WE HAVE MOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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WHOOP!!!! Join me in a funky dance won’t you?
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No, we are not moving in. This is just our overnight stuff!
Like removal men, we enter the room and start visually sizing everything up.
I scratch my head. I imagine the finished product. I look beyond the sloping ceiling eaves. I look beyond the ottoman the size of a small country standly proudly as a feature piece against a wall. I look beyond the matching Laura Ashley curtains and bedspread…
Yes. This can be done.
*clicks fingers and does cocky smug smirk*
“Lets DO THIS Team Smith!”
Alex is looking at a fresh booger plucked from his nose and Ed is chasing the dog…like a dog (tongue out and panting).
Maybe Team Smith is just Hans Solo and her trusty Chewie (Husband. Desperately needs a hair cut).
Ottoman Schmottoman. Shoved into corner and used as a shelf for suitcase. Laura Ashley curtains pushed aside and travel black out blind sucker pads licked and splatted on to freshly cleaned windows. Laura Ashley bedspread removed and placed up high on wardrobe and away from booger fingers.
We have come to stay in your house. And we have completly changed it to suit our needs. Isn’t that simply wonderful for you!
I can’t help but worry about staying at someone elses home with the children. Because the above is pretty accurate. And because when you stay at someone elses house your children obtain an extra 10 points on their volume meter, or so it seems. They become so much LOUDER. And someone elses home at night is so much quieter than ours. Hearing the noises through the monitor at night when we stay at someone elses home gives me flashbacks to having a newborn.
*husband turns over in bed and the duvet rustles*
“SHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” I hiss “The children will HEAR YOU!”
*poor husband starts to cough*
“STOP! STOP IT!” more hissing talk.
*he coughs into pillow*
“SHIT! How could you be so selfish?!” as I throw back the duvet and try to put a slight stroppy stomp (not too much) in to walk as I tip toe to where the boys are sleeping.
At home? We would have hacked up lungs like we were old smoking miners. We would even (gasp) flush the loo at night. Babies would have slept like well, babies.
But away from home…babies and children know. It is exciting and new…They are staying in place where there are fun dogs to play with (we don’t have dogs)…they are allowed cakes and biscuits for breakfast and have been made chocolate banana bread for their toast! Why would they sleep? And to be honest, if I were 3, I wouldn’t!
I look in to the little ones eyes. They are gleaming with delight at being in our bed at 6am. His mouth is a pursed bud of smug joy.
“Don’t get too used to this, buddy” I say “Tomorrow you are back to being ferberized”
I try and stare him out.
We go downstairs…it is still only 7am. You don’t realise how noisy your brood are until you are at someone elses house who don’t have kids, or have kids yet…we are making actual echos.
We could be an excellent contraceptive for people whose sons and daughters are longingly watching “Skins” and Jessie J on “The Voice”. Parents could hire us out to show them, well, what happens on a weekend after a bottle of wine and a little bit too much Damien Rice.
I could make money from this….
We spend a lot of time staying at other peoples houses because our friends and family are all over the country. We just got back from a brilliant weekend with some mates oop north who are expecting their first baby (ahhhhhhhhhh). As normal, as above, we are awake and downstairs at 7am.
Fab Gav comes downstairs to show us where all the Cheerios and Tea bags are. We have woken them. Shocker. But they don’t care. They don’t care a teeny tiny bit. The house phone rings. It is 7.32am…I start to panic. No one rings at this time. Can only be bad news….Gav answers. Darling BFF upstairs requests an Easter Egg and orange squash be sent upstairs to her. She also tells Gav there are biscuits above the coffee machine. I love her. I love them both. So much.
Because, the thing is, our friends, and our families don’t care a jot if we move the entire furniture in their spare room, clog up their Sky Plus with Peppa Pig episodes, take batteries out of remotes and moving plastic bags out of reach . Relatives and best mates don’t care if you kick all their extenstion leads behind furniture and take the bleach spray out from under the sink. Our family and friends don’t care if we are trying to pacify screaming babies at 3am.
Because they just roll over and stuff a pillow on their head (lucky b*stards).
But I don’t care when people come to our house and do this – they are our guests and must feel welcome welcome welcome! So why would they mind, if I think about it, when we do it to them?
I think the secret is this…always turn up with wine.
You could hear a pin drop.
There was red-y orange matter all over the walls and the draining board – like body matter. There were broken bits of white hard material in the sink - it looked like shards of bone. It seemed to be a serious case for the Neighbourhood Watch. Nosey Norma from across the close would positively orgasm at the scandal of it all.
I had exploded.
No. What had happened was in a *cough* provoked tantrum, I threw a plate of lovingly slaved over and homemade (*grimaces at memory*) dinner at the sink and it exploded everywhere. The red-y orange? Tomato chunks. The bone in the sink? Shards of plastic plate (No bones that I know of have Thomas the Tank on them). It wasn’t big. It wasn’t clever. But I did it. Ok?
But the kids were as silent as mice…
Now I see why the Greeks do it.
“you givea mea jip? Aboutta de tomataa pastaa?” *SMASH*
Never a truer word. I think this is a missing entry of The Bible. The Church have banned it in a secret pact with Annabel Karmel.
“No one can know” emails the Pope to Annabel. “Go - write a book where mothers pour over food for HOURS for their ungrateful offspring. Say bad things about fish fingers and beans on toast. This is the DEVIL FOOD! ps - a mention in the acknowledgements at the end wouldn’t go amiss. Much love and big kisses. Popeykins.”
I don’t know why I bother. The childrens faces positively glow when they find an old bit of toast down the side of the sofa (we have not had toast for 3 days). This can not be beaten by a home made fish pie (fish pie? shit pie) or by chicken stew (chicken stew? Spew). I digress at this point to say that I DO CLEAN, but lately it has been a bit more like *squirts furniture polish in to the air* “house work is done!”. And one of the best things about weetabix is that it is holding the highchair together like a glue. If I scrub it away it would collapse.
Of course Alex might not be hungry – he spent god knows how long licking the plastic recycling clean before I found him. Just a short while later I found him sucking on the pipe I use to clean the fish poo out of the bowl. In apology he kissed me. Nice that he shares his parasites.
You see, it wasn’t JUST the lack of appreciation for my amazing cooking on that one solo day. It was a formala.
Heat(20 degrees?! I may as well have sat IN the oven to chop my veg. I am BRITISH. I can NOT cope with 20 degrees!) + chopping, dicing, deseeding for 20 minutes+ breaking up the 5th fight between the one year old and the 3 year old that day + scrubbing ginger nut out of the carpet to the comments of “you missed a bit” + my expensive estee lauder face cream being used for hair cream (not by me) + calling children for dinner and being told this “I. Don’t. Wan’t. It” + tantrums. Tantrums tantrums tantrums.
At 5.32 (see how I am noting minutes) either one of 3 things happened. Either 1) Alex had stopped to take a breath mid-scream (a long one) 2) the wine bottle I just swigged from had actual magical powers or 3) I had gone deaf.
Oh and I think, I think that having been hit in the face with someone elses toenail cipping whilst grooming the children pushed me over the edge. I mean, nothing can beat getting hit in the face with someone elses’ toenail.
Hence the crime/grime scene.
I picked up bicycle pump (not to use as a weapon! What do you think I am!). I am 31 and have no idea how to work it.
“This is pathetic” I say. *starts blowing in to the tyre*.
I have lungs of steel – I have blown the balloons for countless childrens (and my dads) birthday parties! How can rubber tyres be any different to balloons? It doesn’t work. I sulk until Smudge comes home and fixes it. I am not angry about having to wait for a man to do this for me. I just don’t want oil on my trousers – I will happily wait for quite frankly, anyone to do this job for me. I would flag down a double glazing salesman if I thought it would help). I am angry at not being prepared for my escape. This is wasting time. And I am the Sam Becket of time. UGH!
The cycle calms me down. Until I see a digestive biscuit someone thrown in to the road.
“Is someone having a bloody joke?!” I wheeze.
On the upside I went to put the bike away in the garage and saw this…
Tamwar will be thrilled! Must remember to tap on the school window when next at Disraeli and wave it at him. Not weird or creepy at all. No. It is follow up!
So, maybe that is the lesson? I left the garlic. I forgot about it….it grew and was fine…
*throws a packet of raisens in the lounge and slams the lounge door shut, hides under breakfast bar in kitchen with new Caitlan Moran book*….they’ll be fine…
The evening got better. Husband cleared out the stack of Cd’s on the Cd player and found my John Denver Cd.
“YESSS!” I squeal, delighted “My John Denver CD! Lets put it on!!”
“No” Says Smudge.”No. it will wake the kids”.
“Don’t be silly” I say. ”Lets play it quietly”
Smudge “It’s not that. They will wake to my screaming”.
The very wonderful Story of Mum asked me to be a guest blogger on their site. Story of Mums is all about mums being creative, being inspired and inspiring.
Please head on over to http://www.storyofmum.com/content/when-family-trees-get-complicated-889 to check out my way of explaining a complex family tree to my children.
And if you are on Twitter, do follow @storyofmum – they are an awesome bunch.
Thanks thanks thanks!
It is 6.30pm. Husband walks through the door. Alex runs at him, nuts husband in the nuts. Ed has a meltdown because husband greets Ed as “Ed” and not “Rex the farmer”.
I am already waiting in my running gear.
Shoes on? Tick.
Old maternity yoga trousers? All slack-y and naff and washed out black? Yes.
Sports bra? No. The baby sicked on it.
“BYE DARLING!” I yell over my shoulder, boobs flapping about.
It is so much nicer running now the evenings are lighter….I manage to avoid almost all of the dog crap on the pavements.
I don’t like running. Full stop. But I like that running gives me time to think. I think about anything except how my lungs feel like they might explode. Some people do their lists and thinking whilst having sex with their husbands. I do mine whilst running (honestly darling). It also gives me a chance to fantasise….another thing sometimes people during sex. For me again, when running.
Like making celebrity BFF’s.
Fern Britton lives in my village. I harbour a lovely dream about breaking an ankle (it is a weird dream) outside her house. I manage to drag my body to her doorstep where she and Phil welcome me and wrap me up in a big blanket and feed me Phil’s home cooking. “Where do you live, little one?” they ask. I have *cough* memory failure and can’t remember (so sad) and have to sleep at their house. We all become best friends and go to BBQ’s at Philip Scofield’s house.
