Size matters

Yesterday at gymnastics, some mums were discussing hair colour, and turning to me, one of them said ‘we’re alright – having blonde hair at least means our greys don’t show up as bad’.

I AM TWENTY TWO! I know I’ve grumbled about the early onset of middle-age but I wasn’t being altogether serious; if anything I look younger than my years, and certainly dress younger than a mother really should; often verging on the edge of indecency. How could I be included in this chat about grey hairs?!

Admittedly, yes, my skin has decided it’s ready for menopause, but I am proud and delighted to announce the varicose vein was just a scare. Phew! I’ll still be using it as an excuse to put my feet up whenever I can, but the fact it was a false alarm does mean that I’ll be able to get my legs out this weekend when I paint the town red – so excited!

I am quite an anomaly (read: outcast) in the group of mums I spend time with. Age is one issue; my mummy friends are all aged 28-40 (hence why it was assumed I was older). Apart from one lovely lady, they are all either married or living with the father of their child. And the number of my friends left with just one child is decreasing by the day.

However, despite the fact I can act like a grown-up when I am very kindly included in conversations about marriage and mortgages (subjects of which I have no knowledge or experience), I find myself acting younger and younger as time goes on when I am alone with Sam. I would like to promote it as being an excellent mother; having the ability to think like a child must make you interact well with them…but if only that were really the case. It goes beyond that; I not only act the age of a toddler…but believe that I am the size of one too.

This blog no longer contains images of my son’s face. Click here to find out why.

Sam and I went to the playground this morning. Being quite a dreary day, we had the place to ourselves. This gave us the opportunity to participate in a loud game of dinosaurs – RRRRAAAWWWRRR! – without feeling self conscious. Unfortunately it also meant that I did something I have been yearning to do for years: I attempted to get into the baby/toddler swing. Obviously with the title of this blog, you should already be alerted to the fact that this was not a particularly good idea. But it is a problem I have: I am completely unaware of my size.

Baby swings are not designed for women who, like myself, have (evidently) child-bearing hips.

I got in – hurray! But save for that initial achievement, I had no further moments of joy. It was decidedly uncomfortable and I very quickly became aware I was going to struggle to get out again. On the way in I was grateful of my squishiness in the bottom area; but I was reminded of that awful feeling when you’ve put your head through bars and then realise your ears are going to prevent you from pulling it back (luckily not happened since childhood) – my winter insulation had eased the way into the swing, but my hips were refusing to let me out.

I was completely jammed.

The panic that descended was twofold:

  1. Sam, who had been swinging happily moments before, was beginning to try to scramble out of the swing next to me (they’re at quite a height).
  2. Although a deserted playground is ideal for allowing adults to play on the facilities without leaving them open for derision; it does rather limit the chances of rescue, should things get serious.

And things did get serious. I managed to lean over and plop Sam onto the ground, but the rest of the situation remained highly worrying. I tried very hard to get out – so hard that I cried a little and Sam got a bit upset too. It was very painful. But it did cross my mind that I was forcing my pelvis back to how it was before childbirth.

With no passers-by likely to release me, I managed to persuade Sam to go and get my coat off the buggy and bring it back to me.

No phone in pocket. Great.

The end to this story is fairly obvious: I did eventually manage to squeeze myself out. But success only came after a few tears of frustration/pain, two red hips that are still a little sore…and, what turned out to be my saving grace: the removal of my jeans.

Looking back, I am thankful for the dreariness weather.


  1. Sam is so adorable, you gave me a good laugh that I needed for the day. I am thankful for your words today. Love the empty swings, they speak to me.

    • Yep I love the empty swing too – so much better than I did with me stuck in it! x

  2. LOL!!! I’d check youtube tomorrow for videos, just in case! Poor you… It’s a good thing you were able to get out after taking off your pants, because that’d be a tough one to explain to the fire department while they worked the jaws of life between you and the swing; “Well, you see…”

    • There are unfortunately many times in my life where I’ve done things humiliating enough to get on youtube but I think if there had been anyone there they wouldn’t have missed the chance to come on out and mock me! Oooh talk of firemen…maybe I’ll try the swing again today 😉

  3. Haha, brilliant! I love the park when its quiet, I can play army with my son without attracting funny looks. Its difficult being the young one in a bunch of mums, at least they were forgetting about the age difference with the grey hair comment! xx

    • I was obviously looking a bit haggard that day! I’m the same – I should really prefer it when there are other kids there so Sam can learn to take it in turns and stuff…but it’s so much more fun when we can totally go crazy. No more swing for me though!

  4. In my 40’s, I’m quite young amongst some of the other women who I see at the gym. Admittedly I go early morning when all the oldies are pretending to swim up and down – they’re really just walking and chatting at the same time, very clever – but the conversation always turns to me when they say “you’re just a whipper snapper” – I love going to that gym!

    CJ xx

    • Hmmm interesting to know when the changeover point will be when I’ll wish I was younger. Think I’d fit in with the oldies at your gym though – that’s what I’d be doing!

  5. Throughly enjoyed your post 🙂 !!! Your son is lucky to have a young Mum like you. I’m 40 next week and still behave like I’m 20….sadly I don’t look it though……well I do sometimes look ‘hot’ then I realise I’ve forgotten to put my contact lenses in !
    Keep writing , you’re fab at it ! x

    • Haha thank you! I had to have a day with only one contact lens in the other day – have never felt so confident about my looks, it was amazing!! Almost worth walking around half-blind!

  6. claireg

    Ooh mummybigbum you are sooo funny. Sorry to say I have laughed at your misfortune but why oh why did you decided to squeeze into a toddler swing?!? Only you!! Glad you managed to escape, just imagine if you were stuck in there till dark…. oh dear I shouldnt laugh. x

  7. Presuming this is claireg of Claire Magazine (lol)…you are meant to be one of my dearest friends…why on earth would you laugh at my plight? Defriended.

    You know you want to try it though…think how your dresses were too small for me: you may be the ideal toddler size…

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