School Reports, Staycations and Stressful Situations

Eldest has officially completed primary one! Not only that but, he managed to do so without getting spotted battering another classmate. Hooray! On his last day he came bounding out with his school report in hand. I glared at the envelope for a long time before finally plucking up the courage to open it. When I did I was pleasantly surprised. It declared that he was good with numeracy and logic (no surprise there), that his reading and writing could do with some improvement and thus, he will need support going forward (no surprise with that one either) and that he interacts well with other children, especially boys (defo not a huge surprise). As a treat for a year well done, we decided to go to Ballycastle and stay in a caravan (my idea of hell). But, it was cheap and close. Plus, it would take everyone’s mind of losing Molly.

I don’t know what I was expecting but I was shocked when we got to the caravan and it was actually spacious and modern. I had an image of one ingrained in my mind from a Father Ted episode. You know that one were Graham Norton keeps river dancing all the time in a caravan you couldn’t swing a cat in? The site also had an indoor pool and kid’s disco running every other night. Who need’s Spain eh?

Having left our things off, I took the boys swimming. This was the first time since the utter madness that was the local pool: (https://youandmeplusthree.uk/2018/04/25/the-nightmare-that-was-going-swimming-alone-with-the-boys/ ). Eldest gets in no bother and heads straight for the huge slide, without the slightest hint of fear. Middle leaves the changing room and swiftly declares that he will not be getting in the water as ‘it’s too scary’. Great! Maybe I will have more luck with baby. Upon entering the water with him on my hip, he screams blue murder. To the point everyone was looking at me like I was forcing him into a pool of acid. The swimming attendant goes to get him a swim seat. This seems to make things worse. Middle has not left the steps during this whole episode and is sitting crossed armed, dipping his feet in. ‘Come in Owen!’ I shout whilst wielding gurning baby in a huge, yellow float. ‘I not’ he staunchly responds. FML- what is the point? After 30 mins, baby was still crying and middle was still rooted to the same spot so, out we all had to go.

Next we tried the park which was covered in sand. Middle runs off to have fun, yelling at random children ‘what your name is?’ and chasing girls with his standard sex pest line of ‘Hi girls!’. Eldest refuses to go in however, as apparently, he ‘hates sandy parks’. It’s only day one and I have already lost the will to live. How do you please them all at once? Hope that maybe the kid’s disco will be something everyone enjoys.

Get to kid’s disco with eldest moaning profusely that he ‘will not dance as that’s stupid and only girls do it’. Tell him that’s fine then, he can just watch. The guy running it is aptly named ‘Rob the Beard’. He seems to have a great way with all the kids but, baby is having none of Rob nor his beard and proceeds to cry anytime he even glances in his direction. Not even an offer of a sweet quells his fear of poor Rob. He spends the whole proceedings sobbing. Middle gets up and follows all Rob’s moves to every song. Giving it stacks and living his best life. Eldest observes his enthusiasm and decides to join in. Ten minutes in and eldest is throwing shapes I didn’t even know he had in him. He is also having, shock horror, FUN! Two out of three isn’t bad I guess.

All in all, the boys had such a great time in Ballycastle. Visiting farms, parks, eating the infamous ‘cloud’ ice cream and torturing girls. Middle eventually embraced the water on the last day and ventured further than the steps! Baby I couldn’t win over swimming wise but, he did start fully walking. I only saw him Gollum crawl a handful of times when he was tired and being lazy. In the end eldest finally came around to the sand also. The only downside was the boy’s sharing a room. Utter bedlam each night and routines all over the place. I am home more knackered than when I left! Aw well, it’s all about the memories and replacing the bad one for them that happened last Monday. I hope it’s worked. I am still crying every time I see anything white, sheep included. Miss you Molly x

Chilling in the caravan after a day at the amusements

Soft play fun on a rainy day

No more sand fear!

Sowing the Seed for Imaginative Play with The Field!

Baby is all about farm’s and farm animal’s at the moment. His favourite book is ‘Moo Moo’ and every night, at bedtime, he demands that I read it to him numerous times. I don’t even have to read the actual words now as his obsession has lead to me knowing them by heart. So I was very excited when Irish company, The Field, approached me to review one of their products.