When I was pregnant with Ed and my hormones were bouncing off the walls Fern was going through her gastric bypass scandal and had just been banned from going ajywhere near a Ryvita. She was also on a “break” from This Morning. I wrote one, maybe three (holds her head in her hands in shame at the memory) emails to This Morning telling them they needed to support her more and generally BE NICER TO HER, OK?! Because she is NICE. Being a bit pregnant and loopy, in my head this was a totally rational thing to do. She needed support. From me. I never got a reply from This Morning. Weird that. I saw Phil Vickery at the cashpoint in the village recently and texted my friend;
“He is really little and grey. Like a baby owl”.
She replied ”You should tell him you wrote supportive emails about his wife, that wouldn’t be weird or creepy at all”.
I still had about 3 baby hormones left in my body and thought to myself, I should definately do that! But he flew away before I got the chance.
Which was lucky for me. I like my freedom and I wouldn’t get that in prison…
Must be 6.45pm by now, surely? *feels something hit her on the bottom* “OH GOD! A sexual predator!” panic. “Oh no wait – it was just one arse cheek banging in to the other”. Phew.
If you are a runner then on your running route there will be a stunning beautiful skinny bitch who runs with an Ipod and a six pack (of muscles. Not of beer. She isn’t on the run from the local Londis) and looks amazing. I expect you hate her. All I can say is, on behalf of that woman, who is me, I am sorry.
Here I am on my run
All lank hair and floppy arms and a face lacking emotion.
7pm. Get home. Check trainer soles for dog poo. Clear. Stinging pain in the throat and chest? Affirmative. Mothers words ringing in my ears “Be kind to yourself, Hannah”? Tick. Straight to the fridge, pour a glass of wine, on to the biscuit tin and pop in mouth a rich tea.
A week after I had had Ed I announced to my husband I would be running the Marathon the following year in order to raise money for charity (*cough* lose weight) I was on a LOT of drugs. In fact, I think the London Marathon organisers should hand out post-birthing drugs at the beginning of the race – “Come on you guys! You can do it! Just eat the pill”.
I am not a runner. I am a sitter-er. But my cousin Alex is a proper runner and is actually only going to go and run the bloody London Marathon. CROWD ROAR! If this blog made you giggle, then I am going to shamelessly rip the backside out of it and ask you to throw her a couple of quid. Nothing much. She is running for little tiny babies whose timers go off on their ovens too soon and they get evicted and who are looked after by brilliant nurses and doctors. In my best celebrity charity fundraising voice “please donate. If you can. Thank you”.
Just like if Jesus was alive today and had to have his birthday presents and his Christmas presents on the same day (it is still Christmas, whether you are Jesus or not), I have Mothers Day and my birthday very close together too. Lets call it HannahMas. I have a lot of lovely people asking me what I want for presents and what I would like to do for HannahMas. I am like Jesus in that we will both say “oh, I really dont need anything at all. I have all I need”. But whereas he means it, I am not sure that I do. I like the presents. I like it when my husband comes home from work and scurries upstairs with an amazon box he hides under the bed. Yessssssssssssssssss! I don’t expect Jesus would do that.
But I can’t actually think this year what I want as a present.
Lets start with activities…I would like a cup of tea in bed. I have not had a cup of tea in bed since I was a little girl. Yes. Tick.
I would love a cake, but I don’t want to walk into the kitchen and see the mess made by the (wonderful and kind) cake making. Hmm…question mark over this.
The very fact I am celebrating being a mother means I should probably spend some time with the children (even if really I would just love to be “Hannah” for a few hours and fester in my pit drinking tea, eating chocolate and reading OK Magazine). So even though I want to be selfish, I can’t be totally selfish. But the facts are these, if I see another soft play area I am going to vomit on the spot. Spring is sprung and this means the children want to start going to play parks again and the park was suggested for this Sunday. The park in our village makes me break out into a cold sweat when I see it. I hate it. I hate it. Parks are dirty and they smell like sweaty feet and dog poo. I will not go to a park on Sunday. I wont. I cant. Big fat cross by that one.
Lunch out wasn’t even on the radar of things to do. In restaurants we are THAT family – the one that always ends up sitting next to you, the one that is noisy and shouty and messy. Yes you have some of our mashed potato in your hair and yes my son did sneeze into your pint. So Valentines Day, Mothers Day, birthdays in our house are looked forward to because it means a take away dinner treat. BUT, when I was in my twenties *sighs and sobs a bit* I could binge eat during the weekend, wince a bit on a Monday morning when I got on the scales, but by Friday and being sensible and healthy during the week I would have lost 4lbs. Not anymore. That crispy duck will sit on my hips for weeks. I will frantically try and Davina-work-out-vid it off to Ed watching me and saying things like “why is your bum wobbling?” and “I can see your knees now!” and “hmmm how WILL we get rid of that fat tummy?”. So…take away? Hmmm…yeah sod it, lets put a tick by that one.
Smudge hadn’t mentioned my birthday so I sent him a text on my new touch pad smart phone.
“do you wanr mt birthday lust”? ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! NO! Not lust, list! LIST!
Funnily enough I got a quick reply.
ARG! NO! List. LIST!
Perhaps I could ask for some new pants for my birthday? I seem to have left my standards at the Birthing Centre. Last week whilst we were getting the kids ready for bed I pulled the sides of my pants up over my hips and tied my kaftan into a big puffy 1990′s style mini top.
“LOOK!” I said to Smudge “It’s like I am on Baywatch or something” *starts to strut about*.
“Are they new pants?” he said
“I didn’t know you had grey ones”.
Hmmmm. New pants on the list then. Tick.
During the cold snap I had a bath to warm myself up and noticed my floating body bits looked like an atoll. A cluster of floating Islands, some bigger than others, in a sea of toy boats. Ugh. I thought I would try and solve the problem by drowning the Islands so I put some more water in the bath. And covered them with a makka pakka flannel (WHY WONT THE ISLANDS JUST F*CK OFF??!). Hmmm…Bubble Baths. Will pop Bubble Baths on the Mothers Day/ Birthday list. Cover the atoll in bubbly clouds. Tick.
“What about new shoes?” asks my dad as we walk past the shoe section in House of Fraser. He picks up a pair of killer Karen Millens (he obviously did not check the price. And he is obviously in touch with his inner woman). I look down at my once-black-now-mucky-grey New Look flats from 3 summers ago. As soon as my Edward egg got fertilized, my attitude (conscious and subconious) to wearing heels changed forever. I didn’t wear heels during the first pregnancy in case I fell over because of them – I had a lodger to think about. I didn’t wear them the second pregnancy because my stupid hormones had made my stupid fat feet feet grow half a size bigger so none of my heels even fitted anymore. At 5ft nothing and with size 7 feet I look like a golf club. The last time I wore heels was last year. I went out for a meal with mates.I made it out of the car, across the pavement, and then fell flat on my face
“You look like you’re praying” one of them said.
So maybe I could put pretty flat shoes on my list? Oh and retelling this story reminds me something else I want to put on my list – wine. Tick and tick.
A Lionel Ritchie CD is on my list, for the car. Had had to do an emergency stop and pull over into Reading services last Sunday to willingly pay service station prices for a chart CD which would be half the price on Amazon. The radio was chuff. Dance on 1. Elaine page presenting (who let her do that?! Why?! why why why?) on 2. Gardening on 4. I need a back up for the glove box and it needs to be Lionel.
*drums fingers on table*.
“Ed? What shall we do for Mothers Day?”
“Mothers Day? When is it?”
“Dunno. When is it Boys Day?”
“Er….there isn’t one”.
“WHAT?!!” (he says incredulously) “I think it is on Saturday. And I think we should have some cake”.
Yeah, go on then. TICK TICK TICK.
Anyway, cant carry on moaning about being tired, instead, must keep farming.
Last friday the boys and I spent the afternoon covering our chits with soil. No – not pretending to be cats in the garden, but becoming right on organic potato growers (dont hold me to this bit I have no idea if what I am doing is organic or not… I don’t use nasty fertilizers…but I also don’t cover anything in poo). Like most normal people with children and footballs, we don’t have a death trap that is a greenhouse. So, every day I drag my chitting tats out of the shed and in to the sunshine – like some sort of mental (gro) bag lady. I feel like a farmer. “geeeee yup” I say each evening, heaving behind me a sack of soil and chits back in to the shed. To be honest, I am probably doing more damage than the feared frost, probably traumatising the little chit fellas by dragging them around every morning and evening. But, in my head I am focussed on warmth and security not loose roots, a bit of jiggling around and nervy-ness. This is how I raise my children. This is how I will grow potatoes.
I would accessorize with appropriate clothing, but the only clothing I associate with farmers is dungarees and to be honest I firmly feel the only people who can pull off wearing dungarees are babies and lesbians. I am neither.
I’m not good with dirt. Alex was happily weidling a bucket round his head left outside since last summer and now home to bird shit and woodlice. It made me anxious….I looked down at my hands and nails, now crusted with soil and dirt. I had a panic. Did they put horse poo in B&Q bags of soil? Would I catch ring worm? I can’t be doing with ring worm…unless is that the parasite which makes you skinny? (joke).
We went up to our local Sure Start centre this week for a mini gardening lesson. We were taught about growing garlic by 8 year olds who really knew their stuff and knew things about growing garlic I had never even imagined. I was incredibly impressed but of course my enthusiasm cup runneth over and I began stumbling about in the heat (a balmy 9 degrees) verbally diorhearing at anyone who would listen – an incoherant mumble of;
“Did you know that you grow garlic from a clove of a garlic bulb? Just pluck it off an existing bulb and put it in soil? Did you know that if you plant the garlic bulb upside down and therefore incorrectly it just turns it self up the right way? Like MAGIC!?”.
Of course they did – they were in the same lesson as I was and just heard the Exact. Same. Thing.
“I am never buying garlic again! Down with the extortionate garlic prices in The Big 5!” I said to Tamwar, age 8, my teacher.
He looked a bit blank.
“Do you grow garlic at home Tamwar?”
“Nah. dont like it”.
“Oh right. Potatoes? carrots?”.
“Nah. Don’t like ‘em” *he kicks at the overgrown grass on the gorund, hands in pockets* “I grow peppers”.
“Cool. Do you like peppers then?”
