Wednesday, 18 September 2013


Well I haven't managed to blog for quite some time - apparently having a one year old, a two year old*, a dog and returning to work doesn't leave an awful lot of time for hilarious musings on t'internet. I'm hoping my blog wasn't just a project for maternity leave as I want to keep it up so my children can laugh about how incompetent I was in the future, and I have written evidence to excuse my future actions. (I can't wait for Mattie to have his first hangover. I will be in his room every two hours throughout the night shouting "I'm hungry! I'm cold! I'm thirsty!" And then I will make him get up at 5am to make me breakfast). 
As well as thoroughly neglecting my blog, I have found my return to work has seen me swiftly slip sliding headlong into slummy mummyhood. If I was a tad haphazard before, I'm now positively disastrous. Mattie had his first birthday party at the weekend, a lovely if slightly chaotic day full of children, cake and far too many presents. On waking up on his birthday morning, I realised I hadn't bought him a birthday card. I do realise he can't read yet, but I've saved all their birthday cards for the future so they can grumble "we're not girls mum, what the hell do you want us to do with this? sit and look delightedly through a scrapbook full of their birthday memories in years to come. So there probably ought to be a card from his actual parents in there somewhere. I will find time, at some point, to retrospectively write one.
 Poor M is definitely feeling the pinch of being the second born, and having a part time working mummy. We went for a walk in the woods the other day, where a lovely well meaning lady laughed at the fact that he was toddling about in his socks, and sympathised with me having a child similar to her own who kicked off when we tried to get their shoes on. I just laughed along and neglected to mention that I haven't actually bought him any yet. The shame. If there are other working mummies reading this post, I'd love to know how you fit everything in. We seem to be existing purely on a diet of fish fingers and cbeebies. I turn up at work, my brand new, should-be-on-top-form-to-impress-colleagues work, with dried weetabix and snot crusted to the side of my face. Which of course they are all far too polite to point out, and I discover at ten thirty, having already greeted all the parents and had a chat with the head. It's a good job I'm not easily embarrassed.
Onwards and upwards!

*My boys are 21 months apart. This means for three and a half months of the year, if I tell people their ages, they sound even closer. For the months of September, October, November and December I will be dropping into every conversation, whether its appropriate or not, that I have a two year old and a one year old. If I'm going to be stupid enough to have my children close together, I'm damn well going to get maximum sympathy/admiration for it whenever possible. "Yes I will sign for this parcel Mr Postman. Do you know who else likes to sign for things? My two year old and my one year old." "No, checkout lady, I don't have a loyalty card. Do you know who else doesn't have a loyalty card? My two year old and my one year old." You get the idea.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Room 101

The lovely Charlotte at Distressed Housewife tagged me in to the Room 101 meme, started by Stickers Stars and Smiles, and as being sarcastic and moaning are my absolute two favourite things to do, I jumped right on it. There have been a few of these now, all of which are a lot funnier than the one you are about to read, so have a look at the other links if you fancy a giggle. 
I have three things to banish into Room 101, and I'm going to kick off with my most controversial one, that will instantly get the backs up of 50% of the people reading it. Here goes.

1. Cats. I know, I know, a lot of people love them. But seriously? The little feckers make direct, prolonged eye contact with you. They just stare. And see into your very soul. This is not in a good way. Whatever you cat owners think they are thinking, they are NOT sensing that you are a little down today, and planning a purr and a cuddle on your lap for therapy. They are plotting ways to bring you down and then kill you. And they don't like you. Cats don't like anyone. My spaniel greets me every time I come in the room by haring around trying to find me a present. Usually a shoe. Even if I've literally walked out, and then walked back in again. She bloody loves me. I will accept that this also probably means she's a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic, but I'm happy with that. Why would I live with a pet that is a) more intelligent than me and b) wants to kill me? Why?

2. Mike The Knight. I had a few issues choosing this irritating little brat, as cbeebies is positively swimming with them. I've already said my piece about Postman Pat, world's crappiest postman, in another post. Mike is the one I shall banish forever. For teaching my sons and any other under five that basically life is all about behaving as brattishly (real word) as possible at all times, and then when it all goes tits up making a half arsed attempt at sorting out your mess and apologising for it afterwards. "Hey kids! Do whatever the hell you like! Smear poo on the walls! As long as you use a biro afterwards to colour eyes on it and make a turdy hedgehog mural everything is OK!"

