YOU’RE WHAT?!!!

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When I had two children under two, and people dared ask me how I was. ( A dangerous question to ask any parent at the best of times.) To save the enquirer from a badly scripted episode of Eastenders meets Show me Show me (your leaky boobs and sore bits) I replied with “Tired!” one word, that is all. To which they would  reply  “Oh! You’re always tired!” and waltz off with sparks of wide awakeness turbo power shooting off their trainers.

At the time I was too blinking zonked to muster a reaction, four and a half years later I am still tired but I think familiarity numbs the pain so it kind of moulds into your grey face and you wear it like pants, necessary but not always comfortable.

 WHAT TIRED MEANS

You catch sight of Ronald Macdonald on smack in the rear view mirror and remember you haven’t washed off the make over you were given by the nearly 2 year old and the dogs three days earlier.

Instead of people cooing into the pram they are giving you sympathetic looks, not because they feel your sleepless pain but because you have a pair of George Pig pants on your head.

If you do manage to shower, you will probably do so at least 3 times in the space of seven minutes as you can’t actually remember if you did or not.

Trying to breastfeed the non breastfeeding toddler and wondering why the new born is refusing Thomas the Tank Engine spaghetti shapes.

Making plans to meet somebody for coffee , getting ready early, putting your coat on, sitting down to feed the newborn and put the toddler’s shoes on. You taste the fresh hot coffee , you savour the hilarious adult conversations then you wake up to 27 missed calls , a jumping Yo Gabba Gabba DVD and the local cavalry hammering at the door.

Taking it personally  that not everybody likes mushed carrots and Weetabix for dinner.

Putting big boy pants on the 3 month old and a nappy on the potty trained one and not realising until in the middle of a very hot and busy IKEA.

Even if your dress is on back to front and inside out. You need to be given praise! Flowers, knighthoods, trophies. You made it out of the house, Woop! You rock!

Worrying you are entering new levels of eyesight problems, before remembering you are showering with your glasses on.

Bursting into tears when a child falls over or sings, especially if it isn’t yours.

Being annoyed by everybody and anything. Especially the person who is 50 per cent responsible for the state you’re in.

When somebody says “Rest when they are sleeping” you are enjoying the image of doing your most ninja powered moves directly where it hurts and then you realise you might actually have carried them out and are too knackered to run.

Forgetting you drove to the supermarket and wondering why you forgot the sling and pram whilst carrying two wriggly, hungry, screaming children home, which is a long way away.

Taking a photo of the two cars parked either side of yours and sending an SOS whatsapp to anybody in the vicinity to please come and get your car out of the squeeze.

Listening to veterans of parenthood, who promise that it really is all worth it and realising that they are possibly most definitely right.

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UNCONDITIONALLY CONDITIONED

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There is a simple reason why the love you have for your children is unconditional; If a friend, relation, acquaintance or complete and utter stranger did half the things your child does (and gets away with), you would either unfriend (is that even a real word?), report or bust out some serious kung-fu moves on them.

A few examples;

When riding on your shoulders, gleefully announcing “ I’m not going to fall because I’m holding on to your chins…”

Projectile vomiting in your mouth, pooing in your shoes and weeing in your eye.

Trashing your whole entire house, leaving a trail of unidentifiable substances and breaking the door handle with a hearty laugh and then refusing to tidy up, accept responsibility or pass you the gin.

Delving into your top and only being satisfied when both boobs are properly out, with nothing to do and nowhere to go and then walking away pointing and chanting “Boobs, Boobs, Boobs !”.

Rolling around on the floor screaming that the noodles should have been on the left of the plate, not the right and demanding something else.

Waking you up at 2.36am with an urgent order of water, warm milk, cold milk, water again and a ham sandwich cut into squares NOT circles.

Proclaiming loudly that you are not in fact their mum, but their horrible wicked stepmother who gives them poisonous apples for breakfast.

Snuggling up to you on the sofa and wiping their snot away on your face.

Suggesting that instead of going away for one night, you go away forever and ask a doctor for a new boy.

Asking you why you`re still wearing  pyjamas, when you thought you looked quite hip in your new starry jumpsuit.