Right then….the conversation had run its course…I don’t like silences, they panic me…er…er…
“Tamwar…what are your thoughts on dungarees? Coming back into fashion or continuing to be a fashion no-no?”.
You know on Cbeebies you can send in birthday cards you have made for your kids - home made pictures of them getting hugs by Auntie Mabel, getting a high five from Bob the Builder, perhaps hiding behind a tree with a Zingzilla? I am going to make one for Alex and send it in. It will be a Usual Suspects style identifaction line up, with Mr Maker, The talking cabbage from Mr McGreggors nursery, The Number Taker from the Number Jacks and the baddy from Lazy Town. It would say “Which one of you meant that I spent all of last night like this?!”.
Poor Alex. I vividly remember having them when I was little and pretending I had an electric drill to drill through the wall to my parents room next door…
It started that he screamed and cried during the night one night. We soothed him. He went back to sleep in his own room. It has got progressively worse. Will only sleep on me in the chair in his room…will only fall asleep in our bedroom with us and we move him across…will only sleep in our room with us after he wakes during the night…will not go to sleep at all now in his own room without the mother of all paddy whacks and crying himself to sleep. The other night I went up to try and settle him (again) because I could hear him throwing his body against the door and when I got to his room his fingers were scrambling around under the door. Awful. Is this night terrors? Is this habbit? Is this hell? Is this normal? Is this ever going to end?
Night light? Check. Open door now? Check. Soothing pre-bedtime routine of no TV, bath, book, milk? Check.
Child continuing to scream upstairs? Check.
As always, I can only think to try and find some humour in this (or I will go crazy and start dribbling on the computer keys).
So this is how we sleep…
I lie awake at night thinking about how much space we waste.
We can’t use it because if we did the duvet would go over Alex’s head, so we all have to shuffle down to the bottom of the bed to sleep and wake up with cramp.
Instead of sleeping, I then lie in bed and think about getting one of these…
We could make extra money from that wasted space above our heads. We could rent out Ed and Alex’s rooms and Ed could sleep with us as well. Like this.
See – even enough room for all the bears and blankets and cars and bricks he insists on sleeping with every night.
Or…we wouldn’t have to worry anymore about inviting family over for christmas and finding them somewhere to sleep.
They could do this…
With Ed we had episodes when he would wake at night screaming, and whoever went in (you could put money on it) would get whacked and hit at. The second person in, could calm him. Didn’t matter who it was, first or second. A tramp could have gone in second and soothed him better than husband or I. But this with Alex, feels more raw. As I type this (he is soothed and asleep on our bed, where I army rolled off the bed and snuck downstairs – it is on 7.30pm) my heart is pounding in my chest. Badum. Badum. Badum.
I do know what to do….If my heart is beating out of my chest, then his must be 100 times worst. Trust my instincts, but follow his lead.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
It is Saturday and 7pm. I am doing my lunges in the lounge. I have my rehydration liquid (wine) and energy food (kettle chips) on the coffee table next to me. It is exercise time.
*sits down and turns on BBC1*.
Lets Dance for comic relief is back on TV. It is primetime TV in my house. Like Countryfile. It is 7pm, the kids are in bed, I am still awake and will be for the next 90 minutes.
I watch the dancers…I start to feel the music in my body…My limbs start to move…I start to reminice of when I was almost a professional dancer. And this happens…
Husband – “you are such a big head Hannah. Can’t I just WATCH the programme without you flouncing around in front of it? You ALWAYS dance by the side of the TV saying “LOOK AT ME!”.
Me – “Whatever”. I am wounded inside and moonwalk out of the lounge.
This. THIS WAS ME! This was where it all began.
Look beyond the scribbles. I left it on the table and Ed tried to colour me in. With a pencil. So, it is a black and white photo, coloured in…with a lead pencil. (he has regressed back to his angry scribbles again – hope that me being the one he scribbled on doesnt show some kind of inner rage directed at me. *makes a mental note to buy him the new Cbeebies magazine and a packet of chocolate buttons*)
Before it was scribbled on my husband saw it on the table and pointed at it.
“What the bloody hell is THAT?!”.
“Me” I say, transported back in time to when it was taken. I can hear see Timmy Mallet by the surf as he sings “Itsy Bitsy Teen Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”. I start to hum it.
“Gross. You look like one of those little freaky child body builders”
“Well” *turns on her heel and says over her shoulder, smug at her come back* “You married it”
*rushes back in to kitchen* “Sorry love, didnt mean to call you a pervert”.
Ed really got into Strictly when it was on last year. Much to the dislike of my husband. Ed was ALL about the jazz hands and the sparkly dresses. It was nothing whatsoever at all at being allowed to stay up late, sit under a blanket during the speaking bits eating twiglets and drinking warm milk. Nothing at all. Whatsoever. At all.
I would always make sure I shut the lounge blinds firmly before 7pm so there would be no witnesses to Ed and I jumping up and down during the routines on the telly, mixing up the twiglets and warm milk in his stomach until he went pale and started to retch a bit. It wasn’t so much “dancing” maybe, more like, holding hands and jumping up and down like when you were 10 and at a disco in a youth club bopping to Yazz.
I was the only dancer in my dance class allowed to dance with a boy. It must have meant something. I could have had it all *clasps fists together and bangs them on the table*.
Or maybe not.
Maybe less this…
And more, this….. (fast forward to 2mins 31 seconds)
Edward is a genuis. It is lunchtime in the Smith house…
Ed – “mummy! I am having soup. HA! Mummy, it is super soup!”
*mummy wipes away proud tears with back of her hand. He will be the next Michael McIntyre. I can swig from a Champagne bottle as I shop in Waitrose*
Ed – “Mummy! The toaster is my friend!”.
We have friends whose children at 3 can write their own names. We got a christmas card from one of them. It was pretty amazing.
Ed’s christmas cards were cotton ball snowmen which when all laid out on the table waiting to dry looked like a cull of baby owls had taken place. Apocolypse Owl.
Or as a friend said “the Tampax christmas range raises a few eyebrows”.
The other day Ed did his first *cough* recognisable person. Gone were the angry wormy mass of scribbles that resembled something which should only be drawn in a room with pastel paintwork and a plump woman with glasses on a bit of string round her neck telling Ed to express himself. This picture had a round (ish) head with (3) dots for eyes, a mouth (albeit on his forehead) and (no body but) two stick legs. WE HAVE A GENIUS IN THE HOUSE! UNRAVEL THE BUNTING AND PUT THE BUBBLY ON ICE!
Seriously though, you have no idea how long I have been waiting for this moment. I did Psychology at Uni and the only thing I remember from my entire degree is that children’s drawings develop the same way and go through stages. Ed is finally at a “stage”. *punches the air*.
But then again, the other week this was a chat in our house…
Me “Ed, did you like mummy’s singing in the choir today?”.
Ed “No. It tasted like yoghurt”.
I love these women.
And I love this woman.
On BBC Breakfast news this morning was a feature about the cost of childcare. How women are forced to stay at home more and more with the children because childcare costs have risen 6% in a year. Carina White said that she had toyed with the idea of staying at home with the children but wanted to work to “teach her children better” (by going to work). Nooooooooo! Carina! What you have just done is reinforce an opinion that staying at home with your children is second best!
It struck a nerve with me (you may be able to tell) because for weeks I have been trying to think about how to write this entry and how to do it fairly. Part of me even feels nervous about posting it because I know people are going to get all weird about it. But I have not heard anyone else voice this, and I want to because it has been bubbling under my skin. Because a few weeks ago I came face to face with this opinion that staying at home with the children is “second best” to working as a woman. And it riled me. I had this weird lunch with a bunch of women who I knew from work, all with kids, most with full time jobs, some with part time jobs. And me. With “no job”. Which was very much the vibe I got.
*holds hands up in a defensive position*
Now, I want to get one thing clear. Crystal clear. I think women who work and have a family are bloody awesome. My friend ran me through her normal working day. Wake up, kids up, breakfast, dressed, drop husband at train station, drop child at childminder, get to work (always late), work through lunch, leave work, pick up child (always late), pick up husband, home, bath kids, bed, collapse on sofa, get up off sofa, eat, lay out everyones clothes for next day, sleep. These women are keeping us chica’s in the workforce, paving the way for our daughters to keep trudging up that ladder until they can press their faces against the glass ceiling and then bash their heads against it and make little tiny cracks in it for THEIR daughters to make even bigger cracks in it. Maximum respect *ethnic finger respect sign* (I am not cool enough to actually know one of these btw). However….maximum respect is deserved of us mothers decide to stay at home with the children.
After my lunch out, I came home feeling pretty turd. And I know none of them meant to make me feel that way. But, I thought to myself, if they think all I do is sit around drinking coffee all day, well, what the hell hope do I have convincing anyone else I don’t do that? I don’t have any family nearby to help with wrap around childcare. I wouldn’t be able to get a job on the salary I was on before kids so we couldn’t afford childcare. Even if I wanted to – I couldn’t afford to work. But, the point is I don’t want to leave the house every morning and entrust my childrens care to someone else – I want to be their carer and mother them all day long and be their primary influence. For me, I want to be part of every single moment I can of them growing up. This is my choice. And I think I do it pretty well.
Of course the media is always going to express polar opinons. Like today - You can work and struggle with childcare costs. Or you could give up your job, and live in poverty and scrounge off the country. Whoa whoa whoa. We struggle, but we dont live in poverty or scrounge on benefits. We make it work because we have to. I dislike greatly being tarred with the “sponging” brush. I am pretty sure the washing machine is about to break down. This month we needed to tax, insure and MOT the car. The children have an inability to turn off anything that has batteries in it (right now I am looking at 2 torches left on and I am torn between turning them off because we are broke and cant afford new batteries or leaving the torches on to teach the kids a lesson about how toys DIE). I get excited when the children open gifts which are clothes that wont fit, or toys they already have because it means I can return them and get something else they DO need (free shopping. Or like legal shoplifting). Our shower only works intermittently. The shower door is proper F**ked and is just 2 precarious glass panels which flap about. The bathroom window leaked in the storms. My straighteners are making this weird buzzing sound – yet I still use them because vanity over rides safety. I had my first hair cut in a year a few weeks ago. Alex threw my laptop on the floor at Christmas and it broke (weird that). I didn’t win the Who Wants to be a Millionaire viewers question, even though I suffered Chris Tarrants stupid jokes and patronising arse-ness for NOTHING GOD DAMMIT!