3. Rides outside shops. I have a little secret. I am one of those mothers. I wore my babies in a sling, I feed them home cooked organic food, and I knit them jumpers out of my own hair. One of those isn't true. I also only let them watch cbeebies because I don't want them exposed to adverts. I love plonking them in front of the TV so I can play candy crush  make them dinner as much as the next person, but I just hate hate adverts aimed at children. I was also under the foolish misguided impression that if my sons don't watch adverts, I will avoid the whiney "I want I want I want" requests surrounding toys etc. It was working wonderfully, until J worked out that the ride on machines outside shops were there for him. Now I am that mother with the child screaming "I don't want to go home! I want to ride on noddy/thomas/scoop for the 400th time" that I used to pity and swear I would never be. 

And breathe. That was fun. I now tag in the lovely @Redpeffer at

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

An answer for everything

I popped in to my new place of work today. Everyone was very lovely, very welcoming, and I'm truly looking forward to starting in September. However, being the new girl after seven years in the same job is uber wierd. I don't know where anything is. I took a wrong turn every time I left a room I was in, and had to pretend I had walked down the corridor and back again for a Very Important Reason. I picked stuff up to sort it, then just sort of, put it back, because I didn't really know what to do with it. I don't do well in this sort of situation - I like to be in control, sure of myself, and lets face it, a bit bossy. 

So I have decided to adopt my eldest sons method of dealing with life, and have a few key answers to any question or situation. I'm quite confident they will get me through any tricky spots.

J's Method of Dealing With Awkward Questions: 
Me: "Why are you squashing your brother between the sofa cushions?" 
J:"Because it's brilliant". 
Quite confident I can breezily shout "because it's brilliant!" When someone questions why I have announced I am off to the staff room and instead have walked in to the toilets three times in a row.

J's Method of Getting Your Own Way: 
Me: "J, I have asked you not to eat that play dough/throw things at the dog/dig up my plants/ wee on the floor..." 
J: "Mummy, go and make yourself a cup of tea/go and sit down/go inside".
This is NOT done in a caring suggesting type of voice, it is barked at full volume. The aim is to order the offending person OUT of your airspace so you can continue misbehaving. I'm hopeful that my lovely new colleagues will respond to me shouting "go into the staff room IMMEDIATELY!" In their faces to cover up the fact that I'm a bit lost and therefore not actually doing anything constructive. They'll love it.

J's Method of Not Doing As He's Told:
Me: "J, tidy up your toys please".
J: "Can't mummy, I'm too small. I'll tidy up when I'm a man".
I think, "I can't, I'm too new, I'll do it when I've been here a few years" will probably be my safety net for a while.

If all else fails, I'll go for a direct J quote of "I can't hear you, the clouds have fallen out the sky and got in my ears".

I might start J up as a motivational speaker. How To Progress In Your Career And Impress Your Lovely New Boss.

Monday, 29 July 2013

My children are mini evil geniuses

Geniuses? Geniui? I don't know what the plural of genius is, but I do know that my children are slowly plotting a military style coup and it will only be a matter of time before they BRING ME DOWN and are in full charge of the household, and Husband and I are locked in one room of the house, feeding on scraps that the boys occasionally push under the door. Think I'm overreacting? I've been stealthily observing their tactics over a number of months, taking notes with which to protect myself/use as leverage when we are held hostage. Take a look, and then try and tell me I'm overreacting;

Evidence A: Mealtimes. 
Around two hours before any mealtime, said children will start adopting their best bereft and unfed look, and whingeing about being hungry. J will sigh and give mummy a disappointed look when told what todays offering is. Both J and M will tuck in heartily when plates are proffered. I will spend five minutes carving a Phoenix rising from the ashes from a cucumber as requested by J, slicing my finger in my hurry to sit down with them so we are having a family mealtime and they are getting all the necessary skills to become fully functional members of society as adults, blah blah blah. As I sit down, mouths clamp shut. And I discover that they weren't actually scoffing down mummy's wonderful homemade food, they were lobbing it on the floor and feeding the dog. No amount of aeroplanes and funny voices will budge them. They are hanging on for the good stuff that mummy will inevitably crack and give them at the end - raisins, yoghurt, yoghurt covered raisins. Yoghurt with raisins sprinkled in. You get the idea. Slowly, meal by meal, showing mummy who's boss. Not mummy.

Evidence B: Bedtimes.
This is a torture technique that J has solely franchised out to M. Being the main perpetrator of the day time terror, J needs his beauty sleep, and happily conks out for twelve solid hours. Enter M, his willing protégée. This one is a corker - Jack Bauer would be quaking in his boots. It's the Pretend Sleep. This is how it goes down. 

Step One: Have milk feed. Fall fast asleep. Stay fast asleep until the very second you hit your cot mattress. Open eyes, wail. When mummy picks you up, fall asleep before she's even finished picking you up. A few seconds later, eyes open and wail. Next time, take a little longer to drift off. When mummy puts you down, eyes open. Repeat 5 - 7000 times. Then it's time to implement the next step.

