Christmas…. Joy

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 the other side a mere 3 stone heavier.

Before kids, Christmas was spent mostly horizontal on the sofa watching Love Actually eating my body weight in celebrations and vintage cheese. Prosecco was the only thing I would drink for a solid 4 days and I would spend more time perfectly wrapping my presents with colour coordinated ribbon then you would think possible.

Fast forward 3 years and Christmas is a blur of mini screwdrivers, wrestling presents not meant for your children from their screaming grasp and redecorating the tree 100 bloody times a day because baubles are like crack cocaine to toddlers. Gone are the restful naps on the sofa and the 6 tubs of chocs with your name on. Now you’re sneaking a shitty bounty out the kitchen cupboard at 11pm because you couldn’t possibly pop the lid within 17 yards of your sniffer dog offspring.

Presents also seem to become shitter. Why does raising kids suddenly mean I’m into kitchen appliances or biographies of historical women? Spoiler alert, IM NOT! Right now is the time I could do with the fancy new perfume or Superdrug smelly gift set to mask my 3 day ‘haven’t had time to shower’ aroma.

You must also adopt this sympathetic face when your child opens a present, announces its crap and then tosses it to the floor. Watching your relatives expression completely melt with disappointment whilst you shove it back into their hands and loudly say ‘ISNT THIS FANTASTIC, WHAT A FABULOUS GIFT…’ will never not be horrendously uncomfortable. Curse children and their heartbreaking honesty. You also have to find an extra 17 smq in your house to dedicate to the kids new toys, the ones they want to keep anyway. How do you politely tell someone ‘thank you’ for the 4ft rocking horse (with extremely loud sound effects) but unfortunately they can shove it up their arse? Oh look a drum kit! THANK YOU!! That’s fun-fucking-tastic.

Of course it’s absolutely magical to watch your kids open their presents and play with your family and be blown away at the thought of Father Christmas, but I can’t help but think there should be an adult only Christmas Day on the 27th or something with kegs of booze in every room, rom coms on every TV and your parents there to wait on you hand and foot for 24 hours like the good old days. Think it’ll catch on?

We’ll stick with Duplo…..

So there’s not a lot of aspects of motherhood that I won’t talk about. I’d like to think I’m quite open and honest and not shy when it comes to the bad times. But this might just take the biscuit.

It’s 6.30 pm and the boys are in the bath. A pretty normal evening. When I say normal I mean no-one ate dinner, I had to pin them both down to brush their teeth, they acted like I was torturing them whilst I washed their hair but now they’re playing and all is OK. I nip to the kitchen to get their bottles of milk ready for bed. *DISCLAIMER* We live in a cottage so our bathroom is off our kitchen. I can still see/hear the kids whilst I potter about in the kitchen so please don’t think I’m an awful mother!!! that bit comes later.

I go back into the bathroom and all looks just as I left it. The boys are playing with their bath toys, the bathroom floor is 2 inches deep in water, my expensive shampoo has been used to wash lego men. Standard. Then H stands up and I realise I must never ever leave them together for longer then 2 second’s without my supervision. I immediately ask N what on earth has happened to H and he simply giggles and says ‘lego baby bum’. Yup. Lego in the baby’s bum. A full lego man in the baby’s bum. HE HAS PUT A LEGO MAN IN THE BABY’S BUM. WHAT.THE.HELL. This is a new low. What would ever make a child want to do this? WHY HAS HE DONE THIS. WHY IS H NOT CRYING. H actually finds the whole thing quite funny. I am of course panicking and envisioning him sitting down and impaling himself with an entire lego man (currently I can see torso and legs). I quickly retrieve said lego man, followed by a loud ‘oh fucking shite’.

The lego man is headless. HEADLESS. WAS HE HEADLESS BEFOREHAND? I know he wasn’t headless. J is too precious with lego to allow him to be headless. NOW HE IS HEADLESS.

To cut a long gross story short, the head never emerged and I admitted defeat and put both boy’s to bed after a very in depth conversation as to why lego men should not go up bum’s. The highlight of my parenting career, by far. By the following morning I had all but forgotten the incident (or pushed the memory deep into my subconscious never to emerge again). I go to work, have a great day and go to pick the boy’s up from nursery. I walk into get H and am greeted with a teeny tiny sandwich bag with a very clean lego man head. Yup. Nursery have fished a lego man head out of H’s shit and were thoughtful enough to return it to me (thankfully cleaned).

I wonder if they have a three strike system and next time my children turn up talking about all the Mcdonald’s they eat or shitting out lego heads we’ll get excluded? Or tactfully asked to find alternative childcare. Hmm…

 

** Weirdly, I stuck a lego man up my own nose as a child and had to get it professionally removed. Maybe I carry some weird gene that makes us want to stuff lego men into orifices… creepy. 

 

Mum anxiety… a thing right?

A bit of a different post than usual and something I hope I’m not alone in, or I might sound a bit crazy….

Having 2 small children, I find it so difficult to take them out in public by myself and stay in control of the situation. Shop’s are usually OK as N will walk and H is restrained in a trolley. That’s about bearable, but take them to the park and I can guarantee they’ll run in opposite direction’s and I’m left choosing who to run after and hoping the other one doesn’t die in the meantime. It completely freaks me out and I’m constantly thinking what I must look like to other mum’s.  I’m sure no-one there cares AT ALL and can probably totally relate to the situation, but you can’t help but feeling all eyes are on you when it happens. The same goes for when the kids have a meltdown in public. I have seen a million toddler tantrums in my time and not once passed judgement on the poor parent but when one of mine does it I immediately think people are judging me and thinking I’m an unfit mother. Maybe it’s because I’m young but I always assume the worst and then dread taking them out the house ever again. It worries me so much that being invited out to a restaurant or even Costa is enough to send me over the edge. The absolute horror of trying to control 2 unruly children surrounded by crockery whilst making polite conversation AND drinking a gingerbread latte? No thank you.

Soft play is another disaster zone. N is just about at the stage I can let him off by himself in the older kids section and not worry to much whilst I chase H around the toddler bit. More often than not though I’m approached by another mum holding a crying N saying ‘sorry, is he yours?’. Que me again feeling like a total failure and avoiding soft play for the next 6 months. The poor boys have only ever been to 1 birthday party in their time and only because it fell on J’s weekend off.

When J’s around I’m fine and can’t wait to get out and about because he’s there for back up. Don’t get me wrong, the boys are generally really well behaved and I know I have nothing to worry about. Once I pluck up the courage to take them out, we always have a great time and I think why on earth do I worry so much? I do force myself to take them to places when I can but I don’t think I’ll ever stop the anxiety that leads up to it.

Am I completely crazy or do other people, with 2 kids close in age,  feel like this??

 

Potty training

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.

 

 

Kids say the darndest things…

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.

 

9.5 pounds of pain

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Shithouse

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.