The other day I, casually and quite confidently, asked my six-year-old if she thought I was funny.
‘No Mum you’re not funny,’ she said. ‘Dad’s funny.’
When she saw my crestfallen face she added, ‘Well Dad’s the funniest and you’re the second funniest.’
Great, thanks for that.
You know there was a time I was considered quite funny, hilarious even. And definitely good company. But now I’m just Mum. Bit boring, very bossy (nothing new there), someone who always says no, someone who’s not quite as funny as Dad.
Now my husband is a fantastic dad. He works long hours and can’t wait to get home and see the girls, arriving full of energy to make the most of what remains before bedtime. While I on the other hand deal with the day-to-day squabbles, tantrums, fussy appetites and meltdowns. I provide structure, boundaries and crunchy carrot sticks. No wonder I seem a little boring.
Not that I’m complaining but I does make me want to yell, “You know, I was quite funny once!!!”
I lived in Paris in my 20s and when I first arrived, I would go to dinner parties and feel too shy to speak French. Occasionally I would think of something to add to the conversation but by the time I constructed the sentence in my head, interrupted and struggled to deliver it, the moment had passed or the joke was lost. Meanwhile everyone would wait patiently for la petite australienne, smile politely and move on.
I wanted to say, ‘I’m actually considered quite funny in Australia, you know!’ but at that stage I couldn’t say it in French. I felt people didn’t have a chance to see my true personality however after a year, I realised it still shines through regardless of language barriers. People still befriended me and I was always being asked to another dinner party.
So I’m hoping my daughters will see what my French friends eventually saw. I don’t know whether I will ever reach my husband’s standard of hilarity but that’s fine. I have to be a bit boring to keep things running and I will always be bossy, that goes without saying. But hopefully as my two-year-old stops drawing on my newly painted off-white floorboards then Fun Mum will appear more regularly.