The Field promises to spark your child’s imagination by encouraging imaginative play. The possibilities are endless. Create a farm scene, check! Create your own football pitch with some Lego figures, check! I had an inkling that middle and baby would love it. Middle loves to create elaborate scenes with his teddies and toys and comfortably creates different scenarios, nattering away to himself as he does so. Baby is most content at the minute when throwing multiple objects, mainly at me but, I knew the moment he saw all the farm animal figures, he would associate it with his book. Eldest I wasn’t sure about as he doesn’t often partake in imaginative play. Something that has worried me off and on. He much prefers logical play- building with Lego and creating large marble runs that take over any space we have left in the living room (sigh). Standing on multiple marbles is worse than Lego, I can assure you! Why are both everywhere in my house? Arrgggh!

The boy’s have played with the toy for over a week now and it has surprised me how well they not only interacted with it but, calmly played together. Even if baby keeps taking the farm animals off them! Eldest has actually played with it the most which has greatly reassured me after his P1 report showed he isn’t overly creative (I said that didn’t I?). Baby has thoroughly enjoyed placing some Lego men on it and playing away, as has middle. I’m loving the change from them wrestling the daylights out of each other on the trampoline. Peace at last!

You can purchase The Field at: https://www.thefield.ie/ and prices range from £27.00 (24.99 Euros) and upwards.

Baby having fun with The Field and some Lego
Even cousin had a play with it

Boisterous Boys and Balling Baby

This week the boy’s started full on ‘boy fighting’. Previously their fighting amounted to jumping off the sofa onto each other, throwing pillows at one another and the occasional pushing episode. As much as the trampoline we purchased has managed to keep them out of my hair for a bit, it’s also created the perfect environment for them to lamp shades out of each other whilst in a confined space.

Yesterday they went out on it and I stood observing eldest and middle rugby tackling each other, full scale jumping from one end, straight on top of the other and, even punching. I shouted repeatedly, only to be ignored. They were too fired up. Meanwhile baby happily bounced away on his bum, occasionally throwing the odd slap in their direction. ‘You are such a great fighter!’ eldest was saying to middle. ‘You are so good at fighting that, if you get me one more time, I will give you £2’. Middle gladly accepted the challenge and I went inside for a second. No sooner had I turned my back, eldest was in crying hysterically that middle had ‘really hurt him’. I cuddled him, then pointed out ‘you did tell him he was a good fighter son and offered him money if he got you again. What did you expect?’. Middle as usual gave zero f’s and was still bouncing away oblivious to what he had just inflicted.

Speaking of £2, eldest’s homework this week stated that he was learning about money and, as parents, we should ‘let them look at the money we had in our purse or wallet and talk about the value of each’. Eldest’s eyes lit up. I on the other hand recoiled. There was no way on earth I was letting him at my purse after him gladly emptying his money box the other day and having more money than me. Namely because he had acquired his wealth from me in the form of going through my purse. I kept wondering where on earth all my pound coins were disappearing to. I don’t know whether to be proud that he managed to do it without me seeing or, worried. But at least I know where to go for a loan.

Baby is growing more needy by the day. He has started following me everywhere and crying if I even leave a room. This has resulted in my having to lug him everywhere whilst trying to do a million things. A few weeks ago he took his first steps but has still not fully taken off. I’m not sure what else I can do to encourage him. He just doesn’t seem interested and gets around quite happily with his one handed crawling. His speech is amazing however and he is saying lots of new words. This week ‘peppa’, ‘go’ ‘ha ha’ and ‘book’. Maybe I will regret ever willing him to walk when he is dandering after me from room to room wailing in my ear. That will make three of them then. Help me!

School Shenanigans , Sun and Not Much Fun….

This week began with eldest returning home from school on Monday with a note advising that his class would be putting on a talent show. The letter asked that any child with a discernible talent put themselves forward to perform. ‘ Do you have a talent you would like to showcase to all your class mates?’ I asked eldest eagerly, full of hopes of dreams. ‘No, I don’t have a talent mum, anyways it sounds sooooo stupid!’ he replied. ‘Everyone has a talent, think of something you are good at’ I implored. He pondered for awhile then confidently answered ‘I am really good at farting in people’s faces’. Give me strength! Safe to say he didn’t partake and observed instead.