WHO DUNNIT?

Last week at a party ( for the under fives),  my “friend” did a silent but incredibly violent trump. Cue, parents flocking from the darkest corners of bunting clad trees to check their offspring´s bottoms, nappies, pockets,. “Strewth!” exclaimed one dad ( or words to that effect) “That was nuclear!” coughed another. My”friend” , feeling quite proud of her skills decided to keep mum (literally).

This led me my friend to conjure up a list of the top five situations where it’s morally acceptable to blame it on the kids.

1.  Nails; When you are incapable of painting your nails without it resembling an effort from a chimpanzee using its bottom to hold the brush.

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The boys did it? How cute!

 

2. When your house resembles this multiplied by 7;

 

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Easier to say that the kids were nutters and you literally haven’t had a moment to breathe, let alone wash up. Nobody needs to know that the boys were brilliant and you spent the afternoon watching Bananaman, whilst sipping cooking wine from a mug.

 

3.  Cakes; When you have to take a cake somewhere and this happens.

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In this case, you don’t need to use your faithful scapegoats as it will just be automatically presumed that your recently out of the womb child made it.

 

4. The state of you ;  

When the children are small, it’s socially acceptable to go out covered in unidentifiable substances and look like you have just landed from another planet without a parachute. It’s also ok to have no concept of what you are wearing. The important thing is that you’re dressed and out . Well done you! Don’t have a raincoat or umbrella? No problem, a bin bag will do.

 

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Although easier to point the finger at the boys for lack of time etc… It gets a bit dubious when they look like they have just  stepped out of a catalogue and are constantly asking why you’re wearing dressing up clothes.

** There is a small possibility that I was on my own in above photo, and the boys were in fact fast asleep in another part of the country…

 

5. When you cut your child’s fringe; 

 

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To avoid being reported to the National Society for  the prevention of Hair Crimes. Much easier to say that they mistook their hair for a piece of paper.

* For some reason unbeknown to me and the rest of the human race, Boy 1 thinks this is the best fringe ever. (I think having my fringe as a point of reference has helped…)

 

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LOST IN SPACE

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It would seem that the following concepts are completely alien to Boy 1 and Boy 2;

1. NOW; Used to depict a sense of urgency, i.e; “We have to leave NOW, we’re already super late” or “Stop playing NOW and help tidy up.”

On their planet, NOW is interpreted as a time at least 47 minutes later, sometimes even 47 hours or days. There`s no need to rush, ever.

2. PERSONAL SPACE; Used to describe a healthy distance between two people, especially when a cup of coffee is needed or you are on the loo, doing what you do.

On their planet this means it’s the perfect occasion to clamber, kiss, style hair using toothpaste, demand a story, ask to see what’s in the loo and why…

3. BOY 2 HAS WON; Used to explain to Boy 1 that Boy 2 has scored the most goals, got the most cards, trumped the loudest or run the fastest.

On BOY 1`s planet (this is where there’s a bit of friction between planets), the fact that he landed on planet Earth, 19 months and 27 days before BOY 2, means that he is ALWAYS the winner. Always. Even if he isn’t playing.

4. “AIM IN THE LOO!” means “Please try not to wee on the seat, next to the seat, on the floor, all over the bath, in the sink and on the ceiling.”

On their planet this means “Please, please, please be angels and wee on the seat, next to the seat, on the floor, all over the bath, in the sink and on the ceiling.

5. HANG ON A SECOND, I’M TALKING ; Used to describe a situation where you can’t (lo and behold) give your full attention right away because you are (double lo and behold) engaged in a conversation with somebody else. (If you’re incredibly lucky, that somebody else may be over the age of 5. Imagine!)

On their planet this means ” I can’t talk to you until you whip my leggings and pants down in public, because I love it when everybody gets a glimpse of what lies beneath”

6. IT’S EXACTLY THE SAME!; Used to demonstrate that there is absolutely NO difference between the toy/biscuit/lump of mud they each have in their hands.

On their planet they hear “His is much better than yours, please pummel each other to the ground until you are satisfied with the one you have”

7. “SHHHHH, IT’S A SECRET/SURPRISE”; Generally used to mean keep it to yourself. I.e; don’t tell everybody.

