Slugs and snails and puppy dog tails

I only have 9 toenails. Ed managed to jam the lounge door shut, trapping us all inside. After 10 minutes of me panicking I managed to open it. And took off my big toe nail and a load of toe fat with it. Ed panicked at the sight of all the blood (and I assume his mother throwing herself on the floor shouting “YOU MOTHER EFFING MOTHER TWAT OF A DOOR!”) and had a massive runny poo all over the lounge carpet. I couldn’t carry him to the bathroom, all I could manage was to put a tescos carrier bag under him and hope for the best. Alex, just laughed, jumped off the sofa and like a London rioter took advantage of the situation. He ran upstairs, emptied all the toys from the toy box, ran downstairs and started eating biscuits from the biscuit tin. I was rolling around the floor in pain, and trying to avoid the poo, with Ed asking me “what is Alex doing? Is he eating the blood!?”.

*manic gleeful laughing and a sing-song posh voice* AHhahahahaha! Boys WILL be Boys!    

I had 25 bruises on my legs when I counted them last night.  The other day I was playing peepo with Alex and we were having a delightful time. He gave me a loving look, lent in…and gave me a Glaswegian kiss. He was fine. I honestly thought my nose was broken. Alex didnt care. You see, my sons are destined for high powered jobs. Ed’s skills lie in repeatedly asking me the same question until I break and give him a biscuit and he will be marvellous when he is a MI5 interregator.  Alex is genius at exploiting opportunity. I try and do a keep fit video three times a week…but doing stomach exercises on the floor leave me exposed. And vulnerable. I felt like a vain perp from an old gangster movie when, laying on the floor, doing some pilates, Godzilla, sorry Alex, comes rushing over, all grins and spikey finger nails and I cry out “not the face! not the face!”. Bless him, for all his cuteness and lovliness, I am 100% certain Alex will not have a career in any kind of caring profession. Smudge was ill recently, and achey and sitting on the floor, Alex made a bee line for him, all smiley and sweet…and stamped on his leg. Repeatedly. When Ed fell off the sofa and lay on the floor crying, Alex ran over to him, showed him his little hard plastic ball he was playing with, smiled…and hit him over the head with it. Repeatedly. He means well…he just, well lets just say, check your pockets for your stuff before you leave our house if ever you visit.

I was chatting this all through with my great aunty Peggy, 83, no kids of her own, and also having a little moan that the children had yet another cold and we were not sleeping yet again. Her advice was this – “hit them round the head with a sweaty sock”. Apparently the sweat is a healer….who cares!

I suppose this leads on to the different ways of discipling a child.

With a little boy who gets so frustrated and angry and cant express it and his arms and legs flail everywhere and he hits out, i don’t feel that i can smack him across his backside and then say “DONT HIT PEOPLE!”. It just doesn’t sit well with me. I mean, i grew up in the time of getting a clip round the ear if you were bad. I remember running away from my mum and sitting on my bum thinking and feeling smug “ah ha! She cant smack me now”. She just smacked me across my legs instead. It didnt hurt me, it probably helped me. But i just don’t feel I can do it. So we lock him in cupboards instead. Poke at him with sticks. No we don’t. We take stuff away from him, which seems to work (this week). He has a little brother, so he is obsessively paranoid about having his stuff taken away from him anyway. Therefore we sensed a weakness and we are exploiting it. As every resourceful parent should.

This may be a good opportunity to discuss different grandparent views on discipling your child. I can’t really talk about my own parents but, I was discussing this with a friend the other day. My friends dad is old skool. She tells me he is frowny eyed and huffs a bit when she tries to give her child warnings before she threatens him with the cupboard and stick. (joke). Her dad is a very good grandparent and parent as he will not say a thing, not a thing, understanding that her parenting skills vary from his, although she can tell he is itching to deliver a “clip from the ear”. I love that term. Like parents rush up to their kids, fingers wagging and saying “what you need is a clip round the ear!” and tag their ears with a machine like a little farm lamb. But yes, my friends Dad feels that a smack is ok. (not that smack is ok. A Smack). She feels if she did it for her chidlren, she would be the baddy in an Enid Blyton story.

