A while back I was in my kitchen looking for my fridge, it took me a good five minutes to find him and when I finally did I was concerned to see he was sobbing his little heart out…
I’M A FRIDGE, LET ME BE A FRIDGE GODDAMIT!!
To cut a long story short he was fed up with being covered in bad drawings of Ninja Turtles, sunshines and stuff no one could could really make head nor tail of. He wanted at least some of his sleek shiny surface back and I had to respect that.
You see we are overrun with crappy artwork in our house, it’s EVERYWHERE and all I can do is hold my hands up and apologise to my fridge (and memo board and walls and shelves) – I’m so sorry guys!
So what to do with all this excess craft?
I had a quick Google and there are lots of options – take pictures and make them into a photo album, use them as wrapping paper, wallpaper your hallway with them, post them to your relatives (bit harsh) but whilst those ideas are lovely, you could also just do something radical like… chuck them?!
We’ve been talking about potty training our youngest for a while. He’s 2.5 and to all intents and purposes seems ready. The delay was partly down to the fact that we couldn’t be arsed, obviously there are advantages to ditching the nappies but there are also weeks of dragging around a potty and 5 pairs of trousers which make it slightly less appealing.
However the excuses were running thin on the ground and it was time to man up – we’d read Pirate Pete’s Potty a hundred times and I’d bought stashes of Minion pants (his favourite) from Primark. There was nothing left to do but get on with it…
After taking off his morning nappy I show him his very exciting new pants. However instead of making him happy they just make him VERY angry.He right out refuses to put them on! I manage to negotiate with him and in the end he agrees to put on a pair of his brothers’s old pants with footballs on them. Kids are weird.
The morning goes well with no accidents, he wees on the potty once at home and comes back from a trip to the park, dry. I start feeling a bit smug.
My sister and her girlfriend come down to visit us in the afternoon and J makes a lovely lasagne for us all to enjoy.
And then the boy does a massive wee all over his chair and the floor.
‘Sorry about the wee I hope it doesn’t put you off your lunch!’
It all goes steadily downhill from there.
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?
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.
I’m so lucky generally on this blog, the people who read it are lovely and kind and supportive, but you always get the odd few nasty comments. I’m too old now to care much about what other people think but this is a little piece about why I think its OK, or even important, to be able to occasionally bitch about parenthood…
An Ode To Honesty
Some people they may look at me,
All that’s sitting in my lap.
And I see why my grumbles taunt them,
If in their arms, there’s still a gap.
Others like to hear a tale,
With a rosy tinted hue.
But where’s the story going,
If the words we speak aren’t true?
Perhaps some find it simpler,
Embrace the change without a hitch,
But you can’t dip your toe in parenthood,
You can’t stay a selfish bitch.
So Christmas is over. Or at least it is for the kids because by my reckoning all the adults still seem to be living on a diet of oven snacks and prosecco, deluding themselves that it will all be ok if they can manage a dry January, which will NEVER happen.
All in all there were some highs and there were some lows but I learnt a lot.
On Christmas Eve we saw ‘Father Christmas’ fly overhead. It would have been a bit more magical had all the adults not kept using the terms ‘sleigh’ and ‘International Space Station’ interchangeably and nudging each other and laughing when they got it wrong. Lesson one, most things about Christmas are utter b*llshit.On the morning itself I rushed downstairs and to my extreme relief saw that he had been. It seems the repeated threats of ending up on the naughty list didn’t amount to much. MENTAL NOTE: Next year don’t let their ‘he’s always watching’ b*llocks influence your behaviour. Either he didn’t see me decorating mummy’s handbag with cat food or he doesn’t give a rats arse.
When my oldest son dropped all daytime sleeps before his second birthday I assumed that such a gross injustice could only be explained as a blip in the great scheme of fair nap distribution. This time around I realise there is no such scheme.
Over the last week we have had a 2/7 success rate with the toddlers naps which can only mean one thing – they are on their way out *sobs into gin*
I just don’t get it! If only I could ask him what the hell is going on in his head…
Me: So um, I was wondering… why don’t you want to nap any more?
Toddler: Things to do, people to see. You know how it is when you’re 21 months old. The world is so fresh and EXCITING!
Me: Most other kids your age nap you know…
Toddler: Most other kids my age are pansies.
Me: Napping is not a sign of weakness, a nice post lunch snooze is very normal.