On their planet this means “Tell everybody and make doubly sure you don’t leave anybody out.”

8. NOT NOW; Used to answer questions such as “Please can I eat these 6 jumbo sized chocolate bars I stole from the fridge?” or “Please can we belly flop fully dressed into the paddling pool?”

On their planet it means “Yes of course, there would be no better time than right this very moment.”

 

SEVEN MINUTES OF “ME” TIME

The boys are playing happily. To celebrate this rare but much welcomed moment do I ;

a) Skip merrily to the fridge and pour myself a goblet or three of wine?

b) Jump in a bubbling bath whilst listening to panpipe versions of music from a life before?

c) Tackle the drawer of doom?

Being a fool, I choose option C. Although I must admit that it is more appealing than listening to Panpipe cover versions. (Note to self, never be a quiz writer)

Here is pictorial evidence of the drawer of doom:

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Look closer, there’s something with deadly tentacles …

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The dull reality is that there are masses and masses of piles like this one:

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(Slightly elated that the missing for a very long time tv control has been found)

Anyway, the point of this post is that in my 7 minute de-doom the drawer plan, I didn´t account for the following SEVEN interruptions:

1. Boy 1 has a nosebleed, a never-ending nosebleed, over himself, over the floor, in the drawer of doom. I have it under control , only for him to catch sight of himself in Dora the Explore’s camcorder and all hysteria breaks out.

2. Boy 2 and Neighbour’s son, have a fight because they can’t find the treasure they buried in the sandpit, or remember what it was

3. Boy 1 announces he will only recover from excessive bleeding if I give him a snack. But it has to be the same as his friend Nil’s. The identity of this snack is however, a secret and I have to guess what it is. I still haven’t guessed …

4. Boy 2 has a nosebleed. (Who knew they were contagious?)

5. (Not-so)-Super Mario is stuck on a rock and can’t get on his pony. I am called in to unstick him, which i do but then promptly get him killed by one of those shooting flowers. My popularity is not booming at the moment.

6. Bedtime, there was also dinner too but they gave up on me and helped themselves to weetabix (6 each). I followed the trail of milk to discover this, and they were quite impressed by my detective skills. (Slowly clawing back at being Mum of the moment). Bedtime, Boy 2’s room, was full of rubbish from the drawer. “You’ve made my room really messssssssyyyyy!” He says happily, on realization that he can’t get into his bed, or the drawer or the floor. He spends the night in my bed. Whilst I work out where various bits of plastic have come from , and about midnight end up chucking it all back in and change furniture around.

7. (A whole 7 hours later) I am awoken by shuffling and scraping and harrumphing. Boy 2 is not happy with new room layout and is single handedly trying to move everything back to “like before, Mummy. Just like befoooore”

Moral of the story? Always choose option A. Always.

 

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WATCH OUT, THERE`S A NEW PARTY ABOUT

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If the boys had their own political party it would most definitely be called the “It´s mine, not yours” party. (IMNY to its followers)
Their manifesto would be something along the lines of this ;

TIRED OF RULES, ROUTINES, BEDTIMES AND PERSONAL HYGIENE? VOTE IMNY!

WHAT WE STAND FOR:
It´s time we showed those rulemakers that it’s time to play (literally) our way;

EDUCATION: No need for school, we can learn all we need from Star Wars, Cbeebies, Frozen and Lego

WORK: No need to go to work, we will grow money trees next to the lego and chocolate and ham trees.

CLOTHES: Who needs them? Run free!

BEDTIME: What is the point of that? You snooze when you choose. Fancy a nap between 5pm and 9pm? Nap on!

TIDYING UP: We are aiming to abolish tidy bedrooms by 2016, much easier to find things if they are all over the floor and under the sofa than hidden away.

PARENTS: We have thought a long time about how to deal with this major problem that blights our daily fun, but we aim to teach them to know their limits. By Christmas 2015, each citizen will be handed a buzzer, linked directly to their parent, when drinks or food are needed press the buzzer and your parent will come running, we will also issue full skivvy work uniforms for them as well as a direct link to other parents in the circumstance that you can’t get hold of your parent, or they can’t get to you quick enough

HOLIDAYS: by June 2015, we hope to implement a 365 day holiday a year.