Coach Edwin of Ed’s football team seems to have the answer. When Ed tantrums he will shout in his very heavy Ghanian accent;“Edward. Shout louder! I can not hear you”.  In his heavy, delicious, Ghanian accent…

Anyway. Check this link out.

This is a pretty extreme article and is, as it says on the tin, from the Daily Mail so what do we expect. But when i read it it did get me thinking. Amongst other things that I need to stop reading the Daily Mail. It is the sidebar of shame.

November 28, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Someone suggested a white shirt for the choir uniform? Me and my post-2-children-jelly-belly dislike this idea. Black = all the way. Or a sack.

            Or a tummy tuck. I would like a tummy tuck.

It is a difficult fact to swallow, no pun intended, but after two kids my stomach muscles are split beyond the ability to reform naturally. I have a mummy tummy. I suck it in. It does no good. And it just hurts to even suck it in now so I mostly don’t do that anymore. I am not at the stage where I am just giving in and wearing mummy tummy jeans (the kind that go up over your stomach and under your boobs), I try to hide it with cardigans and the like. But I will at one point get to that stage if I don’t do something soon. I am beyond the point of wearing a belt Gok Wan style, above my waist to “suck it all in dahhhling!”. It doesn’t suck it all in because “It” has to find a place to go somewhere so “it” just migrates south and becomes a bulge. People do that thing where they mean it in a nice way but whatever way they say it, it isn’t nice. “Wow, you look amazing, considering you have had two kids”. There it is, there is the word “considering”. I feel like saying, “thanks, you look amazing, considering your face is ugly”. Hurts doesn’t it? But it is true, sad fact. Considering considering considering. Time to suck in the gut *inhale…keep inhaling…don’t pass out*

My friend Sam lost loads of weight after her second baby and told me it was because she didn’t see any point in loosing weight after the first because she would soon, hopefully be pregnant again so would just get chubby again. I totally get this. I won’t be having any more babies anytime soon (at all if Mr Smith gets his vasectomy way) so now is the time for me to try and regain my figure. Or…have a convo with the checkout lady at Sainsbos about this who told me Sainsburys are doing an all-in-one for £12 which hides your bumps. I got one. I am just going to staple it to my skin. Smudge will see it so often he will end up believing the space between my paler than snow shoulders and whiter than light knees is black.

November 26, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

I am going to either implode or explode. I am not sure which yet.