Later that evening the P1 mum’s WhatsApp group was going into meltdown. ‘What do they have to wear tomorrow for the trip?’. ‘Um, what trip?’ I sheepishly sent. ‘The farm trip, I think they need wellies’. FML I had completely forgotten that he was going on that. I cannot keep up with the constant letters advising of colour runs (next Friday), sports day (the following Friday) and summer fair (the Saturday after). I’m beginning to think it’s better if the kids are tattooed with each date for the diary at the start of the year, thus ensuring no one can forget. It’s only a bit of ink. Between these dates and all the bloody birthday parties I have to remember. Aw the social life of a five year old! Maybe I’m just jealous?

Middle is his usual, laid back self. His latest thing this week is telling me when I shout at him to stop or  ‘you will never see me ever again’. Not sure if that’s a threat, sounds like quite the offer to me. Another new one is taking off his trousers and pants, jumping repeatedly on the trampoline and screaming ‘girls, girls’ at the ones next door like some kind of walking hormone. I keep having to speed out and redress him before the little girls are permanently traumatised. The sun is fun until these sort of things occur then it’s just plain stressful. He did get a full time pre school place which I was totally shocked about. I’m not complaining however. I just hope they know what they’ve let themselves in for. Hopefully he manages to keep his clothes on until the settling in period is over at least.

Baby has finally taken a few unaided steps. Praise the lord!! He has also been throwing some almighty tantrums which seems a bit early to me. Maybe he is just giving me a glimpse into how severe the two year old ones will be. I dyed my hair dark at the weekend as was so sick of dealing with the roots. Being blonde, broke and having kids is not a good combination. He took one look at me and burst into tears petrified. He didn’t realise it was me. Not only this but he refused to come near me for a whole day. Maybe I’m onto something there….. **stocks up on varying shades of all hair dyes**.

This week I’ve Mainly Been….. Surviving Getting the House Painted and Middle’s Third Birthday Party

A few weeks ago I decided that all of downstairs needed to be painted. Matt paint and three boys doth not a good combination make. They have annihilated all my walls, a point highlighted even more with the sun making an appearance lately! It’s all well and good having a plan of any kind with kids, it’s the execution that’s the problem.

The painter would be working from 9am to 5pm for three days straight so, we would have to make ourselves scarce. Off we went to stay with nanna with what felt like ten bags of clothes and miscellenous crap, including teddies. The dog would also have to stay so her bed, insulin and food also had to come with us. It  never ceases to amaze me how much stuff I can fit into that Skoda Fabia of mine, including us!

Boy’s arrive at nanna’s and go absolutely mental at the sheer novelty of getting to stay there. Jumping off every bed, the sofa and demanding sweets from the sweet drawer. Meanwhile I run around like a mad woman trying to organise their clothing, by kid, in the chest of drawers. Dog is only permitted in nanna’s garage so every hour or so I have to put her lead on her and bring her to pee outside. She is also fully blind now and, not knowing her surroundings there, walks into everything going.

The boy’s newest thing is farting in my face which is positively disgusting. No amount of naughty step or toy’s being taken away is solving this. Mainly because they are in cahoots together with it. The only saving grace being at nanna’s provided was, the fact they  now directed said farts in papa’s face. Savages but at least my face is spared for once. Nighttime was so stressful. Eldest and middle would be sharing a room and myself and baby another one. The moment I went to bed, all three were in with me. Fighting continually over whose side I was on and who got cuddles. Meh, the days they want cuddles will soon be long gone. Even eldest is starting to waiver on the cuddle front. I decide to enjoy it whilst only getting a few hours sleep.

Having survived two nights at nanna’s it was onto middle’s third birthday. What to get him? ‘I think he’d like a swing for the garden’ hubby suggested. ‘That’s not reckless enough for middle, I think he’d prefer a trampoline. Plus, they will all get use out of it over the summer’ I countered. I left this part to hubby whilst I bought Lego and all the other surprises. The evening before his party, we decided to construct said trampoline. Now, my neighbours who are elderly have just double fenced their fence for some privacy. What do we do? Erect a 10ft trampoline in the garden so the kids can practically bounce over their fence. 10ft hubby??? Our tiny bit of garden no longer exists but, best money ever spent as boy’s have been on it continually. I’m sure the neighbours will disagree entirely. Party was a success. We invited some of middle’s friends and also some of eldest’s as I figure he won’t get a party as his birthday in August and school off (perfect excuse to save money).

