Sunday, 26 April 2015

Week 185- birthdays, barbecues and blowing your nose...

My baby boy turned one today.

How can that possibly be true?

It was only about two seconds ago that he was a tiny, sleepy creature who would snuggle into me for hours.

And now I’m lucky if I get a millisecond of a cuddle before he wriggles out of my arms to noisily crawl away, slapping his hand loudly on the floor as he does, pissing off the neighbour downstairs.

Ben took the children out so that I could tidy the house before family came over for a little party.

But instead, the moment I had the house to myself, I slumped into the sofa in my pyjamas and started crying. Just a lip-quivering sob to start with, which soon escalated to a shoulder-shaking nose-running wail, aided by a particularly moving story on Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs.

I don’t know why the first birthday feels so emotional.

Maybe because it is the beginning of the end.

The beginning of your child becoming a little person in their own right instead of totally dependent on you.

And the end of them being your baby.

It is also the only day where a mother knows EXACTLY what she was doing on that day the previous year. Often on a minute-by-minute, contraction-by-contraction basis.

When we’d sat down for breakfast, I’d thought, a year ago right now I would have seen my son for the very first time. The midwife would have just caught him as I gave the final mother-of-all pushes, and passed him through my legs for me to clap eyes his purple, wrinkled body.

As I sat on the sofa sobbing, 365 days previously we would have been in the birthing room, our son asleep in a cot and me eating toast and downing tea as if it were my last supper.

There’s never the time to think about how amazing it is that a person has been created and immediately changed your life, because you just get on with it.


But a first birthday is a moment to reflect.

To realise that you’ve done it.

You’ve survived a whole year; the titchy baby you created is now a laughing, babbling, mud-eating, clapping, pasta-throwing, bath-water-slapping, loving child.

And they will no longer be described as a baby.

You no longer have a baby.

And that knowledge makes you excited about the future, but also grieve a little bit for the past.

I let myself indulge in remembering his birth day while snotty crying for a moment longer before realised that guests were arriving in less than an hour for a barbeque that was still to be bought from Argos and I was sat on the sofa in my pyjamas.

So I blew my nose, took a deep breath, and got ready to start the next year of my son's life with him.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Week 184- marathons, bum bags and GETTING ENGAGED...

Just a normal week; working, looking after the children and…


I didn’t think it would ever happen.

I am the bossy one in this relationship, but a proposal was the one thing I didn’t want to instigate, not because I’m a traditionalist, but just cos I massively like the idea of being proposed to. 

And with two children and a mortgage together; the chances are I’m probably going to say yes.

But, after over 13 years together, I kind of thought marriage might be off the agenda Brenda.

So, when we went to support Ben running the Brighton marathon last week, the last thing I anticipated was that he’d pull over two miles from the finishing line to get down on one knee and propose. 

He’d been carrying the ring in his bum bag for the last 24 miles. 

Seriously, what girl in her right mind doesn’t want to retell a marriage proposal without including the words ‘bum bag’?

He spotted me, the children and our mates cheering him on and slowed down, which immediately set off alarm bells that he was having some kind of massive coronary. Or at least bad wind.

But then he stopped, bent down on one knee, rummaged in his bum bag (YAAAAAY!), produced a ring and asked if I would marry him.

To which I was totally gobsmacked. Like absolutely lost for words. Which happens virtually never. 

I managed to squeeze out a yes, followed by a shitload of expletives, as the crowds gave us a big cheer.

We had a sweaty kiss and an awkward cuddle as I had our son strapped to my front, he told me the ring was from Argos so not to panic, it was a ‘holding ring’ then he bezzed off to the finish line feeling like a winner.

Ben’s romantic gesture has been immortalised in our regional paper, The Argus, and the Daily Mail, so that’s one to show the children!

So, lets crack on and organise a wedding. 

Or more importantly, put on a bloody gorgeous, hold-everything-in-within-an-inch-of-your-life, dress and have the mother of all parties.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Week 183- Bubble wrap, bum cracks and learning to shut up..,

Chicken pox, eh? 

Well this feels like a massive deja vu.

Days after my daughter came down with it, I noticed two spots on my 11-month-old son. 

And, feeling like a pox veteran, I thought, hold the front door, I know what this is. And kept him home, feeling quietly smug that he had got off so lightly without even so much as a temperature.

When will I ever learn? 

The first rule on parenting; don't ever show off about ANYTHING, as you will be proved wrong every time. 

A week after I thought we were out the danger zone, I noticed him scratching away at his neck like a dog trying to get out the back door for a wee. 

And there it was. The mother spot. The queen bee. The Mac Daddy of blisters.

Two days later and he had got the worst case of chicken pox I had ever seen. 

And I've googled a lot of images of chicken pox recently.

His back looked like bubble wrap, if you replace the bubbles of protective air with water-filled, angry-looking blisters.

And they were everywhere. In his ears, his bum crack, all over his balls. He had a Mr-T-style chain of spots all around his neck. 

If that wasn't bad enough, he stopped eating. And drinking. Apart from breast milk.


Back to stage one again, except this time with teeth. 

And he won't let me put him down, anywhere. He is literally going to have to be surgically removed from my hip.

Please may his spots crust over and his appetite return asap.

