2020 marks a new year, new opportunities, new goals! and also the fact you just had nearly 5 weeks solid of your children hyped up on advent calendar chocolate by 9am and made it out… More
AKA. letting your child shit themselves for a month whilst saying ‘oh yes they’re really getting the hang of it!’…
We started potty training N when he was 2 and a half. We could of probably done it earlier than this but I wanted to wait until the summer holidays’ so I had 6 weeks to tackle it whilst I was off work. We didn’t really have a plan, just whipped his nappy off and showed him the toilet.
Stay at home the first few days. Don’t go out. Don’t make plans. Buy 100 x more pants then you think you’ll need. You will be changing their trousers 50 times a day. Don’t let them sit on anything worth more then a fiver and definitely do not go to soft play. N was pretty good and picked the whole thing up quite quickly. Lucky me! A potty trained toddler, woohoo.
What was I thinking! Having 2 children in nappies is 100 x easier than sprinting to the nearest toilet every time your child grabs his crotch. You have to factor in and plan all of your journey’s around bathroom breaks. This lasted about 3 days before I just let N wee in the corner of the park. If it’s not in his pants, it’s a win. If you’re by yourself, you have to try and squeeze all 3 of you plus the double pram into a toilet cubicle whilst wrestling the loo roll from someones grip and begging both of them not to pull the emergency cord (it’s happened). It’s a bloody nightmare. N’s favourite thing to do is tell me he needs a poo just as we set off for work/nursery. Que me piling everyone back into the house when were already running late and bribing N with chocolate buttons to poo as fast as possible. Effective? Yes. Hygenic? Absolutely not.
You will also undoubtedly have to partake in the nursery potty talk. ‘N soiled himself today’. WTF is soiled?! He shit his pants, let’s not dart around the issue. ‘Oh no, did he not make it to the toilet in time?’ ‘Erm..no.. he took himself off to the corner, squatted down and soiled himself’.
……joyful. My child is in fact half wild animal. We’re so proud.
When I was little I was renowned for saying the most embarrassing thing’s in the most awkward situations in the loudest possible voice, much to my parents despair. Well I am now truly getting my comeuppance.
N and H have recently started a new nursery and they get lunch for free (hurrah!). Unfortunately, or fortunately I can’t decide, they only cook healthy meals with absolutely no chips whatsoever. Of course I know N isn’t going to eat fish risotto or steamed salmon but I refuse to be the mum that has to send their child in with a packet of pombears to keep him alive so off they trot to their first day of starvation.
I pick them up after work and H has done pretty well. Weetabix for breakfast, all his snack and half a bowl of risotto. Result. I’m feeling a bit smug. Yes, I absolutely serve fish ristotto at home, why wouldn’t they eat it. I am that mum THANKYOU. Then I get to the pre-school room. N’s eaten his weetabix, he’s had his snack. He pushed his risotto across the table in disgust. I’m not surprised, I would too. I thank them for trying anyway and go to get his stuff. ‘Oh he did say something funny at lunch too’. World falls out my arse. What’s he said now… ‘We asked him what he eats at home as he dosen’t seem to like anything here… and… well… erm..he said… Mcdonalds’.
WHAT! WHAT IS HE DOING TO ME! THE LITTLE SHIT!!!! To clarify, he does not solely eat Mcdonalds at home. Before this encounter I’ve never heard him say the word Mcdonald’s in his life. He hasn’t mastered the word ‘please’ but apparently Mcdonald’s is clear as day. Of course.
I immediately jump into ‘oh my goodness, I don’t know why he’s said that, we rarely eat it!’ (We probably eat it more than I’d like to admit). They were very nice about it all and said it was quite funny and they’re *sure* he does eat other foods. I am now that terrible mum that needs intervention. The scummy mum who feeds her kids happy meals every waking minute of the day. The mum they nudge each other about at pick up. Why must this happen to me? And there I was thinking we’d made a great first impression.
So my labour with H started pretty identically to N. I awoke in the early hours with the first contractions and knew it was time. I laboured for a couple of hours in our living room bouncing on the yoga ball, watching Project Runway to keep me occupied. J and N joined me around 7am-ish then J’s mum came to collect Noah. The contractions were still manageable then so I was able to say goodbye without too much grunting. Things seemed to ramp up soon after that and for a while I just stood under a steaming hot shower (I dread to think what our water bill was that month). After a while thing’s levelled out again and I actually managed to do some cleaning!! I think my nesting instinct had kicked in super late. I found watching a series really helped me get through the pain, the thought that when an episode finished I had just got through another 30 minutes of contractions really spurred me on! Given that N had nearly been born on the passenger seat of our car first time around, I thought we’d better head to the hospital earlier than last time and so we set off to have our second baby.