Toddler: F*ck normal.
Me: The baby books suggest most kids…
Toddler: F*ck the baby books.
Me… continue napping until around 3!
Toddler: What don’t you get here? NAPS ARE FOR CHUMPS!
Me: You’d feel a lot better if you napped you know…
Toddler: You’d feel a lot better if you stopped being so bloody anal about napping!
Last week J and I took our biggest boy up to London for a day trip. We hadn’t done anything particularly out of the ordinary over half-term apart from douse our heads in nit lotion (twice) so it seemed like a nice idea.
We decided to hit the museums which is something I’ve been wanting to do with him for a while; with the littlest in nursery it was also the perfect opportunity to give him some undivided attention and maybe even expand his mind away from Lightning McQueen for a wee bit.
From previous trips away, particularly ones organised with effort and expense I have learnt it’s important to keep expectations low on both sides.
Firstly your own – Never make the mistake of looking forward to seeing a delighted face. It doesn’t matter how much you ‘think’ your kid will love it – in some way, shape or form they will piss all over it. In fact I would wager there is a strong correlation between the degree you expect they will enjoy it and the level of disinterest they actually show.
Second and most importantly, theirs – It’s wise to have a conversation along the lines of…
‘Just so you know… you won’t actually get to ride a rocket to the moon in the Science Museum and there is no magic time travel clock in the Natural History Museum. Ditto to ice-cream fountains, helter-skelters, talking penguins or whatever other random bullshit you conjured up in your head. It’s. Just. Boring. Museums. Ok?’
Luckily I did quite well with this resulting in F being largely nonplussed about the whole trip. So much so that he wasn’t even bothered about going #winning.
We’re 6 weeks down the school starters line, 3 part time, 3 full time and we are already hurtling towards half-term. For every parent out there looking forward to spending a week with their little cherub there is another one thinking IS THAT IT?!?
I’m not saying that’s me. But it might be me.
So what are our thoughts about school so far? Well I had a few concerns, perhaps slightly amplified by the fact F only turned 4 in August. I worried that he wouldn’t be able to sit still, that he would miss me and that it might all be too much for him, I had a lot of confidence in him you see.
The reality is that I was wrong. He skips through the door happily each day, he condemns people who end up on the cloud for bad behaviour and tells me (YES ME!!) off because ‘You’re not doing good listening Mummy!’
I don’t know whether to feel proud or insulted. I don’t know whether to feel like a success as a parent or a total failure as one.
I was right about one thing however and that was that he might not be able to wipe his own bum properly – the skid marks are there to prove it. Hurrah go me! Oh hang on a minute though, that’s a sh*t one to be right about. Literally.
Another thing i’ve noticed is that he is ever so slightly more tired than usual.
At the minute I have precisely 13 items on my ‘needs doing now’ to-do list, which is on top of the 22 items on my ‘to do as soon as you can’ to-do list which doesn’t include the many, many things on the ‘will probably never happen so I don’t really know why you even exist’ to-do list.
A lot of these items are related to the kids and things they need, what with all their growing and general destruction of stuff. Their feet are always too big, toothbrush bristles too flat, socks too holey, pants too un-findable etc etc.
On Saturday I went into town with a list of stuff to buy them, leaving them at home with their dad (regular readers will understand why I don’t take my kids near retail outlets). Anyway the list was pretty dull…
***Let me just start by saying that this is not a sponsored post and that I have not been remunerated in any way for waxing Aldi lyrical. I really am writing about our favourite supermarket of my own free will. Talking about supermarkets has become one of my favourite topics. This is my life now and I’m fine with that (mostly)***
We have been Aldi ‘n’ Proud in our house for about a year now. I’ll admit I was a hesitant adopter but my husband pushed for a change after growing tired of my habit of ‘browsing’ – apparently it’s expensive and results in the acquisition of random and unnecessary products. I feel it’s always worth looking into alternative ways to mash potato, but lets not start that debate here.
With Aldi there are things you need to get used to, it’s not all pretty and full of olives, stuff doesn’t look quite so appealing on pallet based displays and the checkout process can feel a bit violent at times. Maybe we’ve become somewhat institutionalised though because now, I sort of love all of those things.
Anyway in the hope that there might be other people out there to convert, or ones that are already converted and want to share some product tips – here are a few of my own recommendations, sound of music style…