But as a stay at home mum I don’t get any benefits and certainly don’t sponge off the state as seems to be suggested of stay at home mums. I don’t get any financial reward whatsoever. Next year when David Cameron’s ridiculously bad maths comes round to bite me in the ass and he cuts my child benefit we will feel that incredibly (how did someone with such bad financial understanding and ability to add ever become Prime Minister?!).
But I dont mind because staying at home is a choice I made for me and my family. And luckily, our children don’t seem driven by material things (which helps). For Christmas all Ed wanted was a “Peppa pig whistle and a tootle flute”. It cost £3. Standing in the queue waiting for father Christmas at his grotto a mother dressed in a suit in front of me turned around and said to Ed;
“oooh and what do YOU want for Christmas?”.
Ed said “Peppa pig whistle and a tootle flute” (which had cost me £3 and was already wrapped up waiting for Christmas day).
“Oh, erm, lovely” she said.
“And how about your little one?” I said, nodding towards her 3 year old.
She looked at me and said “Erm. A nintendo DS”.
Some of you wont like what I have written here. But, gals, women, ladies, if we can’t show the respect and support for each others decisions, how do we expect Politicians and the media and the work force to not beat us down for our choices? I just found it really sad. I don’t sit around drinking coffee all day. Just understands what works for some, doesn’t work for others. Be proud of each other for their reasons to work, or stay at home and never assume to second guess someone elses choices.
My name’s Hannah. And I am a mobilephone-rage-aholic.
I have, shall we say, a violent history with my latest mobile phone. I threw it in pure, calculated rage and it hit the wall (I maintain, Officer, I was aiming for the sofa, but my aim was off) and of course, it died. I had to sift through bits of old biscuit and near empty packets of dried out baby wipes in the toy box until I found the archaic nokia we let the boys play with. No, we dont donate our phones to African’s. And it turned up trumps. It was sticky and smelled like feet but it worked. For 3 months. Then that died too, but it was old and had been abused by the children for years so hats off to the little fella. On the off chance I tried the new old phone and I imagined it did this *shrugged at me, called me a few swear words and said “ok i will decide to work again, but just until the contract runs out. I want a phone case, I will turn off whever and whyever I want if I need a rest and you keep those kids away from me”. I agreed to the terms and conditions.
It has a week left to play with me like a cat does with a mouse and then the contract is over.
Todays blog is about phones.
Husband has a half day holiday today so meant I could look for a phone online without hassel from the kids whose only ideas are that it should be “blue”. Alex’s opinion carries no weight whatsoever – he was talking to my Nectar club card today having a good old pretend chat with Grandad.
I can not tell you enough how MUCH I DESPISE searching for new phones. I hope the capital letters will go some way towards expressing it.
I spent more time searching online out of curiosity for the phone I had in 2000 than looking for my new one. Can’t find it. It looked like this.
I wasn’t allowed to use it though. It was for emergencies at University. If I used it I got told off. By my mum. I was only allowed to call or be called after 6pm from landline or to a landline.
I get so confused looking for phones - why are the offers all defaulting to a 24month contract?! I don’t want that – I want 18 months. I don’t know if I have to pay for internet access or not. What is an App? (I honestly don’t know – I know to some people that is like saying “where do babies come from?”). What does an android mean and why would I want one?! Why should I choose a HTC over a Nokia Lumus (can’t even be bothered to check my spelling online)?! It got too much and I wanted to have a little cry. I don’t handle stress well. I can cope with wolf spiders, strange noises at night downstairs and discovering what they are (picture frames falling off walls invariably) and hospital stays with children. I can’t handle finding a new phone. Or maths.
So I pottered round the kitchen for a bit…noticed that the left over mexian bean soup in the sink looked like vomit.
I played with the children even though they were playing quite happily with their dad. It all went tits up with this comment from an angry Edward “NO MUMMY! The big green crocodile doesn’t want to be snapped by another crocodile. you are the FISH. THE FISH!! *humphs and stomps off muttering* Green crocodile with the big long teeth is off to fight the big fat bear. OK?!”. I felt like I was drunk. I could start drinking…that would distract me from the phones.
I found it very interesting when husband rubbed the teaspoon on his back after making a cup of tea “check this out, Han. I am utilising the heat” and we discussed uses of other kitchen utensils and how we could save money on utility bills with them.
I made a big huge fuss of exiling the bull dog clip Alex caught his hand in from the house. “WHO would bring such a weapon in to an environment full of children?!” (me). I put it in the bin, in a tesco bag and then even took the bin out. To the big dustbin in the garden. Ie, not throwing the bin bag out the back door where it ususally lands with a farty puff of air on the back step.
I was internet banking when I overhead this;
Ed – “daddy I have two balls you have no balls”. This threw me. We had discussed vasectomies recently but not castration. Until I heard a football, or two in fact, being kicked round the kitchen. I went in to play some football (even though normally I operate a “No balls in the house” policy).
I never clean my car. Ever. It smells like dried mud and here are the contents..sweet wrappers (some intact, some just those annoying corner bits that get ripped off), 6 childrens books, one baby shoe, the bobble off a bobble hat, Michael McIntyre’s biography, one mitten, a child’s monkey hat (doesn’t fit either child and hasn’t since last winter), some children’s artwork (bad mummy), a bank statement, carrier bags, a plastic jug, the lid off a diet coke bottle and 3 lolly sticks.
I went to one of these
Even though I knew that it was 3pm and school kicking out time so we would hit traffic. I didn’t even mind getting stuck behind 3 other cars waiting for the carwash. One even broke down a little bit and there was an extra delay. Didn’t mind.
Didn’t need to. Items on my shopping list (written out in my best handwriting and in detail) were a bottle of water for Colin (the fish – needs cleaning out) and some stamps.
Didn’t mind when I got stuck behind one of these
This blog entry is a cry for help. Don’t let me suffer anymore. Please help me find the right phone for me. What I want is…touchy bits that whizz around the screen, 300+ minutes of calls, unlimited texts, access to internet and whatever how much mb’s I need (to get facebook, twitter and wordpress), camera and ability to store photos. Think of the little ginger girl who had the ancient nokia and help…
I am so tired I am mostly going to communicate in pictures. Like a monkey. Or someone found living wild in a forest for 20 years. Or the makers of The Artist.
This is how I slept last night and the night before. (I am the big one. The baby is the splat in the middle)
Because of this
Where was my husband you may ask?
Here he is.
Lying cold and shivering on the floor in Edward’s bedroom.
Because of this.
Tonight husband and I are doing this
Cooking with kids is brilliant for learning and for bonding. Plus, when it is snowing or it is half term or you are too broke to afford a trip to a PlayGym, it is an awesome cheap activity. Not just cakes and biscuits but dinners too. Personally, the run up to dinner in my house is when I eye up the left over Baileys from Christmas – it is a stressful and tense time of the day. Everyone is hungry and shouty, and under my feet. By getting the kids involved in helping with dinner, it means less screaming (from me) because they are focussed on doing an acitivity before tea. And Tesco Real Food are also doing these amazingly easy savoury dinner recipes which are EASY. Do you understand what I am saying? They are EASY.
Husband and I feel strongly about giving the kids good fuel. Yes they eat biscuits and cakes, but all in moderation. Even the grandparents are hopping on the bandwagon. Although I did walk into the kitchen the other day to find my mum, who was baking with the boys, giving Alex a bowl of icing sugar. To eat. To. Eat. ”Oh! It’s just a bit of sugary dust, Hannah”.
I have a wheat intollerance so we tend to cook food from scratch as much as we can. But this isn’t always possible - in our world, in anyones world - people work, kid’s get poorly, La Senza does an excellent bra sale so you are late getting indoors and don’t always get a chance to whip something up from scratch (but your boobs feel supported and amazing in this unsexy but practical sale number you found at the back of the rail… and you made a brilliant joke, albeit to yourself, in the shop “Nice rack” *snigger*).
Sometimes, you just can’t be arsed.
So when Tesco Real Food got in touch I wanted to pick one recipe which isn’t 100% from scratch, so if you are in a rush you can get a little bit of a help and a cheat. And this one is packed full of veggies. Last week Edward adored, loved and simply couldn’t get enough of carrots. This week, hates them. Refuses to eat them because we used one for the Snowmans nose when it snowed at the weekend. “I CAN’T EAT HIS NOSE, MUMMY!” he shrieks, running away from me, clutching his own face. Apparently you need to try a food ten times or something before you are “allowed” to say if the children actually genuinely like it or not. Whatever. I just want them to eat as much fruit and veg as possible. So, sometimes, I lie to my children and force feed them veggies without them realising. I don’t care if this is morally wrong. At this age I care more about their skin and bones and inner bits. I hide the nutrients in dinners. Tescos Real Food veggie curry does just that, if you want it to - healthy veggies, a splash of learning and fun (how twee), but with a dash of cheat (a sauce).
Ed got right involved. We have had many a chat about how KatieIcancook is WRONG. You do not use scissors for cooking. Using scissors and food is what drunk people do at the end of a night out when they are desperately trying to get into their kebab and all they can find are scissors. For the love of cooking! You need a knife.
This is a blunt knife (mum please don’t panic). But does the job. And look at the concentration on his face! He probably mashed all the juicey goodness out of that pepper with his attempts, but at least he did it, with a knife and not a pair of plastic lollipop sticks hinged together.
If I am honest, because this one didn’t involve chocolate Alex couldn’t really give two sh*ts about cooking. What he did like, was getting some of his fathers clean undercrackers from the laundry room and running round with them on his head.
You can used reduced salt stock, and the salt in the jar of sauce isn’t high either, plus everything is freezable so you can freeze for another day. Easily would I get 3 meals a piece at least out of this for both boys. Ergo 6 servings+nice and cheap+nice and healthy veg = happy mum and happy kids. The boys really loved this and it was a real shame because I accidently *cough* served up too much for them so I licked the bowl. Ed told me this was ok because I was “cleaning it”. Do feel free to come round anytime for tea.
Check out Tesco Real Food cooking ideas for all sorts of other ideas. And not just for the kids but grown ups can eat them too.
