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April 5, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Weekenders

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.

Done.

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*

“Mamaaaaa?”

“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.

He wins.

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.

April 2, 2012. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 5 comments.

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.

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.

Proud to be a stay at home mum

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.

February 27, 2012. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Brrrring Brrring bring me a decent phone. Please?!

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 don’t remember it looking so cartoon-house-like. But, to be fair that is probably a reflection on my artistic skills and not the phone company. I think it even had a little aerial.

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.

Went here

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…

February 24, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Ginger rocks

Ginger boys rock. I am the proud mother of two ginger boys, and am a ginger lady myself. *rock horns*.

Recently I read this in an article and it made me laugh out loud. In shock.

Sperm bank turns away ginger sperm

Quote – “There isn’t the demand in most of the world”. How dreadfully sad. But more of that in a moment. Lets focus on the humour first – I love that it sells like “hot cakes” in Ireland. “ooooh we lurv a bitta rud spurm hure!”. I imagine a family of Irish people sat around – the young woman proudly tells the matriarch and patriarch they are to expect a new grandchild. “OH SEAMUS! Oh sweet Mahry mudda a Gad what wudderschful news! *clasps hands* Is a gaynjah? Dad ya choose the gaynjah spurm?”.

But women not having a preference for red headed men? That can not be true! Lets take a moment to appreciate the red headed men among us;

Eric Stotlz.

I was always going to marry him. Whether he liked it or not.

 Ahhhh Robert Redford. Even now when he is older than Jesus and bald like an egg, he still chooses to be a ginger by wearing a (piss poor) ginger wig. He waves the ginger flag with gusto.

Others would be Rupert Grint, William H Macy, Scott Grimes, Simon Pegg…the list goes on.

Some people only marry and procreate with other ginger people and live together in a little community. I imagine they have old Smash Hits photographs of Mick Hucknall on their mud hut walls.

Pro’s and con’s.

Pro’s

  • if the men listed above were living in that community I would be there like a shot.
  • It’s nice to be part of a group. And in a place where even “carriers” can be accepted.
  • your brother wont tell you that you are the only ginger one in the family and so must be adopted. Git.

Con’s

  • A community of red heads? All arguing and being firey and get riled up? No thank you. Brunette husband is very much needed in our house to be the voice of reason and calm everyone (myself included) down. It is a complete cliche but very true. He is the calming plinky plonky music and trickling mellow water to our firey hell and damnation screaming fits of rage.
  • You couldn’t do as I used to to in primary school, when I used to tell boys my hair was made of gold and if they married me they would be rich forver. Suckas!! In the ginger community that wouldn’t cut the mustard with Eric or Scott – they have their own headful of riches. Dammit!
  • Old Smash Hits posters of Mick Hucknull on the wall *shudders and throws up in to the bin*

Now I know it wont always be a bed of roses for my boys growing up. Like me, I am sure at some point they will be bullied but I hope to God it doesn’t go to the point of being spat at like I was (seriously). But, kids are horrible to each other. Fact. They will seek and find something to bully anyone about. Chubby, spotty, wrong trainers, ginger…

My boys will come home one day and someone will have said something about ginger hair and everything else that goes with it. Do the collars match the cuffs? Ooooh feeling a bit hot headed are we? And I hope they do this. I hope they smack them in the face and ask how their red head is now? No, I don’t. I will be teaching them to raise their big ginger heads up high and proud and be happy with their ginger selves.

February 22, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 10 comments.

Mother. Tired. Bruised by baby. Father. Tired. Aching body.

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)

Until I had a panic and thought to do this in case the baby fell out of bed.

Why?

Because of this

Where was my husband you may ask?

Here he is.

Lying cold and shivering on the floor in Edward’s bedroom.

Why?

Because of this.

and this

Tonight husband and I are doing this

February 17, 2012. Uncategorized. 6 comments.

Butternut Squash and things to help NotSquashNuts

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).

Veggie Curry – Tesco Real Food

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.

February 15, 2012. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Cooking and baking and memory making

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!”

“Eh?”

“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.

Chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles – Tesco Real Food

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?

February 14, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Is it all in a name?

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”.
ARG!

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.

February 6, 2012. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Kiss my bottom!

Sir Paul McCartney has released an album called “Kisses on the bottom”.

Look at his face!!!! Look at it!

It’s like he went out and bought some flowers and out shot his head from the side “I smell a bottom! I NEED TO KISS A BOTTOM!”

I know I am a mum now because this is a true mothers day gift and I want it. But not for the music.

Do feel free to add your own humouress music album titles. Lets tittle at the titles.

February 3, 2012. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Kids TV today eh? *makes a pffff noise, rolls eyes up at sky and does a silly smile*

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….

to this today ………   (I know Miles Jupp. I was shocked too).

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).

January 31, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Mum – don’t read this one. I used the word *whispers* orgasm.

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.

January 29, 2012. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

If you are depressed…please can you fill in this form? Cheers!!! *Smiley face and thumbs up*

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.

January 27, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

*puts hands in front of her, fingers extended* Hormones, you need to CALM. DOWN,

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”.

DAMMIT!

It is true. Well, that must be why I am married to my husband – he know’s me so chuffing well.

January 17, 2012. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Playroom-Aid.

*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

Before…

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.

And after…

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.

January 9, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Bogof

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;

For 50p;

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”.

For £1;

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!

January 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Not a fan of attention-seeking Grans

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!”.

(whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!)

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.

January 4, 2012. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

January. You b*tch.

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.

January 3, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 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.

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.

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.

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. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2013293/Rise-violent-Little-Emperors-Children-lashing-parents-way.html

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.