl can take. Learn to crochet! Write a blog! Pick any Nigella recipe and eat the results before the kids get home! Is it any wonder I'm feeling a little liverish after another week of egg-box related crafts?

I can't be the only one who is just a teensy bit excited at the prospect of a couple of hours to myself a day, coupled with being able to use the loo without being asked "Are you doing a wee or a poo Mummy? Can I come in?"

Luckily, help is at hand. At least it was in 1956. I found a stash of mid-century magazines at the car boot on Sunday, which proved to be a great source of one of my favourite things - vintage advertisements.

Does anyone else think Linda is being addressed by Michael Winner?

Bile Beans! I mean, they just sell themselves don't they? There really is something wonderful about the way admen could make wild and unsubstantiated claims back then. Nowadays laxative adverts just blither on about 'gentle, predictable relief', but bile beans appear to make you supermom and supermodel in one fell swoop! 'Clear-eyed, fresh-complexioned' and, rather worryingly, only now able to love your child. 

            1. Bilious
            2. Having an irritable and unpleasant disposition

Yep, a pill that will rid you of your irritable and unpleasant disposition, plus help you lose 'unwanted fats' - I'm sure there's another name for it these days. Plus you don't even have to endure eight hours of gurning in a sweaty warehouse waving a glo-stick to achieve the results. Doctor!

Lakota x


  1. Great post .... I love old ads and I think I'll pass on the bile beans !

  2. I really really did laugh audibly at the bile beans. Having said that, I reckon we could make a killing at the school gates with a stash.
    My 4 year old ran to school yesterday, he told me to go home and get his dinner ready for later.
    My 12 year old went back today, I embraced the peace, well, almost. My 2.5 year old is wild, demanding and beyond busy. I simply cannot wait for him to start school. I can't go shopping with him, if I have visitors he's not happy until they read him a story, and he flits from colouring, to building to going out the back in just his pants to ride his car every 2 minutes.
    I will miss their innocence in years to come,but as for these status messages - it's people saying what they think they should say, or feeling guilty because they don't see much of their kids.
    I am mentally, physically and emotionally drained after a non-stop 12 years of work/kids/household chores. The idea that I may one day have a few hours to indulge myself without interruption keeps me going.

    Fantastic post, Lakota.

    Lucy x

  3. Ha ha, lovely post, well written!
    I actually have an old postcard on my noticeboard, advertising bile beans!!! Makes me chuckle.
    I have enjoyed a more peaceful day with only one child in the house but as I work from home with ZILCH childcare, it's still darn stressful as you can imagine!
    Yes people do need to go out more. My children are my life, but I also have a life without them. I was a person before they rocked up at the party, and I shall continue to be.
    BTW, on a totally random note, I just read your post re Twinkle. Oh my lord, I LOVED Nurse Nancy. Twinkle was brill. I preferred Bunty (I was a secret reader until I was 16...shhhhhh) but Twinkle was fab too.
    And remember: They may be vile, but the future's Bile.
    x x x x

  4. I have a friend my age - 25, whose child is about to go back for their second year of primary school and posted a similar 'Oh no - I'll miss him so much' type message.

    I know, I know, I'm childless and intend to be so for another 5 years - so technically I have no valid point to make other than: I'm incredibly happy to read this post because I truly don't see myself being happy to sacrifice all identity beyond being 'X's Mum' once I have a child.

    That aside - I'm one of those annoying people who could go on, and on, and on about how much I love Autumn. The turning leaves, the smell of new stationery, bonfire night and baked potatoes, snuggly socks . . . . . .

    Jem xXx

  5. haha this made me laugh so much! Although I'm afraid I never notice much whether it's school holidays or not- it's all a working day for me:-( I need to get me some bile beans...