SHARING: the main principle of IMNY is that there will be no need to share ever again, everybody will have what they want on tap, this will eradicate the risk of fighting and jealousy, leading to a harmonious kingdom run by me, not you.

WHO´S IN?
You! Step away from the barren reward chart and worn naughty step. The IMNIES are waiting!

WHO´S OUT?
Anybody who thinks routines are the way forward and uses the word No, more than once a day. (You know who they are)

DON’T WASTE YOUR VOTE, IMNY IS WAITING FOR YOU!

 

 

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SEEING AS YOU ASKED…..

At the moment, I seem to have a lot of friends who are pregnant, about to pop or have just given birth. Every now and again somebody asks me for parenting tips. Although flattering, this makes me laugh a lot as I have spent the last five years, fifty three days, nine hours and thirty five minutes blagging, making it up as I go along. hoping for the best and that nobody cottons on to the fact that I am the equivalent of a lorry driver without a licence.

Nervous laughter pretending we both know what to do .......

Nervous laughter, pretending I know what to do …….

Eight things that might be of some use are;

1. If you are in the shower and your vision suddenly goes super blurry and a bit streaky, before panicking check you’re not still wearing your glasses.

2. If you want your baby who won`t poo to do so, put on your most favourite clothes, place baby naked on your lap and hey presto, they will poo to their bottom´s content.

3. Random strangers know best. They know more than you do and ever will about your child, be prepared for helpful comments whilst you try to calm your screaming purple faced offspring. The classics are “He`s too hot” “He`s too cold” “He`s hungry” “His coat is too tight” “He doesn’t like your singing” There is always the option of breaking out some kung fu moves, but the reality is you’re probably too shattered to even lift your leg and arm at the same time and if you do resort to violence, you will not only have to sort out childcare while you are behind bars, but also deal with separation anxiety early on. At the time of writing, there is unfortunately still no known cure for randomstrangerknowsmorethanyou-itis , so you just have to grin and bear it, sing really loudly, or before leaving the safe confines of your house go crazy with the facepaints to create the I`ve come out in some mysterious highly contagious rash look; it works wonders.

4. You bottle feed? Great! You breastfeed? Great! What matters is that your baby is getting fed, not how. Just because you do one or the other, or both doesn’t make you an any better or worse a mum. It makes you equally as awesome and probably zonked as the next mum. Besides, both bottles and boobs have the tendency to leak in inappropriate situations.

5. If you have a dog, it will spend the rest of its life with this facial expression.
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6. Your child is not my child. It is a sad fact that people tend to compare their parenting skills to others. Just because their three and a half week old can count to 99 in Russian, French and Swahili, it doesn’t mean you are an inadequate parent. It’s pretty impressive that yours can puke, poo and scratch you all at the same time.

7. Postnatal depression is incredibly common and doesn’t mean you are failing in any way, it means you need to talk to somebody and you mustn`t be afraid to ask for help. The sooner it can be diagnosed, the sooner you can be helped. Here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for (taken from http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk)

• Low mood for a long period of time
• Irritable
• Emotional
• Panic attacks
• Lack of concentration and motivation
• Lack of interest in your new baby and yourself
• Feeling alone
• Difficulty sleeping or feeling constantly tired
• Tension – headaches, stomach pains or blurred vision
• Decrease in appetite or increased appetite
• Reduced sex drive
• Feeling useless, worthless and guilty
• Feeling overwhelmed with situations
• Unrealistic expectations of motherhood

It is NOTHING to be ashamed or embarrassed of and as the late Bob Hoskins said “It’s good to talk” and I most certainly wish I had.

8. This is possibly the best discovery I have ever made, your child(ren) has no clue that you have no clue. It`s perfect. Until they get their own opinions and realise the power they possess in their squooshy cheeks, you are technically their leader. Enjoy it while it lasts! (approx the time it takes to come round from giving birth.)
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