What It’s All About: Being Happy

Written Autumn 2014

Daughter and dogs wrapped in blankets and towels, snuggled up in the back of the car, munching snacks after a long walk in the fresh air collecting sticks, shouting at clouds and of course jumping in muddy puddles. Dirty, naked and happy.


A fleeting moment of simple contentment, you just have to breathe and suck it all right in…

Well, not exactly.

Before you sneer at something that sounds like made-up-trite perfect-life-and-beautiful-kids Mummy-blog imagery, here’s the reality:

1) daughter has yelled “ASS SHAKE!” – her almost-obscenity of choice – at everyone who has passed us by, and/or she has barked at them,

2) the dogs have barked at everyone that the daughter failed to, and have big-time rolled in shit,

3) the blanket is not fluffy and soft, it has dried dog sick on it; the towels are stinking and slightly mouldy from sitting wet in a bag in the car for the past two weeks since the husband and daughter last went swimming,

4) the back of the car is a rubbish dump – darling daughter is barely visible above all the detritus and wrappers she’s previously discarded – and the snack is not a homemade muffin, it’s not even fruit, it is a family-sized packet of crisps.

5) the crisps were deployed as the most effective way to stop the hysterical screaming triggered by my decree that we are not going to bring home the handfuls of collected sticks (“but they are my FRIENDS and they have SPIRITS and we CAN’T JUST LEAVE THEM TO DIE!”), plus

6) shouting at clouds might sound romantic but remember: we’re shouting “ASS SHAKE!” today, and “darling look at that cloud, what do you think it looks like?” as a pathetic attempt at distraction just resulted in a temporary switch to “BOOBIES!” and then there’s our great challenge,

7) sensory processing disorder, more specifically acute tactile defensiveness, meaning that whilst I was suitably dressed in mac and wellies, the little one’s attire for the muddy rainy walk consisted of a DIY crop top (a vest hacked off at the midriff with kitchen scissors and decorated with felt tip pens), shortie pajama bottoms and a rancid pair of flip-flops.

But even when life really gets under my skin, I only have to think back to sitting in that steamed-up car, looking at those sparkling eyes and rosy cheeks and remember that we were very happy.

To be honest, I’m lucky, I’m generally happy. Being happy is important. All kudos to Pharrell for reminding the rest of the miserable world.

So that’s what it’s all about, really. Generally, the house, car, dogs and daughter are dirty, the daughter is also naked, but we’re happy.

9 thoughts on “What It’s All About: Being Happy

      1. I’m trying & failing to picture solo bachata..:p
        Happy is the best response IMO, not because of, not inspire of, but as a brave step into another state, independant of.


  1. You beautiful woman, I worked with these kids in a group home and workshop setting.
    You my dear are doing a wonderful job…. And so glad you can share, what a great number of people do not understand is the hilarity of it all, a little girl barking or repeating ass what ever. I used to laugh until I cried… Enjoy your little girl

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Powerful writing. “But even when life really gets under my skin, I only have to think back to sitting in that steamed-up car, looking at those sparkling eyes and rosy cheeks and remember that we were very happy.” A reminder to all of us that life is about the moments.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am so relieved to have found you. Where have you been hiding ? : )) Your life sounds rather like mine and god knows I try to keep a sense of humour about it all, but there are just too many black rubbish bags lying around my house filled with every piece of discarded , but highly emotionally attached, wrapper, cereal box, juice bottle, nut shell, used tissue etc, etc. The piles of gathered befriended ( saved ) sticks are a health and safety hazard, 150 teddies ( and counting ) , each with name and personality , fill every corner of floor space and the sheer quantity of different meals I make per day to satisfy the picky appetite are making me lose the will to step into the kitchen. Unfortunately my 12 year old has discovered the joys of the “F word” , which now gets used on things living and dead . I’d be most happy to have “ass shake ” bandied around the house to be honest, after all it’s a lot less harsh than “effing idiot.” : )) . Your house and car sound fabulously similar , how thoroughly comforting, thank you. I love your poem and shared it with my friends on Facebook. Most of them didn’t know my son has ASD ( they all live far away ), so it seemed a good time to come out and tell them with your poem. I look forward to future posts from you. Maybe we’ll bump into you in Croydon one day ( we’re just down the drag in Caterham ). Happy mothering…….


    1. Thanks for this! Made me smile (in the right way, I hope!) – glad the poem helped too – it’s hard when people don’t know you’re dealing with ASD, can’t believe you’ve carried that alone for so long! I do regularly bin the “you can never throw that away!” stuff when someone isn’t looking, sometimes I get yelled at for it, sometimes worse, but I just cannot bear to let it accumulate… but it’s hard though. I make up huge elaborate stories about accidents but now she’s getting older she’s less believing… Some things I lie about and say we’re just putting it in the loft to make space… but the loft is already full of all the other stuff we can’t get rid of!!!!!


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