So, I don’t wanna pauschalisieren or anything but, basically, Good Mums do the following things:
- take their kids swimming
- take their kids to Mitmachtheaters
- take their kids to the library
- take their kids to Mitmachmuseums
Bad Mums, on the other hand, do the following things:
- Poetry Slams
- leave their kids with three different people in one week, so that they can perform in Lesebühnes and/or Poetry Slams
- buy their kid, afterwards, as a reward for General Bad Mumishness a) the entire High School Musical Trilogy and b) Stars Wars DVDs from Media Markt. Don’t get too het-up about the Star Wars thing, by the way. It’s a U in England. Fucking chill out, to quote Catherine Tate’s nan.
Guess what? Am sick of being a Bad Mum. So, I had nothing to do on a Sunday and a brilliant idea. I would take him to the zoo. The Tierpark one, out in the sticks. You have to understand, last time I took him to the Tierpark it kind of ended in disaster. It rained. A lot. And we couldn’t find the monkey house. The Tierpark zoo is one of the best zoos I have ever been to in my life, but it is very big, and it was kind of hard to find the monkeys. And Rico really, really likes monkeys. I was kind of in despair. We kept on ending up at those sea-cows thing place, and God, they’re disgusting. I know you’re meant to find nature beautiful and magnificent and stuff, and, mostly, despite being a Hauptstadtkind, I do. I’m all into hills, mountains, lakes, trees, all that kind of shit. If I spend enough time in a forest, I get all Anne of Green Gables about it and start believing in God and stuff. But those sea-cows. They’re fucking disgusting. They look worse than I did, pregnant. YUCK. Rico wasn’t gonna be palmed off with some sea-cows. So you know what I did? I told him these awful rodent creatures – God, they were also fairly hideous – tiny little rodent things with human hands, freaky human hands and their tiny babies stuck to their necks like leeches – I told him they were baby monkeys. He bought it, as well. Well, I think he did, anyways.
But this time, I was determined to be a Good Mum, and although the weather wasn’t fantastic, it wasn’t raining, so we trooped around the park like we were doing our Militärdienst. I was feeling really smug afterwards, I can tell you.
“What animals did we see at the zoo, today?” I asked Rico on the S-Bahn home.
“Elephants,” he said. “And cows, and snakes.”
“And crocodiles,” I added.
“And alligators,” he said.
“And secretary birds,” I said.
“And tigers,” he said, “and flamingos and camels and hyaenas and wolves.”
“And goats,” I said.
“And polar bears.”
“And duckies and pigs.”
Rico stopped suddenly. He looked at me, all puzzled. “What is it in German, Mum, porcupine?”
“You know,” I said, gently. “The spiky one. A Stachelschwein. We saw them after we looked at the flamingos.”
Rico scoffed. “No, Mum! We didn’t see the porcupines. We just looked at their cage, where they live. But they weren’t there.”
I felt my face turning to stone. I was like the White Witch when she realizes Spring is coming and her poisonous dwarf mentions Aslan to her.
“They were asleep in the corner,” I whispered to him frantically.
“Oh.” He shrugged. “I thought we were just looking at their cage.”
Sometimes. I. Literally. Don’t Know. Why I FUCKING Bother.