When I was One Mean Little Girl, I spent my every hour at my mother’s side in a scene of domestic idyll: handing her pegs to hang the washing, cutting out scones with my fat little hands, licking cake mix from the bowl, dying from boredom in the wool shop, standing on a chair to be pricked like a voodoo doll with sewing pins, and lingering for hours in a fug of cigarette smoke and black coffee steam, repeating, “Mummy, mummy, mummy…” as I tried to get a word in edgeways between her and Mrs Harley from across the road.
She was the consummate housewife and I watched her and learned. I was fascinated by the tools of the trade: the giant weapon-like rolling pin, the mysteriously numbered knitting needles, the frankly terrifying pressure cooker hissing in the corner like a malignant kitchen goblin. The thing I wanted badly though was the stitch ripper from the sewing box. Its bright yellow plastic concealed a shiny bit which was Very Sharp And Very Dangerous. I wasn't even allowed to look at it too closely, never mind touch it. When in adulthood I bought my own, for weeks I was too scared to use it...
Now my own 3-year-old spends his days at my side, watching and learning in a scene of domestic squalor, mostly. I’m not the housewife my mother was but I’ve got a few skills and let me tell you my heart swelled with pride when he beseeched me one day, “Mammy, my NEED a spanner like Mammy’s big shiny one. Mammy, make me a boy’s spanner.”
Now, I'm sure such a thing could be bought but would I, the Mean Housewife shell out? Not likely.
And so began my career in crapmazing cardboard toy manufacture. When he is a man I will show him the things I made and how much he loved and played with them (he honestly does) and he will laugh to see how much he truly wasn’t spoiled.
"Mammy, my need a car park." (£0.00p):
"Mammy, my need a tunnel." Finish is everything; I took a fairly minimalist approach to that. He honestly said, "Ooh it's a beautiful blue one with numbers!" (£0.00p):
And the original and best, "Mammy my need a spanner." Just look at the Sellotape work on that. (£0.00p):
I think you'll agree that the quality is second to none, and there really is nothing like a handmade gift. What a lucky boy.
One Mean Housewife prices up a wooden railway tunnel JUST FOR SHITS AND GIGGLES.