Part 13. Ok folks! Lets take it away!

 

“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”.

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December 24, 2011. The Only Way is Nazareth. 1 comment.

Part 12. The final push.

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?”.

December 24, 2011. The Only Way is Nazareth. Leave a comment.

Part 11. And so this is Christmas. And what have we done?! (thinks a panicked Joe)

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).

December 23, 2011. The Only Way is Nazareth. Leave a comment.

Part 10. Baby it’s cold outside

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!

December 23, 2011. The Only Way is Nazareth. Leave a comment.

Part 9. A child prodigy…

“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

December 20, 2011. The Only Way is Nazareth. 2 comments.

Part 8. A message from God

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?!

December 20, 2011. The Only Way is Nazareth. Leave a comment.

Part 7. Wise man sing, only fools russian

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.

December 19, 2011. The Only Way is Nazareth. Leave a comment.

Twas the week before Christmas

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.

December 18, 2011. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Part 6. Joe is not the Ass Master he claims to be.

First a sledge? Then this? Joe was as much of an ass as that donkey was if he seriously thought Mary was going to ride it all the way to Bethlehem. Jog about on it all the way across the land? With her weak pelvic floor? And with her chest unsupported in a underwire-less bra? She hadn’t seen her feet in months, how did he expect her to even get on the thing? Nope, no way. Not with this belly and these new shoes. I think her exact words to him were “Pimp my ride”.

December 15, 2011. The Only Way is Nazareth. Leave a comment.

Part 5. HAUL ASS!!!!!!!!!!

The sledge idea didn’t work. Turns out Joe is the Nick Knowles of the DIY team – he is just a pretty face and a fine body. So, desperate to get to the twiglets *cough* he means, get his wife to Yonder Holy Land of Holy Yonder…he steals a donkey. Getting SHOT AT by the farmer was a bit much he thought. In a desperate attempt to haul ass, he pulled a hammy. He might need to borrow Mary’s wheat bag.

December 13, 2011. The Only Way is Nazareth. Leave a comment.

Part 4. If I had a hammer…

Right. Joe had to get Mary to his parents place in Bethlehem. She’s spent all their money on taxis and sweets (he had found the taxi reciepts and wrappers stuffed down the side of the sofa along with the dvd Stepmom and a load of snotty tissues). Joe was just a humble carpenter…so he would make her a sledge. And haul her fat body all the way to Bethlehem. He hoped to God (Marys babies father) his parents had plenty of beer waiting. And twiglets. Joe did a mental high five about the twiglets.

December 12, 2011. Tags: . The Only Way is Nazareth. Leave a comment.

Part 3. Lemsip is a drug not to be underestimated

Mary was festering in the lounge with a summer cold. All of a sudden an Angel appeared in front of her… Weird. She knew she should have heeded the packet advice and not had 2 lemsips within an hour.

The Angel told Mary she had to go and see Joe’s family in Bethlehem. “Jesus!” thought Mary. “That is all I need”. The Angel looked at the notes she had scribbled on her heavenly hands and also said they had to pay some taxis. Mary panicked. “I told Joe I walked to the shops and back! He’ll go mad!”. The Angel looked again at her notes “Sorry!” she said “sweaty hands. Taxes”.

Mary made herself feel better by deciding to lie and tell Joe the Angel told him to buy her some new shoes as well.

December 10, 2011. Tags: , , . The Only Way is Nazareth. Leave a comment.

Part 2. Today’s episode on Jeremy Vile “My Wife is pregnant…with GODS BABY!”

Joseph and Mary had a couple of rough weeks. But a theraputic spell on Jeremy Vile helped sort things out and calm things down. The Fireman with the axe shouting “DNA TEST! DNA TEST!” didn’t help matters, but being put up for free in a travel lodge in Manchester did give them some time to chat. (note to Mazza and Joe – make the most of it. I have a feeling hotel rooms make a limited appearence in this story).

December 9, 2011. Tags: , . The Only Way is Nazareth. 1 comment.

Shelling them like peas

I rename this week in the Smith house baby boom week. In one week I have found out…two friends are newly pregnant – one with her first (exciting!), one with her third (exciting and marvellous. And capital-B Brave. And I will be there with the booze as soon as that baby pops and it isn’t “too” dodgy to mix booze and drugs).I have seen another friend who is trudging through the dream-like-mud-state of her first trimester, like a zombie who stops to throw up here and eat a kit kat chunky there. I have another friend who after 4 attempts at IVF is now in her second trimester and clinging on to that baby for dear life after stomach cramps at the weekend. I have had another friend just have her baby yesterday. It got me thinking…babies babies everywhere! And when does a family think their lot is complete and how, HOW do you know?

