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!

Today baby turned one! What I’ve learnt during his pregnancy and this year, has been invaluable…..

My random little one-legged crawler (still ongoing) turned one today! I can’t believe that this time last year I was in the hospital being induced with him. An induction that worked swiftly and resulted in me having him in a grand total of 38 minutes! It’s taken me longer to drink a cup of tea at home!

I thought I would do an honest post as it may help someone out there. I promised I would be honest, didn’t I?

I never set out to be a mother of three. Infact, after lots of hospital visits, I was told it wasn’t on the cards. I accepted this readily- two was enough and, to be honest, I never wanted to experience giving birth again after middle and that head of his! Flash forward a few months later and I was having to pull my car over and be sick into my handbag- classy! Weird, I thought! Having not been regular at all in a year and, after what I had been told, I never ever thought I could be pregnant. The more I thought about it however, the more panicked I became. I decided the only way to stop worrying was to purchase a test. I had no idea how much that little plastic stick and it’s glaring plus sign would serve to flip my world upside down.

Three kids- three! How would I ever cope with three kids? I was just about managing with two, bonkers boys. How do you even get three out the door each day? This was not good, not good. I and hubby spent the next few weeks soul-searching and having sometimes heated discussions. It was not a nice time. I was thinking emotionally and he was thinking logically. Although deeply worried about the financial ramifications, my heart won out.

The pregnancy was difficult. I was beyond tired and highly emotional. The two boys were relentless and I was working in a stressful, new job. I worried incessantly each day as to how I would cope and adapt with three. Even more so when I found out it was another boy. It was just a different experience to my other pregnancies. Then something happened, he was measuring small and, the hospital was concerned. Eldest was 8lb 3oz’s, middle 8lbs 8oz’s. This baby was measuring 6lb’s and I was at the finishing line. Having battled with my feelings and guilt the whole pregnancy, suddenly I realised how irrelevant that all had been. What if something was wrong? That would be my fault surely after all the feelings I had had? The sonographer spoke to a doctor and it was decided they would induce me the next day if possible. That brings me back to my first paragraph…

After I held him in my arms, I felt like the most awful person ever. He was beautiful and utterly perfect. Small at 6lbs but, amazing! He had to be monitored all night after his heart rate dipped so low during labour but, when we arrived home the next day, the boys positively doted on him. Another boy in their gang! Another one to teach the traditional bathtime, winky dance to! Over the following weeks, I became utterly obsessive about his weight and, him. He was gaining weight rapidly but, that didn’t stop me worrying. I wanted to hold him all the time and make sure he was ok. I drove myself insane. That’s mum guilt for you, no matter what guise it takes.

One year later and he is the happiest and, biggest baby ever. I literally cannot get a pair of jeans over his chubby legs. He finds everything hilarious and has the most beautiful personality. So loving, peaceful and, can give those brothers of his a run for their money even now! They are mad about him and he is the first person they ask to see each morning. I got a feeling one day, late on in pregnancy that, he will do something special with his life. He is already doing it now with his positive attitude and personality. I look at him, and think, one day I will be back to feeling that happy. And, I will. Because I will do it for him. Sometimes things don’t happen at the right time. Sometimes you feel like it is the worst timing in the world but, sometimes it’s maybe the right time, even if you don’t see it then. Is anytime the right time after all? Three are total hard work but, I wouldn’t be without any single one of them.

Happy birthday to my wonderful, inspiring, little man. The boy’s all won out on the name Ethan (sob) but, you will always be my Ethan Ellis (and Ellis purely when they can’t hear me- our secret).

This week I have mainly been….. surviving Christmas and becoming demented with middle!

We officially survived Christmas- yeah! Even with me being in charge of cooking the Christmas dinner. Winning! This was the very first year we have stayed at home with just us. No rushing about trying to get out the door with presents and various items of food to bring to others houses. The boy’s got to spend all morning playing with their toys and we got to set our own pace for the day. There was a slight hiccup on Christmas Eve when middle decided to keep getting out of bed. This resulted in me staying in with him until eldest woke us at 7 am by flying into his room and yelling in both our faces that ‘Santa had been!’. Rude awakening if ever there was one.

