Bah Humbug

We went to see Santa. We didn’t see Santa.

I’d like to say that pretty much sums up today but if only that were true.

The day pretty much started with Rudy ploughing headfirst into our bedroom door frame, leaving a delightful blue lump right in the middle of his forehead. The day ended with him tripping over his brother’s potty and face-planting on to the living room floor.  In-between not much happened.  Except that we went to see Santa at the Levenshulme Christmas lights switch-on.

“Come along from 4.30pm” the poster said.  That sounded pretty casual to me, plus trying to leave the house on time with 2 little ones is almost impossible.  So we arrived around 4.35pm, not bad you’d think? WRONG! The queue to see Santa was immense and snaked around the corner and up the street but we joined the end of it and hoped for the best.  It was not to be.  First up Toby stood in some dog shit.  Dog shit! In the queue to Santa. It was dark so i didn’t realise at first and by the time i thought “Wtf is that smell?!” it was too late and it was ALL over his Gruffalo wellies.  Then Rudy started to get fed up with the waiting (he wasn’t the only one but us grown ups have to at least try to keep our impatience in check.  At 13 months old you’re free to express your discontent at the length of the queue.  Loudly.) Additionally almost every other parent around us in the queue was smoking.  Smoking. In the queue to Santa. Are people for real? I used to smoke a long time ago.  And they do say ex-smokers are the worst.  But c’mon. In the queue to see Santa?! So between the stench of dog shit and cigarette smoke and to a soundtrack of Wailing Rudy i was considering calling it quits when some older kid ran past and pushed Toby over. And we were done.

The boys had already spotted street vendors selling bright plastic flashing things and giant helium balloons in the shape of Santas so i used my Mama compromise skills and after purchasing 1 x flashing spinning thing and 1 x giant Santa balloon and having queued in the freezing cold for over an hour we made our way home without seeing the main man himself.

Still, neither Toby nor Rudy seemed particularly disheartened by the experience.  Rudy had a power-nap on the way home and here they are just after we arrived home:

It’s still November.  There’s time for me to get into the festive spirit yet.  And in the meantime, there’s rum 😉

A faecal matter

Anyone contemplating motherhood should consider how much they enjoy dealing with other people’s faeces. And to what extent they would like elimination to play a part in their lives.

This is particularly true if there any *other* areas of their life in which crap may feature. Such as, for example, those of us who choose to share our homes with so called ‘domesticated’ animals. Or, as in my case, where their line of work involves a considerable amount of poop. Because it all adds up. And before you know it, your life is full of shit. Literally.

There are times when i feel that almost my entire existance revolves around other people’s faecal matter. Today is one of those times. Both boys have diarrhea, or, as Toby put it- “My poo is just like jelly!”

What a delightful sentence to hear coming from your 3 year old as he stands up from the potty.

Don’t get me wrong, i’m not in the slightest bit squeamish. I wouldn’t have got far as Nurse or a Mother if i was. But really. There are only so many times in one day that you can get someone/something else’s poop on your hands and not feel like “What has my life come to?!”

So when i say today has been shitty. It’s not a metaphor.

Easy like Sunday Morning

My Sunday morning started circa 2am* when i was summoned by our 3 year old with hysterical screams of “MY NEED A WEE!”

Toby is potty trained during the day now and has been for a good few weeks.  We are still putting him in a (disposable) pull-up at night but more for our benefit than his.  He never pees in it. I just can’t bear the thought of having to strip urine sodden beds first thing in the morning.  And there’s the small matter of our washing machine being close to blowing up any day now.

After calming him down, helping him on to his potty, and settling him back into his bed i fell asleep in there.  Rudy woke at 4am and Chris came in to give me a nudge.  I was vaguely aware of his presence but fell back asleep for another hour at which point he came back in to tell me Rudy needed feeding.  He later told me i had stolen Toby’s entire duvet from him and was cocooned up in it leaving him with nothing.  Bad Mummy.  I plodded through to Rudy’s room, and fed him, i briefly thought i’d succeeded in cuddling him back to sleep but then he sat on my head and there was a distinct aroma of raw sewage.  At that point i knew it was Game Over.

Before 9am came around Rudy had experienced his first head injury of the day (with a bonus bust lip, so my robe was covered in blood, adding to the dramatic effect) Toby had unpacked every soft toy Rudy owns (that would be A LOT) on to his bed, i’d tidied the living room and prepared breakfast for the 3 of us (Chris is not someone who can eat breakfast first thing in the morning, which as i understand it, is exactly when breakfast is supposed to be eaten) and eaten my own breakfast.

There’s nothing easy about Sunday mornings in our house.  They are just the same as every other morning.  Frantic and chaotic.  That’s whether we have somewhere we need to be or not.  Even the mornings that could and surely should be leisurely seem not to be.  Small people don’t seem to ‘get’ leisurely.