It is Valentines day. Always seeming to tie in to half term, this is a double whammy of brilliance. There is no school traffic on the road in the mornings. Husband leaves for work later, gets home earlier. We are in the pub by 5.30. I have hardly any appointments in my diary (I work in education) and my boss tells me we were so quiet I should just go shopping for an hour or so. I am 25 years old, my arse is firm, I have intact stomach muscles and a healthy bank balance.
I am forced awake by little fingers poking me in the eye and a snotty spitty dummy being forced in my mouth. I catch a whiff of wee as a fat nappy full of nightime piddle is placed on my face. *sigh*. I have romantic competition for my husband by 2 family friends who have sent him a Valentines card. They are both very pretty so I don’t hold out much hope for me. My only trump card is that they are 3 and 1.
By 8am I have play doh-ed, I have painted, I have made valetines cards. I am out of ideas. Playschool is shut. Play gyms are jammed pack of other peoples screaming children. I get possessive over my lego house and frustrated by Edwards (unrealistic) insistence it “needs a diggers scoop coming out of the roof mummy!” and I am reminded of when the clocks went back and I was awake at 4.50am and playing Elefun. I swore daylight savings was God’s form of contraception. I swore no more babies. Ironically at the moment Valentines Day is doing much the same thing. Feeling broody? It’ll pass.
But it is VALENTINES DAY! And explaining this to Ed as I opened his curtains went something like this.
“HAPPY VALENTINES DAY DARLING!”
“Er… Valentines Day…it means…erm…you know, it means a day full of extra cuddles and loads of cakes and chocolate. Why not.”
When I was a little girl my mum and I always baked together and my memory shelves are packed full of happy moment’s plus I know how to whip up some excellent meals and treats. Those of you who know me, know that the kids and I bake 3 or 4 times a week. Tesco Real Food approached me with some recipes they wanted me to try out with the children and very kindly donated the ingredients too. Lets start with a favourite – CAKES!!!!!!!! Chocolate cakes with spinkles.
Just a tip I find helps get Ed involved with the maths and the weighing and the numbers of cooking – I draw a little line on the scales to mark where he needs to get to.
What wasn’t in the plan is Alex getting the pen and drawing on himself.
Another thing you will notice from the photos is I use cheap boring old tupperware bowls to mix and weigh the ingredients. You don’t need an expensive mixing bowl. Just use whatever you have around the house.
The best thing about this recipe is you just throw EVERYTHING in to one bowl. You don’t need to hang around throwing in some flour here, then whisk your eggs seperately. Bish bash bosh, whack it in. 3 year olds don’t have much patience so this is ideal. And it allows time for imagination. Ed mixed the mix with a spoon and made a hole in the centre. “look mummy! The Gruffalo’s cave!”. (I moved the sugar away from him….enough of that for now my lad I think…).
One more thing, passed down through generations…DON’T FORGET TO LICK THE SPOON!!!!!!
(and the bowl).
Ours don’t look quite like the ones on the website…
But who cares?
Someone asked me recently if I had any advice (at the ripe old age of 30 and with two kids) for someone who was expecting their first baby.
Friends went through all the pratical stuff – sleep when you can, sleep when baby sleeps, swaddle cloths, blackout blinds, calpol, make loads of meals before you pop and freeze them down. Out of nowhere, was something my mum always told me, but I never really got until that very moment. “Be kind to yourself, Hannah”.
Be kind to myself. What the hell did that mean? Get a cleaner? Go out for a night out with my friends? Make time for a bath? What?
Deep beneath the surface of the overriding and overwhelming love and joy I had about my baby being born, there was this monster eating away at many of my moments of happiness. Whilst I felt this ecstasy about him being in my life, I felt like he deserved better than me. Better than anything I could offer him. I felt like I failed him. Every day. And every moment I heard my mum tell me to be kind to myself I didn’t know what she meant.
My mum kept drumming that phrase into me for 3 years until I finally twigged what she meant. I twigged it at the moment someone asked me to give advice to the new mother. Be kind to yourself means just that. Give yourself a break. Don’t be hard on yourself. You are not perfect. You are not amazing. You may have dreamt of being a mum your whole life and everyone tells you you will be a natural. You are not going to be able to do it all. You are just a person. You can only do your best. Be kind to yourself.
She is a clever lady is my mum.
When Alex was born, he didn’t have his name yet. We hadn’t definately decided on it. He came out, all serene and mellow. In fact, I was so busy chatting to the aneasthetist that they sort of kept pointing him at me “Hellllooooooooo! Mrs Smith! B.A.B.Y!”. He gave a little squeak, then fell asleep. Through the emotion and drugs my husband and I looked at each other….he must be our “chilled out baby”, we whispered smugly.
Flash forward 18 months.
I’m wrestling Alex into his car seat in Tescos carpark, using my knee to bend him at the waist as I grappled for his seat straps, using my firm/verging-on-shouting voice; “ALEX! PLEASE!”. Up pops a man behind me. “My son is called Alex too. Doesn’t get any better, and he is 12!”, he chuckles grimly. Then a woman from 2 cars down (!) pipes up with; “I have a 20 year old Alex. Doesnt get any better then either!”.
Is it all in a name? Alex does seem to have an edge to him that I am sure the Oscars and the Henry’s of this world don’t have. His name has an “X” in it, for Gods sake. It’s all my fault!!!!!!
Flash forward to being at home.
“ALEX NO! That is naughty! mummy will cry and throw away your dummy!”
Ed; “mummy? why are you crying? And why are you throwing away his dummy?”
Me; *whispers* “I’m not, Ed. I’m fine. But I am trying to teach him a lesson”
Ed to Alex; “mummy is teaching you a lesson Alex. She isn’t crying. And your dummy is in her hand”.
Alex is running round without a nappy on, to get air to his blisters from the pox.
“ALEX! NO! Don’t hit Edward!”. He jumps off the sofa, runs over to his soft toy rabbit and rubs his bum on rabbits face, laughing.
7.30am. Alex is in his highchair throwing cheerios around “ALEX! If you do that again mummy will get really cross and take you down!”
Husband saunters in to kitchen, in best Will Smith voice “Mama will take you doaaaawn!”.
Alex laughs. This doesn’t help me.
“ARG!!!! ALEX!”, I hear from downstairs. Up the stairs stomps an angry husband who thrusts a trainer in my face, covered in sick. “Look what he did! He got it out the cupboard, threw up on it, then he just ran off laughing”.
In just one hour at the Sure Start Centre we go to Alex managed to…shove an orange felt tip up his nose and got an orange nostril, and interestingly, orange snot. He stole £4 from the entrance fee box. And he managed to twiddle the strings on the singing ladies guitar without her realizing until she went to play and it sounded cack. Tellingly, she looked straight at Alex and said, albeit in a nice way “what have YOU done?”.
We have a double buggy, a tandum one. We were out shopping and Smudge said to me “watch this” as Alex (sitting in the backseat of it) pulled on Ed’s hair then kept hitting him round the back of the neck. “Stop it, Alex!” said Smudge. Alex, without so much as a blink in our direction, stopped mid-smack and turned it into a loving stroke of Edwards hair. Husband turns to me and nods at Alex’s little smack-and-strke routine – “He has been doing that for five minutes”.
He broke my laptop. A week before christmas. No, not a cleverly devised “oh deary me” plan by husband to surprise me with a new one. Santa almost didn’t come for Alex that year. Well, maybe he would come for him, with a sack, and put him in it and take him back to the north pole. I resisted that request in my own Santas letter.
I wasn’t happy. But I was, if im honest, and in retrospect and yadda yadda yadda im the grown up *blows raspberry and flicks the laptop screen the bird* I was angry at myself. Vomit. Actually, inititally I was angry at Alex. But I was angry at myself for being so bloody stupid and balancing it on the sofa. And for not backing up. So, I am taking this as a lesson learnt. Or learned. Which one is it? Whatevs. I got the lesson. Well, I didn’t really because my new laptop is 6 weeks old and im already breaking my oath and using it balanced on my lap on the sofa. Its warmer in here. Since we had to pay for a new laptop we cant afford heating the whole house. Alex is in the (freezing cold) kitchen eating dried bread.
Alex Alex Alex. If we tell Ed not to do something, he’ll listen. We congratulated ourselves on our brilliant parenting skills and obvious well behaved genetic make up. I was confused when I walked into the kitchen last weekend, Ed took one look at me, lept off his toy digger and raced in to the playroom and started beating the crap out of his work bench with his toy hammer. I raised an eyebrow at my husband, who replied with “I told him he couldn’t bang until you got up”. Ok then. At least he listens. Ed appears to understand discipline or the need for it…or the brilliance and power that comes from replicating it. He told me off for “breaking the downstairs loo door” (a crime I deny) and I got sent to the laundry room to “sit and think about what I had done”. The lovely, peaceful laundry room, where no one bothered me for five minutes. And when I shouted out through the door “CAN I HAVE A GLASS OF WINE PLEASE?!”, got one sent in by the prison guard Ed. Result.
I need to try and focus on getting Alex to do things without their needing to be some violence beforehand. I ask Alex for a kiss and he throws a toy car at my head. Then gives me a kiss and says “ahhhh”. I hope I never have to ask him for any money in case he has listened to Ed’s latest obsession about “burning the house down” and tries to fraudulently obtain our house insurance.
Alex is simply gorgeous. He is very cute, loves the ladies, loves a flirt and will make me a Nanny by the time I am 45. I feel it in my bones. Has anyone ever read “Edwardo – The horriblest boy in the world?”. Well, it is sort of like that. I need to remember Edwardo. Everyone tells Edwardo he is naughty but actually, by praising Alex, I mean, Edwardo, he changes his behaviour and becomes a good boy.
So, I don’t think it is all in a name. I think it is all in “the age” and how we have forgotton about the tantrums and tears with our “spirited child” as we called Ed when he was doing pretty much exactly the same thing 2 years ago. Tantrums and paddy whacks and early-to-beds (me, as well as him). Edward is 3 and Alex is 18 months – of COURSE I am going to compare their behaviour and of COURSE I am wrong to do it. I can not expect a 18month old to behave in the same way as a 3 year old.
I do still think, however, Alex will make me a Nanny by the time I am 45. He is just too cute.
Today on “Everything’s Rosie”…
1) she didn’t shower when she got up from bed, or brush her teeth. Bad hygiene.
2) she drove the 100 yards from her house to the playground. No wonder kids are obese.
