Sunday, 9 October 2016

Week 231- The Sopranos, sunglasses and sleeping with your cap on...

My daughter has started school and I now have just my two-and-a-half-year old son to entertain within the hours of 8.55am- 3pm every Friday.

And I realise this is probably the longest time we have spend together, just the two of us, since he was born.

Apart from when we were in the recovery ward at hospital.

But I’m going to discount that, as he was asleep for most of the time. 

On the plus side he has started aggressively telling me I’m his best friend.

Which is lovely (ish) if he could tone down The Sopranos style threat that seemingly accompanies it.

But the main thing I’ve realised since the two of us have started kicking about together, is that he doesn’t really have any mates.

And I am entirely to blame for this.

When Nancy was born I went to all the classes; baby yoga, baby swimming, baby zumba, baby sign language (I know- I might as well have burnt £150. AGAIN- I KNOW!! What I would give for that one hundred and fifty quid now…)

With Thomas, I already had that group of mum mates, the brilliant women I’d meet for coffee and a whinge whilst Nancy hung out with their children. And if they had a child of a similar age for Thomas to play with, then that was a Brucey bonus. Otherwise he settled for following around the bigger children whose legs move twice as quickly as his.

On top of this, I question how well he is coping with his sister starting school.

I suspect he thought it would only last a couple of days.

In fairness, none of us had prepared for that fact that school goes on FOREVER.

But, for a boy who has never so much as taken a bear to bed, he is now carrying around a lot of shit with him as a comforter.

He will not leave the house without his child’s rucksack containing-
  • A pair of sunglasses
  • A Barbie dress
  • One glove
  • A hair clip
  • A glittery pink Frozen cap
  • An old mobile phone belonging to the childminder.

If any one of these things are left behind then all hell breaks loose.

He also sleeps with the rucksack.

Which, given the fact that both children creep into our bed in the middle of the night, is slightly inconvenient.

There's not enough room for four heads on the pillow, let alone additional luggage.

So. Mission mother and son has started.

First mission- sort out some mates for him.

Second mission- convince him that he doesn’t need to go to bed wearing a baseball cap, sunglasses and one glove, clutching a rucksack.

And I thought getting Nancy to school was going to be the tricky bit.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Week 229- get organised and on time. It's started...

It's just dawned on me the Nancy is going to be going to school for the next FOURTEEN YEARS.

That we need to get her to school on time for the next FOURTEEN YEARS.

That’s SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY WEEKS of trying to get her and her brother fed, dressed in something half clean and out the door by eight thirty.

Starting tomorrow.

And breathe…

*After I’ve set an alarm on my phone, Ben’s phone, my watch, the oven and the wind up alarm clock.*

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Week 228- SPOILER ALERT. Bridget Jones - less come the fuck on, more grow the fuck up...

Spoiler alert- if you’re off to see Bridget Jones’s Baby any time soon, then read no further.

If you’re not, or you’ve made the error of spending a tenner on it already, read on.

So, seriously, what the fuck?

I went along to see it with a super good mate.

We’ve both got kids; we’re now in our mid (that’s shorthand for late) thirties.

We are the target audience having been brought up on Generation Bridget and looking round the cinema, 90% of the audience were in the same demographic.

We have all recreated the ‘singing pissed using a hairbrush as a microphone’ moment. Own a pair of ‘Bridget, they’re enormous’ pants. Shagged that person who seemed like a good idea at the time even though you knew deep down it’s NEVER going to be a good idea.

Now, I hadn’t expected to be wowed by a life-changing film, more experience the feeling of putting on a comfy pair of slippers, or a cup of tea when you’re parched.

Familiar and satisfying.

What I hadn’t expected was Bridget Jones to sell out. To give up. To not give a shit about feminism. To become the ultimate ‘where’s my knight in shining armour?’

You’re 43, woman.

Not so much ‘come the fuck on’ as ‘grow the fuck up, Bridget.’

So the story is she shags the hot guy from Grey’s Anatomy at a festival. Then shags Mr Darcy, who’s been off the scene for the best part of a decade, days later.

She finds out she’s pregnant. 


Interesting start. 

She’s described as a ‘geriatric mother’ by gynaecologist/ midwife/ health visitor- Emma Thompson. A situation any of us having had a baby in our mid-thirties will understand, perhaps even find hilarious.

The point I stopped caring/ started muttering at the screen, was when Bridget first kissed Mark Darcy.

Yes, they used to have chemistry when he was boyish and a bit of an odd-ball in the cleverest boy in the class kind of way.