In fact, with us both being shift workers, Sunday mornings usually involve work, for either one of us, but often me.  I work a lot of Saturday and/or Sunday nights so when most of the nation are “TGI Friday!” i am all “Urgh…it’s the weekend…”

Not this weekend though.  I’m on annual leave.  Did i tell you that? I may have mentioned it once or twice before 😉

So today, in spite of the night of musical beds, and the early wake up call, and the baby diarrhea, and general chaos, and err…blood splatter,  i did eventually manage to recreate that Sunday feeling with the aid of some coffee, bacon, and egg soup, i mean, poached eggs, well actually…they were fried eggs in the end.  Because, as it turns out, i really, and i mean REALLY, cannot poach an egg.  Not even to save my life.  If it were to come to it (I’m not sure what kind of a bizarre scenario might lead to me poaching eggs in exchange for my own mortality but you never know do you). I know, i know, how hard can it be?! People keep giving me tips- Use vinegar! Use salt! Make a vortex! (Make a vortex?! I mean, wtf?!) Nothing works.  I have the same trouble with omelettes.  They always turn out like some kind of inedible scrambled egg hybrid.  I’m just no good with eggs.

We kinda got the weekend vibe going nonetheless though, i was really only missing a morning paper.  And i haven’t read one of those in years.

We’ve now got the afternoon family movie thing going on (Lilo and Stitch) and snack time is providing me with a few moments peace.

It’s nice.  I can see why the Monday-Friday 9-5’ers look forward to this.

*Disclaimer: This is an approximation.  I do not actually know what time it was.  I do not know who, where, or hell, even what i am when woken suddenly from sleep.  It seems pointless to consult time telling devices in such a scenario.

The Ghost of Sick Days Past

We’ve all been ill.  Apart from Toby who must have some kind of superhuman immune system to have avoided all the germs flying his way.

It started with Chris who had a dodgy ear, then he had a cold, then i thought i had a cold but it turned out to be the flu.  Around the same time Rudy started with horrendous explosive diarrhea.  Three days later i felt that maybe, just maybe i had got through the worst of the flu when Chris and i both came down with Rudy’s tummy bug.

I have to say that i have been feeling a tad sorry for myself.  It is my annual leave week after all, and i’ve spent three days in a row stuck at home in my pjs.  It’s Rudy i feel most sorry for though, four days of toxic biohazard poop have left their mark (literally) on his behind.  He now has what may be possibly one of the worst cases of nappy rash i have seen. We’re talking blisters.  What he really needs is some lengthly nappy-free time. But what with a. the diarrhea, and b. It being November, it just isn’t happening right now.

I will say one thing.  Sick days are not what they used to be.  I remember sick days.  They used to involve nothing more strenuous than a telephone call into work (if required) and a decision on what box set to watch whilst lying in bed/on the sofa.  Possibly some sourcing of liquid refreshment/nutritional sustenance might be required.  And toileting.  But pretty much everything else used to fall by the wayside.

They certainly never used to involve laundry, housework, preparing meals for other people, getting up multiple times in the night to attend to the needs of others, or trips to Ikea (Don’t ask! It’s best not to ask!)

No, sick days are not what they used to be.

I have said before, and will say again, that the single hardest part of being a parent (practically, rather than emotionally speaking) is when they, or you, or both are ill.  You’re already so stretched.  And then the vomit/poop/fever hits.  And initially you cope, because you’re in crisis mode.  But then 2, 3 days in, it’s not a crisis anymore and that’s when you really feel it.

I am trying (so hard!) to be a glass-half-full mama though, rather than all doom and gloom.  And i’m half aware that all kinds of shit has hit the global fan recently so want it known that i do, really and truly appreciate what i have.

In that vein, i will say that i am so very very grateful that so far we have only experienced D rather than the full D&V.  I cannot begin to describe how pissed off i will be if i start vomiting.

Additionally, although sick days are not what they were in years gone by, they also never used to include this handsome bunch either…

So it’s a fair trade i suppose 😉


Remember Remember

So the saying goes.  Except, for us it’s the 6th of November, not the 5th.  These days, bonfire night, or guy fawkes night, is just a prelude to something bigger and brighter than even the sparkliest of fireworks- our first son’s birthday.

Yes, three years ago this very night we became parents.  In room 6 on the delivery suite at St Mary’s Hospital here in Manchester, at 8.35pm our world was changed forever by the birth of this little guy:

And here he is today, on his 3rd birthday, at The Trafford Centre, where we went so he could choose toys to buy with his birthday money 🙂

I can’t even begin to describe how life changed for me on becoming a Mum.  It was like everything changed and yet nothing did.  I was still me, but i was entirely different.  Life carried on but would never be the same.  It’s like the passage of time- it seems like Toby has been in our world forever and yet i can remember the minute he arrived like it was just earlier today.  The midwife handed him up to me and as i took hold of him i took a good look at him and i thought “Yes, that’s my baby”.  I recognised him instantly, like i already knew him.  Just remembering that moment is enough to bring tears to me eyes, although strangely enough i didn’t actually cry at the time, i just felt an enormous sense of relief to have him safely in my arms, and amazement that he was really here and really ours.

