Thursday, 30 June 2016

Second Baby Dilema number 208,765,356

How different babies can be. My first baby, my boy, didn't even really cry when he was born. As soon as he was handed to me he was quiet. Happy to be out in the world and taking it all in.

He came out perfect and happy and already totally at peace with who he was was and his surroundings. He slept though at 3 weeks and I don't thinks we heard him cry more than a couple of time in his first 4 months.

Our daughter on the other hand, entered the world kicking and screaming, not just like a normal cry, she sounded like a sodding velociraptor. It was quite something, to the point where my mum who was staying with us, after 4 of her own children, said she'd never heard anything like it.

I felt like a first time mummy all over again. Who was this little she-demon? I was accustomed to a baby that was fed and put in a crib or bouncy chair and just chilled out. A baby that actually cried to be put down.

Suddenly I had this little soul that needed constant cuddles and very little tolerance to being even a little bit hungry. It was terrifying. Especially since I already had an 18 month old that demanded my attention. Despite having been the most ridiculously easy baby is making up for it in spades as a toddler! He is like a little hurricane leaving mess and exhausted adults in his wake.

I have read so many times mothers writing that they have either neglected their first for the second or the baby for their older sibling and I can't decide which one I have done. I think I am guilty of both to be honest. I have had to let the baby cry while I cook the toddler his dinner but similarly his dinner has also had to wait while I have seen to his sister.

I have also, in the spirit of honesty, left both of them shouting while I sit on the loo with the door shut reading parenting blogs trying to make myself feel better about myself. I hope that anyone reading my blog sat on the toilet hiding from their children can take solace in the fact that they are not alone! X X

Brilliant blog posts on

My most Classy Mummy far

As it's Thursday and I do love a classy mama I was thinking of all the not so classy moments I have had and realised there were quite a few!

Here are my top 10!

1. Having to stick maternity pads in my bra as my breast pads were soaked through.. Although I also know some one who stuck 2 breast pads in her pants so...she wins.

2. Having to go to see the bank manager with sick on my clothes and in my hair.  I didn't even realise until I left, I kept wondering what the smell was. Me. It was me.

3. Looking like I had entered a wet white T-shirt competition at a lunch having carried a teething baby facing inward in my baby sling! Lesson learnt!

4. My toddler saying "oh shit" every time he dropped something for 2 days (a particularly classy moment I think you will agree)!

5. A neighbour popping round to say Hi and the kids and I were in our pyjamas at 4pm. No reason just ran out of give a shit that day.

6. Realising it had been 4 days since I had brushed, never mind washed, my hair! 😱

7. Sleeping in my bed even after one of the baby's nappies had leaked because it was 3am and I couldn't be arsed to change it.

8. Extending the '3 Second Rule' to '10 Second' to '2 Minutes' to the 'Some Point The Same Day Rule.'

9. Flipping my toddler's mattress rather than stripping until the next morning...for no other reason than my wine would have been warm.

10. Stripping my kids down to their nappies at meal times rather than fight over bibs or have to 'Vanish' their clothes.

I hope I have inspired some of you to #stayclassymama or at the very least not feel quite so bad when you don't!

I do like my kids really!

So most of my posts so far have made me sound like I don't really like my kids. That is so not the case. I adore my children. They are my favourite people.

But, my children are the biggest frustration of my life. I am frustrated by my toddler's complete unwillingness to try and learn when I teach him, and I am completely infuriated when he then demonstrates that 'unlearned' knowledge at another and un-witnessed time.

I develop a migraine before we eat out with the stress of everything that can go wrong and resign myself to being 'that mum' in the restaurant that can't control her children, and then am blown away when they behave beautifully.

I don't have mum guilt. My husband and I were, apparently,  both absolute arse-hole children so why should we expect better? By all accounts ours actually are better. Our baby barely makes a peep unless she is hungry, my brother is actually convinced she is one of the animatronic babies from 'call the midwife' and our toddler although really fucking loud can be an absolute superstar.

That doesn't though stop the fact that sometimes he is the most frustrating little fucker I have ever come across. My love and devotion to him does not stop me wanting to drop kick him out our kitchen window. It merely stops me from actually doing it.

To me talking about being a parent is to actually acknowledge all parts of it. Without guilt. Without censorship. And without saying what I think others should think I should say. Being a parent is hard but it's fun and funny!

So I do bitch about my kids, I do joke about wanting to beat them with sticks or give them away (they would be given back pretty quickly) but then I put them to bed and have a glass of wine and miss them while they are sleeping!

Parenting is the biggest contradiction of them all!

Diary of an imperfect mum
Dear Bear and Beany
Life with Baby Kicks

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Trials of an intensive 2 weeks with a toddler!

So the last week and a half I have been trying hard to make up for the two weeks quarantine by being out and doing 'stuff' everyday.

There are 2 things that I will take away from this action packed 10 days.

  1. Being a mummy is knackering and
2. kids are assholes. (At least one of mine is can be)!

These are both things that I kind of knew but nothing like a series of day trips to really hammer it home!!

I have discovered that my usually fairly feral but normally relatively well behaved toddler transforms into this shrieky disobedient little hellion if he misses a nap now which is not cool.

But on the plus side it appears that for every percentage increase in shitty behaviour there has been a new word or skill to compensate. So although I have a toddler that has flown right of the chart of 'pain in the arse' he can now tell me which colour crayon he has put all over the walls and calmly count to ten for me!

I have also discovered that sometimes the over whelming urge to slam a small child into a wall is completely to be expected.. But always to be ignored. They will do something endearing soon enough.

So if you have not at some point stood behind the fridge door eating chocolate or swinging from a bottle whilst flicking your kids a V one of you is doing it wrong!

If you have read this and think I am completely out of order and you will never be this kind of mummy... Give it time! X X

My Random Musings
Run Jump Scrap!

Friday, 24 June 2016

Why the referendum result makes me sad

Let me be clear. I have no time for diplomacy and fence sitting. The first doesn't get you any where and the latter is a pain in the arse!

I think we have fundamentally fucked up as a country. I realise that not all of those that made the decision to leave did so on the basis of immigration but many did. And from what I have seen it has been based on the enormous misunderstanding that the Syrian refugees that we see on the television at camps in Calais and drowning in the med are the same as European immigrants. They are not.