  6. Now that's what I call a mummy post. Bile beans was my first food actually. Way to keep it real!

  7. When my kids were younger I'd be counting the days from about the second week of August until they went back to school. I loved the laziness of the summer holidays but not having any time to myself (and the toilet lurking which mine used to do and occasionally still do even though they are 14 and 18)used to nigh on send my mental.
    My oldest is possibly temping next week and I am happy as Larry (who is that bloke?) for her but chuffed for myself to have what could be real life whole hours in the house on my own. I love them dearly but have to have my own time.
    My dad used to sing a little song about bile beans but I can't remember it, useless cow.

  8. I could do with some of those bile beans (don't get me started...). Love old ads, that one is a classic. I say "allelujah" and "praise be" that the little darlings are back at school. Yes indeedy.



  10. Great post! The bile beans made me laugh out loud - softer hands and sweeter voice from beans? Hmm - but then maybe I could use some!

  11. I wonder what the children with the 'miss them soooo much' mummies feel on their return to school...Love the ad -had to read it aloud in silly voice to my husband, who has now dropped off to sleep. Wonder what he'll dream of?

  12. I’d forgotten how truly awful some of those old ads were. Bile Beans - the very name is ghastly! My Dad worked for Andrews (who made the famous ‘Liver Salts’) when I was a youngster, so we always had some on the go, if you’ll pardon the expression. What was wrong with the post-war diet that so many people were constipated and grumpy and unable to love their children? I see they believed in ridding the body of ‘toxins’ then too...Pah!

    Having said all that I’m looking forward to more of your delightful posts about these old ads.

  13. Bile beans? Ha! I know people moan about the pressure modern advertising puts on women but really, nothing has changed, has it? Still a load of guilt tripping to make people feel bad about themselves!

  14. Brilliant post Lakota, I laughed the whole way through it. My children are alot older than yours and still ask me the poo/wee question when I'm on the loo! I LOVE it when I have the house to myself. LOVE it I tell you! I've been known to do a little victory dance when they've both left the house for the day. School-days are the best days of your lives I tell them as I push them out the door...
    Maybe I need some of those Bile Beans...

  15. Bile beans? Jeez, gimme the glo sticks!! What a fantastic ad for "mummy's pissed off Dad gets to speak to adults all day and finish his sentences so she needs to join a wine club". Nice post luv, I feel ya! xo

  16. You do make me laugh :)

    Normally I love the back to school bit - like having time to do what I want. Am selfish at the moment though - wish I could have a boy here - just to do all my fetching/carrying as I can't!!

    What wonder pills they had back then!

  17. I don't think I've ever come across a magazine without an advert for those hateful sounding bile beans, I wonder whatever happened to them?
    I don't have many mumsy friends so I'm spared those Facebook updates but constant blog posts eulogising about Autumn, rich berry shades and leaves changing colour bores the pants off me.
    Enjoy your freedom. x

  18. Now I love vintage ads... though find this one a little scary, can't believe they got away with it but it was a different time.

  19. Good post! That poor wee soul in the ad - how sad - "Mummy loves me now"! Wonder if it was just bile beans the chemist was handing out!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  20. Great post, my sentiments exactly!I packed Monkeychild off to school this week thinking 'Yay! I'll have more crafting time now! Sod the housework!'

  21. Lakota, I think you need to change your Facebook friends! My newsfeed has been full of fellow parents counting down the days until the schools open their doors again (me included - much as I love the long summer break, I was DESPERATE for the end of it as well!!) PS Hope Ryan is enjoying Year 2, bless LOL!!

  22. i so understand the going to the loo alone thing. mine don't even ask they just come in! my smallest just started school so from now on fridays are mine! hubby can think i'm going to do house work but he's mistaken (then again if i make the loo smell fresh and hoover the bits you can see he'd not know the difference!)

  23. Really enjoyed this post, sweetie!

    My gruesome-twosome are 20 and I was ALWAYS happy when they went back to school ~ guess that makes me a bad mummy LOL They were both home for the summer (son is at uni, daughter is a nanny (the Mum is a teacher) up in Orkney) and to be honest, it was a relief when they both went back even though they are technically adults :-D It's amazing how quickly hubby and I got used to it being just the two of us!