And if I ever start showing off again, can someone tell me to shut the fuck up.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Week 181- chickenpox, Blackadder and being under house-arrest...


The illness that keeps on giving.

As if it isn't bad enough that your child is covered head-to-toe with unsightly, unimaginably itchy blisters; you're also quarantined, well after they stop feeling ill.

We'd been under house-arrest for three long days when we eventually cracked. 

My daughter had been sitting up at the window looking out wistfully, and remarked, 'that looks fun, can I play with him?'

I went over to see who she was looking at, and it was the bin man loading the bins onto the back of the truck.

So we decided to venture out to the park as it was midweek, drizzly, the kind of weather than only pox-ridden children would step out in. 

But in a Trueman Show style scenario, the swing park was heaving with parents and vulnerably young children.

So we had to settle for kicking around in the empty field that tauntingly overlooked the park.

How do you explain to a child who, days into an illness, feels absolutely fine, that she can't play with anyone as she's highly contagious and looks like a medieval peasant from Blackadder?

And at the point when her spots start to scab, joy of joys, I notice the 'mother spot' on my 11-month-old.

So, if anyone wants to come and shout up at our window, Rapunzel fashion, we're open for visitors.

Quick plea- if you enjoy my blog, please could you vote for it in the BIB awards in the Writer category- My twitter ID is @annajefferson and URL is Huge thanks! x

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Week 180- downward dogs, Alice Cooper and riding like a rodeo...

Things that don’t go well together…
  • Ice cream and radiators.
  • Vintage leather armchairs and pens.
  • Runny noses and smart work clothes. 

And my most recent discovery;
  • Two children and yoga.

After doing no exercise for the best part of two years, I finally decided that I had to do something to sort myself out.

I think I’ve lost about three inches in height from carrying around an increasingly heavy 11-month-old in an Ergobaby carrier.

I’ve tried to balance out my posture by carrying the shopping in a rucksack when he’s strapped to my front, but turns out a multi-pack of baked beans, washing powder tablets and a box of wine is actually pretty weighty, and as a consequence I think I’ve crushed about four vertebrae.

With little opportunity to go to a class, I thought I’d attempt a yoga tutorial off YouTube and watch it on the telly.

All my gym clothes (by ‘all’ I mean a pair of bobbly leggings and a T-shirt that came free with a pint of Guinness from a pub), have long since been binned, so the only yogic clothes I own are my pyjamas.

So, I’d lined up ‘yoga for beginners with Yvonne’, dimmed the lights and was sitting cross legged in the front room, when Ben popped his head round the door to say he’s off for a run and would be back in half an hour.

And in scamper the children.

Now, there are certain things you become natural multi-taskers at as mums.

Like making a cup of tea one handed with a child on your hip.

In fact cooking/ putting on make-up/ sending an e-mail/ getting dressed/ loading the washing machine/ unloading the washing machine/ wrapping presents/ putting your coat on, with a child on your hip.

Unfortunately, doing a downward dog, with an 11-month-old holding your hair tightly with both hands, whilst a 3-year-old tries to ride you like a rodeo, is not one of those things.

The yoga teacher told me in her breathy, soft, telephone-sex-worker voice, ‘inhale deeply, and exhale the day’s tensions’, as my daughter shouted loudly in my ear, ‘CAN WE PUT PEPPA PIG ON?’

And as I was instructed to shut my eyes and be 'present in the moment’, I heard the familiar slap of tiny hand on TV screen as my son bobbed up and down excitedly whilst hitting Yvonne in the face.

I was asked to take myself out of by body and view myself from above.

And as I 'looked down', I saw a woman who was wearing dirty pyjamas in the middle of the day, had unknowingly sneezed off her make-up so looked a little like Alice Cooper, and was lying on her back while her son playfully slapped her cheeks and her daughter blew raspberries on her stomach and delightedly declared, ‘it’s so wobbly mummy, it’s like jelly!’

I’m not asking for the world.

Just twenty minutes once in a while to have a quick stretch that 's more involved that getting something from the top shelf in the kitchen.

I’m sure Gwyneth Paltrow never had to put up with this shit.

Quick plea- if you enjoy my blog, please could you vote for it in the BIB awards in the Writer category- My twitter ID is @annajefferson and URL is Huge thanks! x

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Week 179- Jeremy Clarkson, Elsa from Frozen and Mother's Day...

Happy Mother's Day, brilliant women.

If I'd been asked four years ago it I fancied a job, which would involve:
  • No pay
  • Getting up ten minutes after I've gone to bed to have someone scream in my face/ shit on me/ stick their fingers up my nose
  • Make food to watch someone either throw it directly on the floor, or flick it over my clean clothes;

I would have assumed I was applying for a job working for Jeremy Clarkson.

But then, I didn’t know that the pay off is feeling so loved by a small person that they would scamper across the floor as fast as their little legs could crawl, just to pull themselves up on my trousers to give me a toothless grin.

Or the reward of having a three-year-old whisper in a breathy voice that I’m her best friend. That my hair is nicer than Elsa from Frozen's and I'm funnier than Dubee and Framed (You’ve Been Framed.)

So here’s to Motherhood.

The worst paid, most anti-socially houred, best job in the whole-wide-world.