Step Two: The 'Pretend Sleep' stage. This is the most important part to get right if you are truly going to break mummy. When you fully believe that stage one has got mummy at her wits end, pretend to fall asleep. This takes acting skills of the highest order. Get it right. Quiet, snuffly breathing. Delicately fluttering eyelids. A relaxed fart or two. Then wait till she sighs with exhausted relief and backs away. When she hits the doorway, eyes open and wail. Repeat 5 - 7000 times. Then the icing on top of the cake - repeat pretend sleep stage, but hold your nerve. Let mummy get down the hallway. Into her room. Into bed. Just drifting off to sleep........BAM. Eyes open and wail (An important note - it takes willpower to not actually fall asleep during this last manoeuvre. Stay strong).

Evidence C: Love.
While implementing all of the above and more, my children have ensured we unequivocally, without question, unconditionally, love them. They make us laugh, melt our hearts, learn

from us, teach us, make us cry, make every day better just by being there. They are wonderful, amazing and beautiful human beings.

Dammit they have won.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

And so it begins.....

Ah, hello toilet humour. I was wondering when it would surface, and It has begun. And I know enough grown up boys to know that once started, they never actually grow out of it. Poo, farts and willies are eternally funny if you are male. Much as I would like to rise above it though, I'm afraid I can't help but snigger when J waddles around the room playing his "bum drums" and singing "if you're a bottom and you know it do a trump, trump trump." But although I can allow myself a self indulgent smile when J sees how many times he can say "poo" in one small conversation, it has been causing some blushes out in public. We've been having another not-terribly-successful attempt at potty training, and with this gorgeous weather, J has been wandering around without a nappy on, and has rediscovered his 'bits'. He barrelled over to me the other day with a grin and proudly showed me his testicles; "it's another part of your willy darling, now stop poking them" obviously being translated as "poke them at all times darling, and please describe them in great detail constantly for at least 48 hours". This was all fine, until J did his now trademark trick of finding random people on the street to say inappropriate things to. At least two nice ladies in the village and a couple of my friends have been sidled up to by my butter-wouldn't-melt son and had the casual enquiry "would you like to see the other part of my willy?". J is very put out that no one else is as fascinated as he is, and that mummy keeps apologising, instead of backing him up with confirmation that he has in fact got something terribly fascinating in his nappy to share with them. He is definitely on to a winner with the bum drums routine though.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Dear Circus

Dear Generic Circus,

I am writing this letter in application to be part of your circus. I don't have a specific post in mind, but I feel I would be an asset to your team in many a different role. I have two young boys, you see, and my experience can be summed up as follows;

I can spend an entire rainy day indoors entertaining two demanding boys, and only cry a little bit. One is ten months old and eats everything in sight. One is two and a half and is, ummmm, lets say challenging. I can make the following things amusing - a sock, a spider, a piece of fluff, my nervous breakdown. I think this pretty much means I'd be a kick ass clown.

I can face down a toddler who is having an almighty, half hour tantrum about his toast being too pointy. I laugh in the face of danger. Your lions don't scare me. Bring them on. I'll stick my head inside their mouths. Covered in pâté.

Need a chimp handler? Today my ten month old chewed a mouthful of food, then spat it at me. And then clapped. And then farted. Enough said.

I can imagine that a travelling circus with many animals can get pretty gross. I'm guessing you don't get many offers to muck out the enclosures. Well, motherhood has reduced me to new heights of depravity. A little poo won't put me off. The other day I was too busy to make myself lunch. I hadn't had breakfast. As I was clearing away the boys food, I noticed a piece of sandwich. It had been pre chewed. I ate it.

By nine o'clock in the morning I have normally showered, got me and two wriggly children dressed and breakfasted, put a load of washing on the line, washed up, played Chase The Imaginary Lizard Around The Lounge (don't ask), chased the non imaginary children around the lounge to get coats and wellies on, and got out of the house to walk the dog. I may as well do all that whilst on a sodding unicycle. Juggling.

I reckon I can train some parrots to be pretty darn amusing. For my own entertainment I have taught my precocious two and a half year old to say long words. It's funny until you tell them off, and they reply "I'm not naughty mummy, I'm enormously brilliant" and you have to keep a straight face.

My personal interests are getting more than two hours sleep at a time, wearing clothes without vomit or porridge on them, and brushing my hair. I usually get to indulge in these about once a year.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Wot So Funee?

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

So I've done half a job......

