Looking For A Hand Washing Hero? Look No Further And Meet Rufus!

I don’t know about you but, I really struggle sometimes getting the boys to wash their hands. It drives me utterly bonkers! Eldest needs continually yelled at to do it and Middle, after going through an obsessive hand washing phase, has now decided that he can take or leave the whole process. Arrggh! That’s why I was super excited to learn about Safefood’s new handwashing initiative aimed at children up to five years old.

There’s a reason it’s vitally important that they wash their hands. I’m not just nagging for no reason at all (unless it’s to hubby). That reason is harmful bacteria and how easily it can spread, most notably E coli. Did you know that children under five are more vulnerable as their immune systems aren’t yet fully developed? I know I didn’t!

That’s why I love the idea of Rufus and all that he represents. Safefood (with input from Early Years) have created a pack that they have distributed to 350 childcare providers in Northern Ireland already. The pack contains a book, sink poster and sticker set that all promise to make handwashing fun. Not only that but, it clearly outlines the five key steps of handwashing: Wet, soap, rub, rinse and dry. There’s also a catchy song to help them remember!

Keep an eye out for these at your childcare provider and try to encourage it at home. I know I am so sick of kids getting sick in this house. That’s why I am going on a handwashing nag-a-thon! Brace yourselves boys!

For more information on the campaign and resources for childcare providers visit http://www.safefood.eu

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!

The one were, once again, my kid’s make an arse out of me at the cinema!

I have been so ill this week after starting new tablets. Really tired and not quite with it. But, half term stops for no one! With the end in sight, my sister suggested going to the cinema to see the new Lego movie. Baby hasn’t been too well so he would stay at home whilst I took the other two, and, my friend’s gorgeous little boy. We would be heading to the cinema of which eldest let me down a bucketful at not so long ago: https://youandmeplusthree.uk/2018/07/26/this-week-i-have-mainly-been-potty-training-middle-and-being-let-down-by-eldest-again/ I draw your attention to this utterly embarrassing post!! It would be ok surely? The same guy wouldn’t be working.

On the way to pick up my friend’s little one, out of nowhere, middle projectile vomits all over himself and, his car seat. Call wonderful friend who knows the score and leaves me out a change of clothes for him and a flannel. Middle redressed and, all kid’s loaded, off we go. Get to cinema, no more barfing and boy from before not working- winning!!! Twenty minutes into movie however and middle has thrown up again. Run like Mo Farrah all the way to the bathroom with him, catching barf in my hands as I go. This is not the finest moment in my whole life, like ever! A fellow cinemagoer takes pity on me and helps me clean him up. I explain what row we are sitting in and she says she will get someone to clean his seat up. Wiped clean, as much that we can, we head back. Someone is on his knees cleaning up middle’s inner spewings from the floor. Who is it? Yes, the same boy who had to listen to eldest’s quips of ‘doctor shoved finger up mummy’s bum’. Someone save me from this hell! Bad things always happen at this cinema, I’m convinced. Alas, it wasn’t over yet. Middle had two more vomiting escapades to administer. In the end, I had to leave the others with my sister and bring him home. “Where my popcorn?” he asked when strapped into the car to go home. Um, caked over both of us son!! I left him home then had to go back to get the others.

It is now 7 pm and,  as I write, he can’t keep even water down. He has fallen asleep on the sofa only to roll off it at one stage. Today is not his day! We are obviously all going to get it also. Thanks, sis! The weekend from hell beckons and I am almost certain I am now totally banned from that cinema. Can someone send help or wine please? Thanks!

This week I’ve mainly been…. driven bonkers by kid’s and sick doggies!

So it was eldest’s parent-teacher interview yesterday. His second to be exact. I have never been so nervous. Mainly because they never tell you anything and, I quote, ‘why are you always asking me how my day was? It’s so annoying’. Oh, so very sorry son! His last one had been rather embarrassing as I had to sit there whilst his teacher informed me that he spent most day’s glueing his artwork to his face. This made perfect sense when she said it as, I had been wondering why he was covered in marker and Pritt Stick most days. Hubby had to go alone as I had to look after all the kids and the dog needed to be picked up from the vets. Lo and behold, it was all good news. What?! I know I should have been happy but I was also rather suspicious. I mean, I observe him most mornings, before the bell rings, chasing after other boys and knocking lamps out of them. Anyway, beggars can’t be choosers, I will take good news when it is available. His numeracy skills are on fire and his reading is getting there. The only negative thing the teacher had to say was that he is too lazy to push his chair in when vacating it and, she has tripped over multiple times. But I assume she can go on Claim’s Direct or something so, positives all around! His school hosted a ‘Funky Friday’ theme today also and I found myself spraying his hair green out the back at 8am whilst putting sweatbands all over him (see pic). He loved the sweatbands abit too much and has asked can he wear them to bed. Okay then.