We arrived and were shown into the birthing suite, with huge fancy birthing pool, and suddenly everything STOPPED. NO CONTRACTIONS. NOTHING! I was mortified. Was I imagining it? Was it braxton hicks all along? The midwife explained this can sometimes happen when arriving at hospital and said she’d pop back in an hour to see how thing’s were moving. I decided not to get examined and just let my body do its thing. Well 10 minutes after she left the contractions returned with a vengeance and I knew it was nearing the time to push. When the midwife returned she seemed sceptical that I was anywhere near fully dialated and when I asked for pain relief, merrily suggested I take a paracetemol and ‘see how I went’. J held me back whilst I tried to rip her face off. She agreed to fill the pool to make me more ‘comfortable’ and murmured something about going to look at getting me some gas and air. Praise the fucking lord.
I went to climb into the tub then realised I had absolutely no idea what I was suppose to be wearing. Was I suppose to pack a bikini? Do I keep my bra on? Getting completely naked seemed strange as I was presumably going to have a couple of people watching H be born and the image of a whale stuck in shallow water sprang to mind. I opted to keep my bralet on and took the plunge. IT’S SO HOT! I don’t know what I was expecting but my goodness I was sweating from every orifice. I took a couple of puffs of gas and air and it was impossible to hold it and support myself at the same time so that got angrily thrown to the floor straight away. I instead turned to banging my face against the side of the pool to distract myself from the pain. The last few contractions before you need to push are excruciating, like please stab me and let this end excruciating, but they came and I knew it was nearly over. I could feel H turning as he came ‘down’ and it’s just unbearable but then it’s time to push (sort of ‘yay!’ sort of ‘oh fuck!’). I must of completely freaked out when H started crowning (what a horrible term) because J and the midwife both screamed at me to calm down and stay still. His head came out in a few seconds of pain and I thought that’s it. Hard bit over…
I couldn’t get his bloody shoulders out. Not at all. Nope. He was stuck and I was screaming for the midwife to help me and give him a pull. Every time I pushed it felt like I was pushing against a brick wall. There was no way he would fit. To my horror the midwife told me I’d have to stand up out of the water if I needed help as they’re not allowed to assist you in the tub (?!). So there I am, trying to navigate standing up whilst trying not to break the neck of the tiny upside down baby head sticking out my vagina. I managed to get to my feet and I think gravity took over. With one huge push I felt pain like I’ve never felt in my life, it was much worse than birthing N and I actually got the ‘witnessing’ midwife in a headlock when it happened whilst I screamed down her ear hole. Poor lady only popped in to have a look. My midwife caught him and with that H was in the world and it was over!! I had done it again, although I was pretty sure from the waist down I was now split into 2 people…..
I lost a lot of blood and had a 2nd degree tear, so really rather an anticlimax to the whole ordeal. My placenta came out super easy after having the jab (I really wish I’d had this first time round!) and I opted for delayed cord clamping too.
We spent the next few hours eating 1000’s of slices of toast and drinking 1000’s of cups of sugary tea. We took pictures of him and sniffed him and cuddled him and stroked him and just generally took him all in. It was amazing. You’ll never beat the feeling of woman who has just given birth. Even when the baby is 9.5 pounds and ginger. My little H.
Recently, me and J put our heads together and came to the conclusion that we weren’t stressed or tired enough as it is and should definitely introduce a puppy to the mix just to tip us into the realm of complete chaos. Of course we instantly regretted our decision but here we are, 2 kids and a puppy deep winging it.
So we’d just adopted this puppy, and when I say puppy I mean absolutely huge Saluki the size of a horse. We had envisioned the bedtime cuddles, the cute photo’s with the kids, the lovely scenic family walks with absolutely NO tantrums. Well what a couple of twats we were.
First of all, they shit and piss everywhere and not small little accidents you can clear up with a baby wipe. Huge accidents that involve mopping and bleaching and towels and washing your sofa covers 6 times a bloody week. They chew everything too, luckily we own nothing that’s worth more than about £15 but still, kinda annoying. When you finally get them to take themselves outside to do all this shit you then realise you yourself have to take yourself outside every night to clean it all up or your garden becomes ‘that garden on the street’. I now have twice as much shit in nappy bags filling my house up waiting for bin day and I honestly can’t remember why I thought this would be a good idea? Or why anyone in the world does for that matter.
We’ve taken to leaving the back door open for him whilst were home to minimise the shitting in house situations. This is mostly a great idea until H escapes out there without me realising for 20 minutes. Me and the boys are at home one weekend and I notice all is too quiet to be OK and instantly envision H in the garden crawling through dog shit. I go out there and of course, that’s exactly what’s happened. H is sitting on the grass, head to toe in dog shite smiling at me. This wouldn’t be such a horrific sight if my garden wasn’t easily view able by every single one of our nosy neighbours. I start psyching myself up for the social services call on the spot. N’s behind me shouting ‘Baby Poo Poo’ at the top of his lungs and I can’t even bring myself to start attempting to sort this situation out. In the end I pick H up by his one semi shit-free feet and throw him under the shower fully clothed.