Today I took J for his first settle in session at play group. It was with a slight sense of impending doom that I shuffled round the corner, having endured the mother of all Random Tantrum mornings, very aware that the session was slap bang in the middle of his usual nap time. Gulp. We had had, in no particular order, a tantrum because;

  • "I don't want my wellies on!" Would these be the wellies you just found and then put on your own feet, yourself? Yes. Yes they would.
  • "My spoon is too spoony!" Can't help you with that one darling.
  • "I don't like that window!" Again, what?
  • "My raisins are scaring me!" Sigh.......
Now, my children tend to get a bad rap on my blog. Mostly because the bits where they are naughty are funny, and the bits where they aren't, aren't. But J excelled himself at his first session, and made me just glow with pride (if you are thinking this whole post is a thinly veiled attempt to boast about my kids, you are wrong. It's not even thinly veiled).

But I couldn't help thinking two things during it. 1: I'm glad the stuff I'm banging on about day in day out is sinking in, and 2: Why then do you point blank refuse to do that at home?

I heard him talking to one of the lovely play leaders. The conversation he was having with her over the plastic fruit and veg was strikingly similar to one I had had with him at lunchtime, with a few key differences. Their conversation went like this;

 J: Would you like a sandwich lady?
Lady: Oooh yes please J.
J: Can I have one too please?
Lady: Yes of course.
J: And a juice please?
Lady: Yes, seeing as you asked so nicely.
J: Oh, thank you.
Lady: You're so welcome.

Our conversation earlier had gone like this:

Me: J, I have told you a bazillion times to put your feet down off the table.
J: You're a bazillion. You're a table.
Me: Would you like a sandwich?
Me: J, I asked you a question.
J: Get me a sandwich.
Me: Pardon?! Do you think you could ask me that in a different way?
(Pause while he scans head for all the manners I have diligently drummed in to him.)
J: Get me a sandwich. QUICKER!

Still. We are half way there.

I have linked this post up to the very funny Actually Mummy's Wot So Funee Blog Hop. Despite her patiently explaining to me on twitter how to get her badge, I'm still fumbling about trying to work it out, so take a look at for a giggle x

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Anything Goes Hour

When both my boys were tiny babies I affectionately termed 4pm - 6pm 'arsenic hour'. (I know its more than an hour, but when my babies were small I had a tendency to walk into walls I was so tired, telling the time accurately therefore being completely beyond me). 4pm was the point where we were all tired, grumpy, bored of being in the house, and colic kicked in. Now they are two and a half and 9 months, we have thankfully seen the back of colic a good while ago, but 4pm is still the time that we are all tired, grumpy, bored of being in the house, and very aware that Daddy doesn't get home till 6pm. Two hours away. Gah. I do manage to fill some of this never ending time abyss with dinner, but the rest has become an opportunity for the boys to engage in a little bit of brotherly extreme sport. I like to call it 'Anything Goes Hour'. In a nutshell, my eldest, J, will save up everything he has attempted to do during the day and been told off for, and then do it. With bells on. While I just watch, because I'm too tired to do anything about it. I sometimes entertain M to stop him joining in. Ok not true, I just let him join in. Over the past week or so Anything Goes Hour for J has involved;

  • Going out into the garden, ripping the heads off my flowers, lobbing them around and shouting "poo!"
  • Climbing to the top of a step ladder, with or without pointy dangerous objects. Mix it up a little, hide the sharp pointy objects somewhere on your person, then whip them out just as the stepladder starts to wobble. It makes mummy go a funny colour.
  • Eating soil
  • Shouting at passers by through the letterbox
  • Getting everything out of the kitchen cupboards. And I mean everything. No wimping out on this. Every cupboard.
  • Playing chicken. M on floor, J on bike, careering off at last minute to avoid squishing M, and instead colliding with various heavy/pointy objects. Also makes mummy go a funny colour.
By the time Husband arrives I'm usually lying on the floor breathing into a paper bag. Or hiding from the children in the bathroom.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

At The Theatre Dahling

The boys and I have spent this week going to the theatre, and its been brilliant fun. J and M have loved it. Our first two visits saw impeccable behaviour. Cue smugness. Cue misbehaviour. On our arrival today to see a fabulous dance and music show, I had to sign a  form to say I was happy for the resident photographer to photograph the boys. As we settled into our spot in the audience I, in hindsight a little optimistically, wiped their noses and picked the dried weetabix off their clothes to make them more photogenic. (They are both beautiful of course, with or without snot and weetabix). They then proceeded to act like philistines for the whole of the show, and the photographers camera stayed resolutely away from our little corner of mayhem. 

First, after some swirly dancing, they gave out mirrors to the children.
What other people's kids did: looked in awe and wonder into mirrors, smiling happily at parents.
What my kids did: used the mirror as a skateboard, M while trying to crawl, resulting in face planting, and J across the floor and into the wall before I could catch him, as I was rescuing M from his face plant.