But in his 40s, it was just like watching Bridget get off with a paper-thin-skinned politician, all awkward and sexless.

It's not like this anymore. 

More like this. 

Mr Dreamy was far hotter and a much better fit; he was fun, ambitious, had something to say on the world that wasn’t patronising or condescending.

But that aside, I just wanted to say to Bridget- don’t go back! If you feel like you didn’t get anything out of the relationship last time, what makes you think it’s going to work again this time? She even described him as homely, or familiar, or something so defeatist you wanted to light a stick of dynamite underneath her.

I’m not saying she shouldn’t be secure or comfortable.

Just don’t settle. Don’t settle for OK. This is the wrong message to be giving to the thousands of women who will watch this.  

This is not the ending we wanted.

Just because we’ve grown up on the wonderfully mismatched relationship of Mark and Bridget, doesn’t mean it has to end that way if they’ve grown out of each other or are simply incompatible now.

Bridget- choose the Dr Dreamy.

Or do it on your own. 

You can do it, you have amazing friends, a supportive family, and more to the point you are a strong, independent woman.

Don’t let us down.

There is also the matter of her ridiculous labour.

Water’s broken.


No taxis.


Get a lift in a rickshaw which gets stuck in traffic.

Goodness gracious.

Get carried a mile and a half by Mr Darcy, who half way to the hospital hoiks you over to Dr Dreamy, who turns up out of nowhere on a deserted London street (!) on a motorbike, to carry you. 

Don’t either of you carry her! Ring for a fucking ambulance!

‘You weigh a tonne Bridget.’

That is because she is carrying an extra human being inside her you dick rot.

So, a few sweaty pushes later, with Bridget’s vagina daintily covered with a towel (SERIOUSLY- SHE’S EITHER GIVING BIRTH OR HAVING A SWEDISH MASSAGE- MAKE YOUR MIND UP!) her baby is born.

And she marries Mr Darcy.

And Dr Dreamy is there at the wedding as Mark’s new bestie, not at all fucked off that the baby wasn’t his, or for that matter, that the girl he loved is marrying the most boring man after John Major.

And they live happily ever after.

Bridget. Helen Fielding. Emma Thompson.

You have not just let yourselves down.

You’ve let all women down.

I hope you’re pleased with yourselves.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Week 227- ouch...

I celebrated my birthday at the weekend.

I think I’m getting worse as I get older. And so are all my mates who are mums.

We don’t have an off button.

I think I’m 17 again, but I can’t bounce back from a night on the shots as I could 20 years ago.

And the beer induced injuries take loads longer to heal these days.

So, this is a painfully short blog to mirror my painfully broken body.

I can’t write my own name this evening.

Let alone a blog post.


Sunday, 4 September 2016

Week 226- getting up, growing up and going to school...

I’ve been feeling a bit anxious of late. A bit nervous, like I’m hungover when I’m not.

Mostly not.

I couldn’t work out why.

Life’s busy, but when isn’t it?

And then it dawned on me.

I only have one more Friday off with Nancy and then she goes to school.

One more morning when we can all wake up late and ming about in our pyjamas.  When we can watch Milkshake until the Wright Stuff comes on, when it starts to feel a tad like we’re all unemployed.

One more Friday when Nancy bowls in shouting, ‘IT’S MUMMY, NANCY AND THOMAS’S DAY. THAT MEANS COCO POPS.’

I have one more Friday of painting her nails, of helping her draw giraffes (surprisingly more difficult than you’d imagine,) of making dens out of towels and cardboard boxes. 

Of the three of us being a team.

Team Brilliant.

Because the following week she will start school.

She will have to be there at 8.55am.

She will have to be up and dressed, teeth brushed, matching socks*, ready to start a day I will know nothing about.

She will have her own life, independent of me.

And I worry; will she stop talking to me?

Will she still let me carry her like a monkey when she’s upset?

Will she still tell me I’m her best mate?

And if yes, for how long?

I want her to grow up to be happy, with a rich tapestry of experience.

But does it have to start next week?

She tried her school uniform on, and looked a confusingly emotional juxtaposition of more grown up, and very little, at the same time.

I know she’ll have a brill time, that she’ll make some fantastic friends.

Some of my bestest friends are those I met thirty odd years ago at Primary School.

I just want her to know I’m here for her, that she can tell me anything, that her world will change but I won’t.

That she’s my girl.

And whatever else feels uncertain and unknown, that will never change.

*I will also have to get dressed in the morning as I can’t be that mum who drops her kids off in her pyjamas with red wine lips. Well not for the first term at least.