Since Christmas Eve, however, middle has continued his sleeping shenanigans. I don’t understand where this is coming from. He was always my dream sleeper. Infact, that was his most redeeming feature what with the no fear and recklessness. Now I put him down and, two minutes later he has come back downstairs. I don’t even look at him and march him straight back to bed. He cries then, repeats the process. The whole thing is made worse by the fact that before you even bring him to bed, he looks at you then, rather seriously states, “me don’t get out of my bed all night”. So, he knows fine rightly what he is doing. The night before New Year’s Eve he was actually quiet for 45 mins before eldest went to bed. Weird. Upon trying to put eldest to bed, however, it became clear that middle was at the bottom of eldest’s bed. Not only this but, he had ensconced himself under the actual mattress protector and fitted sheet to best avoid detection! How does he come up with these ideas? On New Year’s Eve we must have put him back down at least thirty times before 12 pm. At one stage he snuck downstairs, raided one of the cupboards and, emptied a whole bag of desecrated coconut all over my kitchen floor. I imagine the scene that greeted me was not unlike a normal day at Pablo Escobar’s house. I didn’t even realise I was in possession of desecrated coconut. What do you even need that for?

These antics have continued to get worse and we really have tried everything. I’ve been manically scouring Netmums at all hours and trying every bit of advice I can glean. Nothing will break him- nothing! I am now dreading him going to bed each night as the fight can go on for four hours (like last night). Even at that, he went over until 3 am then immediately resumed his earlier antics. This of course served to wake up the whole house. I am slowly losing the will to live here. On the other hand, I’ve come too far and been too strong to back down now. Anyone any tips?

More of this please middle and less of the opposite!

On a lighter note, upon me explaining to eldest that Christmas was now officially over and, there would be no more presents from relatives as he had seen them all, he looked wounded then said: “I am so excited for Easter now then”. Oh to be five!

 

This week I have mainly been….. nativity attending (the joys!)

Aw the annual nativity. What can I say about the annual nativity? Well, with your first, each year of the nativity brings something new and wonderful. The first year they sit there looking both bewildered and petrified, the second year they clap sporadically, the third year they know the words to songs and, the next year they may even have a speaking role! Eldest followed all these stages. My particular favourite was his third year at the nursery nativity. He was a camel and sat right at the front of the stage. His dad couldn’t attend that year as he was in Dublin with work but, we figured he wouldn’t be missing much judging by the previous year. Well, how wrong we were! Eldest took his role as the camel that year tres seriously. Dancing to every song and singing his heart out. All we could see from our seats was the camel head he was wearing thrashing up and down as he headbanged to songs about Mary and Jesus.

This year was middle’s first nativity. All he needed for it was a Christmas jumper. Assuming I probably had one somewhere, I didn’t buy one. On Friday I realised that whilst I did have one, it was aged two to three. Now middle is two but, his build ensures that he fits better into eldest’s clothes than even he does. It would have to do. Off we went with him looking like some kind of Christmas attired Daffyd Thomas from Little Britain- belly and all! He is off with me on Friday’s so I would have to bring him beforehand to join his classmates. With eldest this handoff never went well and he was always raging he couldn’t stay with me. Middle couldn’t have cared less at all and sauntered in without even glancing back at me.

We had really good seats as we had arrived so early. Nanna and papa were in attendance too. Now, I’m not sure if they just did not trust middle (no surprise really) but, he was placed at the very back and, in a corner. We could not see him at all. I tried moving to the back, the front and, still I couldn’t see him. Eldest who hadn’t given a s#it for the whole performance asked to go see him at one point. When he realised that he couldn’t see him no matter where we stood, he began to cry hysterically. Baby had been due a nap and was quite restless throughout. No sooner had the last song finished and, the place was quiet for a second, he blew the loudest raspberry I’ve ever heard. It literally echoed off the walls. Que a whole room of parents looking at me whilst I turned all spectrums of red! In his defence, it was a totally honest review of what we had just witnessed.

