I Have Boysy Boys – Should I Be Ashamed?

I have two boys and do you know what – they are ‘boysy’ boys. I’m not saying that because I think it’s right or cool. I’m saying that because it’s just the way it is.

They like climbing, smashing, grabbing, wrestling, jumping, shouting and consistently talking about poo, just like some girls and just like a lot of other boys. It’s not something I have encouraged, in fact I have always supplied them with a wide range of toys, but the dolls buggy we bought is used as a battering ram and if I were to ask them to make me some dinner at their toy kitchen I would most likely receive a wooden carrot in my eye socket. Ouch.

I remember vividly the day I took my eldest to a small zoo when he was 3 years old, as an animal lover I had hoped he would share in my passion but as we moved from enclosure to enclosure he was largely disinterested, until suddenly full of excitement I saw him run towards a fence and press his face up right against the bars. What incredible animal could have finally captured his attention I wondered?!digers

The mechanical, non alive ones, building a new enclosure for real animals that he would consider pointless… because they don’t have wheels. There is not much more that I can do now except hold my hands up and say…

sorry

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Today You Are Five!

Dearest boy, today you are half a decade old and it’s scaring me a bit. If I click my fingers will you turn 10? You see the older you get the more time seems to fly.

But as much as I sometimes wish that I could slow life down, everyday I enjoy getting to know you more and more. This year has been about big changes and big milestones, starting school, riding a bike, falling in love! You’ve done so well for one so small but there are elements of sadness about it too, suddenly everything you once loved being declared babyish. All around us are scattered and broken remnants or your past obsessions…

Age 1. Me
Age 2. Fireman Sam
Age 3. Postman pat
Age 4. Lightning McQueen
Age 5. Darth Vader

I’ve been ditched for the dark side already!

At five you like – Saying everything is ‘Epic’, talking in an American accent, making guns, swords and weapons out of anything vaguely stick shaped, climbing, jumping, shouting, performing your fighting moves to anyone who will agree to watch, space, castles, learning about your body, talking about poo, building crazy stuff out of lego, cheese sandwiches, your top bunk, hot chocolate with squirty cream, being chased, Power Rangers and chicken korma or ‘Mummy’s curry’ as you like to call it.

You really don’t like – having to go home from anywhere, getting dressed, learning phonics, rain, spiders, tidying up, sitting still, vegetables, going to bed, clothes shopping, anything being thrown away (even a broken toaster), the sea when it’s really rough, the dark, bad dreams and your brother smashing up your lego.

You are a rough and tumble boy, there is no denying it, but you have a very sensitive side too. When you go shopping with your daddy you love picking a bunch of flowers to give me when you come home (he is teaching you well). You tell me how lovely I look in a certain dress or how beautiful I am, and I feel it too because yours is one of the only opinions that matter now.

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How To *Lazily* Entertain Your Kids This Summer!

For those of you who follow me on facebook you might have seen a post I shared with a top parenting tip form Candice Pearce.

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The reaction was immense and as such I decided to ask you all to comment with suggestions of how to cheaply and lazily entertain your kids this summer; because while day trips are all well and good, sometimes you just want to knock about at home wearing yesterday’s bean juice encrusted pyjama bottoms, saving your hard earned pennies on something (gin) someone (you) will actually appreciate.

DRUM-ROLL here we go with some of the top suggestions…

Painting with water

Kirstie Baxter’s was one of the very first comments, she could hardly wait to share her tip – ‘Bucket of water and a paint brush! My son painted all of the garden fence for us the other day!’ Minimal effort and no mess, it ticks all the boxes for me! Sarah Evans agreed adding ‘You must occasionally tell them how fabulous it looks (whilst sat in a chair with something chilled).’ Quite right Sarah!

Still not convinced? Check out Sian Leanne Smith’s little girl contentedly ‘painting’ her car whilst mummy snoozes behind her shades. ‘If only I had someone to bring me wine and food…’ she says. All in good time Sian! Maybe when she’s 5.

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Fruitless tasks

It seems we are all a fan of painstakingly pointless and time consuming activities for kids! Amanda Frankin’s idea is Getting the little man to fill up the padding pool using his toy watering can… hours of fun!’ This is especially good if like Rachel Jane Wood you ‘cut a small hole in the paddling pool so it never fills.’ Sabotage. I like it!