That brings me to this week and middle’s antics again. He has been potty trained for how long now? Ages. Yet every time I go to get him from the pre school room, he has had an accident. Not an accident per se, just not pulling his trousers all the way down. I’m exasperated! Is it the change of room in nursery or laziness? Who knows. ‘You must make sure your trousers are down’ I implored upon picking him up today and realising he was in his spare clothes. He looks at me and laughs hysterically. ‘Just a wee accident, I pwromiseee not do it again’ he says. I heard that last week son. Arggghhhh!!! That one certainly keeps me on my toes.

Baby is standing up on his own, pulling himself along things yet still not fully walking. I’m beginning to get worried now. I know he can do it yet every time I stand him up, he stands there for ages then flings himself to me laughing. Seems he has inherited the reckless gene (fml). The health visitor is referring him if he hasn’t walked by 18 months. Any one else had this issue? Both the others walked quickly. My MIL always said ‘they focus on walking or talking’. It’s so true as eldest took longer walking but was great at talking, middle opposite (walking before he was even one) and baby is good with his talking right now. Kids, always a worry!

 

Surviving the Easter Break!

A few weeks ago, I picked up eldest from school full of excitement. Because, the Easter break was upon us and he would be off for two whole weeks! I was excited for one reason  and one reason only and that’s  the fact that myself and him would get to spend some time alone together. We never get to anymore. This was going to be wonderful. Well……

Day one I asked him what he would like to do. ‘Ummm’ he pondered, ‘let’s go shopping’ he finally decided. Weird, I thought but, if that’s what he wants to do, we shall do it. Off we went to the local shops. He started off easy with Home Bargains, picking a relatively cheap toy and a book. This isn’t too bad, I mused to myself. Then he spotted the pound shop. How bad could that be? Well, after five minutes he had filled a whole basket with utter crap (he probably inherited this reckless £ shop spreeing from me in his defence). I managed to talk him into procuring a few useless items in the end and ushered him straight out before he spied anything else. We’d no sooner left and walked past a barbers. ‘Mum, can I get my hair cut in there?’ he asked. I looked at the current state of his hair and quickly established that a hair cut wasn’t a bad idea. Another ten pounds gone. Day one had cost me a grand total of twenty pounds!

Day two he had to accompany me to the doctors. This proved entirely awkward. I tried so hard not to get emotional as he was present but, I just didn’t manage it. It was also highly embarrassing having to speak about my mental health with him seated right beside me but, need’s must. I spoke to him on the way to the car park and explained the importance of being a male and talking to someone if you feel sad. When we got back to the car he began to moan. ‘Mum, these trainers don’t even fit me anymore. I mean, feel how my toes are right at the top!’. I leant over to test his theory. He was correct. Arrrrggggh! Off we went to purchase new trainers. But, I couldn’t buy him some without getting a pair for middle. He has been wearing eldest’s hand me down trainers for two years now (eldest was so easy on all them, they were like new). It was time middle got a brand new pair. To be fair eldest picked a pair that weren’t overly expensive but, they only had one pair in middle’s size and they cost more than I had expected. I was going to be bankrupt by the end of the week at this rate. Upon picking middle up, box in hand, he took one look at his gleaming new trainers and declared ‘this is stupid treat, where my lollipop?’. The gratitude is strong with that one- not!

The next few days were glorious. We spent lots of time outside. This was great as they were easily entertained with all the toys out in the garden. Even baby was loving life on his Paw Patrol ride on, basking in the sunlight. That was until middle decided that he was having too much fun to reenter the house so would just keep peeing on the grass. What is it with this child? He knew to do it in a corner that I can’t see from the kitchen also. Lot’s of naughty step and time outs seemed to solve this problem. Until, the following day, when he ran into the house demanding that I ‘wipe his bottom’. ‘Why’ I implored. ‘You haven’t gone to your potty?’. At that point eldest came in, shaking due to laughing hysterically. ‘Owen did a poo outside’ he claimed, in between convulsing. ‘HE DID WHAT?’ I yelled. I don’t think I’ve ever ran so fast. There, in the hidden corner, was a very large poo. Who does that? I mean. who? Poo removed (with a doggy poo bag, the shame!) and, bottom wiped he was placed on the naughty step whilst I grabbed every single Easter egg he had received. He was told they would be going in the ‘big bin’. You know sh#t is going down if something is going in the ‘big bin’. This resulted in him crying the whole night. Well, don’t be an utter savage then son!

