A Post-it note on a bottle of Chateau Tesco in the fridge reads 'not for you Mummy'



22:57 GMT, 19 September 2012

Booze free: Lorraine's daughters don't believe she can give up wine for a month (posed by model)

Booze free: Lorraine's daughters don't believe she can give up wine for a month (posed by model)

There is a new note Sellotaped to our fridge. It’s a slightly crumpled Post-it which reads, ‘I don’t think so, Mum,’ in childish writing. Inside the fridge there is another yellow Post-it on a bottle of white wine (4.99, supermarket offer). This note says: ‘Not for you, Mummy.’

As my girls get older (they are ten and eight), nothing gives them more pleasure than poking fun at Mum. I’m a constant source of free entertainment for the cheeky duo because I’m prone to pronouncements which are easily parodied. Frankly, I’m a comedic gift for anyone with a sense of humour (as I’m sure you’ll agree).

So when I announced one morning last week that I would give up drinking for a month, those under 5ft snorted with laughter.

It’s the fashion shows, and as I will be working 12 hours a day for 22 days in a row across three countries, from now on I reckon going teetotal is the only way to do that efficiently.

Exhaustion often leads to bad decisions. ‘Tiredness can kill, take a break’ as the motorway sign reads.

So I’m taking a break from the booze. No wine downtime for me: that way I’ll manage the work-vs-family balance better, and it will all be less stressful, won’t it

And I won’t get so emotional about those few nights away from the children (baby Mabel especially). I’ll be on top physical form, with a clear mind and a healthy liver. Virtually an Olympian. Or so the conversation in my head goes.

My daughters delight in these frequent new proclamations of intent. They raise their note-writing to an admirable new level of subversive and rebellious mickey-taking.

They even made me an ‘alcohol alert’ card, which they pinned to the kitchen noticeboard over the domestic to-do list.


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It had pictures of things I could drink (water, apple juice) and pictures of things I couldn’t (wine, gin, beer), an idiot’s guide, if you like (visitors now assume I have just returned from a stint of rehab at The Priory).

The girls demanded to know if they could tweet the card and encourage followers to support me in my booze ban. This is nothing new.

Once they put masking tape over the biscuit tin to prevent me snaffling HobNobs during my New Year sugar ban, writing, ‘A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips,’ on a sticky label.

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My favourite note in recent times is the one they put on my underwear drawer after I accidentally bought ten pairs of knickers in the wrong size during a rushed lunchtime dash to Marks & Spencer. It said: ‘Granny pants.’

Sometimes they write ransom notes for my belongings (keys mostly, because I am always losing them) and make their five-year-old brother sign them.

Obviously when he learns to read better, this will have to stop.
But mostly they are making fun of my Bridget Jones-style proclamations that I will behave better tomorrow, be healthier, work harder etc etc — self-indulgent silliness that has become a distraction technique from the job in hand.

Along with most working mums, I know I have a neurotic sense of utter failure most of the time anyway, so this emotional nitwittery obviously doesn’t help ease maternal stress.

Because I am at one with the absurdity of the situation, I welcome the children’s funny little notes.

Actually, I welcome anything that stops them watching TV and can be viewed as sibling bonding, given how rare that is with the sisters.

It reminds me not to take anything too seriously, and I know they are only teasing.

They don’t write notes that make them giggle for ages on the stairs for Mr Candy. He is a figure of authority in the house. I seem to command about the same respect as Homer Simpson — which is fine by me because it makes us all laugh.

Laughing is good for families, so I embrace the witty literary exploration of my miniature Dorothy Parkers.

And remember, as Homer Simpson once said: ‘As far as anyone else knows, we are a nice, normal family.’

Lorraine Candy is Editor in Chief of ELLE magazine.