It was only a Wednesday evening and I felt like I was going to implode or explode. I had yet to decide which. By the weekend I was Hans Solo. It got so bad that my (amazing) husband took the kids back to his parents house for the weekend so I could have some time to myself – to be quiet, to have things still be where i left them 2 minutes later, to have breakfast without a child begging like a dog for some of my breakfast (when they have left their exactly-the-same-and equally-delicious breakfast 2 minutes ealirer)… to be able to sleep. I woke up Thursday morning thinking Wednesday evening was just a blip. Maybe the whole week so far had just been an “off week”. Alex not eating ANYTHING. Ed being a little more temperamental than usual. My wine consumption having gone up because, after all, it was a lovely sunny week and it is nice to have a glass of wine in the evening in the sun. Thursday morning hit and the shit hit with it. It is never a good sign when Ed tantrums and stamps his feet at me… as i get him out of bed. He didnt WANT breakfast. Then he did WANT breakfast. Then he didnt WANT a cup of tea. Fine Ed, no skin off my nose. Then he did WANT it. Etc etc etc. My cockles were warmed by the promise of Tea and Toast at the sure start centre we go to, followed by choir. Or should i say, my cockles were warmed by the promise of the free crèche for 40 minutes as I attend choir . But at Tea and Toast they told me crèche, sorry, Choir, was cancelled. Which really shat on my day. Lovely Kate (Owens mum) offered to have Ed with her for an hour whilst i went for a coffee as i seemed “a bit stressed”. After much convicing by Kate that this was a good idea, i suggested it to Ed and considering he had been suggesting to me all morning he play with Owen at his house, he  screamed at the thought of being separated from me for an hour and refused to release his clamping claw from my skirt. I cant really describe how it got so bad. I suppose you never really can. Or i never seem to be able to. I can cope with big massive whoopers of situations pretty well, but i get worn down very easily by nit picky things – the little digs from hammers that chip away until a giant underground cave is suddenly found and i fall in. By the time it was 4pm i simply had to get the kids out of the house. We had nothing for dinner so i though (foolishly in retrospect) i would kill two birds with one stone and go to Tescos. I got Ed the very specific trolley he wanted (one where he and Alex could sit side by side. I don’t about your local store but ours seem to have abandoned all but 2 of these trolleys so to find one, is a feat in itself). I appreciate it may seem like i had already ergo given him leadership in this pilgrimage however, i thought i was picking my battles and would allow him this one and win the war myself. Wrong. We got to the meat aisle and he hit me, he spat at me, he screamed at me, he hit Alex, Alex hit him back and poked him in the eye. I tried to rise above it, ignoring it, and was looking at the fish risotto. The woman standing next to me told me that risotto was lovely – she had had it before. She was nice to me. And i burst into tears. And i didnt stop crying until Smudge came home from work 2 hours later. I would perhaps normally have judged this woman – she had a hairy lip, she had an ill-fitting pink t shirt on and “mum” jeans (the kind that go up over a big mummy tummy and sit under the boobs). But she touched my arm and told me it would be ok. She talked to Ed, and very nicely, told him off. She said “no, you don’t spit. That isn’t nice. Look, you are worrying mummy”. I don’t condone people telling off other peoples children, but this lady, did it with such grace and compassion aimed for ME that it just made me cry harder. We went home, shopping abandoned, and i carried on crying. Smudge came home from work early and i carried on crying. Not because Ed was naughty, he was naughty, but he is 3 of course he will be naughty, but on that day it was all too much. I felt worthless. I felt like i was worth nothing. I had no opinion. Everything i said was argued with – from “no, i don’t think we do have any chicken in the freezer” to “Yes we DO!”, to….i was back to being a child myself. Not getting to even choose what we watched on my OWN tv – as an adult! I was forced into watching kids programmes. No, i LET myself be forced into watching kids programmes. It was an awful day. 

My husband, was amazing. I suggested he and the boys go away for the weekend so i had time to think and off they went and in i stayed. “Hannah is Hans Solo.” I fell asleep on the sofa at 8.30pm (albeit after several glasses of wine). I slept terribly, had awful nightmares, had to use the loo several times and woke at 6.30am. So…everything I would have done anyway with the boys, but would have, if im honest, blamed a stressful day for. But my day wasn’t stressful. It was quiet. Too quiet. I didnt like it. And it made me realise my days with the boys are NOT stressful – well, they are, but not hideously so. I can if i want to, put the ironing down and play trains. Or say “right, you don’t want to eat this for dinner? Screw it, lets eat cereal”. If im honest i doubt i will do those things as much as i should do (maybe not the cereal bit – i will remain a stickler for meals. You eat what is there or you don’t get anything else) but maybe i need to enjoy my time a bit more. It is MY time too. I suppose it is an incredibly fine line between being a fun mum but also being a parent. I read this recently;

“I am not your friend. I am your parent. I will stalk you, flip out on you, lecture you, drive you insane, be your worst nightmare & hunt you down like a bloodhound when needed because I LOVE YOU! When you understand that, I will know you are a responsible adult. You will NEVER… find someone who loves, cares & worries about you more than I do!”

It is a bit cheesy but fundamentally true methinks.

November 24, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

“Sarah the puppet is a dye job. I know this fact because her eyebrows don’t match her electric blonde hair.”

