Sunday, 4 December 2016

Week 238- weddings, wind and wearing bad sports bras...

So, isn’t the deal with joining a gym that you instantly lose a stone, and then several subsequent pounds every time you put a pair of trainers on?

I’m back at my old gym.

By ‘back at’ I mean I’ve set up a direct debit and carry around a sense of guilt for not actually going.

I’ve tried one class.

Which was murder.

It’s not just that everyone on the entire planet is fitter than me, it’s that it’s learning a whole new language.

I thought a burpee was a cutsie way of referring to wind.

But it turns out it’s a torturous series of exercises where you go from lying down to jumping up mega quickly; subsequently putting the strength of your pelvic floor to the test.

I’m not a vain person.

You only need to look at the state of my current wardrobe, which is mainly the staple mum uniform of striped T-shirt and white converse with a pair of jeans that give me a 24-7 builders ass, to know that.

But I am getting married next year.

Pictures to mark the occasion might possibly lurk on the top of a family members piano for years to come.

I want my children to look back at the day and think, wowzers, my mum looks immense.

Instead of, was it the trend in 2017 to wear trainers and an ill-fitting T-shirt to your own wedding?

So I’m going in, I’m starting to take the gym more seriously that it just being a monthly reminder on a bank statement.

I’m going to buy a pair of leggings that haven’t been through two pregnancies.

I’m going to get rid of the sports bra that smells like the inside of a trainer and gives about as much support as a Satsuma net bag, in favour of the kind of thing they wear at the Olympics, all streamline and luminous.

I’m going to set personal bests.

And I’m going to smash them.

But, as with all good ideas, they start on Monday.

So first I’m going to get under a duvet and eat all the chocolates out my advent calendar in preparation for tomorrows new me.

I am all over this fitness thing already.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Week 236- hangovers, screamers and The Archers omnibus...

What do you do when it turns out your children are immune to being bollocked?

We’re in the car; it’s a long car journey.

By long I mean seven hours.

It was meant to be four but I nodded off at a crucial map reading stage and missed the turning so we ended up doing most of the journey on windy B roads.

Anyway, the children are starting to bicker.

I should also add that we’ve just spent the weekend with friends in a cottage for a 40th so add lack of sleep and brain-crunching hangover to the tolerance levels.

So the kids are winding each other up.

And I’ve asked them to stop, which they don’t.

They get louder, and I ask them again to pack it in, this time adding that there won’t be any telly when we get home if they don’t.

And they don’t.

They get louder, and louder.

A two year old’s scream is like nails down a blackboard when you’re nursing a red wine hangover.

And now I raise my voice, I’m cross and I tell them so.

To which they copy me.

They actually imitate me.

I do sound ridiculous when a 2 and 5 year old are doing an impression of me. I’m proper mardy and saying things I remember my mum used to say to me, about how disappointed I am, blah blah blah.

It’s good to know that the world has changed, technology has advanced beyond understanding and world politics are virtually unrecognisable, but the good old-fashioned fundamentals of bollockings haven’t moved on in the last 30 years.

Anyway, I persist down this route to no avail.

And I’m thinking, where do you go from here? What happens when your threats are met with laughter and mimicry?

I’m losing my authority and I didn’t see it coming.

So I’m going to have to find other ways to get my own back.

Like making them listen to the entire Archers omnibus instead of their CD of nursery rhymes.

Inflicting the Ambridge Christmas panto preparations on them for best part of two hours.

That’ll teach them for taking the piss out of me!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Week 234- best friends, sticky hands and watermelons...

Thomas now tells me I’m his best friend about fifty times a day.

He holds my face tightly in his sticky hands and kind of half shouts it at me.

I don’t want him to grow up to be a weirdo who is actually best friends with his mum, but for now it’s the absolute business.

Until I realised I’m not alone.

Among his other best friends are:

His dad
My mum
The woman who lives downstairs
Nancy’s school teacher (who he hasn’t met)
A watermelon.

Not feeling quite so special now…

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Week 233- getting married, getting fit and getting a cracking pair of Spanx...

So we’re getting married.

Not just talking about it when we’re drunk, or saying we don’t want to when we’re pissed off with each other.


Like booked the registry office properly.

And I thought, right then, I’m going to get that mythologised pre-baby body I have made up back. You know, the size eight, year round tan, boobs that don’t look like they’ve been ravaged through breast-feeding body I've totally never had.

So I joined a dance fitness class.

I probably shouldn’t have eaten the best part of a family bag of malteasters on the way there.

But fuck it.

I had big hopes that this class was going to right half a decade’s worth of wrongs so what’s another massive bag of chocolate between friends?

The first thing I realised on arrival is that music seems to have moved on whilst I’ve been listening to a combo of radio 2 and The Archers.

For fear of sounding like my mum when I was growing up….

It's just noise now.

A loud awful noise.

Everyone in the class was at least half my age and mouthing the words and I thought, OK maybe it’s just the warm up. But song after shit song came on, none of which I recognised.


I’m going to be sooooo hot and young looking after this class I can get over the music.

I stumbled my way through the dance routines, eying the clock every two minutes which I think was probably going backwards.

How can I only have been in there for seven minutes?

The class must surely be ending soon.

And then the titchy instructor says the words that makes anyone with a hint of social anxiety recoil.

‘Can you get into pairs please?’

Are you shitting me? This is a fitness freaking class, not Strictly.

And as if finding a partner wasn’t bad enough (most people it turned out had been going to the class for at least five years,) one of us had to then lie on the floor, grab the ankles of their partner for support, and lift their legs in the air.

So I’m holding this woman’s ankles with my sweaty hands, trying not to look up at her crotch and attempting to swing my legs into the air. And I’m wondering if it’s possible to just do a crowdfunder for liposuction instead, when I remember how absolutely rancid my trainers are.

I have had them since I was in my early twenties and keen meaning to buy another pair or at least Febreze this pair, but I hadn’t anticipated a stranger having her face so close to them.

And I question whether getting a smoking-hot, twenty-years-younger-than-I-actually-am, catch-my-reflection-in-a–shop-window-and-don’t-realise-it’s-me body is going to be a tad harder than a couple of stomach crunches.

So I’m going to take a different approach.

As I polish off the rest of the Malteasters on the bus home I google the most effective Spanx on the market.

Job. Done.

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.