Baby is on the move walking wise. His confidence has grown so much that, his new favourite thing is standing up on the bed, hands in the air, waiting a moment, then flinging himself forward. Why did I ever think he would be my easiest one? He has obviously inherited middle’s ‘just do it anyway and see what happens’ approach to life. I’m on tenterhooks every time he even moves now. How am I ever going to keep three of them alive? Little boys have an obsession with scaling things, climbing and jumping from heights. Help!! Who up there hates me? I want to deal with unicorns, plaits and nail polish not Lego, farts and football.

On the plus side, I have survived these two weeks with my sanity nearly intact. Roll on the summer, I mean, oh god, the summer! Better take up yoga before that arrives!

Treat day

Looks so cute but quite happily does a poo in the garden!

For some unknown reason, he is majorly obsessed with this watering can.

What I Learnt This Week……

On Monday I may have possibly had a breakdown of some sort. I just thought I was having a wobbly moment at the time but, I realise now, it was possibly more than that.

I’m not even sure how it got to that point. I had been severely sleep deprived with middle and then awoke to a barf fest from baby. But, normally I’ve got it. Deal with it, get ready. Look outwardly like I haven’t been dealing with utter chaos. That’s more for my own sanity.  Instead, the tears just would not stop. I literally couldn’t stop them! My body threw up a year’s worth of tears it had stored up for so long. What did I think? Well, I was embarrassed mainly. Get over it and get on. But, this time I found I couldn’t. I had to call my mum who was utterly panicked. This is her strong daughter who always has it together. Her strong daughter that is a great mum but has broken. My mum placed me in the shower and all I could think was ‘ my mum has seen me naked for the first time since I give birth to eldest and she randomly showed up in the delivery suite’. This resulted in me crying more.

That was a bad day right? The next day, for the very first time, I actually started having panic attacks. I didn’t even know these existed. I literally felt, at that stage, that my brain was deserting me. But, how could I let that happen? My mum, sister and dad worked together to look after my kids that day. I felt utterly useless. Whilst having a sob and, thinking about how many things I’d neglected the previous day, I decided f@ck the cleaning, f@ck the washing, self care is the way forward. Why was I even contemplating those things? Well, because it doesn’t ever stop! But, I took myself to bed and slept for hours. I woke up in a panic messaging every family member that had the boys. Where they ok? Had they behaved? When can they come back? Because, I missed them. I worried they would know that their routine had been disrupted.

When my sister returned with eldest in tow, she told me he had said to her ‘mummy is really sad right now’. My amazing sister told him ‘everyone gets sad sometimes, it’s okay’. And, it is! I had to royally lose it to even think to ask for help. The main thing is, the help was there when I actually asked. Eldest hugged me so much when he came back and told me he loved me. He knew something was up.

The last few days I’ve worked hard to be my normal self. Middle has made me laugh profusely with the zero f@cks he gives with any kind of decorum ‘mummy, can you wipe my bottom, biggest poo ever- yes!’. He also makes noises that I didn’t even make in labour whilst doing so! Eldest, being as sensitive as he is, has done nothing but bestow kisses upon me and cuddle me (yes) and, baby is still trialling my kitchen cabinets apart and getting ready to walk. Even he has given me lots of impromptu kisses. I’ve realised that they all sense this. Obviously it hasn’t stopped the battering hours between 6-8pm. But, I guess kids have empathy in the moment purely. I’ve got this though, let’s get back to normal! Falling apart for me, has made things fall together. Please ask for help if you are drowning, don’t be ashamed. Sometimes people need it spelt out. These days we are relying on grandparents to cover childcare during working days and therefore feel like we can’t ask for a break come the weekend. Who want’s to start a childcare party night were we all converge, drink wine and leave them with the men?

