A Mug on the shelf

Mug had always been a mug. She wished and dreamed as she progressed through adult life that she could be a fine china Tea Cup with a handsome china Saucer, alas this was not to be. Mug had no Saucer, for she had once belonged to the hand of a man called Victor who loved beer, gambling and other Mugs. Victor enjoyed making four more monsters but as we know from Frankenstein, Victors tended to fuck off and not do an awful lot of parenting, which had he spent more time doing so, he would have found out that they were funny and clever with the option of becoming the finest china in the world. Just before adolescence hit the eldest child, just before the first monster truly manifested, Victor popped Mug onto the shelf: ‘I like other Mugs, so here you shall sit forever because no one will want a Mug with five children’ he said fiendishly. Mug was still full of hope, but 11 years later it turned out that Victor was right, but this didn’t deter her from trying to ensure that her now adolescent monsters would have to endure the same Mug life she had.

Mug had fixed ideas on how she should raise teenagers; in her eyes her mother had been too slack in her parenting methods which is why Mug ended up in this mess, so strict was clearly the answer. Skinny Bumble Bee – the eldest monster child was a relative breeze in comparison to Frankenstein’s monster Mug had read about; she tried drinking once to the point she was sick; she tried smoking and she once, maybe twice nicked Mug’s debit card to top up her phone to the sum of £100. Mug thought this was bad, however out of a grand total of 5-6 adolescent years this was all that happened.

Along came Leroy; daughter number two. Strict worked last time, Strict shall work again. Mug gave curfews, Mug gave consequences, Mug nailed windows shut, Mug was at a loss. Strict Smug Mug parenting didn’t work. Leroy eloped out of a small bathroom window and scaled a decidedly ropy back fence and disappeared into the night; she smoked, she drank and she even consumed weed and passed out in an alley. This child beared a worrying resemblance to the 19th Century Monster and Mug wondered if this could be the Monster reincarnate? Mug was broken. Not even the deliciously hot men in uniform who came to her door to find Leroy could successfully piece her back together again. From this period forward, Mug would never hold the same amount of parental smugness or parental strictness ever again, because Strict was clearly not working. Never again did Mug judge other Mugs for not being Strict enough, for not spending enough time with their precious monsters. It was clear in her mind that something else was at play here.

Boy child number three ‘Dude’ didn’t warrant the monster analogy; Mug remembers when he once, before adolescence, tried to stab SBB with a fork because she wouldn’t leave him alone, and there was a time when he tried to whack Roo with his Lanzarote base ball bat, but by and large this child adored his mother – not fucked up Oedipal Normal Bates shit – but ‘mum (because that’s what he called her) can you tie up the bin bag so I can take it out please’ or ‘can I help you with dinner?’ Mug felt he was her oasis in the desert of coarse sandy Oestrogen which pervaded every conversation she held with fellow grown-ups.

Even Dude struggled in an all girl household, especially with the she devil Roo who had battered her bedroom door off in a fit of rage. Dude would keep out of the way to avoid the screaming Tasmania Devil. Roo benefited from Mug’s new Don’t-Give-a-Fuck parenting as she was next in line to bear the brunt. This consisted of letting her go to friends’ for drinks. In the short space of 5 years since Leroy’s escapades the linguistic landscape had mutated once again; Mug was now faced with having to know the difference between a ‘party’ and a ‘small gathering’, the later apparently being more of a piss up than a party:

‘Efan is….’


‘Whatever – Ethan is having a party at his, so I’m going’ Roo informed Mug.

‘Don’t you think you ought to ask me first’ said Mug.

‘Yeah well you didn’t let me go to the last party and EVERYONE else is going. He asked me when we was in town..’

‘We WERE’ exclaimed Mug indignantly, for nothing gripped her shit more than poor grammar coming from her monsters.

‘Yeah alright spelling Nazi.’


Roo attended parties, she hung out in town and God forbid she also spent time with Mug and nothing, nothing horrendous happened. She came home alive, she continued to go to school and do well. Maybe Giving-Less-of-a-Fuck was the way to go thought Mug, although she continued to monitor the situation in preparation for the Adorable Pickle.

The Adorable Pickle was the baby of the family. Mug still squished and snuggled her like she was kitten even though she had started secondary school. Mug had been warned several times not to call her ‘Pickle’ – for that was not her real name – in front of school friends who came over to play…I mean hang out. Pickle was still at the age where she enjoyed school but she was slowly, as the others did, breaking away from Mug. This made Mug sad. Even though Mug had been looking forward to having some sort of life with fewer demands, she didn’t quite realise that snuggles would be confined to first thing in the morning and bed time and with only a very quick kiss when dropped her at school.

New challenges awaited Mug as her monsters grew from banshees to functioning adults.



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