3) she put a bug in a jar to “look after over night”. Bet it is DEAD.
4) her voice sounds like it is constantly on the edge of orgasming (sorry mum, said that word again).
Baby Jake – Nibbles The Rabbit. This is him. Chasing Baby Jake.
Need I say more? Other than this – when they air the episode where he finally flips and beats up everyone in all the lands and the Windmill, I will be writing to Points of View. It should be post watershed. When I will watch it all behind my cushion and with my box of After Eight mints.
Ballamory. Isn’t is great to know we have our own national treasure and indeed, biological marvel in Archie the Inventor. When he made the programme he was in his EARLY TWENTIES!!!! He is a real life Benjamin Button.
In the 1990s….
What I also love about Ballamory is how Penny Pocket and Suzie Sweet bitch at each other when the other isn’t looking (rolling of eyes, tutting, snide looks). Eadie McCreedy also manages to get a good swipe in about Suzie. It is TV genius.
Mr Tumble. Makaton is awesome and I have worked with many a child who communicates through it, as my background is in such. It is brilliant and is an amazing communicative tool. But it has a name…”Nipple Fluffing”. THAT’s what Mr Tumble does when he signs. It has a slang name. I love it. A colleague of mine still works in the field - must get her to use the word “nipple fluffing” more. “ok kids! Lets fluff our nipples…ABCDEFG… HIJKLMNOP…QRS…TUV…WX…Y and Z! Excellent. Here is the savlon”. It is a brilliant expression.
Chuggington. Anything that sneaks in the phrases “lets have a chuggathon!” or “Action Chugger” is a winner in my book.
The only problem I have with The Octonaughts is that Captain Barnacles looks just like a family friend of mine. Below is The Captain. Look at this face.
And this is my family friend…
It is UNCANNY isn’t it?! (in all honesty – family friend looks just like The Cpt but doesn’t want his photo on here. You will just have to take my word).
All in all, my favourite Cbeebies programmes are The Octonaughts (so education and fab) and Driver Dan (love everyone except Loopy who may need to be put down) and Abney And Teal (I adore this. My favourite character is Neap…especially since the episode when he passed out face down in his own birthday cake. Brings back many a memory).
Why do buxon women called Candi keep following me on Twitter? What can I possibly be tweeting to alert their minxy online tentacles. I want them to go away. I don’t want to see their boobs. I find their offer to help me orgasm a bit forward. And I don’t know how they find me. I tweet about the price of nappies, and gin oclock. I don’t twitter on about how I really want to start an online relationship with a busty blonde who has the same name as a packet of sweets. To be honest, I have my suspicions their photos may not be what they really look like…Shawnee and Brandi have the same photo. I am just guessing, not judging or making assumptions. *taps side of head knowingly and pulls a smug face*.
Maybe I will tweet them back a picture of myself in the mornings with no make up on, in my Tesco’s pjs and ask them if they want to be my friend then. Go away, or I will keep sending these photos and will block your twitter page with photos of me looking like Fizz from Corrie.
My husband was delighted when he found out that the Crystals of this world followed me.
Me; “Oh no. Another follow from another Slutbag.”
*Dishes clatter in to the sink and he scampers in from the kitchen* “whhhaaaaat?! Click on the link!”
Me; “NO!! You never click on the links! They might be voles! I mean moles! I mean trolls!”
So ladies, or gentleman, whoever you really are, please stop following me on Twitter. Tom Herbert sometimes replies to my tweets and if he ever see’s a photo of me, looking like Fizz from Corrie on my twitter feed I will kill you.
I was once given a questionnaire on depression…which made me laugh. Maybe this was the plan and I wouldn’t be depressed anymore! Bingo bango. It was after my first baby was born and I just spent 10 minutes telling the health visitor how truly turd I felt and how I honestly believed that everyone would be better off without me. She thrust a form in my face, told me to fill it in THEN AND THERE (in case, what? I used it later on to origami it into a paper knife to paper cut my wrists with?). I filled it in, baby screaming on my lap, unable to hold pen properly because of wriggling baby (oh and this HV refused to hold babies…true story. I imagine having her on any ward would have been interesting) and gave it back. Nope you are not depressed, you only scored “low” (again, a funny choice of words). Excellent. Gospel then is it? Turns out the questionnaire was, get this, WRONG. But that is by the by and that is for another day. But I wanted this blog entry to be about finding the humour in things, even in depression questionnaires, and I think it is in the following that I wish I had the strength to do;
drawn smiley faces and hearts everywhere
put bubbles over my “i”‘s instead of dots
drawn pictures of people stabbing little monkeys
Writen ambiguous things like “it is raining pretty hard now…”
Or even funnier, used film quotes “Is it raining? I hadn’t noticed”.
Written; “I’m depressed now you told me to fill in this form. Happy now? Cos I’m not.”.
Do feel free to add your own suggestions. And I’m not taking the diagnosis of depression lightly, because from the other side of the fence I did a degree in Psychology and learnt all about the wonder of diagnostics. However, I firmly believe paper doesn’t listen. A good friend/ husband/ wife/ parent/ HV/ Doctor, will.
Cheerios have become synonymous with the stench of sh*t in our house. I can no longer tell the difference between cheerios and poo. Husband walks into kitchen at breakfast time;
“whats that STINK?! Has Alex shat himself?!”
“no darling, thats breakfast”.
They just smell the same….going in and going out….
Anyway, todays ingredients are - An onion, oats, bicarb of soda and some lavender. For tonights meal? No. For tonights battle against the pox. Oh and wine.
So, the pox is back in our house. Ed lulled us into a false sense of security with his bout. He suffered, but the Gruffalo pulled him through and he was ok. The Alex got it and got really aggressive and kept headbutting us. “Maybe his head is itchy?” my husband says as Alex nuts him repeatedly shouting “NOOOOOOOO!”.
He really struggled and was all itchy and gross looking with this moustache of snot and spots and didn’t sleep. For days. For DAYS. I don’t just mean naps. I mean, he didn’t sleep. We took it in shifts and I came downstairs at 1am to find Alex bouncing on the open door of the dishwasher (he was at least happy) and my husband cooking; ” We are having a cheese and toast party!” he said. I went back to bed.
Tips we found helped *strokes pretend beard. No wait, strokes actual beard (its my age)*
- Calpol and ibuproufen, of course. Some of our friends recommended Medicet…but we decided not to go for this. I know it has been banned for under 6′s or something and you have to lie to the chemist to get it. Some of our friends assured us this was because some people got silly and overdosed their children on it. But we just decided not to go for it and try alternatives.
- Bi-carb of soda in the bath. Couple of spoons.
- Virasoothe. Apparently calamine lotion isn’t recommended anymore because it is too drying on the skin. My mother laughed when I told her this.
- Oats in the bath. Good old porridge oats, a handful in a muslin cloth, in the bath. Bish bash bosh.
- Antihistimines. Chemist warned me they could make baby drowsy. Her ripped off bloody arm is still attached to the box.
- Aqueous and calamine lotion. And a bonus is it pink. I don’t get a lot of pink things in my house of willies. It was pleasing. And cheap as chips. Cheaper even. About £1.30 a pot.
- An onion. Honest. A sliced onion in the room helps to keep the head clear during the night. Not specifically to help pox, but it helps the symptoms of pox. (also, by the by, did you know that onions are a big source of food poisoning? If the onion is a bit green, don’t eat it – it is bacteria)
- Eurax. Not laxative for the europeans but anti-itch cream for everyone.
- Kleenex menthol tissues. Super soft and good for the following…runny snot, sticky snot, dried morning snot, green snot, yellow snot, caked on snot and constant snot. Perfect for nose wiping, blowing, gentle chiselling and the delicate dab. All is good in this snotty hood.
- Aloe vera gel. Soothing. Smells nice. And irristiably cheery – can’t help but say “allo Vera!” in cheery Northern voice.
- Lavender oil – couple of dabs on a hanky in the bedroom is super soothing, relaxing and lovely.
- Wine for mummies and daddies
- Radox for mummies and daddies baths.
- Catch mit to catch the creamy, gelled, dopey and drugged slippery little bugger after all of the above has been applied.
The recovery period has started. I’m not sure I like it. I have a little feeling I may be having my chain yanked here…just a guess, you know? Ed’s prior ability to communicate in sentences has been replaced with single words, strung out in wingey voices. ”Tiiiieeeereeed”. He put down his spoon in his cereal bowl this morning (never not been ill enough to eat of course) and casted his eyes down to his bowl…then they flickered up to make sure I was watching him…”chwerioooo’s”. Single words+Baby voice+no please or thankyou = irritated mother whose knuckles turn white as she grips the milk carton.
It was a miracle we survived breakfast. Or rather, a miracle that Ed did. Alex had climbed out of his highchair and across the breakfast bar and was sucking on the antibacterial spray before I realised. It was time to get out of the house and see other people. I tried to put Eds shoes on and he wailed about how I was putting them on “No one UNDERSTANDS me, mummy!”. And despite myself I smiled at this – I always wondered how I would handle a teenage girl. And now I knew.
Before he was a floppy mess lying under a blanket on the sofa, the stench of the mornings cheerios and disease being breathed out of his constantly open mouth, looking pathetic, like a little kitten you see on one of those adverts (please help find Moggy a home, she stinks and has mange etc). Now I hear his feet scampering round the lounge as I approach down the hallway to check on him, a quick body launch on to the sofa and a shuffle under the blanket. “JUICE!” he barks at me. I smile through gritted teeth as I silently shut the door. “He is still ill” i tell myself…
But it is a struggle. I dont know how my own mother did it. The whinging alone is awful. *throws hands in the air and clasps them in a praying position…think Madonna in Like a Prayer….with a pinny…and a few christmas pounds in need of shifting…*. I need the whinging to stop. Or to be so frequent I become deaf to that particular wave length. I need to be deaf.
During the peak of open sores I picked him up under his arms and the poor little love screamed his head off (you can tell I was genuinely concerned because of my choice of words…poor little love). Maybe this caused him to get flash backs, a sort of PTSD (Pox Traumatised Spot Disaster) or, realistically maybe he is just getting clever at working his poorliness, but this is what he said to me as three days later; I carefully lifted him gently and with the care required by a carer being examined for their NVQ3 in CARE, under his bottom, and into the car in the car park as Tesco….”Why are you HURTING ME?!!! You and daddy HURT ME!”. Imagine Homer Simpson throttled Bart round the neck and saying “why you little!”.