Assuming of course, you are fortunate enough to be able to make that decision and when that decision is not taken out of your hands by mother nature herself. Big love being sent out to those women and men and families. xx

Some women have that decision taken away from them by partners. Dun dun daaaaaaaaaaaah. *Scary drumrole by a naked chested man using rolled up pamphlets about vasectomies on a drum made of womens emotions*. It is true. I met a woman the other day and we did the normal chit chat about kids. I mean of course, what else?! As a stay at home mum I am unable to discuss politics, the state of the climate, the ftse *folds arms across chest and curls lip at how people assume she is stupid and birthed her brain along with her placenta*…Seriously, though, would have no idea where to start with politics, climate change or the ftse…unless it concerns the politics of why Jessica Simpson pretended not to be pregnant for so long, or that climate change is never so severe in Britain it warrants gross men walking around shirtless with their hands down their jogging pants in May and the ftse, well, who doesnt like talking about shoes? This lady asked me the question I am always asked…did I plan a third? Well, I don’t know, I said. I just don’t know if I am comfortable with the idea of having had all my babies before I was 30. She pulled her neck back and cocked her hip, doing a knowing-mouth. She knew. So, I get her whole past years story. Her husband, when her third baby was 6 weeks old just decided to go for a vasectomy, even though she knew he was against the idea. Hmmmm….I edged away not wanting to be drawn into someone elses obvious issues…

I have this theory daylight savings is a government intervention to curb population growth. On the sat afternoon before the clocks went back, I was packing away Alex’s tiny baby clothes. And I had a tidal wave of broodiness engulf me. Just a mere 12 hours later, that had passed. Significantly. There had been a broodiness drought. Bob Geldoff was penning a song to get me to have more children. And that was because of daylight savings. The Sunday the clocks went back I was awake at 4.50am. I was making shortbread with the children at 6.30am. 6.30am! *wagging finger* Let this be a form of contraception to all the youths out there. I tried bringing early risers Ed and Alex into bed with me that morning hoping for a group cuddle and a few more mins of shut eye in a warm toasty bed. What I got was my nipples pulled, freezing cold feet kicking me in the ribs and my eyes poked. It made me mean. I took a perverted sick delight in making Alex wait for his nap this morning. But, if the government wants to curb population growth then this is the way to do it. I expect the amount of babies conceived late October is not as many as conceived at Christmas.

See…even whilst I write this blog I am putting off going upstairs to help get the kids ready for bed and am enjoying the time that a mother of someone-old-enough-to-be-taken-care-of-by-someone-else appreciates. I have snuck downstairs to “get Alex’s milk” (lie) and “fold some laundry” (lie) and “Put the oven on to pre-heat” (lie). All to avoid bath time. These evenings tend to follow the days that start with Ed delivering little gems at 7am telling me he “is going to be rude all day today, mummy”. Excellent. *Thumbs up!*

I have friends who firmly believe the amount of children people should have per family should be capped and I have had heated discussions on this subject with them. They believe that families should be encouraged to have two children and that is it. David Attenborough is part of a group promoting such. I whole heartedly disagree with this and feel you cannot issue or suggest to issue a blanket across the world saying “two children, thats it. STOP KISSING! STOP IT! NO!!! STOP TOUCHING EACH OTHER”. I imagine David Attenborough throwing condoms instead of confetti over newly weds. I firmly believe such a “foreward thinking idea” wouldnt work, and I base it past events where countries have been told or advised to limit their child intake. China, obviously. Now suffering from a huge male:female blip. Certain parts of India are partaking in “wife sharing”. This isn’t people throwing keys in to a bowl, this is women being forced to have sex and procreate with their husbands brothers because in their culture (and lets be honest, in most cultures) boys are seen as more valuable an offspring than girls so little girls are disposed of.

Blimey….all got a bit serious! *Shakes shoulders dramatically, and pops the kettle on*

Phsyically, the actual idea of having another baby makes me wince a bit. I didn’t have “natural” births with the boys (don’t get me started on THAT “term”) for various reasons and I am torn (ho ho ho) with the memory of recovering after my c-sections physically, and the most amazing emotion that overcomes you when you do have that baby. Both of my births were different. Ed came in to this world cross and angry at being forilbly evicted and waving his chubby fat hands around (at 9lb 8.5oz. he wasn’t wasting away. He came out with a driving liscence and a preference for Julia Donaldson books). Alex emerged when I was mid-chat with the surgeon and was suddenly “there”. He did a little moan, then went back to sleep. In the surgeons arms. Recovering afterwards was a bit of a joke and i think whether you have had “natural”  or c-section or anything in between, then when you hear the words “would you like some paracetomol?” after you have given birth has to be the funniest thing ever. If it didn’t hurt me to tears to laugh i would have laughed everytime they came round with the medication at hospital. Unable to move because of the bloody seeping gash across my stomach, up pipes the nurse with “Paracetomol Mrs Smith?”. Why yes! Super! Also, whilst you are there, please could you arrange for a troup of little fluffy kittens to come and meow me to sleep? That would REALLY help with my pain. Thanks. *Thumbs up*

And then there are times, I look at them, when they are asleep and breathing gently and look so peaceful, and I think wow, shall we? Just one more time? Key sentence here is, when they are asleep.