Eldest has his nativity on Wednesday. Yeah- not! First he was a bird then, a sheep and this week he is saying he is a shepherd. I have no clue what he is actually going to be. Maybe he was so bad at being a bird then, a sheep that he has been downgraded to the shepherd role? According to him he is the only one not speaking. He is also not feeling his costume either as, it is ‘stripey’. When eldest doesn’t like items of clothing he disregards them without care or thought as to who is there. I can only but hope he keeps them on throughout and doesn’t go all Magic Mike on me. If there is a God, he will surely spare me any further nativity embarrassment.

Baby is still crawling in that weird one-legged way. I don’t know whether to start being concerned now. Obviously it was a right laugh to begin with but, even when I move him to the proper position, he reverts back. He can move surprisingly quick this way and is maybe just being lazy like the rest of my brood. This morning he spoke for the very first time. Did he say “ma ma?” No, he referred to himself and “ba ba” was his choice of first words. It’s going to be fun having three of them blabbering on about utter nonsense from the second they wake up. Much preferable than the remote control thrown at my face, however. Got to find positives.

This week I have mainly been…. attempting to get into the Christmas spirit!

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year according to Andy Williams. Well, Andy, I bet you didn’t get inspired to write that whilst trying to put your tree up with a crawling baby pulling down everything you’ve just done and a toddler and five year old running around the living room knocking lamps out of each other with sections of your tree. In my humble opinion Mr William’s, Christmas is the most stressful time of the year.

To be fair we have had quite a festive week. On Thursday I brought the boys to the local garden centre which has the most amazing Christmas displays. I was under the impression that middle wasn’t really getting any of it. Upon arriving however he went absolutely bonkers screaming at every Santa decoration “me want a fire bike!”. Guess he does get it then. The same cannot be said for the concept of an advent calendar, however. Had I of known the number of meltdowns I would face every morning when trying to explain he can only open one window, I wouldn’t have bothered. “Me open another one mummy” he states matter of factly. When I tell him he can’t, he falls to the ground screaming “more chocolate!”. Give me strength. On Saturday we also went to the local council’s nativity play which is always a cheap day out before tackling the Christmas decorations:

Middle ten minutes into putting the Christmas tree up. In hindsight, he had the right idea.

I’ve started to ramp up the threats of calling Santa anytime one of them misbehaves too. Namely with middle who has taken it upon himself to remove his pull up pants and pyjama bottoms halfway through the night. As you can imagine, this is resulting in him yelling for me that he has wet his bed at all hours. “We do not remove our pull up’s at night, we call mummy and tell her we need to pee!” I have been begging. Now the second I even mention ‘bedtime’ he is pointing, shaking his head and saying “me don’t take my pants off again”. He then proceeds to still do it. First poo flinging and now this! This child really does dance to the beat of his own drum. Eldest never did any of the above and wouldn’t even have contemplated doing so. I have no idea how to navigate this one, he really should have come with a manual. He has cut out his afternoon nap now too and is finding it rather hilarious to sneak up the stairs when baby is having his and waking him. FML. His only saving grace this week has been his highly cute rendition of Jingle Bells accompanied by some rather unsuitable headbanging. I’m thinking this is what he will be singing at his nativity on Friday which, should be an experience.

I feel like I’m ready for it to be over and it’s only just begun. My bank balance reflects this mantra with three of them to buy for this year. Bah humbug!

 

This week I have mainly been…. trying to split myself into three (which is just not possible)

This week middle suddenly decided he likes me and, that I am not so bad after all. He has gone from quite blatantly ignoring my presence (but not my phone) to being permanently attached to me and bestowing me with a multitude of hugs on random occasions. At first, I figured he must be sick. There could be no other explanation. I awaited the hand, foot and mouth spots making an appearance (baby did have this last week). Nothing. Huh? I have tried to break this kid with love and affection for two years now and he has adamantly brushed me off. He has actually been known to scream “Nooooo!” when I try to even hug him. I can only put this 360 in attitude down to that fact that I was away for one night last week. It all started then. Maybe he thought I would never come back? In his defence it was considered, albeit briefly. On Monday night he awoke in his bed screaming for me. I ran in. “What’s wrong O O?” I enquired. “Me need to do huge pee” he honestly responded. “That’s ok, let’s go to the big boy toilet” I said. Off we went. Upon finishing, he demanded that I get into his bed with him. He has never ever asked me to do this. Although chuffed, I figured I could do the standard wait until he is asleep move then, slip out. This idea was all well and good until I realised (for the first time) that he sleeps with both eyes half open. Whilst seriously disturbing (when you look at someone in the dark who does this), it’s also quite difficult to decipher whether they are actually awake or asleep. In the end I gave up and ended up cuddling him the whole night long.