Leaving the Eu will not stop these people coming into the uk, nor should it.

What voting leave has done is to strip the opportunities away from our children that our parents generation voted to give us.

Whilst at university I spent 6 weeks inter-railing around Europe. Thanks to free movement, my friends and I flitted on and off trains and buses and hopped across borders as we pleased. I visited 12 countries and made some fantastic friends from all over the EU.

My children will not have this luxury.

As the figures come out it is clear that it is mostly down to the baby boomers that our children will miss out on the wealth of opportunities that the EU provides.

Well fuck you very much quite frankly. An entire generation voted for a change that they are unlikely to see. They voted for change that will affect the future for their children's children children without actually taking them into account.

Shame on them.

The biggest irony of them all is that the baby boomers that have been so desperate to send our European friends home are actually the ones that will need them the most.

A huge number of European nationals work in health service, both national and private, as a result of this vote we will loose a huge percentage of these workers.

A consequence of this will be that many of these baby boomers won't be able to have home care when the time comes as there won't be enough workers to provide it, they may not get a bed pan in time as the staff on wards may be too busy to get to it.

There will of course have been people of our generation that also voted out, and that's what democracy is for. But the thing that really gets me is the fact that so many will have been to polls yesterday, voted out, and then gone back to work with their 'friends' and colleagues from all around Europe And carried on as normal.

I have no intention on banging on on the subject but I have been genuinely upset by it and felt that I needed to say: Today I am ashamed. 😔

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Purple fanny

I am going to warn you now! Look away if you're squeamish!

The news this week has been just horrid and I think we are all in need of a laugh, so have one on me...

Now, you would think that after a decade that the mystery would have run out in a relationship. That you would be completely familiar with your partners body (especially if you have already seen a baby pop out of it!) That's what my husband thought too!

But no! No! Pregnancy the second time added a few new little gems in there.

I was sat on the sofa one morning, I was about 36 weeks, watching beebies with my husband and son (standard) when I looked down and noticed blood on my pyjamas.

Now I am sure that many of you will be only too aware of how frightening this would have been!

I ran upstairs to the toilet and had a check. It was weird, I had no pain in my bump and I could feel the baby moving. So I called my husband up in a bit of a tiz..

"You're going to have to just have a look!"

Dutifully he did as he was told.

"It's a bit angry down there!" He said frowning.

"What the fuck does that mean?" I snapped.

"Well, it's sort of swollen and purple!" I have never seen an expression quite like it.

"WTF?!?! Where is the blood coming from?"

"Well, it's gone sort of veiny...and I think one of them has popped!"

Oh the indignity! As if pregnancy isn't bad enough!!!

So I cried. Partly because I was very relieved it wasn't the baby but mostly because I had a purple fanny!

An angry, veiny purple fanny!

My husband was now roaring with laughter.

As I sobbed and had a small but quite spectacular tantrum at the sad state of my lady bits my husband told me to cheer up. Cheer up? How the fuck was I supposed to cheer up?

I had a purple fanny!

" is available! Shall I buy it for you?"

What. A. Wanker!

I would just like to add that my fanny has now returned (mostly) to its former glory and now it has pushed 2 babies out of it, it is no longer angry, just a bit sad!

Monday, 20 June 2016

Mummy's version of Row Row

Scrub, scrub, scrub the floors
Quickly free of poo,
Just think in two more years they can use the loo!

Wash, wash, wash the clothes,
 the towels the sheets the bed,
Quickly get them on the line so mum can rest her weary head.

Paint paint paint a tree,
a sheep, a cow a duck,
Keep smiling and look as though you give a flying fuck!

Blow blow blow their nose
quickly when they sneeze,
If you don't move fast enough they will use their sleeve!

Pass, pass, pass the wine
to parents everywhere,
If we had to do without we would have no hair!

Read, read, read their book
time and time again,
Some one please just kill me now and bury me in the 'den!

This song as been brought to you by a mum who has sung row row too many times by 9am!!!

Fight for the ASBO: A 48 hour free for all!

So we have just got home from a weekend away with a portion of the northern contingent of our fam. It was such a great weekend, who knew something could be so fun but such hard work!?

Within 5 minutes of arriving at our holiday house Little Boy South had wielded a fire poker and had raided the coal scuttle, things were not off to a great start!

Or were they? We are all quite realistic parents, and unhealthily healthily competitive...perhaps rather than vying for best behaved child we should aim for most ASBO baby?

It was now ON. On like Donkey Kong!

Now exhausted LB South had gone to bed and promptly passed out, Baby Girl South, full of boob also went to be without a peep. Big Girl North was above all the nonsense and she too retired without fuss.

As the grown ups popped the corks on the bottles there was the most unholy raucus. Little Boy North had found his moment. Unchallenged by his rival he took the opportunity to throw the mother of all head fits. Points on the scoreboard for Team North, black hand prints and brass weaponry were but a distant memory.

After a couple of hours of entertaining the feral toddler Mummy and Daddy North felt that their Little Boy had gained a significant enough lead to let him sleep so after 5 minutes of howling the little shit passed out.

On with the drinking.

6am Saturday morning Daddy South and I are woken by Mummy North "umm...LB South is crying!!" Whoops. Double points to LB South for only waking up parents from the other team though. Strong.

Within a matter of minutes all children and adults were awake and bedlam ensued. LB North, fuelled by minimal sleep was suitably feral and stroppy, toy cars flew and tears flowed and after a breakfast that took 4 adults about 2 hours to make the kids were neck and neck.

LB South had been napping since breakfast and LB North had been building a steady lead to most feral the whole time. But..LB South was playing the long game!

Off we all went, 4 children, 4 adults, 2 cars and a picnic to a massive lake for a walk.

After an aborted picnic and an uneventful and actually quite pleasant walk we went to the cafe.

LB and BG North chose an ice lolly and despite being asked over 1000 times if he was sure LB South decided on a fruit shoot and a snack.

LB South, being the pro that he is, saw his cousins with their lollies, wobbled his lip and threw a wobbly that resulted in the small git being removed from the café for the next 15 minutes. Good work.