The performers then used fans to artistically waft bits of foil paper everywhere.
What other people's kids did: held up arms, laughed and danced in glittery sparkly rain.
What my kids did: ate it.

They then gave out crinkly sparkly huge tunnels of fabric.
What other people's kids did: peeped through them, crawled through them, wore them as dresses.
What my kids did: J put his over his head so he looked like a giant sparkly slug, and then just sat there. Weird.

They then did some snazzy tap dancing.
What other people's kids did: laughed, danced, tapped along.
What my kids did: J whinged for a snack very loudly, M lifted the wallet of the bloke sat next to us with impressive stealth, and then chewed on it happily before I noticed and, red faced, handed it back. Nothing says "I'm sorry my baby stole your wallet" like vast quantities of slobber.

As you can tell from the above, M is now mobile, which caused me to spend most of my time there pondering whether the 'assistance dogs welcome' sign on the door would mean I could bring in a friendly sheepdog I had trained to herd my children.

It was, genuinely, brilliant fun. We can't wait for next year.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The Wonder That Is Potty Training

Today I gave up on a weeks attempt of potty training J. You'd have to see me to get the full picture of why I have given up. The extra grey hairs and facial tics give it away, as does the manic gleam in my eyes. It was not fun. My usually very supportive Husband has been practically skipping out the door to work, happy to leave me knee deep in wet pants. It started off rather fun - J and I toddled off to the supermarket to buy his first big boy pants. On the way in he spotted a Bob the Builder car ride, which I promised him a go on when we had made our purchase. I suggested that Bob the Builder would probably like to see his new pants. I got to indulge my rather sadistic sense of humour as we reached the till and J told everyone within earshot he was going to show Bob his pants, by not clarifying what he meant when I got perplexed looks from them. Fun.

It all went downhill from there though. J and I seemed to have been at cross purposes this week. We've been talking to each other, but most definitely having two very separate conversations. It has been going a little something like this;

Me: J, do you need a wee?
J: No mummy. (Translation - yes mummy, but I'm going to wait until you've turned your back and squat behind the TV).

Me: J, you've been sat on the potty for a while now, have you done anything?
J: Yes mummy. (Translation - no I haven't, I've been saving up a tsunami of wee, which I will unleash as soon as you are trying to feed/change M, answer the phone or the door, so you are completely powerless to do anything about it).

Me: I'm just going to put M down for a nap. Do you need a wee?
J: No Mummy. I sit on my potty though.
Mummy leaves J alone downstairs.
J: I done a wee Mummy!
Me: I'm coming! LEAVE THE POTTY ALONE! I'm coming downstairs right now!
J: (Triumphant smile) I put it in the toilet for you mummy. (Translation - I have picked up the full potty and flung it around the room).
Me: Gosh! What a clever boy! (Translation - there is wee every-sodding-where! It's on the dog for pete's sake! Now what the hell do I do? This is sodding ridiculous!)
J: Is that a happy face mummy?

And so on. It was give up, or have a nervous breakdown. We will try again in a few months. When I've snuck off to the beach in Spain and left Husband to it. I wish.

Monday, 20 May 2013

A New Beginning

I am pleased to say that I got a lovely new job this week. It's very sad to be leaving my old one, which I loved, but marks an exciting new chapter in my life. As it does for J. I can't quite believe that the time has come for my baby to start playgroup, and that he is grown up enough to spend time away from his family in September. He will go for the two days i am at work. I am excited for him, and very nervous. I am not nervous, however, about him settling in. J is not a Mummy's boy by any stretch of the imagination. When trying to extract him from the park the other day I tried the traditional "ok, bye! Mummy and M are going home now" and walked to the gate. He called bye back and ran off to carry on playing. When he noticed I was waiting the other side of the gate, he yelled "what you doing mummy? Why aren't you at home?". Cue sniggering from the other mums at my completely ineffectual parenting technique. He will be absolutely fine when he starts. What I am actually nervous about is what he will be like when he gets there. Now, my beautiful son is lovely. He is funny, sunny and friendly. He loves both adults and children. But I am under no illusions. He is no angel. I can't possibly list all the the things he has done in the past year or so that cause my palms to go a bit sweaty when I think about unleashing him on the poor unsuspecting playgroup staff, but I'll give it a go.
1: At the stay and play at our village school, he escaped so many times that when he appeared he got greeted by a cheery "oh look, J is here, lets shut all the fire escapes and block off the kitchen!" - cue staff scurrying around madly to 'J proof' the room.
2: During one of those escapes, he wandered his way into a classroom and merrily joined in with a science lesson with a bunch of seven year olds, until his red faced mummy worked out where he was. The shame.
3: At the same stay and play, he worked out that he could stand on a stool to tip over the jugs of water. If I tried to mop it up discreetly he would jump up and down in the puddle and shout "uh oh mummy!" at the top of his lungs.
4: At the same stay and play he presented me on several occasions with a pile of nappies, wipes and drinks bottles he had pilfered from other people's changing bags, a triumphant smile on his face.
We haven't been back there since M was born. I can't think why. We do go to a few other village groups though. He managed to cram himself into a plastic highchair designed for a small doll at one of them last Thursday, then tried to make a passing toddler feed him plastic food. He couldn't understand why she wasn't complying and was just looking at him gone out. The very patient and lovely leader had to come up and tell me my errant toddler was jammed in a toy highchair, cue more blushes from me, as I was chatting with my friends and had no idea.
I'm wondering how I will explain to the staff that anything they own with four wheels also has to have a farmer to drive it. J will not take no for an answer. The toy fire engine must have a toy farmer to drive it and if there isn't one, or the proffered toy person is not farmer-esque enough, all hell breaks loose. Or that J loves to sing so much he's made up his own words to pretty much every song, which will get belted out at singing time, drowning out any other poor child's attempts.
Reading all that back, I have a plan for September.
Drop him off and run.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