I also now have to deal with N being obsessed with the dog doing a wee. I don’t know why but as soon as he goes outside, N leaps to attention and must go and watch from 5 cm away, piss splashing his face I’m sure. I then rinse it off the grass with the hose and OF COURSE the boys must get involved; sucking stagnant water out the hose like they haven’t been offered a drink 10 times that hour and definitely haven’t refused it profusely. Doubling up on their vitamins from now on (when I actually buy some let’s be honest). The dog walks are just as much of a nightmare. N walk’s nicely for about 30 seconds before the inevitable ‘Up mummy up!!!!!!!!’ is shouted. Que me trying to hold his feet so he doesn’t topple off my shoulders, entertain the baby H strapped to my chest and keep the dog from leaping over any person within a 5 mile radius of us all. I physically have to force back tears if I see another dog coming towards us… the chaos.
How these Instagram families make it all look so easy I don’t know. My house is full of shit, the kids are covered in it and I leave for work covered in so much dog hair I could pass for a naked Yeti.
Luckily I haven’t had a call from CPS or the RSPCA just yet so you could say we’re coping rather well.
Today my mum fails hit a new low.
I took N and H to the park and as soon as we arrived, H woke from his nap. This meant I had to leave N with full, unsupervised run of the park whilst I sat on the bench and fed H. This is already filling me with absolute horror as I won’t be able to intervene in time if N decides to be a twat. But, to my delight he is just running around merrily entertaining himself. RESULT.
After about 10 minutes I look at him and he’s just being adorable and sticking what looks like a piece of blossom to his face, running around until it falls off then starting again. He looks so cute and contented and I’m just feeling super smug about how fabulous he’s being. The sun is shining, the boys are happy and for once an outing is going to plan. Someone start buffing up my award please.
I’m getting a few funny looks from the other mum’s at the park and I’m putting it down to me letting N run about with potentially a leaf stuck to his face but I think it’s cute and don’t mind him getting dirty or anything. *Mentally tutting at all the mums who don’t let their kids get messy outside.* After about 25 minutes I decide it’s time to carry on walking and call N in to leave. Obviously this falls on deaf ears so I start the game of catch the wriggly toddler.
I finally manage to grab him and steer him towards the pram when I realise it isn’t a piece of blossom stuck to his head at all. It’s a teeny tiny baggy for drugs. Yep, for half an hour N has been sticking an empty bag of DRUGS to his FACE and I’ve been watching on feeling like I really had my shit together.
False alarm, I’m still a shit show. Call social services. I’m done.
I think someone’s replaced my toddler with a Gremlin and not told me.
‘N’s had a few time out’s this morning, he’s been in a bit of a pickle’. Nursery language for ‘your son was an utter shit bag today’. Joyful. Please tell me more of how awful my child has been at pick up in front of the other fabulous parents, PLEASE. I don’t know what’s got into him lately at all. He is suddenly crying/tantruming/moaning all day everyday and has started hitting everything in sight when the slightest thing inconveniences him. Oh and I have absolutely no idea what to do about it.
I’ve always been against the idea of smacking children, just because I don’t see how I can smack N as punishment for smacking me. He is totally the kind of child that would not get that message and we’d end up in a WWE smackdown before one of us caved. I’m currently taking him aside and saying to him ‘No, we don’t hit do we? It’s not nice. Now say sorry and we can play’. This is usually received with either another smack for me or a tantrum. But I’m holding out on the idea that one day he’ll miraculously listen to me and this horrendous phase will be over.
He also seems to completely lose his head when the smallest bit of excitement comes his way. A group of 2 + children? The rules are forgotten and he turns feral. Why do they do it? I feel like I can’t let him around other children without standing by his side the entire time to jump in before someone inevitably gets whacked. I’m running out of excuses as to why we can’t attend play dates. This weekend I’m on an imaginary trip to Centre Parcs to get us out of a birthday party. Nursery have said they can’t wait to see the pictures so looks like J will have to get on Photoshop a bit sharpish. Still not shocked at the lengths I will go to avoid other mummy’s.
Everyone keeps telling me ‘it’s a phase’ but it’s a phase I’m completely done with thank you!!!
I thought I’d put together a list of thing’s to expect from having 2 small children. A pro’s and con’s if you like.
You will never wash again. Not exaggerating, I absolutely stink.
You will never sleep again. ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’ is now not an option and your toddler will probably choose the birth of their sibling as the perfect time to become nocturnal.
You will be skint all the time. Double the nappies, double the wipes, double the clothes, double the food and double the bloody nursery fees!!!
