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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wineandboobs

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WHERE IS MY PIRATE IN SHINING LIFEJACKET?

photo 2 “Woohooo! We’re going to be pirates! “ whooped Boy 1 giddily, one sunny morning last September. We had  decided to go on a boat trip to TOSSA del Mar ( It never fails to make the teenager in me giggle helplessly). S kept saying that it was far too windy and the worst day ever to take a boat anywhere. As it is ALWAYS the worst day to go anywhere or do anything, I (literally) threw caution to the wind and off we went. Also,  some friends who had done it a few days previously said that it was only a teeny bit choppy, which I, (forgetting that I have suffered from travel sickness since I was 2) thought we could handle. The trip there was relatively calm, and except for the waft of sweaty burgers and booming techno music, quite good fun. So i was slightly triumphant we had defied S’s weather warnings. 562298_10201357190765476_1977038003_n We spent the day exploring the castle and being ice-cream guzzling tourists, ignoring the wind that was becoming grumpier and grumpier. We got to the beach in time for our boat trip home and this is where it all started to go spectacularly wrong. As we queued to get on the boat   I tried to ignore the fact that our boat which looked like a bath toy compared to the giant ones full of tourists happily swigging back their champagne , was bouncing up and down and people were almost falling overboard just getting on and wobbling into the lower deck. I tripped down the steps, putting ( throwing) O and F on the benches and watched  S topple in through the door nearly beheading everyone with the Phil & Ted which then got folded and wedged between unsuspecting tourists. And then we set off… The boys got excited by the glass bottom… which I had no intention of looking at as the ice-cream I had eaten twenty minutes before was starting to make a comeback. And then the fun began… off we bounced and smashed and crashed against waves and all I could see, whilst focusing on one fixed point were ROCKS, ROCKS and MORE ROCKS. All of a sudden , as water whooshed in through the door for the millionth time, I am full of panic. I look at my children, gorgeous with their windswept hair and inquisitive if not slightly stunned faces, and I panic some more… “ We’re not going to make it!” I squeak hysterically to S, trying not to puke , he laughs and calmly says this is totally normal. I make a note to self to investigate his secret pirate life… and I convince myself some more that we are most definitely,  all going to die. “The little ones don’t have lifejackets!” (Neither do we, but at this moment of time I don’t give two hoots about us, just the children)I scream and then I realize that I am so full of panic that I have no feeling in my arms or legs or anywhere and then I puke on my dress, O is still holding my hand gobsmacked by the sight . Then I puke on the floor and he cries because he wants to clean it up with wetwipes. S tries to reassure me but I have nothing nice to say to him and can just muster strength to shout “SHUT UP!” Unfortunately he doesn´t and I continue to puke. S hands F over to another tourist to hold and over the smashing waves and near misses with rocks, he falls asleep. My child, who refuses to sleep at night, another note to self to install a roller coaster in the garden to aid sleeping.”Close your eyes and sit upright!” S yells, whilst mopping me up and throwing a bottle of water over my head. The passenger holding F apparently also asked for a sick bag. The rest of the journey was equally hideous although not being able to see anything definitely helps the horror. The thing that is going over and over through my mind, except for whether or not we are going to make it , is that we would never go in a car or an aeroplane without seatbelts or a bike without a safety helmet. So where on earth are our lifejackets? I scour the boat and there is not a lifejacket in sight, just a bucket for um.. tips..Is it my fault for it not having even occurred to me, before we got on? I have since scoured the internet and found this pearl of advice – “a lifejacket is more effective worn than off ” and that all passengers SHOULD wear lifejackets. A friend who is very knowledgable in all things boat informed me that she was 99 per cent sure that any boat in the UK needs to carry sufficient lifejackets and all other safety paraphernalia… so maybe we should stick to British waters in the future! After what seemed like forty days and forty nights, we finally land, where I promptly flop on the beach, O tells me to stand up and stop feeling oopa and F prods me and says “Mummy sleeping?” I ask O what his favourite bit was and he said” seeing the dolphins jumping over the waves” – seems like closing your eyes and blocking it all out, really is the best tactic.