My Alter Ego

I used to love shopping for clothes. I could happily spend hours browsing shops and trying things on. And then I had two children. 
My lovely mum gave me some money for my birthday this year, to buy myself some clothes, the first time I've bought anything that isn't from the maternity section since 2009. This is because she is embarrassed to be seen with her daughter looking like a bag lady a wonderful person. So we optimistically skipped in to town earlier this week, starting with me plonking the boys and mum in the toy section of John Lewis so J could drive a Little Tikes car into everyone's ankles and a teething M could slobber over everything in sight.
It is from this point onwards that I discovered that shopping turns me into Rhod Gilbert. Absolutely everything and everyone made me cross, from my new perspective as a curvy in all the wrong places busy mum of two.
I had a voucher to use in Topshop, and had a lot of fun trying to find something to buy when I couldn't hear myself think over the obscenely loud music. I actually commented on it to the girl next to me, who looked at the elderly crazy lady mumbling to her, aghast, which meant I had to start singing to the music to prove I was young and supposed to be there, except it was so sodding loud I had to shout, which helped the whole situation marvellously. I slunk out and mooched into Zara, where I intended to use my imagination and copy the entire outfit of my brothers lovely girlfriend who visited the other day. I couldn't get my usual size of trousers over my thighs, and when I did wrestle myself into an outfit, I looked ridiculous. I would love to say that my muffin tops are a gentle reminder of the amazing thing my body did by producing two beautiful boys, but really they are just gross, and not for public viewing. I did however, manage to find a couple of tops, and joined the line of svelt muffin top-less lovelies at the till. Cue a baby crying outside the shop, and me realising I didn't have any breast pads in. I had no choice but to shut my eyes and hope no one could see me or the milk that would inevitably start leaking all over my top. After 400 hours, it was my turn, and the stupid bloke at the till started folding my tops up with tissue paper. I smiled. Inside my head I was yelling "TISSUE PAPER! Do I look like the kind of person who needs tissue paper? I have a rip in the crotch of my jeans because they are ten years old and I can't sew, my boobs are about to explode milk all over my once-white-now-grey maternity top and I have porridge in my hair! JUST SHOVE THEM IN THE SODDING BAG!". As it was I kept my mouth shut and stomped back to John Lewis, making myself feel better by growling at every moron who got to the door of a shop and then just stopped, or people who walked too slow, or too fast, or breathed a bit too near me. I was greeted by J careering round corners and scaring the crap out of other children, so we retired for a cup of tea and some lunch in the once-quiet-but-now-my-children-have-arrived-sorry-everyone cafe. I did end up with a few items, from the sections of John Lewis usually frequented by seventy year olds, but I was pleased with my haul. I'm sticking to Internet shopping from now on though.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Children Should Really Come With Subtitles