Middle is being a complete disaster. His speech has come on tenfold this last month alone and, so has his unique way with vocabulary and voicing his honesty. He is calling everyone in nursery ‘stupid’ and ‘poo poo face’ and is not one bit ashamed either despite the punishments. He even said it to a line of P3 boys when we were on the school run this week. One of them turned to me, rather incensed and said, “what did he just call me?”. I had to then explain that it’s almost like a compliment from middle as he calls me it all the time. He was not placated and still looked appalled, as did I. Worst thing is, when I ask whom he learnt that off, he is saying mummy! I can assure you that this is not the case. I have never used the term ‘poo poo face’ nor called anyone other than myself ‘stupid’.

Baby is still one legged crawling (lazy) and pulling himself up on things when he can be bothered. He now spends all day shouting “dada” “nana” and even “momo” (the dog) yet has said “mama” a few times only- rude! His favourite thing now is to go into my bottom, kitchen drawer, lift out all the pans and scrape them across the tiles. Usually the second I have started a phone conversation. Maybe he has ambitions to join the cast of Stomp one day but. for now, the sound is haunting me even at night.

The dog has now taken over middles pre-potty training mantra and has spent the last few weeks christening my floor with an abundance of urine. So I am now back to buying bleach in bulk. Having been told it was probably old age, I didn’t think much of it. That was until she started drinking bowls upon bowls of water these past few weeks. I actually thought I was going mad and had just imagined I’d filled it up! Sometimes I can’t remember what all I’ve done in a day as I am always on a mission of some sort. Off to the vets she went and, she has diabetes. We must now inject her twice a day. This has added to the insanity as, after giving it the big I am, it appears that I am an utter wuss. I keep needing to vomit upon even going near her with the needle. I thought I was over my fear of them after all the blood tests with the kids. Obviously not. She has been back and forth now and they still can’t stabilise her. Her weight is awful because of this, despite eating twice as much a day and I’m now faced with having to explain mortality to eldest which has been very difficult due to his sensitive nature. The vet’s bills are pouring in and, despite paying £25 a month, we have to pay 20% off all costs. Please check your pet insurance as mine was £11 when I took it out years ago and I’ve been so distracted that I hadn’t realised it had gone up that much. Argghhh!

 

 

Netflix Picks of the Month (Kid’s and Parents)- January 19

I and eldest haven’t done this in so long and, I’ve always really enjoyed sitting with him and doing it. The reasons we haven’t are plenty. Mainly, never-ending sickness and the fact that eldest was just ‘too busy’. How a five-year-old can be too busy is beyond me! Probably the kind of busy he gets when playing his Nintendo Switch in the bathroom and demanding that I wipe his bottom because, and I quote, ‘he is fighting an important boss’. Now that middle can talk and, loves nothing more than Netflixing and chilling, I have also allowed him to dictate his picks (oh god). So here is what the kids and, hubby and I have been watching this month. As per usual, I will be writing the kid’s picks as and how they say it. Brace yourself.

  • Kid’s Picks 

Pokemon the Series: XYZ- (dictated by eldest, comments from me in italics) 48 episodes (What? That would explain why I haven’t seen him all month then). 

I just like this because, in one episode, the green ninja could mega evoke, without a keystone (I think he means ‘evolve’ and I ashamed to know this. But, there was a major Pokemon Go phase a year ago). There are also two eggs! Two, mum! (No idea what this means). I like how, in each episode, you have to guess which Pokemon they are showing you. It’s just a shadow though so, it’s mega hard. Well, probably for other people but, not me. Owen always says each one is Pikachu. He’s so annoying mummy. There were lots of episodes so this was like, good. I could watch it forever and relax (much to middle’s annoyance and frustration I may add). Daddy really likes it too because he said it keeps me quiet. It’s good he likes it too isn’t it? (I bet he does). Anyone who likes Pokemon will love this show because it’s just allllll about Pokemon. If you don’t like Pokemon then I think you won’t like it (I think you might be right there son). 

Sonic Boom- 52 episodes (Why don’t adults get this many episodes in a series? I’m assured, after checking Netflix that, he has only watched ten of these).

This is about Sonic mummy (no, really? I’m shocked to the core). He is in it and so is Tail’s and stuff. They run around trying to get the badman who is called Doctor Eggman. It’s kind of ok but, I didn’t like that it went on for ages. I got bored and wanted to build Lego instead. Remember when we played Sonic on the Xbox and you said it’s so boring and all you do is get coins? (Yes). Well, how can you say that about Sonic but play Super Mario and think that’s good? It’s getting coins too! (How about you stop being smart enough to pick on my inconsistencies as a female. I suggest you get used to this). If a boy likes the game, they will like this. Sometimes I like the game but mostly I don’t.

