…or One More Mum Oscars. As the awards season reaches its zenith with the Oscars, it is time to hand out my own awards to very special people. Unfortunately there are no bronze statuette, but on the plus side there is no need to starve yourself to fit into a designer gown, so the next morning the assembled hags of fashion journalism can scrutinise every inch of you and either pass you with a Hurrah! Or mournfully tut over your Wrong Fashion Choice.
Anyway – on with the awards. These are a random selection of categories:
Best Use of Tea Making and Caustic Wit in a Strained Situation
To my lovely daughter, K, who makes the best tea in the universe and frequently tells us all exactly how it is, when the rest of us are too worried to say so. Let’s look at a sample of her work:
On entering the living room, bearing tea and witnessing her severely underweight sister drinking milk and telling K it was “good for her bones”. As L left the room, K remarks “That’s good, because it’s about all there is left of you”. Harsh, but brutally true.
Best Leading Role in Household Drudgery
To C, about whom I complain, but without whom I would have been hospitalised a long time ago. Tirelessly cooking and cleaning, picking up meds, being the calm one in every situation and waking up at 6.30 every weekday morning to make sure L has breakfast and K gets a packed lunch, while I fight it out from under the Invisible Rock of Despair.
Best Contribution to Ordered Eating
Easily goes to J. Always first at the dinner table, clears his plate, asks for seconds and then hangs on the fridge door, wondering what else he could have. This is a complete joy – and the following example shows why.
After Sunday Dinner, I had cooked a steamed sponge pudding. The atmosphere was tense and while L coped with the dishing out quite well, there was a little squeal as custard was added. J scoffed the lot, and then asked for seconds, which were also easily demolished. As I comforted a distraught L after dinner, J’s head popped round the door, “Mum, can I have one of those yogurts.?”. L and I laughed. To parents who complain about how much their kids eat – if it’s bingeing behaviour, you have my sympathy. If it is normal teenage behaviour, embrace and enjoy it.
Best Management Team in a Supporting Role.
You know who you are. You also know when to ask how things are and when to step back. You know ways of working out how to help and how to “make” me delegate, because you see that when things are tough, stupidly I tend to take on more work as I am too tired to ask for help. You make me laugh, you bring chocolate when I cry, and despite that I know I haven’t been at my best over the last six months, you always make me feel like I’m doing a great job. You are women with whom I am incredibly privileged to work.
Best Online Support for Carers of Young People with Eating Disorders.
FEAST – Around The Dinner Table Forum
It took me a while to find it and then only through this blog. But once I worked out how to use it, it was like an Aladdins cave of advice and help – and more importantly to read and think, Wow, it’s not just us, then.
Outstanding Contribution Award
This year, the award is shared amongst a number of people, the vast majority of whom I’ve never met. Miranda, Charlotte, Laura, Sara, Lady Em, Amy, Beth, Nancy, Little Em, Thinky, Mandy, Gaby, Hannah, Lucy, Meg, Katrina – as I have stumbled and swerved through a hugely difficult year, you have been cheerleaders, friends and an endless support of help, advice and inspiration. Perhaps the most important thing to say, is that I felt despairing, terrified and hopeless at times, but thanks to all of you, I never felt alone.
There, that didn’t take long – and not a designer dress in sight. Thank goodness.