J, if I'm allowed a small bit of mummy gloating, has very good speech and vocabulary. To erase any karma coming my way from that wee bit of smugness (you could click on this to see my smug post here if I had half a clue how to do it, but I don't, so you'll have to look it up if you've not read it) he has got very good at it because he never stops talking. He yabbers while he's eating, when he's sat in the car waiting for me completely on his own, while he's watching TV, he even blethers in his sleep. Up till very recently, he has had a quite impressive arsenal of words that sound uncannily like expletives. He is not the only toddler to be this way - search 'toddler trying to say frog' on youtube if you'd like a demonstration. Sit, six, and stick, all frequently came out of his mouth, crystal clear, as sh*t, prompting me to loudly correct him for the benefit of the aghast onlookers out in public. I had, however, recently become complacent as his diction improved. Silly me. Apart from the odd episode (my ever so slightly odd first born sometimes decides to talk in gibberish, and makes up his own words- when he finds one he likes, he repeats it a lot - cue him cheerfully shouting "CRAP!" over and over again in the supermarket. He absolutely did not get it from me) we had not had a Swearing At Strangers incident for quite some time. Yesterdays, therefore, was a lovely surprise. Walking home from playgroup, I was congratulating myself (there's the smugness again) on successfully diverting a meltdown because J wanted a soggy, possibly poo covered stick to walk home with and I promised him we would go for a walk in the woods to find a bigger better one later on. A sweet old lady had been travelling slowly in the opposite direction to us and had witnessed the whole debacle. When she reached us, she smiled at my cherubic, innocent toddler, and asked him if he was ok now. He turned his baby blue eyes onto full beam, fluttered his eyelashes and announced loudly "Yes! I'm going for a shit in the woods!".

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Mummy Tourette's

A lovely friend of mine gave birth to a very beautiful daughter yesterday, and it got me thinking about how, as parents, we speak to the uninitiated. The not-yet-parents, but most importantly, the almost-parents. What on earth possesses us all to be such harbingers of doom when we speak to a pregnant person? I know I'm guilty of it. When first time pregnant ladies complain they are tired, why do we not give them a quick pep talk about how it's all worth it, rather than manically screaming "You think you're tired now? You wait till baby is out and then you will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN!" while trying to cram the baby in the fridge and the milk carton in the pushchair.
When I tell people my boys were born 21 months apart and one of them is an insomniac, I use it as an excuse for why I've not brushed my hair and my snot stained jumper is on backwards. If other mums are expecting number two with a close gap, I can't stop myself listing how I don't go out past 5pm anymore, how if anyone mentions a TV programme I have to just nod along like I know what they're talking about because if its not on CBeebies I've definitely not seen it, and how two out of my three meals a day are soggy left overs as I've not got time to make myself anything. 
Are we altogether too British to say what we mean? I have another theory. Yesterday I sat at the dinner table watching M watching J. J was roaring (note I said roaring, not singing) The Grand Old Duke Of York at the top of his lungs, while 'accidentally' flinging bits of his dinner around the room as he marched in his chair. M looked totally enraptured. Every now and again J would stop and ask me what I would like him to sing next, and give me a cheeky grin. M just grinned and grinned at his big brother, and every now and again reached out his pudgy hand to hold mine, or looked imploringly at me because he had some of J's dinner stuck between his eyes. I could have sat there all day, watching my boys. M had had a particularly bad night the night before, and I was working on about two hours sleep. But I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. 
Now how do you even start to explain love like that?
So we don't even try. We just prepare them for the tough bits, like having to watch Postman Sodding Pat at 6am in the morning, who is SO INFURIATINGLY STUPID it puts you in a bad mood for at least the next hour. IF YOU HAVE A BOX OF BATS IN YOUR VAN, YOU HEAR A BANG AND THEN LOTS OF FLUTTERING, DONT OPEN THE VAN TO HAVE A LOOK YOU MASSIVE NUMPTY, OF COURSE THE BATS ARE GOING TO ESCAPE. Jeez. 
And the wonderful bits? The overwhelming, all consuming love? I think its best they have the fun of discovering it all for themselves.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Truth Behind Your Handmade Treasures

If you are a parent, it is likely that at some point your darling little ones have appeared home from nursery/grandmas/playgroup/school with a homemade something to make your heart melt - a Mother's Day card, a handprint picture with cutesy verse written underneath, a clay something or other. If these things take pride of place in your home, treasured because they were made with love, just for you, I suggest you look away now.
I have been part of the process from a few different angles. First off, when teaching three year olds. With the odd exception, your offspring do not skip over to the Mother's Day card  making table exclaiming "gosh I just love mummy so much, I must show her with a card". Oh no. They are usually bribed off the trikes with the promise that they can have first pick of Bike 2 (that's the fastest) when they get back, if they just stick this tissue paper here, finger paint here, come back you've not written your name, colour here, stop drawing power rangers all over that daffodil. All the while the staff are wittering on about how we are making this for mummy, because she is special. Then at home time, we go over why we have made the cards one more time, only to turn our backs and hear a mutter of "this is for my brother, it's a light saber".
Secondly, when my birthday comes around, Husband is usually Not Organised. This year was no different, and last Thursday I got dispatched upstairs so J could make me a 'surprise' card. Cue the following conversation between daddy and J floating up the stairs......
"J, come here and draw a picture on mummy's card. I said come here. No, you hold crayons with your hand not your foot. Fine, just write your name then. J, come here for goodness sake and put something on the card."
Then comes the sound of J grumbling "poo poo poo poo" while scribbling on the card.
"WHAT'S THAT YOU SAID?" roars Husband for my benefit, "YOU LOVE MUMMY? THAT'S NICE" 
Saying all that, the aforementioned card has pride of place on my windowsill. After all, J can't write yet, so no one else knows it says poo.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