Adults waning, it was time to head home for gin.

The kids on all sides played nicely for an hour or so and the adults all enjoyed a drink and a chillax. But...hold the fucking phone! LB North had tagged in his sister Big Girl North who shoved LB South and the slide he was on over. Genius move by Team North. No-one saw it coming!

After a time out and some Pizzas it was bed time for the kids. All four fed and in bed at 7pm. Corks are pulled. But what was that? Baby Girl South decided she wanted to play. Pulling an oldy-but-a-goody she shits her pants with style.

Kid gloves are off, despite LB North having tapped out, the games continued.

BG North was in and out of bed with a belly ache and has had far more experience in well timed tears.

Here was where LB South's morning nap paid off. (He has the staying power of a suffragette.) Not only was he up and at his door but he was butt fucking naked, nappiless and soaked in piss. As was his bed. Strong play child. Strong play.

Adults a little drunk but not yet drunk enough had had enough. LB South's mattress was flipped and he was back to bed. BG North was told to sleep or she would be forced to wear trousers (she is a princess not a knight so obviously should only be wearing dresses!)

Mummy and Daddy South got excessively shit faced and everyone goes to bed.

6am Sunday morning..what in the name of Toy Story was that noise? LB North was ready to play!!

After a very brief 'lie in' for Father's Day the daddies made a cooked breakfast as demanded by LB South and we all sat down at the table.

Well, this shit just got real! The morning was shaping up to be a cross between Toddler Hunger Games and MME.

LB North was on it like a car bonnet. As the adults dodged the forks in our coffee cups we missed the tomato grenade.

SPLAT! A fried cherry plum tomato exploded in Mummy North's ear!

Well FML!!

You would think that would be game over! But no! As the tomato was wiped from Mummy North's hair, ear and back the adults realised the kitchen was just a little too quiet.

Adults spread out in all directions. BG North had taken herself off and climbed into bed with Baby Girl South waking her up, LB North was raining terror down in the living room, but where was LB South? Panic set in.

It was only a matter of time before we lost one!

Back door locked he had to be in the house somewhere..SHIT! LB South was locked inside the bathroom! After a little while of fumbling at the door the lock is jimmied and the little bugger was released. Strong counter move from the small southerner!

Breakfast abandoned, adults decided it would be better for everyone to 'get this show on the road'. Baby Girl South clearly felt she hadn't had enough play so threw some shapes in there and vomited all over BG North while I showered. Nice one.

At this late stage in the game there still didn't seem to be a clear cut winner, although the tomato was a particular low high point for Team North.

The kids took it down a notch while bags were packed, or so it seemed. Mummy South smelt something...

Burning plastic! 

After a sniff around the other adults wrote the smell off as nothing to worry about, but there was something all to familiar about this to me. Yep. There it was...  

The hob was on and chaos ensued.

LB South had out done himself and the tomato. As the heat was turned off and the picnic lifted the adults assessed the damage. Perfectly done little Padawan. Not so bad that we would lose the deposit but good enough to cause a little mayhem.

Amid the cuffuffle LB North, not to be outdone, grabbed the bread knife from the kitchen counter and headed at speed toward LB South. Fuck! Phew! Daddy North managed to get to the boys and the knife before any serious stabbings could occur!

The melted plastic was scrapped from the surface and everyone was in the car.

Off to a farm park, where actually a great time was had by all. The kids fed lambs and goats and all behaved really very well, even in the soft play.

Caffeine failing we quit while we were behind  ahead. The weekend ended in a draw and the adults felt that it could all be chalked up to a success.

Despite everything, We can't wait to do it all again, ASBO babies and all!

Friday, 17 June 2016

I don't want pink or blue, I want the rainbow!

This week I have seen several adverts and posts about a new brand of doll specifically for boys. The dolls are wearing all sorts of different outfits, the one I remember seeing was a construction worker.

But why? Why do we need a doll for a boy that is wearing the uniform of a typically male role.

I thought we were in an age of gender equality and neutrality? Even Jules Oliver's Little Bird brand is designed as unisex, toy stores are moving away from 'boys' and 'girls' toy aisles. So why bring out these dolls and hail them as revolutionary or ground breaking?

They're not.
My son has both a gay man and a gay woman as god-parents and will grow up with friends with same sex parents. Gender and sexuality in our social circle are rather fluid concepts. I love that my children will grow up with a totally broad ranging and and inclusive version of 'normal'. I love it because I think it will make my children's lives richer but also because I hope it will make them better people. Better than our generation.

You only have to look in the news and comments made on social media at the moment to see what happens when fear and hate are instilled in people's minds. When a strict and rigid set of ideals are taught that ostracise or persecute people for the fundamental parts of who they are.

Our children are small and impressionable and have minds ready and ripe for shaping. I think that is why these dolls have pissed me off so much. We should be challenging these outdated stereotypes on behalf of our children, not reinforcing them. If we teach our children at such a young age that there are 'boys roles' and 'girls roles', 'boys toys' and 'girls toys' then we are already teaching them that anything or anyone that falls outside of these divides is not the norm, and therefore is wrong.

I am sure that the company that have bought out these toys thought they were doing something great for little boys, that they wanted to make a dolly for all the little boys out there that wanted a dolly. They wanted little boys to be able to have dollies too. But why didn't they just put up a fucking bill board saying BOYS CAN HAVE DOLLS TOO and be done with it. Why not just stick the dolls next to the cars and say YOU DO NOT NEED TO CHOOSE.

Why bring out a doll that says "Hey little boys, you may play with a dolly as long as it is of a man, (A MAN, not even a sodding baby), and is dressed in the uniform of a job that, despite the fact it could be done by women is mostly done by men, because society is backward and intolerant and we want you to be too."

Now, I am sure that that is not really what the company intended to or actually thought (no law suits please!) But that is what these dolls say to me.
I think you should be able to look into a toy box and simply be able to say, "Oh look, it's a box of toys!"


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Funday Wednesday!

Funday Wednesday is the best day of the week!

Funday Wednesday is a day that I spend with my maayte.

Funday Wednesday started about 18 months ago, just after I finished breastfeeding my son.

