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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

But Why?

It's a well known fact that once your child gets to a certain age the dreaded 'why' question will enter their vocabulary. 
'Come on we're going out'
'Why mummy?'
'Because we need to get some food shopping'
'Why?'
'Because we need to eat'
'Why?'
'Because we wouldn't survive otherwise'
'Why?'
*sigh*

But when you have children there are a few 'why?' questions you may ask yourself.
There are many things I've found myself asking 'why?' to over the past 4 years. Too many to mention. But here's 10 that spring to mind

1) When your child eats a sugary treat and they get some on their face, if you don't wipe it off immediately why does it turn in to black fluffy goop? 

2) If your child has a late night, why do they wake up earlier than if they'd had an early night?

3) When you go on a journey, why does your child fall asleep approximately 20 seconds before reaching your destination?

4) Why is your child a fussy eater at home, refusing to eat anything 'wet' or containing vegetables, yet when you pick them up from school they say they've devoured a plate of chick pea curry? 

5) Why does your child bellow for you to come in the room and help them with something when their Dad is sat right next to them?

6) Despite Goofy & Pluto both being dogs, why can't Pluto talk? And despite all of the Mickey Mouse crew being animals, why is Pluto a pet? 

7) Why is it that even though your child has pushed you and tested your limits/insanity throughout the entire day, you kind of miss them as soon as they go to bed?

8) Why do nappies randomly leak through the night, even if they are definitely the correct size?

9) Why do kids have so much energy the second they wake up?

10) Why, when your children go to bed, do you sit down, relax, and continue watching Kids TV?

These are but a few of my musings as a parent. There are plenty more! I need answers god dammit! 
Why? Why? Why?



Friday, 23 October 2015

Snailing To School

I've been AWOL for a few days due to a house move and zillions amount of stress. 
What stress? I hear you ask. Well let me tell you..THE SCHOOL RUN.
In the old house I had timed the school run almost to perfection. However, the new house is further away and therefore entails a longer walk. With longer walks comes more 'snailing,' where your child literally walks and dawdles at the pace of a snail for the entirety of your journey. 
Being smug and setting myself up for failure immediately I worked out that it took me approximately 25 minutes to walk it to the school from the new house. Taking 'snailing' in to account I added 15 minutes on to this time and came up with an estimation that if we left the house at 8:00am we would arrive at school at 8:45am.
How wrong could I have been?
I've underestimated 'snailing.'
I didn't think there could be more to 'snailing' than what I had already witnessed. 
So off we set at 8:00am with the wind in our hair, a school book bag, and a Goofy soft toy for show and tell. We make it to the end of the street before Goofy wants to walk and therefore we have to slow right down so his feet can touch the ground and he can be dragged along the dirty floor for several hundred yards. I'm getting slightly impatient at this point. This has added 3 minutes on to the journey. 
We then approach a subway, which we don't need to use but of course Oliver decides that it exists and therefore he must use it! So 2 minutes are added on so that he can walk down the steps and then come up the ramp at the other end, where I'm stood waiting for him and gritting my teeth. 
We finally make it in to the town centre. I look at my watch. We have to be at school in 15 minutes. 
With a town centre comes shops. Shops that have prematurely dressed their windows in Christmas decorations. Great! Let's stop and look at every single Christmas tree with snow falling from it and snow globes! (Yes Clintons, I'm talking to you!)
After many sighs of "yes that's a Christmas tree, come on! Yes I can see the snow, come on! Oh yes that's a snowman in that snow globe COME ON OLIVER! We finally make it past....to the market stalls, where someone has thoughtfully laid out a box of McDonald's toys going for 50p.
Wonderful!
Let's rummage all through these toys, identify the ones that we already have, sitting in a box at home going dusty, and pick out the ones that we "always wanted but never got!"
We now have 5 minutes to get to school. We're never going to make it. This is just bloody ridiculous. I shoo him along with false promises of coming and having a look after school and continue walking.
We approach Morrisons. Oliver wants an apple. 
"You can have an apple at school!" I tell him..well..beg him actually.
But no, that isn't good enough. We have to go in to Morrisons and buy one singular apple. But low and behold, what greets us at the entrance? An array of Halloween treats! Shortbread bats, cupcakes decorated with spooky icing and toffee apples. We have to stand there and admire them before Oliver picks up a bat and proudly announces, "I'll have this one"
"But we came in here for an apple!" I splutter!  
And here comes a tantrum. So we exit the shop with no shortbread and no apple. I'm now running with him in my arms and sweat dripping down my forehead. I swizz him round so I'm now giving him a piggy back. I'm resorted to piggy backing my 4 year old to school just to get there in time. 
We make it. Although I now have sweat patches and my fringe is stuck to my forehead.
I decide that after school I will let him browse at everything on the way home to try and lessen the chance of snailing the next day. Do you know how long it took us to get home? ONE HOUR AND FOURTY FIVE MINUTES!
And did he reduce his snailing the next day?
Did he buggery. 