You can never find a babysitter because honestly who’s crazy enough to look after both your kids at the same time. I’m their mum and I barely manage. Date night is currently an Asda pizza and GBBO on iPlayer (usually interrupted by a crying child).
People will just assume you have your shit together. ‘Soft play date?’ Abso-fucking-lutely not. I can’t drag my baby into the hell of the main frame when my toddler is stuck/crying/being a dick and I couldn’t possibly leave the baby in his pram or be pounced upon my the mum army for leaving him out of sight. Just invite me round to your house for a coffee and I’ll apologise profusely for the mess we all make.
They will inevitably both lose their shit at the same time, probably in public. Fight your battles, carry snacks at all times and maybe just never leave your house again.
If you’re like me, you will at some point forget you have had another child and leave them in the car/in the house/in their pram at the park. Trust me it happens and you’ll feel like a complete failure. It still happens now at 6 months but I’ve learnt to laugh and hope no one calls social services.
Sometimes they nap at the same time and you get to eat something.
2 babies make for adorable pictures. My Instagram looks fab.
H is now 6 months old and thank the lord he is a complete angel. He is super chilled out, super easy and rarely has a scream. HURRAH! I knew I had a good one coming my way eventually.
When we first discovered I was pregnant, N was 7 months old and I completely lost my mind at the news. How the HELL was I having another baby! I felt like I was only just getting into the swing of things with N and now I was going to have another one to cope with.I ended up going back to work for 3 months before leaving for maternity leave again (my boss LOVED that…) and he arrived 1 day late weighing in at 9.5 pounds. I won’t go too much into the birth as I want to do a separate labour post. When N first met him he was over-tired from staying at nanny’s whilst I was in the hospital and really didn’t acknowledge he existed. He is now completely besotted with him like a love sick teenager and sometimes it actually feels like my heart could burst watching them. Did I mention having another baby so soon turns you into an emotional wreck 24/7? Don’t get me wrong, there is times I find N smothering H with a pillow or generally kicking/pushing/licking him but all in all I think it’s going pretty well.
I’m breastfeeding H, which I didn’t do with N and I must say it is the BEST decision I ever made. I would encourage anyone thinking about it to give it a try and persevere through the tough first days. Again, I’m planning a separate post about BF’ing so I’ll leave it at that.
There are times I completely lose my shit because they both need me and I can’t do everything at once. I lose it at J at least once daily because I’m exhausted and I’ve had to make a lot of compromises when it comes to raising N. Quavers for breakfast is totally OK, right? But I wouldn’t change it for the world. Seeing 2 humans you created giggle at each other and have a cuddle makes every second of stress worth it 2 fold.
WITH ANOTHER BABY!!
So after writing on this blog for a while, life got in the way and essentially I stopped writing.. oh and got pregnant again. Yes you heard correctly, I enjoyed getting ripped in half so much the first time I decided to have another! Only joking.. there was no decision making involved and more of a lack of commitment to contraception.
I now have 2 baby boys, both under the age of 2. N is currently 22 months and H is 6 months! That means lots more insights of mum life, lots more shit hitting the fan and hopefully a lot more to post about!
The cover picture for this post is literally me at mealtimes
It’s official. N is eating food! Things just got a WHOLE lot messier and smellier in our house. I learnt the other day we have actually adopted the ‘baby led’ weaning technique (letting them pick up their food and figure out how to eat it). Apparently this is actually a thing and not just me being lazy, who knew? It’s going pretty well so far, no choking yet and letting them feed themselves seems so much easier then making & storing purees.
A few top tips and things to know when weaning:
- Rusks and Weetabix dry into a substance stronger than cement.
- The straps on a highchair are made of ridiculous material that turns a horrible brown colour after a few uses and coatings of baby puke. Don’t bother trying to keep them nice.
- People will try and feed your baby anything ( literally – beer, sweets, icecreams) if you don’t want them to, put your foot down!
- They make spoons for weaning (this sounds so obvious but I didn’t know this and used a standard baby spoon which was too rigid and big). Home Bargains do them cheap.
- They don’t eat a lot at first but don’t worry, soon they’ll be cramming it down faster than a pregnant lady at a buffet. I speak from experience.
- You’ll probably have to up their daily washes. N currently has 2 full baths a day and I still find food in his ears at bed time.
- Invest in a few of those full T-shirt bibs, they were a gift from God I’m sure.
- Be prepared for some funky looking poop.
Another great thing I’ve discovered whilst weaning is the Ellas Kitchen melty puffs. I wanted to stay away from the mushy foods and needed something to take out and about in a rush. These are essentially baby friendly Wotsits made from veggies and N loves them! They dissolve as baby eats them so no choking worries and are a great size whilst their learning to grab things. They also taste good (I’ve nicked a few) and for around 70p a bag their budget friendly too. Definitely recommend!