My maayte and I were trying to decide what we were going to do one Wednesday. We were in a bit of a funk, the weather was gash and there is not a massive amount to do with small babies on a rainy day. We were desperate to get out of our houses (and each others) and were hitting a bit of a wall.

"We could just go to the pub!" My maayte laughed.

"Ha, Ha! I wish" I replied.

And then...we realised..Why the fuck not?

We weren't sick, we weren't skieving work, we were on maternity leave. We were 2 grown-ass women with babies small enough to sleep in a pram while we had a glass of wine. We spent all day caring for children, keeping the house, doing shit that needed to be done, didn't we deserve a treat too?

We looked at each other, a twinkle of excitement in our eyes.

Let's do iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!!!

And we did! And it was great. It became a regular treat for us, not every Wednesday but a lot of Wednesdays.

I don't feel guilty. I have guilt over many many things and many many parenting fails but I don't feel guilty about having Funday Wednesday. I say in with pride, I consider it my badge of honour.

Parenting is laden with judgement.

We judge ourselves, we judge our children, and we judge each other. In the early days of being a new parent I was so consumed with what other people (parents) would think about me. I think a lot of the judgement I felt was in my head, I mistook the tired gazes of other mummies as stares of judgement. The constant anxiety over whether I was doing a good enough job was exhausting. The fear that I couldn't live up to this non-existent standard of mummyhood.

Funday Wednesday liberated me from an imaginary oppression that I had created for myself.

I am not advocating getting shit faced in the middle of the day every day and being incapable of caring for your child but let your hair down, give yourselves a treat, and don't give a fuck!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

For my maaayte!

So the time has come for us to find a new home. Our family is growing and it seems the house is shrinking. Onwards and upwards and all that.

When we first decided to buy a new house I was really excited. I naively assumed that we would be able to find a slightly bigger house somewhere in the village and life would continue as normal.

Nope! No such luck.

The village has become ridiculously expensive and since we don't have 3/4 million pounds tucked under the sofa cushions we have had to look elsewhere.

The excitement has now been marred by sadness and trepidation though and not for the reasons you might think. Leaving our first house makes me sad because it's a great house and I love it. Leaving the village makes me sad because I have built a life here and it's a lovely place to live. But the thing that makes me most sad, the thing I want to do the least, the thing that makes me not want to do it,  is having to leave my friend, my maayte.

I can't imagine what I would have done over the last 2 1/2 years without her. She has been my friend, my rock, my partner in crime. My maayte. I think I took it for granted that she would be there (or rather that I would be here) and we would be 100 yards from each other until we were older and grey less blonde and our kids were grown.

We have been great and terrible influences on each other, we bring each other up and down and she is a massive part of why I enjoyed (and am enjoying) my maternity leave so much. I think I am the best version of myself when I'm with her.

I knew we were made for each other from the moment we first met in a pregnancy pilates class. There was a room full of glamorous ladies, with beautiful bumps all glowing and smiling and just loving life. I was green with envy..and nausea due to the 'all fucking day and night sickness' and felt like crying when I thought I was alone in my misery.

Until...there was the best sound in the world. The groan of a fat fed up pregnant lady hating life on the other side of the room. I knew right then and there she was the gal for me! Thankfully she felt the same way. She was comforted by my lack of comfort and we both felt better knowing the other felt worse!

4 babies and 2 1/2 years later and it's all about to change. I will be moving across the city, I won't walk passed her house every day on my way to the pub playground or shops. Our children won't go to school together. I won't see her everyday. So I'm sad.

I realise that to some people reading this I come off as a weirdo stalker lady, and if I do that's ok, you would understand if you had her as your maayte too!

Monday, 13 June 2016

2's not a lot but it's plenty!

I love my kids, that's a-given. And I love being a mum. Sometimes though I want to scream my fucking head off!

Sometimes as I read A Squash And A Squeeze for the 30th time in a day (which I do in an hilarious yet brilliant welsh accent which I have perfected) I consider stabbing myself in the eye with the nearest Schliech dinosaur or farm animal or kudu or whatever the fuck that is.

Sometimes the idea of watching Toy Story or bloody Kung Fu Panda makes me want to scratch the skin off my face!

Sometimes as I sing sleeping bloody bunnies for the millionth time in a row I feel like pouring my once boiling hot cup of tea over my head in exasperation.

I don't know why some parts of parenting make me want to harm myself in such alarming ways but it does.

2 hours. 2 hours though seems to be enough to curb the urge to try and self mutilate with a Duplo block.

Unfortunately 2 hours is hard to find with small 2 small children. They rarely nap together and if they do there is shit to be done. Washing needs doing, dishwasher needs loading, kitchen needs cleaning and by the time it's done the 2 hours is more likely to be 5 minutes and a cold cup of coffee.

But when I do get it, when the stars align, the kids magically sync their naps and the clothes, well, stay dirty, it is sodding bliss.

2 hours to do whatever, to do nothing. In the quiet. With no lovable animated character or book with pictures in it, no song that requires actions. It is amazing. It's like hitting reset on my nerves.

Bring on the books, the games the songs. Fuck it, bring on meal time!

Give me 2 hours and I can take on anything!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

bad mummy

I am so cross with myself. I am literally the worst mummy into the world! 😫

My babies have been sick for a week. Vomiting, diarrhoea, temperatures, which as children go is pretty much the norm...mostly.

This time, I knew it was a bit different, they have been REALLY sick. Watery stool and projectile vomit for days on end. The nurse in me just wrote it off as a bad case of gastroenteritis. Don't bother the Dr unless you need to. Most children can be looked after at home. No need to panic, don't take them to the GP. Care for them in the home... 48 hours clear.. And all that jazz.

But.. I think I was wrong. Bollocks to my degree. Bollocks to my training. My kids are really sick and if I had listened to the mummy in me rather than the healthcare professional I would have called the GP on Friday and had them checked over.

Instead my toddler already looks like something out of an Oxfam advert and my previously fatty bum baby is all skinny and gone from growing out of 3-6 month vests back in to her 0-3 month clothes.

My toddler, who I was sure was getting better, has just filled his bed with puke and thrown up the first meal he has eaten in a week.

I am filled with emotions..

My first is fury with myself for not acting sooner.

