Friday, 27 May 2016

Lucky Me

Happy Friday :)

It's a hard life
Last weekend I was flying solo with the boys. Just the three of us, mummy day, mummy night. Although I know how incredibly lucky and blessed I am to have two healthy, energetic boys I must confess I did have a few (fleeting) moments of feeling slightly unlucky.

Shortly after my husband jetted into the sun on a boys holiday I received a text. Awwww I thought, he's missing us already. 'Vik, can you sort the travel insurance ' it read. Then I found a package with a stick it note on it 'Vik, can you post this'. A few hours later I noticed another note and promptly thought were he could perhaps stick it.

The weekend started bright and 5.40am breezy, with a lovely slap stick sketch involving me, my 19 month old, a bowl of cheerios and the floor. Repeated 3 times with painful ridiculousness.
A visit to my brothers was most enjoyable for my youngest who took great pleasure in making the most of his new surroundings. He merrily alternated between attacking the TV, lunging for drinks, diving on the dog and rearranging the washing. Me, my brother and sister-in-law positioned ourselves strategically around the room in a bid to scupper his plans which reminded me of the bit in Mary Poppins where they fire the cannon, posts everyone!!!! This visit most probably ensured that they will be 'too busy' for babysitting duties until 2018 and need to take the dog to counselling.
Sunday lunch at my mums, always a winner. My youngest ate his dinner with gusto then proceeded to launch anything in reaching distance like an Olympic shot putter. My eldest decided to do anything other than eat. Wedged between my unruly boys, blocking flying veggies from one side, fishing my 5 year old out from under the table from the other, I willed them to behave to show what a great job I'm doing. "I've farted" laughed my eldest, "Bye Bye" cheered my youngest.

The week began with my youngest smearing himself in black shoe polish 5 minutes before the school run. Rushing, I decided to clean all the visible areas, leaving his legs looking like a serious fake tan disaster. 9 hours later in the bath I realised that wasn't such a great idea. The next morning cupboard door lock fixed and legs just about clean, I was confident that no such incident would occur again. What a silly mummy. 5 minutes before leaving the house (if anything he's consistent), he decided it would be a marvellous idea to apply the green coloured factor 50 suncream himself. Such a kind, thoughtful son.

In the moment I felt quite sorry for myself. Sorry that my husband was sunning himself abroad. Sorry that at 5.40am I wasn't snuggled in bed. Sorry that I couldn't sit still and have a conversation. Sorry that when you thought you had it all sorted you hadn't. After the moment, when calm is restored. Cheerios are back in the bowl, only a faint green tinge remains (on carpet and child) you realise if that is all that's wrong in life then really you should consider yourself extremely lucky.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Wine Night (2016 v 1996)

Happy Wineday :)

2016       (wine night face-big smile & crazy eyes)       1996
Last Saturday I enjoyed a girlie night out, which ended up as one of my 'wine nights'*  I drank far too much, stayed out a little too late and took till Wednesday to recover. My 72 hour hangover got me thinking about my first out on the town adventures and what a difference 20 years (and 2 kids) makes.

Age 37= Normally spend 41 minutes getting ready. If I'm lucky I get out the house wearing both lip gloss and perfume. To turn me from jogging bottom mum mode to spruced up boogie mode I put my bedside radio on. Mindful to keep it low in the hope my location remained undetected. Two minutes later my youngest enters the bathroom dragging my newly ironed jeans behind him. Upon spying my makeup bag he abandons the jeans and makes a grab for the mascara. I unwittingly think 'he'll not get in that', a second later he has black streaks down his cheeks. Taking back control of the mascara, he shows his annoyance by lifting up the toilet seat whilst keeping his eyes on me. "In one second I'm going to dip my hand in" he telepathically chuckles. So I now have one foot holding down the toilet seat, my makeup bag balanced on the sink tap and a disgruntled 19 month old swinging off the towel rail. Like an angel my husband appears, peace at last. My eldest then decides he must 'help me' get ready. Watching my every move intently he fires non stop questions; "Is that to make your face pink?" (Foundation & for the record it isn't pink) "Do men wear make up?" (Ermmm). He pleads to help so we settle on him applying my blusher, painting one of my toe nails and helping me into my skinny jeans. Laughing at me pulling them on he asks "are they tights?" "no they are just tight" "That's because of your big tummy" he casually observes. All done, I ask what he thinks. He gives me the thumbs up "You're more beautiful than a Dandelion..."

