Monday, 11 June 2012

The tale of the Very Desperate Mother - A Fiddlydy Tale

Once in the faraway land of Fiddlydy there was a woman called Elspeth who was expecting a baby for the fifth of the thirdoftheautumnmonths. As soon as he found out about the baby the father of the child, Eric, asked for Elspeth's hand in marriage. Elspeth could not have been happier. Unfortunately Eric got a bad case of the willies while tying his bow tie on the day of the wedding and flew to the nearby land of Forgetitall. When she heard, Elspeth rather got the willies too, thinking about her future as a single mother, but could not fly anywhere, litterally speaking, being over the 28 weeks limit to fly with Air Dragons lines (oh yes, Fiddlydy is a real fairytale land where you can fly on dragonback). So she couldn't even go to her parents who lived on the other side of the seven and three quarters seas.

When the baby was born, however, Elspeth fell instantly in love with her little boy and things seemed to look up. But not for long... There are rules set in stone when in comes to bringing up a baby in Fiddlydy and being a single new mother Elspeth relied on them more than anyone else.
Fiddlydy rules say that babies should be taken for a walk every day at 10.49, that they should sleep from 7.00 in the evening until 6.35 in the morning and then during the day at 9.01, 11.02 (Elspeth found that she often had to run for the 10.49 morning walk to only go round the park closest to her house and be back home for the 11.02 sleep), 13.03 and 15.44, no sleep after that but interactive playtime and bath time, that babies should get used to being left on their own in a darkened room when they sleep, that feeds shouldn't exceed 42 minutes and 15 seconds, etc. etc.
 Elspeth found the rules difficult to follow and her little boy seemed to cry a lot. The rules did not plan much rest time for the mother either but dictated strict cleaning and cooking schedules. Elspeth was exhausted and despair was slowly engulfing her...


 When Elspeth's baby was five months Elspeth's parents sent her a boat ticket to come and visit them. Although reluctant to go anywhere Elspeth got ready to travel. Just before the day of her departure, when she was about to feed her son, someone knocked on her door.
Elspeth opened the door and Eric's mother was standing in front of her, frowning and forbidding. In most fairylands step-mothers are the evil ones but in Fiddlydy it's the mothers-in-law. Although Eric's mother wasn't technically Elspeth's mother-in-law she showed uncanny predispositions. In five minutes she had convinced  Elspeth that she was responsible for Eric leaving her, that she didn't have enough milk, that she fed her son too much, that the baby did not sleep enough, that he was awake for too little time in the day, that Elspeth's milk was no good, that she cuddled her son too much, that she didn't stimulate him enough, etc. As Elspeth was bombarded with critics and ill judgments, her already low spirits sank to bottomless depths. When her evil nearly-mother-in-law left Elspeth felt that her last crumbs of hope and joy left with her. Elspeth knew absolute despair.

Without knowing how she got there Elspeth found herself on the boat to to her parents' the following day. She felt so very desperate, her life lonely and empty, her efforts vain and exhausting. She was standing on deck watching the waves below, her baby strapped to her, and in a mad, sad instant, she jumped... That's when her guardian angel's alertness to her woes finally kicked in. Elspeth and her son landed softly in a passing boat's fishing nets, ready to be cast. Wanting to catch up on his work Elspeth's guardian angel saw to it that it also happened to be Eric's boat. Eric had had an epiphany two days before, deciding to lead a simple life on the sea and earn enough money to be worth of Elspeth and their baby.

In the end all turned out well for Elspeth, Eric, and their baby boy, but Elspeth never forgot the moment she felt such despair that she nearly precipitated herself in the sea with her precious son, all for silly rules and even sillier comments from an evil nearly-mother-in-law...

Copyright 2012 Mother Goutte

1 comment:

  1. What a truly great tale. I felt the rules and mother in law despair - I still do to a certain extent, although I am older and wiser now, and my guardian angel is much more mindful these days.

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