People say to me “Why are you so angry at Instagram, Janine? What did the peonies, woolly clothing, personalised mugs and letterboard messages ever do to you?”.
Well, let me just say I’m not angry at Instagram all the time. Just around 90% of the time. To reduce my Instagram Anger Issues, I unfollowed everyone apart from meme accounts and the people who are raising my adorable nieces and nephews. But sometimes when I’m putting a post on the business account, I’ll have an ‘oul scroll through InstaLand and my head goes like that exploding emoji, and I say things like “Who the actual hell has time to put all of those letters on a letterboard for an Instagram post?”, or “Who the actual hell has a husband who will take photos of them looking serenely out the window/the sea/a forest path/a hipster coffee shop?”, and “Who the actual hell has enough time and money to buy ‘twinning’ outfits for their kids?”. I barely have the time or money to do seasonal wardrobe swaps for my kids - I’m almost always playing catch-up with their growth spurts. Have you any idea how difficult it is keeping up with three different sizes and speeds of growth spurt? I’d need a spreadsheet or something, and that wouldn’t work either as I can’t read spreadsheets.
I was just about caught up on growth spurts last month when each kid came to me with a request. Kid One wanted an Eleven Degrees hoodie (I had to google it), Kid Two wanted the latest Jake Paul merch, and Kid Three said he would be needing a new winter coat for the neighbour’s dog chewed the arm off his last one (of course it did). So I get on the internet and get all the requests ordered. No sooner do the packages arrive and all I hear is complaints from Team Turd:
“Mum this T-shirt is down past my knees! It looks like a dress! I can’t tuck it in - you can see it now through my tracksuit bottoms. But if you cut a bit off the bottom, the logo will be gone! Never mind, I’ll wear it as a pyjama top.”
“Er, Mum what size did you order my hoodie in? Well, I’m not likely to grow THAT much in the next 6 months. Never mind, I’ll wear it when I’m 26.”
“Mum my arms don’t reach the end of my coat sleeves! Never mind…”
Such blatant ungratefulness! All I want is to get more than 3 months wear out of an item of clothing - is that too much to ask? So no, there are no cute woollen outfits here, no twinning and no seasonal colour palettes. There are hand-me-downs and you’ll-grow-into-it, and I’m not even angry about it.
Things I am somewhat perturbed about (not even angry):
• The mass murder of Elf on The Shelf. What was a lovely family run business in America, a sweet (if not incredibly creepy) idea with a cute doll and book and genius bribery tactic for the entire of December has been absolutely butchered by mass production. I was in The Range the other day and watched two kids hand pick their own elves from this offensive display of fake Elf on the Shelf dolls. I yelled “You stupid, stupid little people. Don’t you know that you shouldn’t touch the elves? They are dead now. You’ve murdered them with your child hands. Santa will find out, and you will get bugger all squared for Christmas you terrible, terrible murderous elf-touching turds.” I remembered to yell it inside my head, thankfully.
• Disorganised teens. I just sent this note into school, and I’m not even angry about it.
• Other people having their shit together. My shit is very much apart. My hair is too long, and I can’t find time to get it cut, so I look like I’m about to found or join a cult. My skin needs some serious attention. That’s never happening. My to-do list just keeps on keeping on, and nothing ever gets ticked off. When I was folding the washing yesterday, I noticed that there were no clean knickers in Will’s pile which begged the question “Did he not wear pants at all last week or has he hidden the dirty pants somewhere to avoid the three steps to the wash basket?”. Neither answer is good news. I absolutely know I have to exercise someday soon - either that or unfollow The Body Coach and pretend that burpees are no longer a thing people do. Out of sight, out of mind. I should probably read more and write more and digest Intelligent Opinion Pieces instead of watching videos about dogs on The Dodo. I’m not learning every day. I’m not getting fitter every day. I’m not becoming better every day.
I’ll put it all on the to-do list. I’m definitely not even angry about it.
To end this post, here’s some of my finest work on Instagram. Winning at that Lifestyle Influencer Status with posts like these!