 

The Job Interview

Today I went for a job interview. My first formal interview since 2009. EEK! Although I may have successfully passed this interview, I managed to drink a whole jug of water (a jug that was supposed to serve the whole room) whilst buying time. I also spent the whole time talking about ‘having’ relationships with colleagues as opposed  to ‘building’ relationships with colleagues. This is taking ‘teamwork’ slightly too far I think.

Trying to even complete the application form with three kid’s took a long time. But, I got it sent off and forgot all about it. A month went by and still no word. Until the postman delivered me a letter that invited me to attend an interview the following week. Cue immediate panic. Take a deep breath and decide to worry about it later. Get to the week in question and am so physically exhausted as youngest has decided to revert back to babydom and drink his weight in milk on numerous occasions throughout the night. It’s ok, I’ve got this. Ship them all out for one day and spend it working on prep questions. Try to revise said questions whilst constantly emptying potty’s, changing explosions due to teething and getting eldest all the snacks he demands.

Interview is at 10:45am. Get up at 5am purely to prepare and go over my answers. Middle and eldest stroll downstairs at 5:30 demanding breakfast. Leave what I am doing to go get them breakfast. Think to myself where is hubby? Spend the next few hours dipping and diving into learning my answers all whilst looking after two kids. Go get a shower in an attempt to look presentable all whilst youngest crawls all over me. He lifts all my make up as he does so, attempting to throw it down the stairs from the landing. Think to myself if there is a God, please give me strength.

Get to interview location fifteen minutes early. Consider sitting in my car whilst slowly getting more and more nervous. Decide against this and go on in. Am left waiting for a considerable time as they are running behind. Contemplate running out the door as I am shaking so much with nerves and feel like I am underprepared for a Virgo. Finally I am called and the person apologises for being late. Stupidly decide to go all David Brent and reply ‘I was early as I am great at time keeping’ whilst doing some kind of weird pointing thing. Immediately realise that this basically implies their time keeping is awful. Die a little inside.

Get to interview room and quickly establish there will be four of them interviewing me, one of whom is wearing a dog collar and seems to be some kind of minister. I’m told I have fifteen minutes to answer three questions. They ask them and, I answer with a quivering voice. Halfway through, one of the interviewees winks at me and does the thumbs up. He must have been feeling sorry for me or something. Wink back at him only to realise the minister is now looking at me like I am some kind of sex pest who goes to interviews purely to solicit older men.

Leave interview and am so nervous that I walk past a full car park where my car is. Get into car finally and proceed to try and drive in my high heels. Big mistake as had driven there with flats on. Near crash car. Get home to boys and have never felt happier to not have to speak in grammatically correct sentences. Tell them I’m doing it for them. Think of how hard it’s taken me to prep and wonder do businesses ever take into consideration how hard it is to do all this with young children. Hope for the best…..

 

The Vet Appointment

Yesterday afternoon I had to take the three boys plus Molly to the vet’s. Although we are at the vet’s weekly these days, I have only ever had one or two of them with me. Never all three. It’s safe to say that I was already dreading it.

Everyone loaded into the car, despite middle doing a runner, off we set. I used the car journey to lay down some ground rules. Eldest would be in charge of the dog and her lead in the car park whilst I would carry baby and hold middle’s hand. Once inside the vet’s everyone would sit nicely on their seats until we were called. This was important as, I couldn’t set the baby on the floor due to the numerous amounts of dog pee probably coated onto it and, I would also have to hold Molly. They were warned that if there was any deviation from the rules there would be no Friday treat.

Pull up into car park, get dog out of the car and hand her to eldest (on a short leash), then instruct him to stay situated where he is. Go to get middle out of the car. He refuses to exit his car seat. Deep breaths. Close his car door and tell him we will just go without him then. Forget that middle gives zero f#cks about this kind of thing as he just stares at me with an air of being totally unbothered. Go to other side and get baby. Realise eldest has hit the button that extends the dog’s lead and she is now at the other side of the road. Yell politely at eldest (people are about). Baby on hip, drag middle out of the car kicking and screaming. Phew! Enter vets all whilst reiterating the ground rules. Think to myself that all will be ok, it can’t get any worse.

