Sunday, 26 July 2015

Week 198- i-parenting, talking on your mobile and losing the remote...

My one-year-old son would prefer to toddle around with my phone held in the crook of his neck whilst he babbles away, rather than play with an entire bedroom full of age specific toys.

He can’t even talk.

My three-year-old daughter has found different functions on our iPad that I didn’t know existed.

Or have any idea how to replicate.

And the pair of them think the remote control is the gateway to their eternal happiness.

I’ve become a fucking i-parent and I didn’t even see if happening.

Black plastic with buttons or a screen tops wooden toys or drawing for them- every time.

And it makes me wonder what messages I must be sending out to them everyday.

How many times my daughter asks me to watch her as she stands on one leg or spins round in circles and I’m casually scrolling through Facebook.

Or pushing my son along in the pram whilst quickly checking if I’m still winning the pair of French Connection jeans on the E-bay app on my phone which I a) can’t afford and am desperate that someone outbid me and b) will never fit into if I do, as I had a total body dysmorphia moment at 2am when I couldn’t sleep.

But, I feel like karma has finally bitten me on the ass.

My son has walked off with the remote control for the Virgin Media box and, try as I might to think like a one-year-old, have absolutely no idea where he has hid it.

Last time it was in his cot.

And the time before that, under the child step in the toilet.

But worse still, the TV is now stuck on channel 5 following a Milkshake marathon this morning.

So. If someone could tell me what happens in Humans this evening that would be fantastic.

I shall, instead, be thinking up ways to engage with my children that involves glue/ poster paint/ cardboard boxes/ loo rolls/ and a straw, as I can’t bear the thought that my daughter even knows what Netflix is, let alone requests it.

Following that I will be watching Police Interceptors Unleashed.


Sunday, 19 July 2015

Week 197- camping, driving and wetting your pants...

Summer holidays are around the corner and we're going camping in France. 

For ten days. 

That's right. 


The longest we've camped before has been two nights, and that was with one child, and we could basically see our house from the campsite.

Now we are going to drive 10 hours with a car-sick three-year-old and live in a tent for the best part of two weeks in an overcrowded campsite with children who wake up throughout the night and start the day at 5.30am.

I don't think we are going to a) make any friends or b) feel at all relaxed by the time we come home.

When growing up we camped in France every summer. I have fond childhood memories but I don't know if that's because my brain has cancelled out the horror of the experience as some kind of survival method. 

Me and my sister used to spend the first day wandering around the campsite looking for GB stickers on cars and willing them to have a child for us to play with. 

And I do remember having to hold tent poles for hours on end whilst my parent got more and more frustrated as they attempted to put the bloody thing up.

In fact I did wet myself one year as I stood for the best part of an hour holding a bit of tent up.

I was four, and I'm not intending to piss myself on this holiday unless absolutely necessary, but still...


That's it.

I'm going to book an Air B and B.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Week 196- gin, sleep and bingo wings...

I'd imagined that, given the chance of a childfree night away at a hotel, I would sleep for Britain and awake up half way through Sunday Brunch. 

So why is it that at 5.30am I'm sat bolt upright with that niggling feeling that I should be doing something?

It could be because I drank my body weight in gin at a friend's wedding and the alcohol-based anxiety sweats are starting to kick in.

But more likely, it's that I am now preprogrammed to wake up when my children wake up and therefore destined to never have a lie in again.  Ever.

Stupid, stupid brain.

At present, there are no less that three people sleeping in our bed at any given moment during the night. 

When one child wakes, there is a Rubik's cube-style shift around, seamlessly carrying one sleeping child out of our bed and back into their own to make way for the next.

Which, on paper, seems like a good idea as you get more that 4mm of bed to sleep on with one less person in there. 

But the practicalities mean your are basically walking around in a daze, weight-lifting small people for about two thirds of the night.

I should, by rights, have arms the size of Arnie instead of bingo wings but there you go, nature's cruel tricks again.

I keep reassuring myself that it is just a phase. That they will just, like everything, grow out of it. But a mate told me the other day that she knows of someone who's child still gets into bed with them every night and they're seven. THAT'S SEVEN.  That's three and a half years away...

So, next time I have a night away at a hotel on my own, I am going to go to bed late afternoon, having only drank peppermint tea, because, if I am going to wake up like clockwork at 5.30am everyday, and if my children are going to bed hop until they start secondary school, I'm going to have to be more strategic at catching up on those zeds. 

Even if it does mean going to bed straight after Neighbours. 

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Week195- self denial, sleeping and staying up past bedtime...

You know that point at about 11.30pm on a weekend night when you're with one of your best mates and you've already shared two bottles of wine and you convince yourself that tonight, TONIGHT, is definitely going to be the night when your children learn to sleep through until at least 9am, so it would definitely, DEFINITELY,  be a good idea to buy another bottle of overpriced Echo Falls?