For some, it is money. I always thought, up until today, honestly, I might have more children> I always saw myself and my reason for being, was to be a mummy. But, I have (touch wood, touch wood touch wood touch wood times infinity) two healthy boys so why get greedy? We struggle with money, like most people and for well, years I have refused to sell the baby things, when realistically, if we arn’t going to have more babies, we could benefit from the sale of the bugaboo (£800 quid! Jeez!) 0r the clothes that are classic “first grandchild”. We have Gap. Ted Baker, Designer shops in Bath. You name it, we got it. But today when we are constantly counting pennies, I have to admit, my bun and oven days are gone.  Sad, but, it is more important to look after the little loaves I have already baked.

December 8, 2011. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Part 1. And so it begins…

Mary had been feeling a bit peaky lately, but had put it down to celebrating Purim in style. Shocked does not even begin to describe it…WWJD? (what will Joseph do?)

December 8, 2011. Tags: , , , , . The Only Way is Nazareth. Leave a comment.

Thanks for “sharing”

How? How how HOW do a family of four ever get through the winter without one of us at any point having a cold? With the children visiting some kind of infection pick-and-mix ball pit every day, constantly swapping cups and spoons and spit and bacteria with each other, let ALONE swapping lurgies and bogies and long-phlemy-beasties with other children, how do we ever stop moving the bug around the four of us in the house? I honestly don’t know. Towards the end of November we had a week of Alex waking every hour every night. Then we had four days last week when Alex managed to sleep- after the anti biotics for an ear infection started working. Then I got his original cold, and inevitably breathed it back over him and, well he was in hospital before we knew it. I will end this paragraph on that cliff hanger.

The appointment for the out of hours surgery was an NHS target meeting dream. It was quick, efficient and I was ushered out the doctors office, with smiles and a hand in the small of my back and onto a chair in the A and E waiting room with swift precision. I was sat there, cuddling Alex and feeling smug at how well we had been treated and already drafting a “Dears Out of Hours, Thank you” letter in my head. Then, lovely doctor reappears and tells me I have to join the back of the A and E queue, hand this letter to the receptionist who will then direct me to the ward for Alex to be admitted for possible severe bronchilitis. By this time, the A and E department had experienced an epidemic of epic proportions of god knows what and everyone and their uncle had reached the end of their pilgrimage to be there. The queue was 12 people deep. Just to see the receptionist. I asked the previously-lovely-but-rapidly-becomming-a-nob-in-my-eyes- doctor, in my best polite voice “Are you joking?”. No. He wasn’t. No he couldn’t just hand the letter to the receptionist himself and no couldn’t direct me to the ward. I had to rejoin a queue I had already been part of half an hour ago just to get to book into see him.

People are nice though arn’t they? One man noticed me juggling a one year old and two bags and two coats and offered to stand in the queue for me. Of course I didn’t take him up on it. I am British and don’t accept help.

We queued for thirty minutes here. We waited another thirty minutes in the waiting room. We waited 3 more hours in the paediatric assessment unit. Before being seen. This is a child with “Possible severe bronchiilitis” by the way. And I couldn’t help but think back to the strikes the previous day. The government said emergeny care woudnt be affected. But then in the next breath they said hospitals would be affected. I got angry. I started to think what if this had happened the day before? Now, SURELY some emergency care must be affected? Surely? There must be a knock on of people being drafted in from considered plodding along care to cover the emergeny strikers etc? It pissed me off. I was already riled up about the strikes. I understand the reasons behind it, I used to work in the public sector, but It ISNT the fat cat bankers and big wigs who will ever be the ones affected by strikes as the strikers intend. It is people like me and Alex sat in that waiting room for hours on end. 