Paw Patrol- Two season’s and 25 episodes (middle dictating)

Me like Paw Patrol. Me like Marshall the best. Daddy like Rubble best (does he?). Paw Patrol stupid (what? Why do you watch it endlessly then?). Me got Paw Patrol game from Santa. Ay Ay (eldest) not let me play game. He stupid too. Me watch Paw Patrol now in living room. Come, mummy! Living room! (This was a majorly bad idea involving him in this). Me have nana (banana) and blanket too (he loves relaxing that one).

PJ Masks-  one series, 26 episodes (middle dictating)

Ghecko green. Owlette red. Rawr! PJ masks (run’s round kitchen with arm in air like a superhero). Me love PJ Masks. Connor, Owlette, Ghecko (screaming now. Though I think Connor is cat boy? I should not be questioning this). Mummy (whilst pointing and being overly dramatic) Ay Ay not like PJ Masks. Ay Ay stupid. (No words. Being stupid is almost like a compliment at this stage as everyone seems to be this or a poo poo face at the minute- charming).

The Rents Picks (when you ever find the time to watch anything) . 

You- one series, ten episodes

We really thought this was some show aimed at teenagers so refused to watch it. Maybe it was due to Penn Badgley and the Gossip Girl connection. But, we were told it wasn’t by my sister in law and, to give it a chance. I think we watched three episodes back to back when we actually sat down to watch it. So unlike us. But, it was so gripping. It follows Joe who has taken a shine to ‘Beck’s’ after she comes into his bookstore to purchase something. It quickly turns into infatuation, stalking, and ultimately murder. Woah, that escalated quickly! It’s so odd however as in one way you like this utter insane person Joe. Maybe it’s because Beck’s just comes across as so untrustworthy and fake. Anyone else thinks the same?

Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (4 episodes)   

I stumbled across this on a Saturday night when, as usual, there was nothing on and, I realised that I had no idea who Ted Bundy was. I hate not knowing who people are, much to my detriment. It was ten pm when I put this on and figured it would be short as just a documentary. How wrong I was! I ended up going to bed at two am as it was a series. Obviously, this is all Netflix’s fault and not my own lack of self-control. It was shocking but, so fascinating. How could someone be that evil and unashamedly so? I’m not sure if this series would be as appealing if you already know the facts but, I was certainly gripped because I didn’t. The disastrous police operation that left him free to kill and, kill again will have you baffled. His narcissistic ways which, are all too apparent on the footage shown, will send shivers down your spine as will his voice on tape recordings. Definitely, one to watch but, give yourself a whole afternoon to do so and don’t end up wrecked like me.

Fyre- The Greatest Party That Never Happened- one episode 

This is a documentary that explores the fraudulent Fyre festival, its organisers and those of whom the failure of its materialisation has affected. It sound’s as boring as watching paint dry but, I can assure you, it’s unintentionally hilarious. What’s not to like about a bunch of rich kid’s getting conned out of their money purely because they’ve seen some models posing for pictures on an island and offering a bespoke musical experience in exchange for thousands? It’s also interesting to observe how the organiser charmed his way around everyone and still refused to admit he’d done wrong, even at the end. Nineties rapper Ja Rule is also randomly involved as the event’s co-organiser. His hugely inflated sense of self-importance because of this is worth a watch alone. I can’t even spoiler but, look out for the grey-haired man and his story about the water. I did not see that coming (excuse the pun) and have been laughing for a full week now! Why would you even admit that to the world? The mind boggles.

When kid’s get sick…. FML

Baby has been ill from the weekend. Infact, it has been a royal barf fest for days now. Not only that but, he hasn’t slept. As always, when they are sick, responsibility seems to fall to one person and one person only- mum. Whether you are a single mother or, have a partner, chances are it will be left up to you. Mainly because they want you and, only you but, also due to the fact that men can magically sleep through hours of high pitched screaming and projectile vomiting. Do you think that’s an evolutionary thing or a purely can’t be arsed thing? Answers on a postcard!

Being two nights minus sleep doth not bode well for anyone but, it especially doth not bode well for a day full of terrible two navigating/defusing and school runs. As hubby sauntered off to work wishing me good luck, I wanted to scream. After a night spent on the sofa, blissfully dreaming, he positively skipped out ala Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Arrgghh!!!

He had no sooner stepped out the front door when middle who, I had somehow managed to dress despite being half asleep, decided to remove every item of clothing, bend over in my face, smack his belly then, his bottom and yell “belly, belly, bum, bum!”. The view was most certainly unpleasant, I can assure you. What is wrong with him? I decided the only way forward was some lazy parenting. Paw Patrol and Netflix it would have to be until I managed to get baby resembling some kind of presentable human being. Middle settled, I bathed baby. Five minutes after removing him from the bath and, dressing him, he simultaneously managed to barf and explode at the same time. Why God, why? Refill bath and repeat process. Right, one clean baby (for now), maybe I am winning again. Attempt to dress middle again only for him to remove all the items as fast as I put them on him. “Be naked then, I can’t face it anymore!” I wail to him. His response? Maniac laughing followed swiftly be the new, standard saying, “you stupid mummy!”. Naughty step it is (repeat this ten times). Like where are you Super Nanny? How do I apply? Deep breaths….