My second is disappointment with the nursery. They had put a note on the door saying there was sickness going around. But this is not a virus. I don't believe it is a virus. Have they been informed that any child has had food poisoning or a bacterial infection?

While I have been writing this, I have had a phone call from a friend who's child is also sick (who hasn't had contact with mine) who thinks they have caught it from the playground.

Sometimes we don't realise that children are as sick as they are. Sometimes we don't realise they are sick at all.

This time I can't help but think that there is someone with a test result that says this isn't a virus. This is bacterial. This is more serious and we haven't been told.

I will be getting sample pots in the morning and I will be sending shit and puke and anything else that comes out of my babies because they are not getting better and they should be by now.

Sometimes we have to trust our gut as a mummy and fuck the reasonable rationale voice in our head. Sometimes they are wrong and this time I FEAR THEY ARE.

Sucking the snot

My husband reminded me last night of the funniest conversation, so I just had to share...

When my son was about 4 months old he, and it seemed every other baby, had the most horrendous cold. He was so congested he was sleeping in his bouncy chair as he just couldn't breathe properly if he led in his cot. Poor little buba!

Since every other baby in the world seemed to also have a cold I went to baby group, (you know the one you should go to) and joined a group of mummies and their babies chatting about these awful colds.

One mummy had sent her husband out in the middle of the night to get a Calpol plug-in to try, another had purchased a bulb syringe to perform a nasal lavage. There were various contraptions and inventions that had been employed (I am sure all with their unique benefits!) including a mains powered paediatric nasal suction kit! Others had tried more conventional methods such as Olbas oil on the sleeping bag or burning Eucalyptus in a burner.

The one thing that all these methods had in common was that they had been pretty ineffective.

One of the mummies then looked at my little monkey who was busy gumming on a toy suitable for ages 2+ and noticed that he was looking a little less snot ridden than some of the other babies.

"What have you tried?" She asked politely.

"I just sucked the snot out!" I replied. O.M.G!!!!! The looks I got!

I have to explain here that my little buddy was really suffering, I had him in the bathroom with me while I showered so the steam would help loosen it but he was just too bunged up, so I bought him into the shower with me as I thought it might be easier to get some of the snot out if his nose and face were all wet but he was just desperate, so I stuck my mouth around his nose and sucked all the snot right out of there. I'm not going to lie, it was disgusting. There was loads of it. It was thick and green and really grim. I sucked it out and spat it straight down the drain of the shower and my little boy was so relieved. He smiled and relaxed and we got dressed and went to baby group.

Back to the faces....shock and disgust, I caused quite a disturbance in the ranks. My best mummy friend, my maayte, thought the whole thing was hilarious and was in the background pissing herself with laughter, but I was a bit surprised at the silence and then I was really embarrassed that I had told everybody.

That wasn't the funny conversation that I was telling you all about...that came later when I was recounting the whole story, snot sucking, baby group mums and all to my sister in law. Her answer was priceless..

"I don't see what the big deal is...It's no different than a blow job!"

My two pence worth

A lot of my friends often ask me if there is any particular advice I would give them about being a new parent.

This is my list of top things that have worked for me or that I have learnt the hard way.

1. You can never have enough muslins

Babies dribble and vom and cry and have runny noses, you will need loads!

2. Put a sleeping baby down.

I love cuddling my babies but if you can, putting a baby down to nap will save you a world of difficulties in the future, it also gives you an opportunity to do things for you. I can't stress enough how important it is to look after yourself as well as your baby!

3. Keep their snuggles in their bed.

I learnt this from my sister (she's a parenting rock star), this again will make your life so much easier in a year or so when your toddler is tired and whining and quite frankly being a bit of an asshole they will want their snuggle, which in our house means they go to bed. Thank you Goodbye!

4. Always put them in the bigger nappy size bracket.

Nappies leak and it is really shit if your baby wakes in the night for no other reason than they are wet! Babies pee a lot, even if they have teeny little bum bums like my two (not my bum bum, that's massive). It is better to use the bigger nappy!

5. If all you want to do is have a shower, have it!

If you have fed your baby, they are clean, you have sung to them, you have rocked them, swaddled them and shushed at them and you are stressed and sweaty and really want a shower, HAVE IT! It is ok to leave your baby (safely of course, duh!) to get in the shower and take 5 minutes (or 10 if you are feeling really brave!) to wash the stank off you. You will feel better and your baby will be fine!

6. It is ok to not have the shower too.

Some days it just doesn't happen. Fuck it, tomorrow is a whole new day!

7. If you are breastfeeding you can still give yourself a night off!

I have exclusively breastfed both my babies and sometimes I fancy a night off. It's ok to have it. With my first I had guilt, with my second I have gin! Give them formula, give them breast milk, it doesn't really matter. There will be moments, even if only fleeting, that you consider sacking it all in. Sometimes giving yourself a little break can help you keep going.

8. The longer you leave it to leave your baby the harder it gets.

I found this out the hard way with my first, he was 5 1/2 months old before I left him for more than an hour and I struggled massively.  He didn't, he didn't give 2 shits that I had left but I had huge anxiety about it. That was until my husband gave me a whole load of double G&T's telling me they were singles, after that I'm not sure I even knew I had a baby for the remainder for the evening!

9. Stop looking forward

With my first I was excited to see him do EVERYTHING! I was desperate for him to be able to hold his own head so I wouldn't be so afraid I would break him, I was desperate to see him smile and roll over and crawl and walk I feel like I didn't really realise how quickly they get big and grow up. The first time I constantly looked forward to the next milestone, the second I just want it all to slow down.

10. Take a minute to just sit, you and your baby..and your other half if you must!

Just enjoy it, it's lovely!

Oh and if you have a boy....Always make sure the willy is points down!!!!!!

Saturday, 11 June 2016

My fussy hat shopper

My son is fabulous. Both in the sense that I am his mother and I think he his fabulous and in the sense that he is 'fabulous darling'!

He is not even two yet and he already has his own total sense of self, he likes to choose his clothes and loves an accessory, whether it is Daddy's watch or a random bag, hat, or necklace that he has found somewhere. He wears them with style!

