Known to some as "Sporty Spice" and others as "Scarlet's mum", Melanie C talks about her daughter's squeaky voice, escaping to the gym and why mums deserve a big thank you
When MFM sat down with mum and former Spice Girl Melanie C, 38, one chilly March afternoon, we had a great chat about thanking mums for giving birth (yeh!) while she also revealed her plans for daughter Scarlet while she's away working
You're about to launch a new album and tour. Does Scarlet come with you when you're working? "Scarlet can come along sometimes but often it’s not really fair for her to traipse around just to sit in a hotel room while I’m busy all day.
"We work out which trips are fun for her and which aren’t and for those, there’s Skype. I Skype every day when I’m away, which is brilliant. Talking to her on the phone is really cute anyway but being able to see her is just so much more.
"At her age children are just so cool. As long as they’re happy and fed and someone they like is looking after them (usually Melanie’s mum or her partner Thomas Starr) they just get on with it."
Will Scarlet follow in your musical footsteps? "Well at the age she’s at, kids’ voices are just a bit squeaky so it’s hard to tell! She’s just started singing songs, and it’s the funniest thing ever. What really makes me laugh is when she sort of learns the song but doesn’t really know the words so just muddles along making noises that sort of sound like the tune.
"Before your child goes to nursery she only learns from you and from you two being at home together all day. And then she comes back from nursery and knows all these songs and I just think, ‘Oh my baby’s learning things from other people now!’. Out of the blue, she’ll start singing Tulips from Amsterdam but they changed the words because we live in Hampstead so they sing Tulips from Hampstead Heath, which I thought was very funny."
Do you get any me-time?"I manage. I have always worked out, that’s always been a big thing for me, so when I need some time to think or just be myself I go running or go to the gym. Getting me-time out of my work-out probably saves me a bit of time, too."
Are you hoping for a rest this Mother’s Day?"I remember when I was little making my mum breakfast in bed, which she recently told me was always hideous but she ate it anyway, of course! I think it’s really important to just let your mum put her feet up and make her a cup of tea.
"All I want is to be with my little girl and my mum. The last two years we’ve spent it together, the three of us. It’s quite a nice tradition I’d like to keep up."
How can partners help their children spoil mum in a way she’d like?"Ooo, they’ve got a big responsibility! No matter how much you say you’re not bothered, you do expect quite a good gift, don’t you? Especially when your children are quite young because the birth is still quite fresh in your mind and you’re thinking, ‘Well look, this is what I did for you!’
"If they’ve done something together, that’s really cute, like they’ve gone out to pick some flowers together or gone to buy a card or chocolates and you know they’ve been thinking about you, that’s really sweet."
Do you think mums are taken for granted?"The thing about being a mum is that you will do anything for your child without a second thought. And personally I don’t thank my mum enough, because it just makes it even more worth doing if you feel appreciated as well."
How do you get Scarlet to say thank you?"It takes you ages to get them to do it and do it at the right time and then when it does, the over-use is even cuter. You know, you change her nappy, and get a ‘thank you’.
"When your child is quite young, the experience that I’m having now with Scarlet, you’re giving to her constantly and she's learning from you and mimicking what you do. You really get what you put in at that age but as you get older and you get wrapped up in your own thing, I think that’s maybe when you forget to say thanks."
You’re involved in a campaign "Thank you, Mum" to get everyone appreciating their mums more this year. Tell us more..."I love this campaign because we have Mother’s Day every year and we do our best but it’s just making sure everyone realises that what mums do is so important. And it’s in a really fun way because you can make your own video or send a cute picture. It’s really flexible and lets you get your message across in your own way.
"Plus, you get the chance to win four tickets to the Olympics, which are like gold dust!"
Melanie C is working with P&G to encourage you to say ‘Thank you, Mum’ - something that might just win you family tickets to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. To enter, visit youtube.com/pg
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