Age 17= Between 2-3 hours of beautifying, complaining about my face (hated my freakles), body (too skinny, no boobs), hair (no straighteners) and re beautifying. Trying on various outfits whilst singing along to a badly self-made mix tape from the previous Sunday charts. Telephoning friends to see what they are wearing. Mum picking up the phone downstairs to tell me to get off it-how rude! If parents in, head out. If parents out rummage through the drinks cabinet until find something that is open but relatively untouched. Replace amount taken with water.

Age 37= The plan was pre dinner G&T's, tapas at 9pm, maybe a drink afterwards, home by midnight ish (very civilised). The first two thirds of the evening went swimmingly. A warning sign that we were in danger of diverting from the civilised plan was perhaps when we ordered a second bottle of red wine (and there are only two of us drinking). 11.40pm our driver is ready for the off. Possibly not helped by me dropping a glass of red wine, cutting her foot and splattering her white shirt in the process. In full 'wine night'* mode I feel this is a terrible idea, the night is young and I feel totally wine, I mean fine. An hour and half later, more red wine has been consumed, unwanted advice dished out to the young, another red wine accident and we decide it's time for home. At this point the whole bar heaves a sigh of relief. A taxi is hailed. I spend the entire journey berating the driver for not wearing a seatbelt and then empty the consumed red wine and tapas on to the side of the road. Classy.
Age 17= Drinking, dancing, bit of snogging (if your lucky) with chips, gravy and possibly a sausage to finish the night ;)

Age 37= Open one eye at 6.10am, unable to speak, move and barely think. Wake again around 8.30am to my eldest shouting "Dad!!!! Ellis is eating the shell" Ascertain they are having dippy eggs. Feel guilty about being hungover. Lie in a state of blurrghhhh trying to piece everything together, cringing at the intermittent flashbacks. What happened to the no alcohol after midnight idea? Swear I'll never drink that much again. Feel guilty all day about everything I haven't done in my state of shittyness. When bedtime arrives I feel so proud that I made it through the day (well half of it). Wednesday morning and all is finally well.
Age 17= Sleep till whenever, get up and get ready to do it all again. Hangover? What hangover?

So 37 v 17? There's no denying I had an absolute blast at 17. However, as much as I love the occasional crazy 'wine night'* the nearest thing I'll be getting to wine this weekend will be gums. My eldest is uncontrollably excited as he's been given full access to my face and make up bag. Pizza night with Honey I blew up the Kid is scheduled and I couldn't be more content.

*BTW I'm not a total pisshead. My wine nights happen probably around 2-3 times a year. My friends say it is like Russian Roulette as to who lands on them but I know they secretly love it.

Pink Pear Bear

Friday, 13 May 2016

Believe In Your Choices

Happy Friday :)

Having a meeting in Ipswich provided me with a long drive to think about all sorts. Making a mental to do list for the hubbie, day dreaming about my forthcoming girlie spa weekend & having a little debate with myself about parenting. Yes out loud, much better than in your head and everyone just thinks you're on hands free so none the wiser that I'm actually a little bit of a wierdo (shhhh)

So my Jekyll & Hyde style deliberation was essentially "Are the parenting choices we make because they are the best for our children or do we choose to believe the hype/information that supports our choices to justify they are the best?" (You may need to read that twice, I did)

Since becoming a parent and generally getting older I've got to know myself. What makes me tick and what ticks me off. Although I love the idea of being spontaneous I know I need structure. I'm very organised, possibly a little geeky in all aspects of my life. I have an excel document detailing household monies in and out, every Saturday I plan the coming week tea's. Browsing shops I will have a list of what I need to curtail any frivolous spending. Which incidentally my friend once ate, I was devastated. At work I have a to do list, which I update hourly. I once forgot my diary and lasted an hour and half before admitting defeat and heading back home as I couldn't cope without it. You get the picture, I need a plan and love a list which I think is my way to (hopefully) stay ahead of the game.