    Don't get me wrong, I love my children to pieces and would do whatever I possibly could for them, but my whole life doesn't just revolve around them...

  24. What a rip snorter of a post. "...not two soldiers of white bread spread with Stork" - HA HA HA!! or a carton of milk and a rich tea or a Nice biscuit if the teacher had not eaten them all.

    I don't have kids. But I have friends that do. And thankfully - none of them put "bless" or "LOL" on their status's. I'd have to behead them if they did.

  25. I hide my blog in shame...I am one of the annoying family bloggers! Thing is though they drive me $@%cking mad when they are home, and some days I cant wait for them both to be in school. I think Im just generally an neurotic emotional wreck...ah well, least I know it! x

  26. oh and bile beans sound just delightful! Especailly as I mis-read removing "unwanted fats" as "unwanted farts" . That really made me laugh!

  27. You are funny, Lakota - and you speak the truth, lady!!
    I am of the "Yippee, they're back at school!" persuasion, and have thoroughly enjoyed my "child-free from 9 to 3" week. Ooh that rhymes.

    I'd love a pill to rid me of my irritable disposition, but I don't think even bile beans could manage that!

  28. My youngest is 15 and I loved my time with her in holidays but was always glad it was time to go back. Like you said it is a very long 6 weeks!

    What a funny advert! It wouldn't make me want to buy them.

    X x

  29. Brilliant! I definitely need some bile beans (I wonder can you get them on ebay along with a spell to cast over my children or my liver).

    Oh and Michael Winner, yes, he would clearly have been cast for the voice over part at the time.

    Seriously, I have no problem with my 5 year old going back to school. As you say, they are amazing fun-filled places these days in comparison to the primary schools of old where you had to contend with Billy Blue hata nd Roger yellow hat books and could still be smacked if you didn't get it right!

    I still have a way to go before my youngest starts school but I will have no problem filling the days. Me and the sewing machine are going to get it on big time then!!

  30. hehehehe i for one wanting a child, wanting to have precious moments to send my child to school even the painful part of giving birth! maybe someday! but i love the first paragraph of the vintage article, her hands are gentler, her voice is sweeter and her kisses are softer...let me know when u found out the bile beans laxative called in today's world, i'm intriqued in the word losing "unwanted fats" hehehe great post Lakota! x susan

  31. You are soo funny! I bemoan going back to school as a teacher because it's such bloomin' hard work and your life feels not your own but I wouldn't be sad my children were going back to school if I had any!

  32. mwahahaha - bile beans!! The best name ever!

    I did chuckle at your post, i asked my boss to book a tuesday off work for my holiday day and he questioned why i didnt want a monday to have a long weekend, i replied that my little man was at nursery on a tuesday so I really get a day off...well his looks was a picture, might have a 'bad mummy' label now ;o) xx

  33. the bile beans advert is hilarious. Your writing is always so lively and entertaining. I've been a SAHM for 12 years, I appreciate every minute of it with my kids. Yet at the same time, I also look forward for the holidays to be over so I can get some time of my own to do some sane adult things.

    Thanks for your kind and encouraging words for me Lakota, have a lovely week!


  34. Haha poor Linda! Ugh I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't stand parental Facebook updates (at any time of year) - just because your offspring managed to roll onto his stomach does not mean he is a child prodigy - and anyway I don't care! I'm not a mother but I can't imagine ever feeling at a loss without a child in the house either - I'd be pushing them out the door!

  35. I need to get me some of those bile beans. I had no idea that a good go on the toilet could make me more loving... I don't have children, and so tend to dry heave at status updates that bemoan the fact that the kids are back at school, and blog posts about Autumn? It's cold, wet and the leaves are orange. Big whoop. I know, I'm callous...

  36. You are too funny... pass the bile beans... I'm a Custodial Gramma and some days I wouldn't be beyond sending the wee precious ones to a Military Boarding School! *LOL... does that mean I'm going to Hell I wonder? Winks*

    Dawn... The Bohemian


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