How Being Smug Will Come Back To Haunt You

It was only going to be a matter of time before I wrote a blog about sleep. I am obsessed with it. How much i've had, how much I should be having, how I can use what little i've had to make Husband do stuff for me like bring me tea, make me dinner, agree with me at all times, that sort of thing. I was lucky enough to be blessed with a sleepy baby first time round. J slept through at three months old, and at two and a bit still has three hour naps in the afternoon as well as twelve solid hours at night. Except I didn't think I was lucky. I just thought was doing it right, and everyone else was doing it wrong.
I'm sure I'm not the only person who has watched parenting/sleep programmes where families bring in an 'expert' to sort out their children's sleep issues.
"I just don't know what we're doing wrong!" they cry. Cut to a video of their night time routine, and their kids are doing shots of lemonade through their eyeballs as a night time drink, having a couple of games of an 18 rated computer game as a wind down, then wandering upstairs for a family viewing of a horror film at 11:30. Good grief these people were idiots. I sat, smug in the knowledge that my beautiful boy was upstairs conked out because I am such a wonderful mother.
And then M was born.
My oh my, my second born son was angry. He had colic for four months. He screamed, non stop, unless he was asleep. For four months. I loved him to pieces, but basically spent every hour of every day walking up and down with him with tears streaming down my face, with a very perplexed toddler roaming after me. It was horrible. I actually at one point googled 'signs that your baby is going to grow up to be a serial killer' he was that horrid. Needless to say I didn't click on any of the actual links.
Now, at seven months old, he is one of the happiest babies I know. He has a constant smile on his face. He laughs at everything. I have forgiven him every single minute of those first four months. He's delightful. But he won't sleep. 
I've tried everything. He sleeps on an expensive sheepskin. He has a calming bedtime routine without a horror film in sight. And yet, he wakes up every two hours for a feed or a cuddle. All night, every night. For every time I rolled my eyes at the TV, for every time I inwardly congratulated myself on my brilliance when J was a baby and my friends bemoaned their child's terrible sleeping habits, M is having another week of not sleeping. So he should start sleeping around......never.
Mummies. I beg you. Don't be smug. Your children will make you pay. And if you're already smug - watch your back.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Many Uses of Bath Toys

I recently bought J some foam letters for the bath - not from any ideas of getting him to start phonics early ("look mummy - I can spell pushy!") but because they were cheap, and he is bored of his current selection of plastic bath tat. For J, boredom in the bath ends in one of three ways - drinking the bath water, standing up and screaming "JUMP!" and giving mummy a heart attack, or trying to drown his brother by giving him "huggles" that are fooling no one. So they have been introduced, and with them Husband and I have discovered a revolutionary way of arguing in front of the children without them knowing - by spelling out profanities in foam letters. The best part of which is that Husband can't spell, so regardless of the argument, I win. 

Saturday, 27 April 2013


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Yesterday was our first family outing to the zoo. I felt quite emotional as we rammed endless bags of stuff we didn't need in the car - at just over two, I was hoping J would be blown away by the animals - the size of the elephants, the noise of the monkeys. Up to this point he may have been taking everything in, but days like this, from this point on, surely are the ones that will form his earliest memories? Magic. 
So we went, we saw, we had the obligatory picnic in the hail. Yes hail. J loved it, M was entranced by the penguins - I wasn't sure at 7 months old if he would take note of his surroundings or not, but he did. Lovely.
Sitting in the lounge today, I thought I would test my magic memories theory, and ask J to recount his favourite part of his zoo visit.....
"I sat on the grass mummy, with a sandwich. Ham sandwich. And then I chased a pigeon. I went shoo! and it flew away, and I ran, and it flew, and I chased it, and it flew away!"

In Which I Work Out What On Earth I Am Doing

For a while now I have considered writing a blog about my journey through motherhood. This is for three reasons;

1: I think I'm hilarious.
2: Several people have told me I should
3: I use my Facebook page like a blog and people get bored of reading my long rambling status updates.

I have two beautiful boys, who are of course superior to all other babies, past and present, and this is a great excuse to talk about them. Endlessly. I tell people anecdotes of my children's exploits, and afterwards wish I was writing them down. I could of course write it all down in a private journal, but see point 1 above.  Hence the blog.

If nothing else, I will enjoy writing it, and shamelessly make myself laugh.