Over the last few months as he has learned to undress himself he has started to make more decisions about what he wears (or doesn't) and now vetoes clothes when we are out shopping.

Due to his ENORMOUS head, we need to buy him a new sun hat as his sort of 'sits' on top rather than actually being worn but we are having trouble. He is struggling to find one that he likes. (First world toddler problems! FFS!!)

Over the last month or so he must have tried on 30 hats and none of them have been up to scratch! Well, that's not true, he found one in M&Co that he took off a shelf but it was age 7-9 and too big even for his ridiculous head (he needs age 4 even though he's not even 2). It was a pale blue boater type hat with palm leaves on it and a ribbon around the rim. He had a total head fit (if only the hat did!) when I told him he couldn't have it, it was literally down to his chin. They didn't have a smaller size and he threw each and every other hat down with disdain.

It is beginning to become somewhat of an issue, he is so fair and it is getting sunnier by the day. I shall not be beaten, I shall not be discouraged. We will continue to go hat shopping and try each and every one until he finds THE hat. I just hope to God that when we do eventually find one that he likes, which we will because I am NOT a quitter, that I don't fucking lose it!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Baby led Mysteries...No 5 gets me everytime!

Having children has raised a lot of unanswered questions for me...

1. How do the bottom of babies socks get dirty?

2. Why do babies feet smell like feet?....Why do feet smell like feet?

3. What the hell is that smell?

4. Where has the other bloody sock gone?

5. Why do babies look you so intensely in the eye when they poo? it is quite disconcerting!

6. Seriously...where is that smell coming from?

7. What is it about bloody Iggle Piggle that makes kids like that show so much? He looks like a dried out, over used kitchen sponge!

8. How many times do we need to do "Row Row" for it to be enough times?

9. How can they sleep through the sound of their screaming sibling, but you sneeze silently into your arm, breaking your ribs to stifle it, and they are bolt upright wide awake?

10. How come Daddy gets to pee alone but Mummy has an audience?

11. When a baby is teething, how much wine is enough wine? [For mummy not for the baby - I'm not a crazy person!]

12. Why, oh Why am I so keen to do it again?

These questions have been bought to you as a result of 2 babies in 18 months!

Please feel free to add to the list in the comments, or tweet me at @complyorcry_uk

Is it wrong to like my children sick?

Having spent the last week looking after my very sick children I have discovered something a little disturbing about myself!

I love an insecure and/or sick child!

My son is 22 months, he is super independent and isn't really one for hugging.
It's probably my fault. Since he was a small baby I have always put him down to nap and encouraged him to play on his own. "Never cuddle a sleeping baby" has always been my philosophy. Not because I am an uber strict parent but because I find having babies/small children stifling at times and putting them down to sleep gives me space to breath.

As a result I have a child that as a baby cried to be put down when he was tired, never wants to sit on my lap or have a snuggle and only likes to be kissed on the cheek!

When he's sick though that all changes. He just needs his mummy so much, he cries for cuddles and snuggles on my lap all day. I love it!
That might be a terrible thing to admit but it's true.

It was the same when his baby sister was born. He loved her straight away, he was such a good boy, he never made a fuss, or acted up, he was so good. But, I could tell that underneath it all he was a little bit worried about what it all meant, even at 18 months old he seemed to have the insight to know that things were changing.

When I would finish feeding the baby he would climb up onto my lap for a cuddle or would pull me off the sofa to the floor to play with him. It was so nice to have him want me all to himself.

My children are my world and sometimes, when they're screaming in my face, shouting no, or asking for their dad, I forget that I am theirs too!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

To dress or not to dress? That is the question!

Whether or not to dress your baby seems to be as big of an issue as breast v bottle or Nsync v Backstreet Boys.

My babies have been dressed since the day they came home from hospital. Don't get me wrong they're not wearing tweed and leather and stiff scratchy denim but they do wear lovely little outfits and I love it.

I personally think "sleep suits" are for sleeping in, and for my friends that say they are "baby grows" and babies wear them while they're growing, well, babies do most of their growing at night so my arguement still stands.

My first pregnancy was just the most miserable of experiences and the only thing that really cheered me up was filling online shopping baskets of either little boys or girls clothes ready for when they popped out and I knew which basket to buy!  I was excited to have my very own real life dress up dolls and I still am. I enjoy shopping for my children more than I enjoy shopping for myself and whilst I leave the house looking dishevelled and a little bit dirty my kids look great. It seems pointless, it is I'm sure, but I like seeing them looking nice.

I find dressing the babies serves a purpose as well (other than them looking fabulous). I am not really one for routines. I don't impose strict 11am nap times and lunch time is when ever people are hungry but I do find that getting dressed in the morning and getting ready for bed in the evening helps both me and them mentally prepare for what's to come, whether it's starting our day or going to bed.

Perhaps more importantly it helps me feel like I have achieved something with my day. If me and the kids are all up and clean and dressed I feel like we're ready and raring to do something with our day, even if we don't end up doing anything. I feel more motivated to leave the house, or tackle a "day out" and then the days when we don't go out and we don't get dressed are a rarity and a treat. We LOVE pyjama days! My toddler is positively excited by them. We sloth out in pjs and watch tv  Toy Story and Kung Fu Panda on repeat and it feels great!

Monday, 6 June 2016

The power of love or the smell of vomit?

10 years ago washing someone else's vomit out my hair at 4am was a sign of a good night had by all. Now not so much. It is all just part and parcel of the joys of parenthood. It is amazing how much the power of love can help you cope with.

 When my toddler vomitted all over the garden and himself during a bbq with friends yesterday afternoon he was feeling pretty sorry for himself. As he was busy bringing his boots up my first action was to try and clean some of the chunks from his person. As I stripped him off and attacked him with wet wipes I looked down at his little face. He was so sad and so vulnerable, and despite being so gross I didn't hesitate to scoop him up, puke and all, to give him a cuddle. 

After a few more tears and a bit more snot and vomit I got the two of through the shower and into some clean pjs and rejoined the "party". Never let a bit of puke come between you and a good bbq! The boy calmed down and with a few sips of water and a viewing of Toy Story 2 he went to bed without too much trouble.