The next morning eldest arose from his slumber in an absolute fit of rage and resentment. “I don’t want to talk to you” he proclaimed. “Um, why?” I rightfully asked. “You weren’t in your bed this morning when I came in. That is just soooo rude. Daddy said you were in with Owen. That’s not fair!”. Not only was this reaction entirely unwarranted but, he seems to have forgotten that last Friday he had a sore ear and asked that I stay in his bed with him all night. I dutifully did as instructed. ” Sometimes your brother needs me too” I soothed. “When you needed me at the weekend, I stayed in with you” I added. “Well, how is it fair that he got huggles (his way of saying cuddles since a toddler) and I didn’t?” he demanded.  I looked at him, then began to cry. I cannot physically be in two places at once. What does he want? I may have three of these utter mummies boys to contend with but, I am very fair with my affection and making sure they all feel loved. I’d no sooner stifled eldest’s rage when hubby emerged from our bedroom, rubbing his eyes wearily. “Baby was an absolute nightmare last night. Then Aden came in, turned on all the lights and proceeded to have a nervous breakdown that you weren’t where you should be at 3am! I tried to calm him but he took a right huff and marched back to his room, slamming his bedroom door. Why weren’t you there?” “Sorry I wasn’t with baby, sorry I wasn’t with eldest and I’m sorry I stayed in with middle for once” I exasperatedly replied. Can I ever win? I am but one woman here guys! Also, a woman who is seriously outnumbered. Aren’t us women supposed to be the needy ones?

In other less headbanging of a wall news, eldest came home from school yesterday with a note advising when his Christmas nativity play would be. Two showings apparently (optimistic). “Oh, what is your role?” I excitedly asked. “I am a bird” he confidently responded. “A bird? What do you have to say then, tweet tweet tweet?” I enquired. He looked at me like I had five heads, then stated “don’t be stupid mum, obviously the birds talk in it”. Sooo sorry! Of course they do! I don’t know whether to be intrigued as to what he will say or, concerned as there is actually more than one bird cast. I don’t recall any birds being present at the birth of the baby Jesus but hey, creative license and all that! Guess you have to add some twists and surprises into an age-old story in 2018. Should be interesting if anything! Have your kids been cast as anything weird this year? Tell me in the comments if so.

This week I have mainly been…. realising how in for it I actually am – EEK!

This week I suddenly had an ‘oh shit’ moment. A moment when I realised how hard things are about to get for me. Don’t get me wrong, three kids are mega hard work but, up until now, I’ve felt relatively in control. After all, I had thought one child was hard, two even harder but, when baby came along I didn’t notice a vast difference. Ok, admittedly it added an extra five minutes of getting in and out of the car which, was already a rigmarole. I was also thrown back to the days of being up all hours feeding with no hope in hell of a nap to recoup. I also mustn’t forget the whole getting three boys dressed (when two much prefer to be starkers most of the time) thing either but, baby couldn’t move anywhere whilst all this was occurring. He was also extremely quiet most of the time despite the other two going bonkers around him. This week that changed. After him being sick all last week and, hospitalised on Friday, he’s been feeling much better. Back to his usual self, smiling continually and giving me lots of big, slobbery kisses. He also appears to have acquired his energy back, much to my detriment.

Having finally managed to potty train middle, I am thankfully back to only having one in nappies. This has been amazing and I had been feeling rather smug (I won’t lie). That was until baby decided he was going to roll continually whilst I attempted to diffuse his up the back explosions. “Stay still!” has been my new yelled saying this week, followed swiftly by hysterical shrieking of “it’s going everywhere!”. Why has he decided to move suddenly? We had a much calmer relationship when he adhered to the proper nappy changing etiquette. He is also now into everything and, I mean everything! Namely middle’s potty. It’s almost like he lies in wait until middle does a pee, appears out of nowhere and empties the whole thing over himself and my floor grr! For someone who gets about with a weird, one-legged crawl, he can move surprisingly stealthily and quickly. I am at my wits end entirely with his potty shenanigans and, back to bleaching my floors continually. His voice has also made an appearance this week, which has resulted in him and middle having what can only be described as constant scream off’s. Said scream off’s tend to occur  (quite loudly) at 6 am every morning. This is generally followed by baby throwing both my phone and the remote control at my face. Who need’s an alarm eh?

