Nick nack mummy had a paddy whack

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…

My garlic!

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”.

Hmmmmmm.

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March 29, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Guest blogging for Story of Mum

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!

Han

x

March 25, 2012. Uncategorized. 4 comments.

The Running Woman

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.

Lets GO!

“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.

JOKE.

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”.

www.virginmoneygiving.com/AlexTunnicliffe

The end.

March 20, 2012. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

HAPPY HANNAHMAS EVERYONE!!!!

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.

Presents now…

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.

“Yes please”.

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

“No. Why?”

“I didn’t know you had grey ones”.

I don’t.

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?”

“Sunday”

“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.

March 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Ello Tiddlers!

Anyway, cant carry on moaning about being tired, instead, must keep farming.

Yes. Farming.

Surburban 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?”

“Nah”.

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?”.

March 12, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Nightmares on Our Street

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?!”.

Nightmares.

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…

(minus the stick) because sleeping with Alex is like sleeping with Freddie Krueger. *makes a mental note at 3am to cut his nails in the morning*.

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…

*sigh*

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.

March 8, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

*Jazz hands*

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)

March 4, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

He needs to learn to write his name, but I may work on his signature first

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!”.

Maybe not.

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”.

Right.

March 1, 2012. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.