I got handed a bag at playschool. “This is Sarah. We ask a child to take her home each weeked”. In my day you were given the school gerbil to take home for the weekend. And here was Mrs Messer handing me a sealed plastic bag. You can imagine my face. Turns out, Sarah is a puppet.

Ed’s playschool is brilliant but as first time mum I didn’t realise this was the sort of stuff playschools did. Sarah didn’t just come home by herself – she came home with a journal and we had to fill it with things she did with us over the weekend including pictures and photos. I’m fairly sure my mum didn’t have to go that far with the gerbil. We fed it some carrot peelings and put it in the utility room and breathed a sigh of relief when it didn’t die by Monday morning. By the end of the first day, Sarah happened mirrored my own exhaustion at a day spent in our household and poured herself a large glass of wine.

Sarah stayed with us all weekend and had an absolute ball.

“Ed just made Sarah kiss his toes. Hope he doesn’t treat all women this way. Made of felt or not, she is still a woman.”

The only problem we had with Sarah was boundaries. And her being thrown over those boundaries by Edward.  “Sarrwaah wants to sleep in bed with me”. No, she doesn’t, Edward. Sarah has slept in the bed of all the children at playschool. She is a puppet slut and is probably riddled with all sorts – old milk crust and mouldy biscuit crumbs. She stays downstairs

Ed was in complete denial when Sarah had to be returned home. He sat on the mat at playschool in a scene similar to when he met her – holding her in her little plastic bag (sick). I told him she needs to stay with Mrs Messer now. He did his blank face, his rejection face, his denial face. And *like Kaiser Solce* just like that, poof, Sarah was gone.

November 24, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

I watch Children in Need for the kids. One Direction.

Wasn’t going to Blog tonight. She was going to watch Children in Need with a glass of wine (on the telly. Not find some children, in need, and watch them, with her sauvignon blanc. That’s a bit sick) and do nothing, for the children. But, I wrote something on FB today and it made me think. I was having a little jest about how, I watch Children In Need with a glass of wine or 2, because it always falls on a Friday (clever BBC) and I end up donating a bucket load.Not that I wouldn’t normally donate to causes like this, but, like most people I guess “I have charities I support  already actually” and I regularly say this to the leaches that descend upon me in the town centre in their luminous tabards trying to get me to support one legged gay donkeys. But, I don’t know, I suppose an entire evening devoted to one charity, a mix of celebs and stars and mini-docs about the children who benefit from it, plus a glass of wine will inevitably mean my bank balance is lighter on the Saturday morning than it was on the Friday morning.  This was my “funny” and detatched approach to Children in Need, posted on FB just twelve hours ago. Then my friend replied with a comment saying, thanks for donating, as she gets help from Children in Need. I didn’t know this. For her, it means, her eldest son gets fun and time for his individual needs, and her youngest son gets 1:1 family time, devoted entirely to him. This woman has also had a tumour removed from her stomach – last week that happened. You see, it hadn’t really sunk in that people I know, people WE know, are affected by Children in Need. So, if anyone reads this tonight, please donate. I will be. And I will be thinking of Jacob and Harry.

November 18, 2011. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

A bath at any cost

Picture the scene…Hannah has just got back from a long cycle ride, in the wind and the rain. She aches. She tops up the boys bathwater with bubbles and hot water, settles in with her book…just as her husband sticks his head round the bathroom door “Ed did a wee in that water”.

Ergo – nothing is yours anymore. Not even decent bath water. The thing is…after Smudge (my husband) told me, I looked around a bit, weighed it all up and just went “meh” and carried on reading. I have no standards anymore. The doctors took them when they dug out my placenta.

November 15, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

It’s a crap job…but someone has to do it. Potty Training.