My personality didn't change when I had children. The need for structure undoubtedly formed my parenting choices. I wholeheartedly believe that routine for babies and young children is a good thing. Which is a bloody good job really as I would have definitely had a mental breakdown attempting a more relaxed parenting style. Our bedtime routine for example has a fantastic dual purpose. Bath, milk and Igglepiggle calms and prepares my youngest for sleepy time. Brilliantly it also excites and prepares me for winey/childfree time, win win. I am more relaxed with my eldest but still suffer palpitations if the youngest's schedule isn't adhered to, so routine it is all the way for us.

When you become a parent you are bombarded with information and opinions regarding what's best for you and your child(ren). With so many different types of parenting it can be a minefield as to what you should and shouldn't be doing. Some mothers repulse at the mention of Gina Ford, others roll their eyes at attachment parenting. Some swear by controlled crying whilst others prefer the Baby Whisperer. All very different but all have research, articles, parent's views and experiences supporting and dismissing each way of thinking. So what's a girl to do?

My conclusion; One woman's co sleeping dream maybe another's worst nightmare. One woman's set routine would be a babyled disaster. Do what works and fits with you and your family to ensure you're all content. Believe in your choices and respect others' as they'll all be individual and different, just as we are.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Tour de Yorkshire & Double Double Trouble

Happy Friday :)

After watching the Tour de Yorkshire pass through our local streets I've decided I want to change jobs. Not to a professional cyclist, but a member of the following entourage. I believe I have the right skill set; able to drive and toot a horn. I already have the required tools; sunglasses. I definitely possess the personal attributes; enthusiastic wave & intermittent smile. I believe the only training I would need would be to master different tooting combinations. Possibly my weakness would be having to stick behind the bikes for all those miles. As only having to follow two cyclists for more than two hundred yards can make me twitch...

Having friends to stay over the bank holiday weekend doubled the amount of children in the house. Good job I secretly love a temporary state of craziness. Interaction between the two 5 year olds consisted of a mish mash of; Serious nonsensical debates about everything and anything. Inventing names for everyone linked to anything connected to poo, farting or bums (eg. Daddy Bum Bum). Pre bathtime excitement of pure innocence. "Lets get naked" they announce dancing around in their pants. My eldest advises "that's not naked, you need to take your pants off" Bathtime mischievousness. Eye off the ball moment results in the loo roll finding it's way in to the bath and subsequently both children emerging (looking very pleased with themselves) in slimy bits of white paper.*  Post bathtime complaints. "I don't like his willy" she confides. Boasting about the things they can do. My eldest sticks up his middle finger (wrong way round) then does the same with his two middle fingers (entirely incorrect) to proudly demonstrate his knowledge of combinations of 'swearing fingers'. Proud mum moment. The younger two (19 months & 23 months) have considerably less interaction, arguably only when they accidently happen upon each other. Their exchanges are brief, to the point and very much like a silent slapstick show. My little one enthusiastically tries to kiss his female counterpart open mouthed with his tounge hanging out. (We find this rather funny so encourage more kisses & cuddles) Her looking appalled, shaking her head to the point of it falling off and rebucking his amourous advances with a swift push to the face. Grappling with a sweeping brush, both have an impressive hold which looks like they are dancing. Until they start squealing and face slapping each other that is. This is repeated with numerous toys/household appliances. Distraction and offerings of food are used to defuse each situation. As they have a memory like a goldfish this works rather well.

Monday morning we bid our farewells. As soon as the door closes, the house seems so quiet, which is nice but also a little sad. Although I couldn't sustain that level of chaos there is something lovely about a house full of people. Bustling, busy, life brimming over the edge that makes you feel alive and energised. Well till about 6.30pm anyhow ;) Here's to double double trouble, when's the next visit???

*this bathtime caper brought a long forgotten childhood memory into my head of wet toilet paper and ceilings. I wonder if the ceilings of bogs at school are still decorated in this fashion....