And then you know how you are instead predictably woken the following morning at 5.30am by a one-year-old crushing your own mobile phone affectionately into your cheekbone?

Well, if you do, you'll understand why tonight's blog is pitifully short.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Week 194 bleeding, gipping and Emily Bishop...

Now, I'm not saying I'm Florence Nightingale or anything when it comes to my children, but I thought I'd be able to deal with a bit of blood.

Turns out no.

Turns out I'm a total weaner when it comes to injuries, however minor.

This shouldn't have come as much of a surprise. 

I broke my toe on New Year's Eve in Thailand about a million years ago, and fainted at the sight of my own blood. 

In my defence it was a tad unexpected. 

We were in a shack that was on a cliff face and was built around the rocks. At midnight they turned the lights off to do the countdown and when they shouted 'Happy New Year,' turned them back on again, blasting out Billy Jean, my second all time fave Michael Jackson song, so I jumped in the air and in doing so smashed both feet into one of the rocks. 

There was blood everywhere. 

After a quick faint, I decided to ignore it, wrap my toe in bog roll and have another bucket of Thai whiskey.  

January 1st started well with a septic toe that still makes me gip when I think about it.

But I digress.

My daughter was pelting it down the road on her scooter and careered headlong into a bag of cement. 

By the time I reached her she was sobbing so much that I couldn't work out where one word ended and the next began, clutching a big bloody grazed elbow.

And all I could think was, 'shit. I definitely don't want to touch that.'

I scooped her up, carried her home, gave her two and a half ice lollies as a bribe so she'd let me put some Savalon on it.

I was trying to play it cool. Be the voice of confidence. 

But I was shouting at her about an octave higher that normal, projecting massive nervous body language that was anything but reassuring. 

I was back in that ramshackle nightclub looking down at a pool of blood again, gipping my face off.

Give me a car sick child any day. 

Puke. No wozzers. Blood. No thanks.

So. New mid year resolution.

I've going to man up.

Approach cuts and grazes with the confidence of Kanye, the professionalism of Alicia Florrick and the bedside manner of Emily Bishop. 

Either that or keep a shit load of ice lollies in the freezer. 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Week 193- cruising, climbing and connect four...

So. The word on the parenting street is boys are more difficult when they're little but get easier when they're older.

For the love of God, let that be true.

My son won't sit still. 


Even in his sleep he slams his hand against the mattress like a wrestler tapping out. 

And meals are more of a promenade thing. 

He won't stay in a high chair for more than about 4 seconds, but you can feed him scraps while he's waddling around. He opens his mouth like a hungry bird then carries on cruising around the room.

His favourite things to do at the moment include:
Dropping connect four chips in your cup of tea
Sucking on your mobile phone until the screen starts to change colour
Climbing down off things head first and hoping someone is close enough to catch him before he smashes his head on the floor
Sticking his fingers so far up both of your nostrils that your eyes water. 

I know this can't last forever. 

I know it's just a phase.

I know there will be a point when he will stay in one place for more than a millisecond.

My worry is I'll have to wait another 17 years before it happens. 

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Week 192- sweating, sucking teeth and staying in bed...

Some weeks it would be cheaper and more productive to stay in bed with your head under the duvet. 

This has definitely been one of those weeks. 

Firstly, the car broke down. 

Our friend came round to jump start it. 

We drove it round the corner. 

It broke down. 

The RAC came out to tow it back round the corner to our house. 

And so the garage three doors up charged us forty quid call out to tow it up the road.

Thanks guys. 

So I had to push the children over to the childminders in a double buggy before jumping on the bus to work in the morning. 

It's Pigeon Street style hilly so I was virtually horizontal pushing it along. 

And sweating. A lot. With no change of shirt and a day of meetings in an airless room.

I smelt like the inside of a marathon runners trainer, only made worse by a mercy dash to Boots to liberally squirt myself with the tester perfumes.

BO and Chanel No. 5 do not a good combination maketh. 

So there was that.

And then we got three different kitchen fitters round to quote to take out our demolition-look kitchen. 

I've never been a good cook, but what I lack in skill, I make up in enthusiasm. 

Until we moved into our new house.

The kitchen has been build on a budget of about £4.50.

On day one of moving in I opened the top drawer on a set of four, and all of them fell down. And that is how they have stayed for the last three months.

But it turns out it is not only the kitchen that's the problem.

It's the boiler that's got about seven unidentifiable wires sticking out the bottom (who knew?)

So after much sucking of teeth, all three kitchen fitters independently recommended we get the boiler replaced before doing anything to the kitchen.

Which costs more money than two round the world flights.

So there was that.

And then I dropped my phone down the loo. No insurance. Obvs. It can't be claimed on the house insurance. Of course. And the 15 year old boy in the phone repair shop spent all day taking it apart to confirm that it definitely won't ever turn on again. Perfect.

So. Car bust. Boiler virtually condemned. Phone out of action. 

Deep breath.

Come on next week.

Do your worst.