Sunday, 23 February 2014

Week 128- MAD blog nominations, getting drunk and Ryan Gosling (again)...

It's the time of year for nominations for the MAD blog awards again. 



Without sounding like Monsieur Desperado, I would be massively grateful for your vote if you enjoy reading my blog. 

I've been a finalist in the Best Blog Writer category for the last two years and would be totally made up to get that far again.

And would literally piss myself if I won. 

But that's more to do with the fact that I will have had our second baby by then and I haven't done any pelvic floor exercises.

Also, last year I was secretly pregnant at the ceremony so couldn't take advantage of the free booze, but this year I will NO LONGER BE A PEOPLE CARRIER SO COULD GET ABSOLUTELY SMASHED! 

I still managed to have a sober squeeze with Dr Ranj, mind. 

And I can report he smelt really nice.


Anyway. If you fancy voting for me in the MAD Blog of the Year and Best Blog Writer category, then the link to follow is http://www.the-mads.com/vote/. You have to vote for the Blog of the Year and get onto the next page for the Best Blog Writer category. 

Oh. And here's a picture of Ryan Gosling saying how much he enjoys my blog.

And here's another one just for safe measure...


Thanks times a million.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Week 127- spinning plates, itchy skin and the world's strongest man...

At what point does the line blur between being a couple and being parents?

Is it when you realise there's been three of you in a bed for the best part of a year?

Or that you thank each other out of habit after you give each other a kiss in the same way you do to a child?

Having kids and having a relationship separate of children has to be one of the biggest challenges to starting a family. 

And those couples who have children to bring them closer together or to mend rifts. 

Don't bother. 

Seriously. 

You're going to kill each other before you even get through the first trimester.

The thing is, you have to be so conscious of not letting things slip. 

And that's on top of being so knackered that half the time you can't remember if you've said something out loud or just thought it.

I don't mean buying expensive presents or writing secret notes. (Actually, I don't know if anyone in real life writes notes to one another, other than to remind them to post something/ buy something/ pick something up.)



I just mean not letting the small stuff slip. 

Asking someone how their day was and listening to the answer. Or sitting down to eat tea at the same time, even if that is at 10pm when you'd MUCH rather to be asleep.

You have children and your outlook changes massively. 

There's someone who needs you entirely, completely, like you've never been needed before. 

You've got to man up and look after this tiny, mewing creature, who just cries, and poos and feeds so much that your nipples feel like they've been Chinese burned. 

And it's suddenly not all about you and your partner. 

You've got this third person who comes with you everywhere. 

Who's moved into your house, into your bed and into your every waking thought.

You're no longer a couple. 

You're a threesome. 

And not in a Rita, Sue and Bob Too kind of way.



And you look at the man who has been your boyfriend. He's now also someone's dad. You're someone's mum. And somewhere in all of that you're still someone's girlfriend.

It's a tricky minefield to navigate through. 

And second children are even more of a challenge, because you're already looking after a small person, and trying to consciously keep all the plates spinning. 

But then a third relationship is thrown into question. 

The one you have with your body. 

The body that has recovered from child birth, fitted back into your old jeans and taken you to work everyday, is once again, foreign. 

Your boobs swell to the size of honey dew melons. 

The skin on your stomach is taught and itches like sun burn. 

And your joints ache as if you've had a bash at pulling a truck in the world's strongest man competition.



I don't know how you're meant to stay true to yourself, your relationship and your children. 

How one person can be so many things to different people. 

But I guess that's the whole game. 

Keep those plates spinning subconsciously, and occasionally you realise it's happening. 

You're doing it. 

You've managed to get to the end of a conversation with your partner and haven't mentioned potty training once. 

You're on the couple side of the line. 

Then a little person starts coughing and you leap straight over to the other side. 

Grab the Calpol and there you go. 

Line seamlessly crossed. 


*quick plea... if you enjoy my blog, please could you vote for it in the Best Blog Writer category in the MAD awards here? MASSIVOS THANKS! x

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Week 126- men in tights, weeping children and breastfeeding to Ryan Gosling...

There is only one thing more heartbreaking than seeing a genuinely disappointed child. 

It's seeing shit loads of genuinely disappointed children.

Ben and I had promised Nancy a trip to the cinema. 

She'd been with me before, but mainly when she was a baby and I'd sit there watching Ryan Gosling films while she breastfeeding. Which doesn't necessarily count.



(Totally just an excuse for a hot Goslinator picture...)

But I'd seen that the picturehouse down the road was screening the Disney version of Peter Pan.


Classic. 


And just the right level of reminiscence for Ben and I that we'd all have a cracking time.


I'd built Nancy up to it for days. 


Showing her pictures of Peter Pan on the internet. 


Word of advice. 


If you're going to do that then vet the Google images first before passing over the IPad.


Turns out it's not just stills from the film that come up, but weird-looking men in green tights and facepaint, draped round leathered 'Tinkerbells.'