There’s more! Sian Drinkwater suggests Collecting gravel stones in 3 buckets – sorted by size and colour. Mummy then dumps them back in the same place after bedtime.’ and Amy McGann chimes in with Trimming the grass with child proof scissors.’ 

Utter genius Lorna Beth Jarvis admits she Sent the kids out to our unkempt garden to search for 4 leaf clovers… told them I was so certain they wouldn’t find one that I would buy the first to find one a DS! They searched for an hour! Ha!’

Evil parenting at it’s best!

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Kids On A Plane – A Survivors Account

It’s been nearly a month since we took our first ever plane trip with 2 children and I think I feel ready to share it with you now.

OK here goes…

We arrived at the airport a good 2 hours before our flight leaving plenty of time to leisurely make our way though security and have breakfast before boarding. However I hadn’t considered that 2 hours only feels leisurely if you are travelling alone, with kids it’s a totally different ball game.

Factoring in the bag drop, car seat drop, monumental tantrums, toilet trips and lost comforters we were seriously running low on time. I stressfully grabbed coffees at Starbucks in an attempt to keep our ‘we only had 3 hours sleep and want to die!’ thoughts at bay but with minutes to get to our gate, way too many bags/children to carry and only two hands I had to very reluctantly chuck them straight in the bin.

coffee

Luckily we made it to the plane on time and flipped a coin for who got to sit next to who. Winner got the four year old, loser got the two year old. Turns out four year old’s are pretty awesome to sit next to on planes, seeing their excitement and wonder at the world has got to be one of the best bits of parenting. Even if they do end up making you feel pretty stupid…

how fly

Sitting next to a two year old on a plane is errr… interesting?! Actually sorry, it just sucks.

no seatbelt

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School – One Year Down.

I’m in a little bit of shock right now because I’m sure it was only yesterday when my biggest boy started school and then all of a sudden it’s the last day of term before duh duh duh SUMMER!

Like most parents of school starters around the country I took a picture of F on his first day looking proud and pristine in his new school uniform. A lot has changed since then, he’s in trainers because he’s ruined two pairs of shoes, the t-shirts are all greying and covered in strange orange stains and yeh, I don’t really do any ironing except a half arsed go over with my straighteners if it’s all looking particularly crumpled. 

He looks scruffy, but who can’t pull off scruffy with a cheeky grin? The cheeky grin reveals he’s happy and melts away all the worries I had about him starting school at just turned 4.

If you were to ask me how he was getting on it would be a tricky one to answer for I have, for the most part, absolutely no idea what goes on between the hours of 9am – 3.15pm; apart from Power Ranger/Ninja Turtle battles which i’m assuming (hoping) happen during break time. One of the longest conversations I’ve ever had with him about an event that happened at school was this:

Me: So did anything exciting happen at school today?
Him: Yes.
Me: (EXCITEDLY) Ooh what?
Him: There was a poo in the playground!
Me: Oh right… like a bird poo or something?!
Him: No like a boy poo. A boy did a poo in the playground!
Me: Lovely.

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A Little Love Story.

If you were expecting this post to be about what a nightmare our holiday was (me too!) then you are going to be disappointed because guess what? It was amazing! The boys were in their element being outdoors and in the water all day, and happy children (and cheeky daytime cocktails) make for happy parents.

The aeroplane bits were another matter but I’ll save writing about that until I am slightly less traumatised.

For now I want to talk about something nice – you see under the Majorcan sun my biggest boy had his heart stolen, by a GIRL! She was a lovely, chatty Scottish girl with long blonde hair and they met one afternoon in the pool. He was immediately taken by the fact she was significantly older than him and could swim without armbands. Total catch right?

swimming

I worry that her parents might be concerned that my very lifelike portrayal of her may reveal her identity so let’s not name her specifically, from here on in I’ll refer to her as ‘Not Lucy’.

Now Not Lucy turned out to be 6 years old but she wasn’t put off by F being a paltry 4, like he would have been if it was the other way around. 50% more life experience is a big deal in kid world!

Anyway long story short, despite the age gap, they got on well and the next day he was eager to see her again. But something happened which I hadn’t really witnessed before – a level of shy had kicked in.