It’s been a fantastic journey from there to here, i wish i could have bottled it all up to relive again someday as i know i’ll want to, but of course i can’t.  So i will just try to cherish, maybe not every single moment, but as many as i possibly can 😉

Tobias- Then and Now

(November 2009)
(November 2012)
(November 2009)

(September 2012)
(November 2009)
(November 2012)
(December 2009)
(November 2012)
(November 2009)
(October 2012)

The Party

Yesterday was The Party.  Yes, the party i was stressing about in my last post.  It was a big success.  I can’t say it went without a hitch, because it didn’t…there were hitches aplenty.  Not least the last-minute, somewhat severe drop in numbers of attendees.  But it all came together in the end, and as with so many things in life- it really was a matter of quality over quantity when it came down to it.

The boys seemed to have a fantastic time although they’re so young that every day, even the very best of days, have their ups and downs.  An hour before the party started Toby was lying on the living room rug in his robot pyjamas, clutching an old fireman sam fire engine he almost never plays with wailing that he didn’t want to go to his birthday party he just wanted to stay at home and play with his “nee naw”.  It’s a tough old world when you’re (almost) three 😉

Once at the party there was some light sulking as he didn’t really ‘get’ party games but with some gentle (ish) encouragement he got into the swing of things and once he’d figured out what “Musical Bumps” was all about he didn’t want it to stop.  Ever.

Rudy spent the entire weekend thoroughly bemused as we had Chris’s Mum and sisters staying with us and pretty much every time he woke up from a nap someone new had arrived in the house, i bet he thought it was like some kind of incantation or something…close my eyes and abracadabra…*poof* random people appear!

He seemed to enjoy himself at the party too though.  There were tears when he toppled off a stool but other than that he was his cheery self, milling around, giving (and receiving) cuddles and smooches from all the guests and wooing the ladies with his dance moves

Haha.  He loved the little sensory den they had there-

and he was eyeing up the birthday cake pretty much from the minute we arrived!

(finally getting to eat cake, on Aunty Katie’s knee!)

I was overwhelmed i have to say, i felt the whole thing lasted about 5 minutes as it seemed i’d barely had chance to talk to anyone and then it was time to say goodbye then all the family guests came back to ours for a drink and to see the boys open their presents

By bedtime i felt like i’d actually been out partying for real.  I woke up at 6am this morning feeling really disorientated and realised that i hadn’t heard a peep from Rudy all night.  “Great!” i thought, “he slept through the night! All we need to do is have a huge massive birthday party for him every day and we’ll be able to get a full night’s sleep every night!”

I decided to go pee and then go check on him but when i got into the hall i saw that the safety gate was across the top of the stairs.  We have a kind of ‘routine’ that we don’t put the safety gate across when we come to bed as it’s noisy and, being right outside Rudy’s bedroom door, it  wakes him up.  So we wait until his first waking of the night (usually not long after) and then whoever goes into him pulls the gate across.

So i was a bit baffled and decided to consult Chris on my return to bed, at which point i was told, that no, Rudy did not in fact sleep through the night.  However i did.  Oops.  Haha.

I guess i really did party hard yesterday!

(two three very sleepy boys, all partied- out!)

The woes of mobile blogging and children’s parties

So last night was my 1st time using the blogger app on my phone, and as you may have noticed, the results are slightly unpredictable. Not only did it post-date my blog entry but it also arranged all the photos in a random order and most of them ended up sideways. I re-ordered them and corrected the date but i can’t for the life of me work out how to get everyone looking the right way round so i suggest tilting your screens and/or your necks to get a vague idea!

I am currently in The-day-before-the-party crisis mode. It’s the boys’ joint big birthday bash tomorrow and not only did we have fairly disappointing numbers to begin with but yesterday, with 48 hours to go the cancellations began.

I get that my children’s birthdays aren’t as important to everyone else, i really do. And i totally understand that life happens. I do. It doesn’t help me to feel less “Ra” though when the “sorry we can’t make it” texts come rolling in…

The party is costing £16.46 per head for the kids and we’re down from 17 confirmed “yes”s who are all paid for to 11 actual children attending, including the birthday boys themselves! I’ll let you do the math.

It’s not just the money though, it’s this whole other ‘thing’ i have going on whereby i feel that no one actually gives a toss about Rudy because he came along later and the novelty had worn off. I have my own issues about not having as much one-on-one time with him and not as much patience because i have to juggle his brother’s needs too so it seems mightily unfair for him that other people seem to give less of a hoot too.

The boys know none of this of course so i’m sure they’ll have a brilliant time regardless, it’s all just me in my head…


The show must go on!