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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Moving House With A 4 Year Old Is So Much Fun

Moving house with a 4 year old is great isn't it? 
Just great!
It's so much fun when you're trying to pack things and are repeatedly asked the question "what's this?" As you rifle through dusty old crap that you shoved under a bed years ago in the hope that it would cease to exist, and are now being forced to actually sort through it.
I absolutely love it when you have to gather up games that were locked in a closet for your own sanity, only to jog your child's memory that in fact all these games are "their favourite" and they simply must play them now, amidst the chaos of clothes, half packed boxes and crates.
It drives me to alcohol in no way whatsoever when you nearly pack one box and then find your child's arse hanging out of it, gathering something from the bottom that they absolutely need or they cannot continue with life. I find it simply adorable when you have your best china, ornaments & photo frames in boxes, taking up the whole of a room, and your child decides to use them as an obstacle course with his bike. His bike that he pedals backwards, and then asks you to push him on.
I don't mind whatsoever when you've made up a bunch of boxes to pack up the last of your things and then you find your kid playing "Boxtrolls" in them. And I'm not at all pushed to breaking point when the Boxtrolls break out of their boxes, completely severing the tape that was holding them together.
I am completely calm and relaxed. There isn't a vein throbbing in my head at all. I have not developed a twitch. And I am not contemplating a 5:30pm bedtime so I can search for wine somewhere in this god dam forsaken tip of a house. 

So that's where we are up to with the house move! Just fanbloodytastic. 




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Saturday, 17 October 2015

The Mommitment

From the minute my baby boy was handed to me wrapped in a pink blanket I've lived with "Imposter Syndrome," an overwhelming feeling that you're really not cut out for this shiz and any minute now someone is going to recognise that you're a fraud. You're not good enough. You're blagging it.
I lived with this feeling for about 3 years. A constant battle to prove to others that I knew what I was doing, the persistent feeling of being judged and needing to justify every parenting decision I made, and every behavioural issue my son presented me with.
I turned to blogging. I decided to be truthful about things I went through in the hope that I would find other Mums who understood, or would be able to reach out to other Mums who felt exactly like me.
Blogging scared me. If anything I felt like I'd jumped out of the frying pan and in to the fire. There was this entire network of Mummy Bloggers and each one represented perfect parenting, lovely days out, and beautiful homely recipes that made me stare down at the beans on toast that were sitting on my lap.
Then I stumbled across a miracle. Julie Maida, who blogs from Next Life No Kids. I'd found something REAL! Someone who could identify weaknesses that we all have and find the humour in them.
After following Next Life No Kids I realised that it was so much more than a humorous blog page. There was real meaning, total lack of judgment, total truth.
I started seeing posts about The Mommitment.
A recognition that as mothers we need to stand together and support each other, not criticise and judge.
I found my voice.
I stopped caring. I no longer hid away or crawled in to myself when my son threw himself on the floor in the middle of the supermarket. I stopped feeling the need to justify everything I did, or didn't do. I no longer bashed myself as a mum. I'm a fricking great mum!
I do stupid things, I'm not super organised, I don't have much decorum (as my mum would say), and I can sometimes (ok most of the time) be a bit immature. But I AM ME! I am a Mum. And I try my best.
Some days I'm hopeless, tired, worn out. I am never perfect. I never will be. But I am perfect to my son. And after all, isn't his the only opinion that matters?
In a world that is filled by perfect images on Instagram, blogs about helicopter parenting and constant twitter battles about breast v bottle, a woman needs somewhere to turn and say "hey! My kid drove me crazy today and I'm kind of losing it." And instead of being bombarded with comments of how you should do this, and you shouldn't have done that, you are instead embraced with "completely understand! Are you ok?"
And "I'm going through this too! You're not alone!"
This is what The Mommitment does for me. I have a network of support that I can turn to and be greeted with open arms and non judgment.
But we shouldn't need a group of mums that we can turn to.
We should be able to turn to each and every mum and just be us. Be honest. Have no fear of judgment. We can ALL make a Mommitment to stop criticising, and provide support and encouragement. Because every mother has her own struggles. She doesn't know yours and you don't know hers.
Join us and make your Mommitment!!!

