Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Balls of a Meaty Nature

Oh yes - another post about balls. But meatballs this time.

Let me explain.

I get quite a few comments about this blog from women who have young/youngish children and they are usually along the lines of 'you make us feel normal' or 'you make us feel better' (I kind of take this as 'how ever much of a pig's ear we think we are making of it, hey, it's nothing like the chaos of your life, phew!') or 'it's so reassuring, you know, to hear I'm not the only one!'.

I sometimes wonder why other mother's don't realise that everyone is making it up as they go along and however organised and fastidious they are (and I'm neither of those things) having kids means that, sometimes, things will just turn to custard. However hard you to try to control it - chaos will sometimes just erupt out of nowhere and that is just the way it is. These days there is a ridiculous amount of pressure to do it all 'perfectly'. To feed your kids the perfect diet, to manage their behaviour in a way that ticks every box in the latest 'must-have' parenting book, to stimulate them in an educational way for hours everday. I look back at the way it was back in the 70's (when I was born) and we all seemed to run around the garden naked swigging Ribena and eating Custard Creams - occasionally popping inside to be hypnotised by children's TV programmes written by people who had taken too much Acid (or maybe that was just my childhood?). My mum would find one thing we'd eat and give it to us EVERY day for tea, until the sight of it made us vomit - and her idea of a successful day was getting to 6pm without opening the wine. Anyway - it wasn't bad! My mum was a very good mum!

Sometimes we try too hard and you know what, sometimes it's just not worth it.

To illustrate this point lets take today:

Today I decided to give my children meatballs for lunch. Now if you are going to give a child meatballs for lunch you have 3 main choices:

1. Go to Ikea.

2. Go to the supermarket, buy a packet of meatballs (you can buy organic ones made from happy-cows if you so wish), put the oven on, put meatballs in oven, take them out and put them on a plate, serve them, children eat them happily, the end.


3. Have an attack of the guilts that everybody else's child has a better diet than yours and you are slovenly wreck of a slut (in the old fashioned sense of the word) too busy blogging, laughing at their neighbour's getting humped by large dogs and opening the eyes of Virgin Engineers to whole new worlds...... Thus you decide to make meatballs and save your children from whatever fate awaits children who don't get homemade meatballs (I'm not sure what this, but no doubt The Daily Mail will think of something).

Making meatballs is not hard. Unless you have two very lively children under the age of 5 who take advantage of you being up to your elbows in raw meat and milk the opportunity for all it is worth.

It goes something like this:

First you have to get the mince and crush it all up in your hands to mush it up and make it pliable. I hate doing this - it makes me feel sick. See how I suffer for my kids?

Then you have to shape your balls. Mine kept turning out too big so I kept having to chop them in half and redo them (nobody wants a plateful of mammoth balls they can't get in their mouth).

Whilst doing this, you realise the baby has gone very quiet so turn around and see he's given up waiting for balls and has managed to open the freezer door and is busily scooping out the icy snow like substance that is filling most of the top shelf (does this mean it needs defrosting? When am I supposed to do that?) into his mouth. 'Arrrrghhhh' you groan and push him away with your foot (remember - you can't use your hands - they are coated in raw flesh). 'Waaaaaaaa' he cries - furious that he won't get to experience the delights of frostbite first hand.

He then spots the bananas in the fruit bowl. 'NANA NANA NANA' he starts up. 'NO' you say - all strict-mother-who-will-follow-through-with-her-promises. 'You will have to wait'. 'NANA NANAAAAAAAA' he yells. 'I said NO' you say. He starts to scream - like a sort of roaring war cry. You can not listen to that - not for another second - so you carefully wash your hands and peel him a bloody banana.

He goes off into the front room with it (no doubt to grind it into the carpet or insert into the DVD player).

You go back to ball shaping.

2 minutes later you hear Son No. 1 telling the baby: 'Look what you need to do to get more power in the TV is get this cable with the metal bit sticking out of the end and stick it in HERE - look like THIS!'.

The 'oh my god the kid's are going to kills themselves' radar picks up and you run into the living room, leaving a trail of raw meat sprinkles behind you, to see that Son No. 1 has found some random cable behind the TV (I think it's a sort of aerial from the pre-cable television days) and is carefully trying to insert it into a small hole on the front of TV.

I have no idea why he decided this was a good idea. I mean the kid is safety mad. His favourite bedtime story is Network Rail's pamphlet about safety around railways - particularly the section on the dangers of electrocution and being killed by cables.

Anyway, you find yourself screaming NOOOOOO and meaty-hands and all throwing yourself across the cable/child/baby/TV and making the children cry.

A strict talking to later, you are back at the balls.

1 minute later: 'mummy I need a wee - NOW!'.

'Well off you go then!'.

'No - I can't do it, it's too near the end of my willy, you have to help me!'.

'I can't help you, I'm covered in raw meat! Do you hear me RAW MEAT! GERMS!'.

'But I can't do it - my arms are too tired'.


'But why?'.



Off he goes upstairs.

10 seconds later he lets rip a hideous cry:


You run upstairs, fast.

It turns out that he didn't have gangrene - he had new dark grey pants on and the colour and some dark fluff had transferred itself onto his genitals. So you are back to washing your hands, again and dealing with the 'problem'.....and then back to shaping your balls.

About an hour later the balls are finally on the table.

And do you think they are greeted with cries of 'oh mummy, you are the greatest! Thank you SO much for your amazing efforts you have put in. We SO appreciate it!'.


They are greeted with cries of 'Oh mummy, why aren't these balls like the ones in Ikea? I don't like them!'.

Can you hear me screaming!?

Annabel Bloody Karmel never says anything in her books about cooking whilst dealing with babies in freezers, potential electrocution and black willies.

Do you feel better now? ;)


  1. Oh I thought it was just me....I too have found myself up to my elbows in mince and I'M A SODDING VEGETARIAN FOR GOODNESS SAKE....and breathe, and relax....

  2. I feel so much better thank you..... don't feel back about the fairy cakes that I forgot to put sugar in now!