So. 


The Peter Pan seed had been well and truly sown. 


Nancy was finishing her tea, going to bed and getting dressed without fuss as the threat of not seeing Peter Pan if she didn't weighed heavy.


And on Saturday morning we all trotted down to the pictures with over half an hour to spare, which is virtually unheard of in our family.


As we approached the cinema, the scene was one of confusing devastation. 


Mothers were hugging crying children. 


One little boy had thrown himself on the floor and his dad was trying to pick him up without getting booted in the face.

Another girl was head in hands, shouting, 'I hate you!' at her distraught looking dad who was trying to quietly calm the situation by offering her a variety of snacks.

And then we saw it. 

Selotaped to the door. 


The note that read, TODAY'S SCREENING OF PETER PAN IS SOLD OUT.

Fuck.


As Nancy asked, 'are we there yet?', Ben quickly enquired within about returns, whilst I observed the faces of more parents falling in disbelief as they read the sign. 


It was like watching people going through the five stages of grief.


Firstly denial, as they marched in anyway to buy their ticket. 

Followed by anger, as they told their kids and were met with stamping feet and little clenched fists of rage.

Bargaining- as they lurked by the ticket office, asking the staff if there was anyway they could just stand at the back. Or creep in after it had started and see if there were any spare seats.

Depression, all round, as mums and dads squatted down by the side of the road to hug a little person who's doing the shoulder shaking sob, absolutely inconsolable. Leaving the parents feeling like King/ Queen shithead.

And finally, acceptance - going back to the car, which, incidentally, they'd already paid a fortune for three hours parking, and only used about 10 minutes of, vowing to never to be so disorganised/ spontaneous again.


Turns out they were screening the same show at the picturehouse in town the following day, so, without hesitation, we bought our tickets and attempted to convince Nancy that we'd always said we were going 24 hours later.


And come Sunday morning, I internally high fived myself as I saw the same note taped to the cinema doors again.


But predictably, the same scene unfolded there too.

We waded through a sea of weeping, disappointed children and their crestfallen parents to go and, finally, see the film. 


And I decided then that I'm going to be much more organised in future. 

Either that, or just not do anything good together as a family. 

At least that way you can totally manage expectations....

Sunday, 2 February 2014

week 125- house nights, Usain Bolt and weeing in front of strangers...

It's all gone a bit back to basics at our flat. And I'm not talking the Leeds-based house night.


I thought the tricky bit about potty training was getting out of nappies in the first place.

Having yourself, your child and the corridor up to the loo covered in wee for a week. 

But it turns out that's the easy bit. 

It's the stuff that comes after that that gets a bit feral. 

Nancy took a week to potty train and I was feeling pretty smug about that. 

It has got a bit grim at times, granted, and there was the odd time when I couldn't work out if the pissy, old swim suity smell was me or the drains. 

But let's be honest, everyone has the occasional urinal smelling day, right? 

There was initially the relief that, come April, I would only be changing one set of nappies everyday. 

But now I am more of the mindset that you should strongly weigh up the benefits of potty training against ever seeing the light of day again. 

In fact I'd go so far as to say, don't bother. Keep things simple and live in nappies until you're  in your mid 70's, then make the seamless transition into Tena Ladies. 

Actually, it's not so much the day time that's the problem. 


Although we have had several Usain Bolt moments when Nancy's announced she needs the loo 'RIGHT NOW MUMMY' and we're miles from anywhere to go and surrounded by hoards of people who might not look favourably on squatting over the nearest drain.


But there's also the self awareness from Nancy that she's in charge of her body in some way. 

She likes to chat about going for a wee with anyone who will give her the opportunity. 

Including the estate agent who had come round to value the flat and had humoured Nancy by letting her give her the tour. 

I hope she doesn't choose to use any of it in the house spec, as Nancy explained the sofa was 'daddy's bed' and the bathroom was where 'you can do a wee wee and a poo poo if you like.' 

I can only imagine that Nancy then gave her a look to suggest that that was what she should be doing right then, as Nancy watched on from her viewing post of the step under the sink.

As I heard the estate agent reply, 'I don't need to go right now, but thank you.'

No. The big problem is bedtime. 

Nancy has now seen a total opener into an extended evening of faux 'I need a wees.' 

And you can't call her bluff in case she really does. 

But worse still is when she does go, and then brings the potty in to proudly present a turd when you're half way through dinner.

Anyone else and I'd probably call the police, but we put our knife and fork down, clap and praise her. Clean everything/ everyone up. And then hope she'll go to sleep.

I'm not sure how long this 'phase' lasts for. 

Or, for that matter, what the next one is. 

But I can only hope it doesn't get any more biological. 

I've already started announcing that I'm 'off for a wee' in front of colleagues without even thinking what I'm saying. 

I guess the next logical step for me is to start asking  randomers if I can watch them go for a wee like Nancy does. 

I look forward to seeing how that goes down.