As if all that wasn’t trying enough, eldest has now decided that he wants nothing to do with baby. So, when he suddenly appears in our room, (like something from the exorcist) at 2am, he is refusing to lie beside him. Instead, he insists on lying horizontally at the bottom of the bed. So on one side I have a baby punching and kicking the living shit out of me and, a five-year-old at the bottom continually scratching his nails off my legs. If my mum tells me one more time how bad a night’s sleep she had the night before, I may seriously lose my shit.

In conclusion, if you have two children and are toying with the idea of a third, DON’T do it. It’s all well and good until the last one decides to become mobile. After that, it’s just utter craziness and f#ckery. You were warned.

 

This week I have mainly been…. contemplating selling middle on Ebay to recoup the money he has cost me with his YouTube obsession!

I hosted a Halloween party for twenty-eight adults and kids on Monday evening. I’m not quite sure how this happened as it was my sister’s turn (I did it last year). I had all three kids on the day in question as it’s half term. Baby had also been up most of the night screaming and I was shattered. I knew I had to somehow find the time and energy to clean my house, make a chilli and, keep them all alive. At 9 am, I got to work cutting all the ingredients for the chilli. Two minutes later I turn around to observe that middle has taken off his pj’s, is brandishing a plastic sword and yelling “I be a crazy boy!” all over the place. The day was obviously starting as it meant to go on.

Baby proceeded to cry all morning whilst I tried desperately to complete my to-do list. I would clean one room only to re-enter a while later and realise that eldest and middle had trashed it again. By 2 pm I was losing the will to live and my sanity. I finally got baby and middle over for a nap, handed eldest his Nintendo DS and, was able to get stuck in. I had all the decorations done at the weekend (to make things easier) but hubby kept going on about putting colour changing light bulbs in the hall. I had no idea what he was going on about until I switched on the lights and realised he had them set to red and my house now resembled the red light district in Amsterdam. Not only this but, the front door has windows all around it . Welcome to a brothel kiddies!

The hordes arrived at 6:30 pm. I got so overwhelmed with all the cooking, I forgot to put the cocktail sausages on, of which I’d bought 70 of! Considering this is the main thing kids want at a party, utter fail on my behalf. Crisis amended, everyone fed and watered and, the men away with the kids trick or treating, I rewarded myself with a few glasses of wine! This was the first time all evening I had been able to sit down and actually talk to anyone. A few hours later and everyone was away and the kids asleep. The house got wrecked of course. Why do us women feel the need to clean hysterically when people are coming round when we know we will just have to do it all over again when they leave? Baffling. The following day had to be better surely?

Well, upon checking my bank balance on a whim that morning, I was confronted with the fact that I was now £108 overdrawn. What?!! After some investigating, I discovered that it was Vodafone who had emptied my remaining funds. “This must be a mistake!” I kept repeating to eldest. “My bill is only £23 a month usually”. So I called them and, a mistake it was not. Middle had managed to rack up £83 in additional data charges during the period 23rd September to 1st October!!!! Considering I have 4gb of data included in my monthly allowance, this is some kind of epic achievement. Our broadband had gone off for three days during ‘the storm’ that week but, how he managed that extortionate amount is beyond me. The guy at Vodafone was very sympathetic as I had an utter nervous breakdown at the realisation it wasn’t a colossal mistake on their part. He advised that they couldn’t do anything as it had been paid by my bank but, he would give me an additional 5gb of data a month for free, until the end of my contract. My kind friend also advised that he would put a block on the data so I could never go over it (they should do this as standard surely?). ‘Shout out to middle who has cost me £108 in data charges watching YouTube’ I raged on Instagram. My dad then comments under it ‘I remember my eldest girl doing the exact same thing’. Oh dear. Why yes, I did do this. I once ran up a £120 phone bill at his house voting for Brian Dowling to win Big Brother. I mean, I don’t understand what his problem was. That was obviously a legitimate cause and not a cost acquired from watching f#cking baby shark and daddy finger. Why are these kid’s so like me?? I need to think carefully about what else I’ve done and be prepared for the karma to hit me square in the face. The karma, it just keeps on coming 🙁