To summarise, potty training is gross for all involved. I promise, my son used to retch at the smell of his own poo in a potty. And fair enough as it does smell like chemical festival toilets. We laughed at him as Ed retched at the stink of his own waste…but we were the ones retching as we had to empty it down the toilet. I was worried about potty training, I will be honest. Less worried than my husband who seemed to think Ed not being potty trained meant he was one crappy nappy away from assisted living, but, I was concerned that all of our friends kids (PEER PRESSURE!) were happily asking for “wee wee’s” and “poopoo’s” and ours was happily sitting in his own luke warm stinking faeces. “He will do it when he is ready” “Don’t worry, when he wants to use the toilet he will let you know”. Chuff off mother of child whose 2 year old proudly struts about in M and S big boy pants with trucks on. But, deep breath…it is true (and Rachel, Jake will get there. *patronising thumbs up*). I was told by a mum of four outside the playschool gates that it is a hormone, apparently. They have to get this hormone which kicks in and tells them “you know what, I am ready. Ready for the PANTS!”. I don’t know if this is actually scientifically true. I did a bit of google search at the time and didn’t come up with anything, but I was happy to believe it. I started asking my mum, “when did I get my hormone?” and found out I was very advanced so blamed Ed’s nappy bill on my husband. He retorted with “I could read kawazaki at 2!”, my mum piped up with “Hannah could tie her shoelaces at 18 months” and it turned into some bizarre competition irrelevant to potty training. But yes, “the hormone”. I don’t know if this is true, but what I do know is this…we kept asking him, doing all the right things “do you need a wee, Ed? Shall we try the potty”. “nope”. Ok. Breath in. Etc etc etc. Sticker charts we tried. Bribery; If you do a poo on the potty mummy will (shamelessly) give you these chocolate buttons. Nada. And then one Thursday morning, completely out of nowhere whilst I was changing yet another of Ed’s poopy nappies…Ed says to me “I don’t want to wear nappies anymore mummy. I want to wear big boy pants”. In my panic to run upstairs and grab a pair of big boy pants (with trucks on…from M and S), I forgot about the used poopy nappy I had just taken off Ed and came downstairs to find Alex with a handful of his brothers crap. It was a bittersweet morning. But that is how it happened in our house for Ed. He just, announced it. “Mummy! I am a man. I am ready for pants! BIG BOY pants! Bring it!”. Not quite like that, but I imagine if he could articulate a little better he would. We have our accidents and only today I learnt this is normal for boys, even at 4 years old. My friend recounted a time she went into her boys bedroom and there was a poo on the bedside table. She, calmly (didn’t want to freak him out and regress him…nappies are expensive) asked him how the poo got there. He told her a rabbit fairy did it. (Reading this back…maybe he said “rabid fairy” and she misheard him? Some kind of delinquent infected fairy bitch who wanted the boys mum to be cross at him. Must suggest this to my friend).

November 15, 2011. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

*chica finger wiggle* yuh uh, bet yo ass I will phone tesco customer services and complain if you park in the kiddie spaces tesco employee (ps, wearing your tesco employee t shirt was a bit of a give away bright spark)

It is reeeeaaaaalllly annoying (*screws up eyes and face to emphasise this point*) when people sans kids park in places for people con kids. Incredibly. A pet peve. A massive pet peeve. If my pet was an elephant with a fat problem who was a giant then that is my pet peeve. And for the clever clogs amongst you who says (Jayne McDonald from Loose Women) I parked in one of those places and someone challenged me and i said, Er, i’m with my mum, and i’m HER child” *waits for round of applause at how clever she is*, well listen here missy – They clearly state toddler or child under 12 so get back on your cruise ship and sail away honey.

November 15, 2011. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Breaking my blogging cherry.

It is pretty telling that I opened my blog account over two days ago now…and am only just sitting down to post my first entry. Note, this is whilst the kids, one naked and a lover of mearking his territory, are jumping on the sofa as I half heartedly say “don’t jump on the sofa” as I type away. I need a break. I need to blog away. I will probably need a new sofa and some 1001 carpet cleaner too.

November 15, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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November 13, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 comment.