4am. The joy that is 4 am. He wakes up feeling very sad and very hungry, my dear darling husband in his dreary state and infinite wisdom lovingly went and made him a bottle of milk and then put him in our bed. A fact I only became aware of when the whole lot came at speed out of his mouth and into my face and my hair and everywhere else in the bed! Nice! Again I looked down at my sad little boy and despite the fact that both he and I were quite literally dripping with sick nothing else seemed as important as giving him his cuddles. 

After stripping him, the bed and myself off and loading the washing machine, making my husband a cup of tea while he cuddled the vomit monster I had a shower, again.
As I shampooed my hair for the third time I couldn't help but flash back to my early 20's when washing a boy's vomit out of my hair would have probably made me love him a little less! Now the boy is small and squishy and made by me it kind of makes me love him more. I never thought there would be a time where vomiting in the middle of a bbq or puking in my face whilst I slept would be acceptable let alone endearing but that is the power of love! Stronger than the smell of vomit every time!

Friday, 3 June 2016

Backsides and Bra lines

I have never been a skinny person. I have massive tits and wobbly thighs and I drink too much cider to have a flat stomach but since having children I feel like blancmange!

I used to always have a fat face and bat wings, but now, weirdly, I have a jawline, (I am sure, in part, as a result of constantly clenching it when trying not to scream at a toddler who is eating his rice one grain at a time!) and no smaller bat wings..hummingbird wings? from carrying 2 small children in and out of the house a million times a day.

But now, now I'm fat in different places, I have replaced my moon face with back fat and a balloon belly. The back fat is what really gets me, even when I was actually just fat I never had back fat. Now my backside basically starts at my bra line! It is disturbing!

Having two babies in 18 months has left my fat skin devoid of any elasticity so I am like a balloon that has been inflated and deflated too many times, a bit saggy and sad looking.

Thankfully my baby is a little fatty and she is quite literally milking the fat off my back. The back crack is more of a slight back cleavage now but I am dreading the day I take her off the boob. Partly because I love feeding her, but mostly because it means it will be harder to lose any more weight, or to be honest, just to not put any back on.

The reality already is, the less milk she drinks the more wine I do! After 9 months of pregnancy and 4 months of exclusive breastfeeding I am already taking every opportunity to get 'on it'!

I haven’t decided yet which one would make me happier, guzzling wine or a not fat back. I fear I cant have them both!

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Firsts the second time around

The first firsts are so exciting, you watch with baited breath from the time your baby is born for them to have their first first.

My son's first first happened immediately, when he did his first poo as he was born, all over me, I mean it, I was covered. It was gross.

He then had a steady stream of firsts, his first smile at 2 weeks, his first tooth at 4 months his first steps at 13, and so on and so on up to now at 22 months when he told me he needed to wee for the first time and used the potty! very proud mummy moment.

But with my daughter I have had a bit of a parenting fail. Where I had been convinced every facial twitch with my son was a smile I have been cynical with my daughter, writing every grin off as gas until 6 weeks where she really did 100% definitely smile when she saw me. Perhaps she smiled before then, I don't know to be honest I couldn't tell.

And now this week she has rolled over! 18 weeks old, good for her! But I missed it. 3 times. My baby has rolled over 3 times and I have missed each one.

The first roll yesterday she had been on her play mat for hours, I went out of the room for a moment to get my son a glass of water and when I came back she was on her front with head propped up on her arms! I couldn't believe it, she looked so pleased with herself and I didn't see!

So, this morning, my son was in bed and she had my undivided attention, I wasn't going to miss it again, in fact this time I would film it, that would assuage the guilt! I sat with my phone pointed at her, pressing record every time she started to turn, (I have lots of short sections of her half way over), but nothing. I popped upstairs to grab something, must have literally been 30 seconds out of the room, and there she was, on her front! FFS! I missed it for the second time! well colour me a failure!

I shook it off like a pro! Had to get on with my day, my son woke up and I made him his lunch, I then made him an entirely different lunch, I read the Gruffalo (a zillion times), I ate his first lunch and we watched Toy Story again. Back on the play mat for the baby, lovely.

Something stank.

My son had pooed. Whipped him upstairs to deal with toxic mess in his nappy, back downstairs....ARE YOU FRICKING KIDDING ME! There she was on her stomach.

I give up. I missed it, I missed the first, second and third time my daughter rolled over. I can't get that back, it's gone. The funny thing is, I can't actually remember when my son first rolled over any more, I don't remember how old he was or what else happened that day, I know I saw it, but I don't remember it. I missed this first the second time around but, and here's the funny thing, I bet I'll remember it!

Should we just whip 'em out?

I am a breastfeeding mum. I do breastfeed in public. But, and it is a big but, I am torn on the coverage on the issue. I find it amazing that some people think it is unnatural (wtf?!) and I think Alyssa Milano is a great advocate for us mummies and has empowered many women to feed in public with more confidence.

I feel desperately sad for mums that feel too embarrassed to feed their baby in public, the mums that are confined to toilet cubicles and changing rooms. This is not on and shame on the arseholes that made them feel it was necessary!

I have been lucky (so far). I have not encountered any hostility or disapproval when I have breast fed either of my children in public but I have to admit I do often feel the need to wear a breast feeding bib know one of those colourful capes with the wire at the top so you can see the baby.

I don't wear it because of other people, I wear it because of me, because of my ginormous tits! I envy the mummies that are able to sit with their baby on the breast looking tidy and relaxed. I am not one of those mummies. My boobs are about the size of my 4 month old's head, and she has a big head! A friend once pointed out that There are many words to describe my boobs but 'discreet' is not one of them! They are big and imposing and have a mind of their own. Once the clip on the faded grey nursing bra is released they burst out of my clothing like the craken out of the sea!
Then there is the milk. Once it starts it is a kin to cracking open a fire hydrant, that shit is getting everywhere! I mean it. I'm soaked, the baby is drowning and I am dangerously close to having to pay for the dry cleaning of every other patron of which ever coffee shop I happen to be in. So I cover up.

Here is my but...

I was in a coffee shop the other day, (it is a 'breastfeeding centre' and everyone is welcome. Lovely.) and as I walked in I saw something that made me double take.