** I have ended up spending all day in hospital with baby due to his breathing. Not even hand, foot and mouth related. Wheezing and very laboured breathing. After five hours, nebuliser’s and steroids, they finally got it under control. What a week (as always)**

Welcome to the new Amsterdam, right in the heart of Greenisland

This week I have mainly been…. attending my very first parent/teacher meeting and being mortified afterwards!

On Tuesday we attended our very first parent/teacher meeting. A meeting that served to update us on how eldest has been getting on in terms of learning and socialising. Since he started in September, I have beseeched him with questions the whole way home from school each day. “How did today go? “what did you learn?” “what letter did you learn and how does it sound?” “who did you play with today?” and, finally, “did you behave and listen well?”. Each day he replies in the same manner, “I can’t remember a WHOLE day mummy, I don’t know!”. Ok, forgive me entirely for assuming you could at least regale me about one moment of your day. A day that generally involves some learning, knocking the crap out of each other in the playground, eating lunch and then going home. Sorry for even asking.

As usual eldest had to accompany us. Just like last time, he sat quite peacefully and well behaved outside the door. I now know why. His teacher (who is so lovely) told us what he was doing well at and, the areas he needs to improve on. Phonics mainly which, I will admit, is entirely my fault. He understands most of them but, the ones he doesn’t, I don’t either. Everyone has told me to look up ‘Jolly Phonics’ on YouTube which I would do if middle wasn’t constantly watching f ing Steve and Maggie and Baby Shark on my phone/laptop. He is doing very well with numbers and counting which, does not surprise me as he is very logically minded, like his daddy. To this day I still do not have my Math’s GCSE though A stars in anything English. My mum even sent me to night classes at the local tech two years in a row and, I still couldn’t manage it. I ended up betting her that I could learn Chinese in the evening and pass quicker than I ever would at maths. She obviously knew this was true so, wouldn’t bet me. I did always have a penchant for languages, especially those of the swearing variety.

All was going so well. I felt so proud of eldest and his achievements. Then she got to the not so good things. He can be quite ‘silly’ apparently. “The other day he spent the whole art lesson, sticking his work to his face for, and I quote, ‘a right laugh” she said. This would explain why his face and, also hair, was covered in glue when I picked him up on Monday. “He also likes to make his presence known by randomly poking anyone he is sitting beside whilst they are trying to concentrate” she added. Ground and swallow sprang to mind. On hindsight, this doesn’t actually surprise me as we have always had problems with him shouting in other kid’s faces etc. He doesn’t seem to understand that everyone is entitled to their own personal space. Mortified. Other than that he is conscientious and socialising well with everyone.

Later on that night I called my mum. ‘”Who sticks their artwork to their face for a ‘right laugh’?” I asked. She paused, then continued “Grace, when you were in P3, you got so annoyed at the artwork you had been working on for weeks on end that, you just started cutting someone’s hair off instead”. The moment she said it, I remembered. We all had to sit in a circle and cut cardboard for what felt like hours. Every Friday. People got so bored and numb, they ended up changing positions and sitting with their backs to some people. I really wanted to be a hairdresser at the time (some relative had bought me a Kylie annual that year for Christmas) and, the person beside me had changed position to put her back towards me. So I got bored and I gave her a new ‘do’. It looked marvellous from what I recall but people were more than raging. Alas, my hairdressing dreams ended here. Surely I was just way ahead of the times and had single-handedly invented my own Peter Mark training academy in a primary school? Maybe art and the ensuing boredom it brings is just not for me nor eldest. I will literally die if he cuts someone’s hair though. My poor parents.

Part of this parenting journey is recognising yourself and your traits in them. Then trying to navigate it. Because, when you stand back and try and remember, maybe they aren’t so different from you as what you think. Should I tell the school he shouldn’t have scissors? Maybe I will stifle the next Nicky Clarke if I do that though?