Eldest relinquishes responsibility for dog upon entering the premises. Said responsibility is seemingly too much for him. Dog, relishing her new found freedom, runs around the waiting room mental, lead trailing behind her. Baby in tow, I frantically chase after her. Upon capturing her, I turn around and, eldest and middle are having a complete field day jumping on the weighing scales. So hard are they jumping, the LED screen is going into utter meltdown and appears to now be broken. Take another deep breath before ‘mum yelling’ in a public area. Instruct boy’s to sit nicely. They do so for a mere two minutes before eldest beseeches middle to come stand with him at the bottom of a dog food display. Middle gladly accepts eldest’s invitation all whilst I voice my displeasure. Two seconds later, the whole dog food display has collapsed and is now littered across the floor. Contemplate whether it’s acceptable to royally lose your sh#t in a vets. Quickly ascertain it’s probably not. Receptionist tells me not to worry as I try and tidy it all up. Have never felt so grateful for someone in my life! Alas, we are finally called. Usher middle and eldest into the consultation room. Dog then proceeds to do the biggest pee I have ever witnessed and, lately, I have witnessed her doing this a lot. Ask for something to clean it up with. Vet assures me it’s ok and she will do it. Proceed to try and have a conversation about the dogs diabolical health whilst middle and eldest lamp shades out of each other. Decide (stupidly) to ask what our bill stand’s at. Am informed that, so far, it stands at £985. Commence having an utter breakdown, floods of tears included.

Slowly get back to the car and load boys and dog once again, Spot an off license out the corner of my eye. Praise be! Mascara is all down my face but, screw it- this mama deserves some wine after that. It is hereby decided that these boys cannot go anywhere and behave in an acceptable manner. We are house bound from here on in.

 

 

Remembering Our Furry Friends Amidst The Madness

It’s no secret that the boys provide me with endless material. Their weekly antics are usually enough to fill multiple pages, let alone one. But, not only I am mum to three, boisterous boys, I am the proud owner of the only other female in my life- Mad Molly (as one groomer named her- whoops!). Molly was there long before the boy’s and, even long before the husband. That little white, ball of fluff has been present during all the monumental stages in my life. Through breakups, makeups and breakdowns. I can’t even detail all the occasions she has lay on my lap whilst I sobbed into her hair and offloaded all my woes. It was me and her against the world.

Then, eldest arrived. Nothing much changed, albeit I had less time. She got walked the same amount as before and, doted on even more so. From the second we arrived home with our blue, bundle of joy, Molly was in love. She adored him and, as he grew, the feeling was mutual. Then something happened. That something was the walking madman that is middle! He didn’t respect her space, despite repeated telling off’s. He mounted her daily screaming “giddy up MoMo!”. In the end, Molly became wary of him and, rightly so. Now she also has a baby to contend with who loves nothing more than tipping her water bowl over his head. The dog deserves a Victoria Cross for patience alone.

Whilst becoming increasingly exasperated, I stumbled across a series of books. Zara DogDog promises to teach children how to act around dogs and, read their body language. Middle loves books at the minute (Peppa and Paw Patrol one’s mainly) but, he became completely absorbed in the story. He also loved the illustrations and we had lots of fun pointing out the dog on every page. I read this to him three nights in a row and there was a marked change in his behaviour around the dog. It was almost like he suddenly respected her, in as much as middle respects anything. These two pages resonated with me, as a mum:

When I’m not running late in the mornings, Molly usually accompanies us on the school run. Kid’s are drawn to her. As a West Highland, she shouldn’t have floppy ears but does. She is an adult puppy essentially.  Kids can’t tell nor, understand that she is thirteen and doesn’t like certain things. They swarm around her and dispense a multitude of affection, of which she can tolerate in small doses. This book (one of a series) will make your children stop and think before approaching a dog and realise that they have their own boundaries and feelings too. There is no better lesson in life than to respect our non-verbal family members. You can purchase the book I reviewed here: https://www.zaradogdog.com/. Not only this but, you can also register for their club and receive tips to help both you and your children going forward. It’s so easy to become submerged in daily kid’s shenanigans and forget how much our furry friends are dealing with. We love you to the moon and back doggies!

Poor Mad Molly!