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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THEY SAY…

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As well as the Frozen soundtrack , I spend a lot of time hearing They say ….and I often wonder who THEY are, where THEY are and why THEY think THEY have the authority on everything

 I was hoping to spare you the agony of my poetic attempts, unfortunately I have failed and have scribed a bit of a ranty ditty about THEY, whoever THEY are.

They live in tall towers, smelling of flowers, whilst sipping the best champagne,

Shaking their heads whilst tutting, “She did it again”

They tut if you do, tut if you don’t,

Moan that you will and groan that you won’t

They won’t let you know if you’re doing it right,

But will wake you up with a fear of failing, during the night

They tell you to do it this way, but don’t delay a day

Because their theories change as they please,

Whilst guffawing at you on your knees.

They see you through their giant binoculars, serving fish fingers again

Whilst they have organic, fresher than fresh meals delivered  by electric train

They put their hands over their eyes as you drop a bookcase on your foot

Whilst soothing a baby in a sling and desperately trying to find the toddler’s favourite book.

They don’t know why you don’t get a grip and wear nice clothes

Whilst they strut about in pristine robes

They don’t know what the fuss is about

It’s child play, although it must be wooden and raved about in the latest magazines

They wonder where you read that puke and snot was better than a healthy, make up sheen

They release new techniques, which you think you have mastered

Just as they put their hands on their perfect hips

And say there were glips,

So please swot up on the latest trend,

Before you blink and it’s reached its end.

After spending three hours following their latest getting the baby to sleep rules before you unwind

You collapse on the sofa, which has taken an hour to find

And breathing a sigh of relief , throw a stray nappy in the bin

Which misses and  unwittingly covers the spy camera

They left there to check you are on track, day out and in

You smile, pop a straw in the bottle of wine and enjoy leftovers of many a processed meal gone by,

Blissfully unaware of  THEY,  hopping mad in their headquarters ,

Somewhere up in the sky.

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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