But I did learn something I want to pass on to others…
Apparently balloons really help a spotty willy. I wouldn’t recommend using this for advertising stuff but, Ed assures me buying him some will help him recover. It perked him up anyways.
If you are old, bald, big bearded, Greek, a geek and a bit chubby then here is a bit of hope for you. Someone out there will fancy you. It’s me.
On the way to the doctors I told Smudge I fancied our GP. Now, looking at Dr Papadakis I can understand why Smudge discribes him as small, head on upside down (bald and big beard) and Greek. But in my eyes he is Omar Shariff (who isn’t Greek but looks just like my Doctor). ”You know I fancy Dr Papadakis , don’t you?”. Husband sighs. “Hannah, you only fancy him because he is nice to you. You are so bloody vulnerable”.
I fancy him because he has a prescription pad and gives me prozac. No, I fancy him because he is heaven in a GP practice. I joke with him “we are here so much, I may as well move in!” and he looks panicked. He tells me a lot about his wife…weird.
I must have made a pact with God when I was depserately trying to get pregnant…I have a vague memory. But I though it was “God, if you let me get pregnant I will be an amazing mum, make all meals from scratch and everything and, and, and…donate money to charity every month”. I suppose I might have said “Oh, and anyone you need fancied, I will do it”.
The new series of the Fabulous Baker Boys started the other week and as a first time viewer, I was glued and giddy and constantly texting my friend Janice sniggering about the inuendo’s. I spent a lot of time on line that following week, erm, “reasearching” them. How long the business had been going for…where they studied…the specific ingredients they used…*coughs*…The second episode aired last week and the convo in my house went something like this…
Husband; “Why arn’t you watching them, Hannah?”
Me; “Oh i dont know. I just don’t find them as good this week”.
Husband; “that’s only because you found out he is married with four kids so can’t be your boyfriend”.
It is true. Well, that must be why I am married to my husband – he know’s me so chuffing well.
The pox hit our village. Just put a big cross on the door, pop on the telly and crack open the biscuits and virasoothe.
With the 3 year old slouched on the sofa, riddled with spots and only speaking in grunts, I had flash fowards to when he would be 15 and doing much the same. The only things keeping him happy him happy were; 1) the fact i told him that the spots on his chest had formed a dot to dot of a digger. This was of course a lie. 2) The Gruffalo on DVD. He was watching it cuddling his Gruffalo toy, his silky blanket and two of the hoover attatchments…maybe I need to slow down on the calpol. We were on our 5th showing of The Gruffalo, in a ROW, and my mind started to wander…
Imagine if the mouse in the Gruffalo was voiced by Brad Pitt. It wouldn’t work. As brilliant as Brad is, he couldn’t do “mouse”. Only James Corden can pull it off. His cheeky chappy voice (I smile whimsically and with appreciation even as I write this). He is also the only one who can get away with all that time-filling sighing without making it sound like porn. Although, having said that, perhaps the following people could pull off the voices for some of the characters in The Gruffalo;
The mouse; Morgan Freeman; shut your eyes and imagine. It would be dreamy. Imagine his deep soothing voice saying “Waaahh thaynkyou Fawx, but…nooo. Iawm off to have tea (Morgan’s characteristic pause), with (and again) a Grauwfalow”.
The owl; Arnold Schwartzeneger. “Leedle brawwwwn mawwwse. Cawm fowwr deeenar, or I weeel bazooooka yoooo”.
Still on the owl…Or Antony Hopkins. Oh yes, that would work. He’d be a good owl. Come and have some chianti in my tree top house. All sinister and classy. (and not encouraging the kids to drink, of course. They wont know what a chianti is. And if they do that is really sad and it’s a whole other issue to address, probably more important than thinking up new voices for The Gruffalo.)
The snake; It has to be Clint Eastwood. Come into my log pile house, punk. *curls upper lip*.
The Fox. Bill Nighy. All swagger and tight jeans, swilling around a glass of wine with a load of back up groupie Adders behind him. ( searched high and low for a useable quote from Love Actually. There is none appropriate to link with The Gruffalo)
Or Michael Cain. “Arrwright little brown mouse. show some bladdy respect”.
The Gruffalo Live is touring again – Thank God. We got to the 7th viewing in the end, in one day, and I had to cut Ed off. Yes he had the pox. Yes he was riddled with pus and scabs and itchy and yes I had slammed his head (accidently) in the car door earlier on in the day, but I couldn’t cope anymore. It became a case of “Oh help. Oh No. It’s The (bloody) Gruffalo (again)”. As much as I love James and Robbie and Rob and Helena. It is always nice to get a different interpretation on things and a different set of voices. Therefore, the live show is always a must and is positively charming and endearing. Please follow them on twitter (and say i sent you). @theGruffaloLive
*softly spoken celeb voice* Please donate whatever space you can. Anything to help free up some room… *even quieter whisper*… Thank you.
Ok. The playroom. In a way similar to how I need to get rid of several pounds/ stone/ whatev’s of holiday weight, the playroom needs to get rid of several Argos stores worth of toys. I need to crack some serious duck eggs to make a serious omelette here. It is ridiculous and actually, pretty obscene with the amount of toys the boys have. Don’t think me ungrateful – we are very lucky to have such generous people wanting to give to the boys, but…it is a lot. And we live in a modest semi.
And I know by even saying the word “playroom” I look like a twat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJBpGrWr_o0&feature=related
It was frankly, terrifying with what I was faced with. The entire weekend had been blacked out on the callender – PLAYROOM STORAGE. I was ripping off the mother of all plasters sorting that playroom. I needed Nick Knowles. But that is beside the point. (ho ho ho). We had already had a sucky start to the weekend as we did not wake up on Saturday morning to find out we had won the euromillions lotto (throws hands to the sky and shouts WHY GOD WHY!). So, we thought we would just deal with what we had which meant, reading in between the lines… finding out what hell was. If you want to know what hell is then travel along the m40 until it becomes the a40. Turn on to the a406 and keep going until you reach Ikea. It is there. I felt physically drained and achey when we left the store. I was laughing hysterically (true story) at Alex dancing in the trolley and it didn’t deserve that kind of reaction. He is no Russell Grant shooting out of a canon.
I woke early the following Sunday morning, energised and joyous with the music of the birds. No, wait, I was awoken early by Alex and suffered the birds. I knew what we had to do. I went downstairs and tried to drag up some enthusiasm and threw myself at the playroom. I announced; Morning Peppa. Morning Thomas. Morning Duplo bricks. I am your worst nightmare. Let battle commence. I took a big gulp of my tea and entered the playroom…inside I was shaking with fear.
Large objects were placed in themed boxes. I dusted off my hands…I made a lot of noise…Hmmm. I was hoping by making excessive clatter I would wake other Smiths and therefore provide reinforcement. I put my still dusty hands on my hips. There was no back up coming. It was just me and Alex. And I didn’t really need his “help”. His emptying the hoover really was a real low light. His eating the dust from the hoover made me realize I needed to get off facebook and stop updating people on what was going on and focus on actually stopping him from eating the dust.
Eventually back up did turn up. But he got distracted by finding old toys and wearing them. And putting children on top of bookshelves to photo and horrify our mothers with.
By the middle of the day I must have been tired as I read channel fives evening film as “TWAT”. (it was SWAT) in the TV guide. After being at it for 5 hours (snigger) Smudge and I cracked open the beers. Midday. Still in our pjs and with the kids running round in their pj’s and bribery twiglet stains on their faces. We are a social services dream.
I was slacking behind by now. I just didn’t care anymore. I kept telling myself “A job worth doing is worth doing well, Hannah!”. But my friend Janice emailed me telling me “a job worth doing is worth doing well doesn’t apply when you have a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old under your feet. A job done adequately, providing the cupboard doors are shut, is a job well done”. She should get T shirts made.
But we did it.
But of course no one is allowed in this room now. The boxes are empty and these children are actors. You should see the state of the lounge.
What with Poundworld having a sale, “Megabank” stating “NO MORE STUPID BANK RULES”, and Asda offering items for 50p or £1, I feel that this recession isn’t affecting me a single jot! Who needs safe toys, financial investment security or nutritional food? Not me!
Some little gems Asda are offering, on offer;
11 mini pork cocktail sausages (11 unappetising midget-fallic tubes of fat and no pork whatsoever)/ friji milk thick (mmmm, full fat milk for the poor)/ jammie dodgers/ meatballs in a tin (always screams nutrition in a can to me!) and a gristle and cow finger nails pie. Sorry, a” steak and kidney puff pie”.
A weight watchers chicken curry (as I type I laugh out loud at this. How is that even possible? Guessing they are taking the weight watchers bit to extreme and just serving an empty box worth a quid? Us fatties wont be happy about that! Oh well, we can buy 22 pork cocktail sausages with our quid instead). Oust Spray. This is probably the best deal of all as will be needed after all the pure fat listed above.
Good old Asda. “Saving you from a healthy lifestyle every day”.
Do feel free to post your own findings and ridiculous sales offers in the comment section. Always up for a laugh!
I had the most bizarre Christmas card delivered this year. Seemingly normal when I opened it “With best wishes, from T and G” (code) on the right hand inside page. But then I read the opposite page, and got this;
“Being a grandparent is even more hard work than being a parent!!! No time for me!!!!”
I popped it in my handbag to show people at a christmas party I was going to that night. A christmas party full of parents with children under the age of 4. I was going to be a hoot this year. I would be armed with hilarious genuine material.
Now, I am not saying Grandparents don’t have it tough. They do. They do a brilliant job, most of them. But, honestly, why write the above to a parent with 2 children under the age of four. Scrap that, why write that at ALL unless it was to another grandparent?
Today, desperately rushing round M and S with the kids before their bribery plain bread rolls ran out (who am I kidding. it was croissants. I disgust even myself), another example of attention-seeking-Gran occured. Looking as I do (frowny and harrassed) I often get looks from grannies as Alex is shoplifting umbrellas and scarves and anything within pram height, and Ed is blowing continuously on his ill tuned Peppa Pig whistle (cheers father christmas). They love it. They smile and roll their eyes knowingly. Sometimes I manage to avoid them. Sometimes I cant. M and S is a risky environment because only certain types of women shop there – the ones who like to talk – and today was no different. This woman is pretty much bending her Inspector Gadget neck around the corners of the clothes rails to make eye contact with me. And I am pretty much doing everything I can to avoid it. She gets me at the dead end of Per Una. Trapped…
“Are they twins?” she shrills.