Baby is now on the move, albeit in a rather weird one-legged crawling way. I feel like my life had been quite easy with him until now.  I had totally forgotten how bonkers it is when they can actually move. Arggh! I now have another one to try and keep from flinging himself off things. Challenge accepted (begrudgingly)!

 

This week I have mainly been…. succeeding at potty training middle (finally) and confronting a school bully!!

How long have I been at the whole potty training middle thing? A few months? Maybe so but, to me, it feels like a few years. With eldest he just got it. He then randomly transgressed at one stage but thankfully reverted back. Middle is a completely different child, however. I don’t know why you expect to get two the same but, you do.

I should have known it would never have been as easy with him. I managed to keep all eldest’s clothes and shoes for him as he was so careful and they were all pristine. Within a few weeks of wearing any hand me downs, middle has annihilated them to oblivion. Jeans, shoes, you name it. The latter is due to the fact that he is usually deploying his feet as brakes. This is because he much prefers to travel by Paw Patrol ride on than on foot (rolling eye emoji). He is also rather reckless in that, whilst eldest would have weighed up the pro’s and con’s before making a decision, middle will just do it and consider the consequences as an afterthought. Is it safe to jump off the sofa, who knows? Let’s just do it! Is it safe to scale a large fence? Who cares? Let’s just do it! Will I be able to stop myself when hurtling down a steep hill on a plastic ride on? Who gives a toss, survival of the fittest and all that. I hope you can see what I am dealing with here. It should have been obvious from the outset. I know we are all more laid back with the second one but, it’s not like I just abandoned him to raise himself. He would be dead by now if I had of.

Potty training with him started off quite successfully to be fair. But this was merely a ruse. Nothing is ever straightforward with middle. We went from great days to bad days. Day’s when I wanted to give up entirely. But, this week it just clicked. This week he has been in pants everywhere and asked to go no matter where we are. Pees and everything else. I am so incredibly proud of my little madman. Between this milestone and his speech- winning! The endless questions are rather exasperating, however. **bangs head off a brick wall**.

In other news, I just wanted to recount what happened to me on Thursday. I was somewhere that I would have reason to be on a daily basis. And every day for months, I have been confronted with the sight of an old school bully. Not just a ‘normal’ bully but, a bully that pretended to be everyone’s friend but was rather unpleasant daily. A bully that led a group of friends with a mixture of intimidation and fear. A person that turned fellow girls against their best friends quite often. I walked away from secondary school and, I walked away from her (gladly)! This was obviously quite traumatising for her. That no one cared about her and were happy to cut their losses (all of us) seems to have weighed quite heavily on her. This person could not let it go. When Facebook first became popular I had so many messages from her asking why I didn’t like her. Why the need for reassurance? I blocked her so well on Facebook that she literally does not exist to me, even to this day. She then messaged my bestie a few months ago asking why we don’t speak to her. Yesterday, she asked me the same thing, face to face. I was with my beautiful ca ca (nephew) and, he is so sensitive. So I knew I would have to mind my tongue. I’ve been waiting for this moment for months because I could almost sense she wanted to confront me. She swaggered towards me. Why don’t you like me? It’s been twenty years and, why don’t you like me? I looked her square in the face and asked why it even mattered to her twenty years later? Really? I have no interest in her life and I don’t see why she has an interest in mine. I’ve observed you for months, did I want to waste my breath on you? Not at any point! My boys have been told all about bullying and the many forms it takes. Bullying is a horrible thing and, the second it happens to any of mine, I will be knocking it right on the head. To that person, you know what I know. I will not stand for any kind of bullying in my life -mum shaming included. This blog is honest and not sugar coated (unlike what some like to portray).

Just wanted to end by saying that I’ve decided to start a monthly book club (check me right out). I think it might force us all to take some ‘me time’ and get away from the daily grind. I did some research (googled Richard and Judy’s book club because who doesn’t trust those legends? Judy did accept an award once with her tits on display so she is totally up there in my opinion). The link is at the bottom! If you want to join in on this but are struggling to get a copy, message me. The sisterhood will help out. Always x