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Holiday Preperations Before And After Kids

We are going on holiday tomorrow, it will be our littlests first time on a plane. We have ventured out of the country before but our preferred destination is France. largely because you can get there via a car filled to the brim with stuff that makes them happy. This time around we are limited to the amount we can squeeze into our suitcases which gives me the fear because… considering packing, is it actually worth going on holiday?

The last few days have been spent in preparation mode, I’ve been sourcing kids crocs on eBay rather than hunting down the perfect shimmery sun tan cream and it got me thinking about how different pre-holiday preparations are now that we have children…

Researching the destination

  • Before kids: Look up nice bars, restaurants and cultural places of interest to visit.
  • After kids: That place you booked because it said it was ‘child friendly’ and had decent Wi-Fi? Now look up what country it’s actually in. Then look up the nearest A&E.

Entertainment

  • Before kids: Download some new music and order 3 books from Amazon for relaxing by the pool.
  • After kids: Charge the i-Pad to within an inch of it’s life and fill it with an abundance of irritating crap. Don’t bother with anything for yourself because your entertainment can consist purely of making sure your kids don’t drown.

Pampering

  • Before kids: Allocate the evening before for a beautifying session. Have a nice bath, shave legs, paint toes, apply fake tan. RELAX.
  • After kids: Allocate the evening before to have a fight about who was meant to book the airport parking (not me!) before angrily clipping your toenails and butchering your legs with a manky blunt razor.

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A Billion Reasons Why I Hate The School Run

Although there are many good things about school, including the main benefit of free childcare, there are also some negatives… basically having to be there every day. On time. Not in your pyjamas.

I am pretty lucky in our household really though, J gets the kids up and does their breakfast so I can get washed and ready in peace. Being A LADY it does obviously take me more time to, you know, style my hair, apply make up, select a stylish yet practical outfit and generally look like I have my sh*t together.

Don’t hate me though – my littlest is often awake at a time starting with 5 and I am the one who can’t get back to sleep for being kicked in the head repeatedly.

7:50 AM.

ready

8:07 AM.

beans

8:12 AM.

insta

It’s not all plain sailing though, I am responsible for the duh duh duh SCHOOL RUN and to be honest I’m not a fan. In the before school times I used to enjoy our lazy mornings pootling about in our pants before deciding what to do for the day. Now that we all have to wear actual clothes things seem to have gone down hill.

8:17 AM.

dressed

And whilst we are distracted with the task in hand the toddler always seems to be doing something incredibly, incredibly annoying.

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The Top Six Things My Kids Fight About

There are people who have kids that get on and look out for each other, and then there are people who have kids where the best possible scenario is that they are completely ignoring each other at separate ends of the room.  We fall into the latter camp – YAY!

If I’m honest It often feels like I can’t leave the room for five seconds without a full on war breaking out. Here are a few of the things that they regularly argue about while I am trying to make tea/hang the washing up/generally get sh*t done: –

1. ‘That’s mine!’ related arguments.

Doesn’t matter what it is, some screwed up bit of an old Cbeebies magazine that was plucked out of the bin, whatever, If it was once yours and someone else is now touching it then that is grounds to go batshit crazy until you get it back.

Then when you get it back you can immediately discard it because you never REALLY wanted it in the first place. Obviously.

This also extends to feeling threatened by another person because they are LOOKING (gasps) at something you are playing with.

batman

2. TV related arguments.

Including – ‘He’s watched two episodes of his programme and I’ve only watched one of mine’, ‘He’s standing in front of the TV and I can’t see’, ‘He turned my programme off and It wasn’t finished yet’, and ‘He is shouting and I can’t hear’ etc. etc.

peppa

Even If I find something they are both happy to watch and I’ve managed to get them to sit down sensibly on the sofa we get…

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A Devastating Blow…

We are going through a bit of a hard time in our family right now. It came out of nowhere and knocked us for six. It all started a few days ago, a sight so terrifying we were left quaking in our bed socks…

What’s the one thing more scary that being woken up in the middle of the night by an axe wielding mad man? Yup – seeing a toddler who has learnt to climb out of his cot.

gets out cots

You see I’m not one of those parents who is all up for their kid hitting milestones as soon as possible. TBH I’d been hoping the cage, I mean COT, would be sticking around for a while longer. But alas it was not to be.

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So with the choice taken out of our hands and a Google for Velcro bedding or cots with lids proving fruitless, we had but one choice left *cries a bit* – A BIG BOY BED.

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