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Sunday, 11 October 2015

Mr P. Doh

Mr P. Doh

I'm sure you feel extremely pleased with yourself for inventing the monstrosity that is Play Doh.
Tell me, was it your intention to create something that was 100% guaranteed to give every mother in the world a nervous breakdown? 
Surely you must have considered  the possible catastrophes of your invention coming in to contact with fibres such as carpet, rugs, or hair? No? 
And what about all them bright colours you designed for your creation! Bold pinks, greens and blues. Did you fully think through what may happen to them when they are mixed? And how we are supposed to cope with that? Did you have any idea that these eye catching colours would eventually just turn in a murky, distasteful grey/green? And how are we then to decipher which pot the Play Doh goes back in to when it no longer resembles it's original colour?
Your lack of consideration here is evident in your Play Doh Ice Cream Shoppe edition, where those lovely edible colours are mixed in to one, puke coloured sundae from hell. Us parents are then forced to eat it with a tiny plastic spoon, whilst the kids go off and tread the faux whipped cream that fell off the top, in to our carpet as they leave the room to "get more."
No, you didn't think that through did you? 
Have you actually ever been forced to play with Play Doh in a homely environment? Have you ever had to scrape Play Doh from underneath a child's finger nails? Or try and pick it out of a squirming toddlers hair? 
I'm guessing if you had then you would have made the bold decision to recall ALL Play Doh immediately, without a moments hesitation. 
It's THE DEVIL
One has never felt impending doom like when your four year old approaches you & asks the dreaded question "can we get the Play Doh out?" And believe me, stuffing it in the closet, piling blankets over it and sprinkling a circle of holy water round it can not protect you from it's wrath. I've tried. 
Did you plan this? Because it's quite apparent that Play Doh is NOT a toy. It's a crime. It should be illegal, and you my friend should be arrested. 

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Thursday, 8 October 2015

Trolls, Who Don't Know They Are Trolls, So Keep Trolling.


The other night I was pondering. I had been reading a Facebook post released surrounding a well know police case having to close their twitter account due to trolling. 
Undecided as to whether I should reflect on trolling in general within my blog post, or whether I should look at trolling specifically within this case, and the effect it has had, I took to twitter
I immediately got tweeted with "No. You will put yourself in terrible danger"
I asked the Tweeter to elaborate.
Suddenly a full on war had surrounded me. I had accidentally sucked in a tribe of trolls who were arguing amongst themselves & throwing the odd insult to me here and there. 
I watched as the Twitter war progressed. To and fro. Backwards and forwards. Each side trying to pull me in to their tribe, twisting my words and asking me questions. Throwing scraps of evidence at me from books and police reports and silently screaming! Read this! Side with us!!  
I'm not sure which side was worse. I felt like I was virtually surrounded by wild animals. It was suffocating.
But I was beginning to get the idea as to why the admin running the case in question had chosen to delete their Twitter account.  
It was....scary.
It made me sad. It made me disappointed with the human race. When did we become such vile creatures? Throwing insults towards people who disagree with us to the point that someone would warn you that you are in danger if you dare voice your opinion that doesn't conform with a majority.
Is this the world that my child will be growing up in? Surrounded by such hatred and venom? I'm ashamed to say that it is. 
Why?
Because people are hateful. And the effects of that hatred have potentially put a police case in jeopardy. 
I expect some trolling through this post. Possibly trolls who don't know they are trolls, but troll anyway. 
But this is essentially not a post about "that case." It's a post about us. About how potentially dangerous our words can be on social media. About how we can spread such hatred and contempt with the simple click of a button. Isn't there more to life than this? Isn't there great sights to see, wonderful smells to smell, amazing experiences to be involved in? 
Don't we have children and other family who we can squeeze extra tight and be grateful that they are here with us. That we get to witness the little things about them that make us laugh (and cry sometimes!)
A friend who noticed the Twitter saga messaged me and asked me what the hell was going on. How one tweet had led to such viciousness and malice. She made an extremely valid point. Rather than turn her words in to mine, I will quote her directly 
"We're the first generation to live online whilst still remembering time before the Internet so we have this weird "it's only the Internet, you can do or say whatever". Which isn't true, we're online all the time and we carry it around in our pockets. We spend so much time online our offline and online personalities are very much intertwined, so if you allow your online self to be cruel and horrible to others it would be a miracle if that didn't affect who you are offline as well.
And when you're at the receiving end of Internet hate it really does affect your mood. Cyber bullying is bullying and since its 2015 there really is no need for the prefix "cyber". Everything is "cyber"  nowadays..
All these anti bullying campaigns that go viral online and get millions of likes mean nothing until we recognise this"
I think she sums the entire sense of "trolling" up perfectly. 
Just because you are hiding behind a keyboard does not give you the excuse to say awful things to people because it's not your physical self saying them. It is your physical self saying them! 
I've been known to get in the odd argument/debate online. I've been known to call the odd troll an 'arsehole' at one point or another.  I'm not perfect in any way, shape or form. 
But we all have different opinions, and that's great! What a boring world it would be if we didn't! The things I say are usually things I would actually say to somebody's face. And anything slightly untoward I may say is usually done through frustration or anger, not spitefulness or maliciousness. I don't need to hide behind a computer screen/phone etc to make a point. Mainly because I wouldn't be saying things such as this
Shocking isn't it? 
But I wanted to shock you. I wanted you to realise that when you post things you may actually be a troll, who doesn't know they're a troll, and therefore continues trolling.