I sigh. I do a fake chuckle “No, no these two!”
“Of course not, whoopsie me! That one is a girl!”.
When people stop you in shops to “ask” you questions, what they really want is to talk about themselves. And right on cue…
“We just had twins in the family! I have two sets of grandchildren who are twins…to the same parents! First set are 8 and second set are 5 weeks old”.
My mouth drops. “how are they coping?!” I ask.
“Well“, she says. “WE have to help of course. WE are helping ALL THE TIME (bug sigh and roll of eyes). My son in law is away this week, so guess what, it is all down to us. My daughter is very unorganised”.
“Er, ok, do they live far away?”. “
“well, not really. 5 miles”.
How jolly sad. I have a mother in law and a mother who would give their right arm to live just 5 miles from us. My parting shop to this woman, with a smile on my face and a sympathetic nod “Goodness! Well, all the best and good luck to you and your daughter. She will need it”. She thought I was referring to the children. I wasn’t.
What I needed to see on the front of the paper today was a photo of a really fat ugly woman who was really fat and gross and fat. The word is FAT.
What I didn’t need to see on the 3rd of January is a photo of Jessica Alba, on holiday, in a bikini, FOUR months after giving birth and with an amazingly flat and toned stomach. It does not inspire me to loose the weight. It inspires me to waddle to the biscuit tin and to not carry on with the healthy eating plan I had adopted since this morning. 8 hours in and seeing that picture of Jessica has really crapped on my high. And the physical withdrawals from smarties hasn’t even kicked in yet. I still have the sugar rush pumping through my body and giving me an artificial good mood. Although I can feel it starting to slow down and flag as it isn’t joined by any new sugar bunnies, as I am starting to snap at the kids a bit more…
…A lot more.
I was guzzling, literally guzzling from the smarties tube like it was a bottle of water (*cough* wine) last night. Must eat them. Only 12 hours left. Must eat as much as I can. You know that scene in 28 Weeks Later when that little boy is taken into the house and given pasta to eat and he is scooping it up like a wild animal and shoveling it in? That was me last night with pasta bake. I NEVER suggest pasta bake because it is just a bigger size of knickers on a plate but there I was, all over Christmas, suggesting foods that have as many carbs in them as possible. Pasta bake. Roast potatoes. Pigs in blankets. Oh no wait, pig in a blanket. That was me on the sofa under my mums patchwork quilt, with a bag of twiglets in my hand.
My husband asked me on Christmas day “Han, those new Christmas pajamas are really nice, but are you SURE you don’t want a bigger size?” How bloody brave. Or how bloody stupid. At my inlaws people kept suggesting “why don’t you just put your slacks on Han” as I kept wiggling my way around the house, legs too tightly bound in unforgiving denim to move properly. Like two bulging sausages, tied at each end, one end with socks and one end with a belt. At one point, I got off the sofa and thought I was going to pass out as I got this ripping pain in my stomach. Everyone was very concerned and I lied and said “I think I pulled a muscle out walking the other day”. What really happened was my jeans belt had been digging into my stomach and as I got up and it was suddenly released it went in to shock.
The kids are loving January. Because I have become a “feeder”. They are eating so many shortbread biscuits all they need is a sprinkle of icing sugar over the top and jelly tots for eyes and they could be little shortbread men. They are my little human bins who are bouncing with delight at my misery. If I so much as start to turn my smile upside down they attack and take advantage, whinging and fighting each other because they have quickly learnt, in just 8 hours that I will shout “DONT BE MEAN TO YOUR BROTHER! UGH! OK! JUST HAVE A BISCUIT!”. I may end up as a feature on a channel four documentary as mother of fat obese children who refuse to eat anything unless it comes out of a shiny purple wrapper…but I will be a skinny mother on that documentary. Result.
There are rumours that some celebs (not mentioning any names…) pretend to be pregnant and use a surrogate so they don’t lose their figures and ergo their movie deals or reality shows. Weird? Or genius? I expect the scientologists are the ones that do it the most. If they want a baby I expect they email Tom Cruise who comes round with a pillow and contract. I mean, come on, don’t you think Suri Cruise looks just a little bit Chinese?
But I am going to end on a positive. There is an upside of seeing family and friends when you are at your tubbiest. Because when you see them next time, you will be a little less tubby and will get loads of compliments. A bit like Cinderella, old tatty robes discarded and all polished and lovely in her new frock. Or Sandy from Grease when she emerges stitched into her tight leather outfit. Callender note for February 1st; order skin tight leather outfit. Note for February 2nd. Return skin tight leather outfit.
“Step into Christmas!” said Joe, opening the stable doors.
“Oh!” exclaimed Mary “Those drugs are amazing! I’m walking on the air! Lets have some misletoe and wine!”
“Thats what got her in this in the first place” sniggered Craig.
“Sore point, mate” said Joe, wind taken out of his sails.
“Oh I wish it could be Christmas every day!” said Darren.
The baby started crying. Mary, tired, leaking from every orifice, and in need of a shower says to him “you better not shout, you better not cry, you better not pout i’m telling you why”.
Everyone was surprised when Baby Jesus shouted “It’s CHRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSTMASSSSSSS!”. How advanced!
And so the narrator looks down on the scene fondly. The newborn wont sleep tonight. And says to all a merry Christmas and goodnight and…”Tonight thank God it’s them, instead of you”.
Joe, Marcus, Philip, Steve, Darren and Craig were anxiously waiting outside the stable. Well, Joe was anxious, the others were finding it all a bit exciting! Like christmas! Joe was pacing about, with a cuban cigar (rolled on the thighs of one of Marys fellow virgins – she is part of a girl group. Some would call it a gang) waiting for the news of the birth of his step child.
“There are some weird noises coming from that shed, Darren. Sort of like moo-ing”. said Phil.
“It’s the cows, Phil” said Darren. “It’s a stable”.
All of a sudden the Angel Gabriel appeared again (he doubled up as a midwife). “Mary has popped! Going to put it on facebook?”.
Joe did a sort of side shuffle into the stable, with a fake smile on his face and ever so gently lay down their bags…Oh God (Mary’s babys father), is she going to kick off…?
“Not too shabby for Mary”, said Mary. Joe sighed a sigh of relief. Thank God (Marys babys father). Maybe it is a surge of hormones kicking in, making her all mellow and nice. Or maybe that whiskey I slipped in to her decaf coffee really has done the trick.
Mary and Joe settled down and started to discuss baby names. So far in the running were Tulisa for a girl and Justin for a boy (they just got a vibe).
Mary couldn’t face the thought of staying at Joe’s parents so on the way they used Joe’s Iphone to look up a hotel, but when they got to Bethlehem their hotel booking had been taken! Parents of teenage girls fuelled with Bieber fever had outbid each other for Mary and Joe’s room! Trip advisor was going to get a strongly worded letter about this.
Mary really knows how to pick her moments. She tells Joe she is started to feel some twinges.
Joe has a meltdown. No, this can’t be happening. We have not had our final NCT class. I have not laminated the birthing plan. I have not stocked Mary up on carbs and energy drinks. I have not finalised the birthing music!
“Look for a star, look for a star the napkin said….a child prodigy is on his way…” said Marcus
“A child…a prodigy…It must be Justin Beiber! Come on Marcus! Run! Run like the wind!” said Darren
“Ride the sheep! Ride the sheep!” yelled Marcus
Angel Gabby was getting really annoyed. First trudging over to Mary. Then the-so-called-Wise men. Didn’t anyone own a smart phone?! Thats not so chuffing wise, is it? Sending a group email or text would be so much easier. Angel Gabby was going to miss the Downton Abbey Christmas special at this rate. Didn’t anyone ever think about him?! Whatevs. I’ll woft by the shepherds and just scribble down what they need to do on a napkin and let it float down, he thought.
“Whats this, Darren?” said Marcus. ” Wow! Floating paper! A message from God!”.
Seriously?! Said the Angel. God even gets the credit for THAT?!
As Mary was jogging about on the donkey across the land, three wise men was sat around, chewing the crud, being manly, singing Elvis’ “Fools Rush In” when the Angel appeared again. Wolf whistling to get their attention the Angel said “Oi! Fella’s! Wagwan? There is a godly bun in a virgin oven and you need to get over to Bethlehem to check it out. Bring gifts. Gift list is at John Lewis. I would be quick, cos the cheaper stuff is rapidly running out. Word”.
“What was in that brew, Steve?” Asked Philip.
Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house
Were twiglets and biscuits and bottles of Grouse.
Skinny jeans were flung aside in despair,
No way she’d fit back in them this year
The children raced round high on E numbers
Whilst mummy and daddy drank Baileys from tumblers.
Presents were shoe horned, hidden under the stairs
As stocks prices rocketed in ELC shares
What once was the John Barrowman of all Christmas trees
All camp, colour co-ordinated and “LOOK AT ME!”,
Its branches now full of toy cars and crisp crumbs
Looking like Boy George dragged through the slums
Whilst stuffing her face from the Quality Streettin
With only the rubbish strawberry chocolates left in,
She cracked open the cava (this year no champers)
And dreamed of years past and Fortnum and Masons Christmas hampers
Christmas was held on a budget this year,
The Coalition forcing the Smiths into buying cheap beer.
David Cameron got fierce and angered the Europeans
Luckily Hannah liked her liquid imports from Antipodeans
The selloptape was being held tight in her teeth
The children last seen struggling beneath,
The mounds of wrapping paper, tissue and ribbons. She cursed!
Oh well, she find them Christmas day if the worst came to the worst.
Twas the week before Christmas and all through the Home
Were bookshelves a full of cookery tome.
Gordon stood dusty, relegated to yonder
Heston stood proudly, the lady of the house being fonder.
She reached for a pork pie and thought of the scales
Oh who cares she said, if I am the size of a whale!
I’ll worry about it come the new year,
And rejoin Zumba with half hearted gusto and cheer.
The boys were arguing over a girls toy pram,
Hannah’s mum gave her sister’s muslim boyfriend some ham.
But this is what Christmas is all about,
And she smiled fondly upon them….and tried not to shout.