And I started to get quite distressed at this point because a year ago, almost to the day, Alex was in hospital with suspected meningitis. It was the scariest day of my life. His body was limp, he was doing a constant, awful moan and he screamed when we touched him. His breathing sounded like Puffer Pete from Chugginton. He didn’t open his eyes. His temperature was 41 degrees. But his hands and feet were freezing. Our doctors surgery told me to give him ibuprofen. They told me his chest was totally clear and sent me home. I phoned back in the afternoon and got a rather huffy response “have you given him more ibuprofen? Do that”. I wasn’t happy with this and maybe my “Mothers instinct” kicked in and we just took him to A and E. The scariest moment of my life was when the triage nurse was checking him over and pointed to two purple marks on his lower legs. “How long have these been there for, Mrs Smith?” as she pressed them, and they didn’t disappear. My heart fell to the pit of my stomach and this sound, somewhere between a sob and a groan left my mouth. I vividly remember how she touched my arm and said “lets take him through now”. And we went through the other door from triage. Not the one you go through when you go back out to the waiting room, to wait for hours to be then seen by the doctor and rejoin the queue. But we went through this door i had never noticed before and through what felt like the belly of the hospital where Alex was swarmed upon by a team of nurses and doctors and poked, prodded and pin cushioned. My little human pin cushion. Tiny and naked except for a nappy. Whilst we waited for blood tests we were put in a little room – the four of us, me, Smudge, Ed and Alex. Ed was amazing, such a good boy. He must have been freaked out but was happy to sit and draw and eat the endless bourbon biscuits the nurses kept brining him. We don’t have family nearby – the sacrifice we made by living here – and of course, although at this point no one, no one had mentioned “meningitis” it was the elephant in the room and knowing this, we didn’t feel we could ask a friend, with children, to come and take care of Edward. He could be a carrying it too. The thought of having a second child, possibly carrying this, made me feel sicker. I felt I couldn’t feel sicker, but when I had that though, it turns out, I could.

I don’t know if my husband was in denial at this point. I was cradling Alex and we were having this discussion of what we needed to do about Ed. It was getting on for his bedtime and although he had been amazing all afternoon, he was naturally reaching his limits. It never crossed my mind I would be the one to take him home and leave Alex there. Selfish I suppose, but it never crossed my mind it would be ME to not be with Alex. Looking back Smudge must have felt the same but I was there trying to bully Smudge into taking Ed home. I remember clearly cradling Alex and looking Smudge straight in the eye and hissing at him “they think he has MENINGITIS Smudge! We NEED to ask people for help”.

 The nurse came to take Alex for his lumber puncture and we were advised not to go in. I said I could take it, I wanted to go in, but I guess when they realised I was not getting their hint that it would be awful to see, they told me I shouldn’t. He came back and he looked, well he looked…like a rag doll. He didn’t look real. This nurse was cuddling him as if he was her own baby and for that I will be forever be grateful, because if I wasn’t there with him, I wanted someone to be holding him as if he was theirs.

In some weird way though, being in hospital was better than not being. I knew he was in the right place. Someone ELSE was making the decisions, the informed and professional decisions on what to do about his care and what he needed. I didn’t need to grope around in the dark anymore.

I didn’t know and know now the following and want to pass it on; 1) Signs of meningitis people don’t know are cold hands and feet. Always be aware of this.  2) Skin not pinking up instantly when you touch the skin. 3) A high pitched sound or moaning.

Alex’s lumber results came back negative for bacterial meningitis, but he was given the meningitis antibiotics anyway, just to be sure. He was diagnosed with severe bronchilitis and stayed on drips in hospital for four days, and then released on good behaviour with further drugs for another 5 days. A week later and you never would have even guessed what had happened.

So when Alex was taken back into hospital on Thursday I thought, here we go again, bronchilitis. When the first doctor had noted on his admission forms “suspected severe bronchilitis” this gave me a clue. I’m not just a hat rack, me. So, once again, Alex was lying on the hospital bed, this tiny body, naked expect for a nappy, a tiny body in comparison to a huge hospital bed and this doctor was checking him over. I managed somewhere to get the courage to ask my question, and swallowed down a huge lump in the throat and said “so…doctor, what do you think this is?”. The doctor looked at me, smiled this little smile and said “Mrs Smith, I think, this is…a bad cough and cold”.

Relief.

One of the nurses there was telling me the following, I didn’t know and wanted to share it. Certain words are scary. Bronchitilitis is one of them. He told me that every child will get bronchilitis at some point. Every one. He said it just varies as to how badly they have it. Some will need anti biotics and some will need hospitalisation. This made me feel so much better. Because once you KNOW what the facts are behind the big scary monster in the room it is easier to deal with, isn’t it?

December 3, 2011. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

“The Beast of Bucks”

*owl hoots in the distance*. Innocent mother, has managed to sneak time for a shower *humming Take Thats Never Forget*. It is cold. It is a dark morning. Oldest child walks in and announces he needs a wizz..and leaves the door open. Over the flowing water, the mother hears staggering footsteps mixed in with a small body bouncing off furniture as he tries to navigate his way through the rooms to the bathroom…and to the toilet brush in the bathroom he loves so much. “whats that noise Ed? Is that Alex? I can hear him! Ed he’s coming!!! SHUT THE DOOR! SHUT THE DOOR! HE’s COMING!!! SHUT THE DOOR!”

December 1, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.