I’ve always been a bit weird and never quite fitted in. I am very proud of my 19 year old retro car, meanwhile people my age are getting brand new sparkly cars on finance. When I started working in bars, new team members would ask if I was ‘alright’ because I used to wear crazy costumes and was just generally a bit mental. When I was at school I loved old music while everyone else was into current bands. To make matters worse I listened to my 80s megamix on a minidisc player when everyone else was getting into ipods and MP3 players. In primary school, everyone liked the Spice Girls, I had to take it to the extreme and become a Spice Girl. My hair was always in a high pony, I had a transfer tattoo and a fake nose stud and only wore adidas. I still played with Barbies until I was quite old as well, I won’t say how old… My younger sister knows what went on in the bottom of our wardrobe.
Pessimists might call me weird and an outcast, optimists (like me) refer to me as, ‘keeping it real’ and not conforming to a stereo type which is much better in my opinion.
So its no suprise that I’m a bit of an outcast as a mother too. I’ve had a few trolls try to start arguments with me online because I have an opinion. Although I think there is no excuse for online fights and bullying, I do accept that I am not at all conventional so I generally don’t fit in with other mothers. However, I don’t want to get too political, the point of this intro is just to paint the picture that I’ve never fitted in.
A good test to see whether somebody is my kind of mom is this…
Are You a Toy Story Mom?
When you get to the end of this you’re going to fit into one of two sides.
- Yes, you’re right. A complete outcast… what a twat.
- OMG another Mom like me… my new BFF.
What I mean by Toy Story mom is, do you secretly believe, on some inner child level, that toys are real. Yeh its a stuffed toy but it’s got a personality! Look at those beady little eyes saying, “Please don’t put me in the loft!” Or worse… the bin! Who the hell bins toys? Haven’t you seen Toy Story 3? They can be passed on to new homes you know!
It is a pretty normal thing in my family to give toys a backstory, family members, a unique voice and personality. I grew up with my own Toy Story mom so I just thought it was normal. She used to change our dolls clothes and position them somewhere else in the room when we were at school and we really thought (still do a little bit) they had moved by themselves.
I always thought this was a normal thing for parents to do but I realised it isnt when I was at my nephews birthday party a couple of years ago and I sat a toy monkey in the pass the parcel circle and (I’m quite good at toy puppetry) made him join in passing the parcel, clapping, looking at the other kids etc. this instantly separated the mothers. A few of the kids smiled and liked it, a few looked at me like I’d lost the plot and felt the need to say, “It’s not real.” First of all, it is a HE! And he is real!
Having to choose who got to go on holiday with us was the worst farewell of the year. “I’m sorry baby Pinky but you’re so small, I don’t want you to get lost.” That seemed legit to me, hopefully she understood why Pinky got to go on the holidays. “Goodbye, Jade, Rosy, Flopsy, Rosie (it was a popular name thanks to John and the canal boat) Jemma, Claire, Canary, Michaela, Jo, Mikey… ” Anyone would think I was going off to war, not a week at Haven.
Luckily my Nan always joined in with the ‘toys are real’ belief and often provided bed and breakfast for the toys that got left behind so we would get back from our holiday and often find that she had knitted a new outfit for our dolls, which did aleviate the guilt and probably made the other dolls hope they get left behind next time.
I have still got my dolls now! I can’t imagine ever having the heart to get rid of them. Ollie, pay attention when you read this… There are a lot of vintage dolls in our house. When I die you can either pass these down or get rich. I’ll leave that moral decision with you.
I am going to be such a Toy Story mom with Ollie and any other kids I have. Everyone has a name already… Yes I’m refering to the toys as people. Some toys come with a name already, like Scout and Sophia. Others we had the pleasure of naming. Ra-ra, squeaky G, squeaky G’s brother, Harry, Mr Snail, Boni, Beni, Jimmy… You get the idea.
What’s the harm in giving your kids an imagination and staying in touch with your inner child at the same time? My life has shown me that the happiest people are those in touch with their inner child. The ones that will jump in puddles and rolls down hills without getting stressed, nothing bad will happen you’ll just have an extra load of washing but you’ve all had more fun.
Are you a Toy Story mom? Does every toy have a name or are you counting down the days until you can pack all of them off to the charity shop?