In the middle of the cafe there was an enormous pillow with an enormous boob flopped across it in all it's glory. On the corner of this great green velvet cushion was a baby, nibbling on the end of a nipple! I have to admit that even I, also a breastfeeding mum with gigantic tits, had to double take. I ordered my coffee and sat down with a friend and felt a little embarrassed as I passed.

I felt ashamed as I sat down that I had stared and more ashamed that it had made me feel uncomfortable. But... Here it is, my but... having put a lot of thought into it, it was unnecessary. The woman was exercising her right to breastfeed in public, yes, absolutely, more power to her. But... The way she was feeding didn't seem to be about her and her baby, it felt like it was about the rest of the world seeing it. She wasn't holding her baby, she wasn't even really feeding her baby and I'm not really sure what purpose the boudoir pillow was serving other than to draw more attention to it all.

I know, I know, who am I to judge, how dare I, I am setting the cause back years...these are all things I have reprimanded myself for already. But isn't she too? Is it not because of scenes that make a room full of other mothers shift in their chairs that make other people do it over the more discreet feeding?

Or .. Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps I too should be whipping them out with a little more gusto, dry cleaning bills be damned!

I am surprised with myself, and a little disappointed that this was an issue for me. My friend had the same reaction as did many other people in the cafe. I am sure this post is going to cause a lot of criticism. I have not written it to chastise or to shame any one, merely to illustrate a point. Until this particular trip to this particular cafe I I was 100% certain that I was 100% for breastfeeding in public and then I saw something that made me question myself.

I don't believe that women should feel the need to cover themselves or their babies while nursing and I will never think it is acceptable for women to feel they have to sit in a public toilet to do it but should there be a medium? Should we consider other people when we feed? I don't really believe so no. That would raise more much boob is too much boob? Should we put it away as soon as the baby comes off? How much nipple is too much nipple? If I had to ask myself these questions every time I fed my baby I would end up never leaving the house.

I  would like to think at some point breastfeeding in public won't need to be divisive, we won't feel the need to either make a statement or hide away, we will just get on with it and no one will notice.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Comply or method of parenting


Firstly, let me explain! Before you jump up and down and call social services my blog is not going to be about some ultra conservative, right wing, spare the rod, type parenting method. <Breathe> This post is about how I parent, which I think really is how most of us parent, and why to me it is the fundamental basis of being a parent.

When my son (almost 2) was a tiny baby and we would go to these Mummy and baby groups that you should go to, I would regularly end up in conversations about 'parenting methods'. I was not into Gina Ford and had never heard of Janet Lansbury, I actually got confused and thought of Angela Lansbury and my mind quickly wandered off to Bedknobs and Broomsticks and thought that would be a cool way of raising kids, but I digress... I certainly wasn't going to do bloody attachment parenting. I would sit and listen to the Mummies talk about their routines and chapters from books and the trials of wearing a baby whilst making a cup of tea in 3 minutes at 11.17am and silently scream to myself that I thought it was all a little bonkers. When someone asked me during one of these conversations "Who do you do?" I opened my mouth before having really engaged my (tired baby) brain and answered "I just suck it and see!". As I looked upon their blank yet unimpressed faces I tried to explain...."My philosophy is if it works ... Baby stops screaming, well, woohoo! ... If it doesn't, f*ck it, move on and try something else! Suck it and See!" and there in that moment my very own parenting method was born, ta da!

Since then my parenting style has evolved to meet the ever growing challenges of a feral and ever so slightly rabid toddler. I now adopt the "Comply or Cry" parenting method. This one I am particularly proud of. I even named my blog after it. As all parents will be painfully aware some things have to happen whether you or your baby like it or not. I find most of them relate to personal hygiene. Some things aren't choices - wearing nappies, brushing teeth, and simply just having the shit wiped from the backside and back of the neck, and the feet, and the earlobes, and wherever else it ends up!

I always explain to my toddler what I need to do. I ask him nicely to help mummy, I sing a song about wiping poo from earlobes while I try to do it, I bribe with treats, and then I inevitably end up pinning the little bugger to the floor with my knees whilst I attack him with wet wipes to remove the faecal matter from around his person before wrestling a clean nappy on him, at which point he screams until it is over. He had the option. Comply or Cry!

Again, this works with teeth brushing, I ask him to do it himself, I try brushing my teeth with him to encourage him to make the decision to brush his teeth himself, I sing a song, I say Ahhhhhhh with my mouth wide while trying to get the toothbrush in his mouth, aaaand then I pin the bugger to the floor with my knees whilst I get the toothbrush in there and brush away the strawberry pips and ketchup residue, at which  point he screams until it is all over. He had his chance. Comply or Cry!

I find that as my children grow this method is being employed more and more in our house and out of it. Getting small children into car seats, putting coats on in the rain, putting hats on in the sun, wearing shoes, wearing clothes, getting into a pram, getting out of a pram. It really is quite adaptable.

I don't really buy into 'doing a method'. When I was pregnant I didn't think I needed to read a book on routines or 'how to', I still don't. If that's how you like to do it, great but I think having a 'method' is restrictive and almost certainly sets parents up for failure, I would definitely have failed. I like the chaos and the unknown and have found that my babies have ended up falling into routine by themselves, and I have followed.

Before I had children, I, like most, had this completely romanticised notion of how it would be. My children would be clean and quiet and well behaved and say "Yes Mummy!" when I asked them to do things. The reality is dirtier and noisier and nothing close to obedient. In fact if I'm honest I don't ever really get the "Mummy" part, he calls me Dad and mostly just shouts and points emphatically when he needs something.

The weird thing about parenting is that the small things are the hardest, the teethbrushing and the shoe wearing and the in and out of the pramming. The big stuff, the growing and developing stuff happens on its own, when I'm not looking. Suddenly he is talking and making his own (questionable) clothing decisions, weeing in a potty on the floor and gives me his cheek to kiss instead of his wet sticky lips.

So yes, although I try the "cooperative" approach the "coercive" is where we end up. It is a shorter, quicker, more successful route to where we need to end up with the small stuff so that we can do things, many things, go to the zoo, make cakes, do painting, things that help with the big stuff, things we will remember forever.

The things that really matter.

My Random Musings
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