There is just no need for all this hatred. 

Life with Baby Kicks

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Things That Go Bump In The Night

I LOVE Halloween, and so does Oliver (because he's creepy). I love the atmosphere, the spooky films, and the history. Some of my most fun nights as a kid were on Halloween where we would dress up, watch scary films, stuff our faces with sweets and scare the living crap out of each other with ghost stories. Most of them were made up, or Urban Myths, but the story I'm about to tell you is all very true. 
If you spook easily I suggest you stop reading. 

Are you ready?

Then I shall begin.

(Ooh I'm giving MYSELF chills even! Ahem......I shall begin)

Over a period of a few months my family experienced haunting episodes, which commenced shortly after Oliver was born. It was small things at first. His Moses basket would rock on it's stand for no apparent reason. There were no drafts, he was motionless whilst he slept, and there was nothing physically rocking it. 
Lights would switch themselves on and off, doors would open and shut on their own and items would go missing. 
They were noticeable things but not creepy enough to actually be scary, and shortly after these occurrences began, we moved house. 

This was when the horrors truly began. 

(Note-This isn't actually our house..but..you know..it's a halloween post!)

We moved in February. It was dark, cold and wet. One night in particular it was raining heavily and the sound of the pelting water droplets echoed around the house. (Have I set the spooky scenario up well enough?)
Oliver was now sleeping in his own bedroom and in the middle of the night he started crying. I rolled over, glanced at the monitor and dropped one leg out of bed. As I proceeded to pull myself up I heard his Dads voice over the monitor, "shhhhhhh, it's ok, shhhhhhhh' 
A great sense of relief took over me and I closed my eyes as I listened to my son being soothed by his Daddy. I rolled over to get more comfortable and it was at this point that my leg brushed against a solid object in the bed. I quickly opened my eyes and and saw Oliver's Daddy laid next to me.
I jolted up.
The crying had stopped but I could still hear a male voice soothing and whispering to my son in the other room, and the lights on the monitor were flashing to indicate the presence of sound.
I ran in to his bedroom. Empty.
Oliver was sleeping soundly. I searched the whole house. It was undisturbed.
A few nights after, I was woken through the night by Oliver's Dad. He was sat up in bed and said he could hear something moving about in Oliver's room. When I listened it sounded like a marble, or some sort of ball rolling around on the floor. I snuck in, (note that it's always me who has to investigate!) and the noise stopped. Oliver was asleep & there was nothing to be seen that could have been causing the sound. 
A few months later Oliver began having night terrors. Each time, I would hear his voice calling me from up the stairs, "Mummmmy! Mummmmmy!" (Think of the creepiest way a child can shout Mummy and you've got it). I would climb the stairs and enter his bedroom to find him standing behind his bedroom door, mirroring the end scene from The Blair Witch Project. When he turned he would look straight through me and start screaming. Once he actually physically attacked me. One night when I responded to the same eery shouts of mummy I went up (I was tempted to take a weapon, I'm not going to lie!) and found him sat up in bed, in more of an exorcist position this time rather than the usual Blair Witch stance behind the door. He was pointing at something in the corner of the room, his hand trembling. His head twisted round to look at me and he whispered "there's a man here."
That was the last straw. I bolted out the room, clawing at the wall in the landing to switch the light on. Flick. Nothing. Flick, Flick, Flick. Nothing. What an obvious time for the bulb to go. I was convinced I was trapped in a horror movie.
I tried to pull myself together. I'm a mum now! I'm supposed to be brave! But I could feel this mans presence that my son spoke of, his eyes boring in to the back of my head! Oh my god! What was that? I was sure I just heard a heavy footstep coming towards me! I bet this man has a wide bloody smile, and an axe in his hand! 
Or even worse, it's not a man at all! It's a clown! Oh shit! There's a clown staring at me from the corner of the room! Flick. Flick. Flick. Stupid light!
Right. Calm down! There's no man, there's no clown. It's just Oliver having a night terror. 
I peered round Oliver's door to see what the possessed little demon was doing now, expecting him to be crawling round the ceiling or telling me my mother sucks **** in hell.
He was sleeping peacefully. 
I breathed. 
And made my way back down the stairs in the dark. 
The next day that landing light came on no problems. The bulb didn't need changing & the fuse hadn't gone. There's no explanation as to why it didn't work, leaving me to be almost murdered by a Man/Clown in the middle of the night. 

There have been no more occurrences since that night. 
Although Halloween is fast approaching. And you never know what's lurking in the dark 

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