School run completed, homework done and, dinner on, I eventually calmed. Baby was napping, the sheets were all washed and, I was finally in control again. Thirty minutes later baby was awake and crying. Upon retrieving him, I was confronted by the sight of my freshly washed sheets re-barfed over. Fan-f#cking-tastic! By the time hubby came home, I was getting to the rocking back and forth stage. “God, why are you so moany?” he implored. BIG MISTAKE. “Why? Why?. Maybe because I haven’t slept in days yet still had to do everything I normally do. Maybe because I’ve spent all day dressing a toddler only for him to get on like he is auditioning for the Full Monty every thirty minutes. Maybe, because of this, I’ve had to stare repeatedly at an arse all day whilst being declared ‘stupid’. Even after all this, I am now making dinner for you”. “Sorry I asked, I just won’t talk then” he responded terrified. Acceptable answer.

I decided I would go bath baby for the third time but, get in with him to try and force myself to relax and unwind. Ten minutes later the bathroom door flies open and middle dives bombs head first into the bath with us. Maybe not then………………

 

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!

 

An open letter to the mum shamers

Dear mum shamer/would be shamer

Middle was up so many times on Saturday night. Not only did he awake repeatedly, he took the most monumental of tantrums and cried himself a river (a la Justin T) everytime he did so. This is not middle. He doesn’t make a point of doing this all the time infact, he values his sleep. I went in, cuddled him, told him it was all ok then left. I repeated the same process a few times. By 12pm I had royally lost the will to live and, was concerned he would wake up the other two boys. I brought him downstairs for some cuddles on the sofa. He asked that I put Paw Patrol on. I posted a video to my page of his attempts at speaking to our Google Home which, I found quite hilarious considering the stress I’d dealt with for an hour. After a few Paw Patrol episodes, we went to bed. I brought him into our bed because I was too tired to argue by this stage. Shoot me!

I awoke on Sunday morning to a comment under that video. A comment that basically asked why my toddler was allowed to watch Paw Patrol in the first place and not put back to bed instead. This is the second such comment I have received from this stranger. I burst into tears. I felt so awful. Infact, I felt like a bad mum.  I replied to that comment in a way that wasn’t a true reflection of how I felt. I didn’t want to upset that person the way in which they had upset me but, the more I thought about it, the angrier I got. This person was not just attacking me (as the comments proved) she was attacking every other mother that reads my blog and appreciates the honesty contained within it. THAT, I have a problem with. Let’s get some things straight going forward:

  • We are all on the same journey here. The wonderful/stressful journey of motherhood. If I choose to go visit a country, I might choose to travel to it via a different route than another person. We will still end up at the same place though, right?
  • You do what works for your own, individual family and their needs. Maybe one of your kids needs a proper nights sleep otherwise they cause chaos the following day, resulting in everyone being miserable and a day ruined. Maybe it’s been a long day and you just do not have any energy left to give. Every night is different with children, as is every day.
  • No child is the same. Funny that but, somehow they all seem to have their own personalities. We adjust our parenting technique with all of them because we have to. They all have their own individual needs. For example, eldest needs utter routine, middle thrives on chaos and baby hasn’t decided what his mould will be. When he does, I will adjust to that too. That is my job as their mother- to understand their individual needs and react accordingly. No matter what age they may be.
  • I don’t judge others and, never will. How you choose to raise your children is nothing to do with me. At the end of the day, all that matters is that your children are happy. All I am doing is sharing my side of this journey. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it.
  • We are all entitled to our opinions. Free speech is what makes us question things after all. What I don’t like is someone using that freedom in a negative manner. That comment was read by everyone on Sunday morning. Maybe even someone who had had a worse night than me with their kids. Single mothers up doing it all alone, mums with newborns and probably mum’s up with sick children.
  • This blog was started mainly as therapy. I used to write individual books for the boys each week about what they had done that week. This made my life easier and, my hand less cramped. I also felt it important to share the not so perfect side so fellow mums knew they weren’t alone. Society feeds us a certain image of what we should be like and, what we should do.
  • I want this blog to be about uplifting each other, celebrating surviving another week and discussing what disasters we have encountered that week. What I don’t want is someone who deems it acceptable to drag others down. We are all just doing what we can to navigate all these stages.
  • Speaking of stages, we are all at different ones. Maybe some of us have older kids, others younger ones. Each stage brings its own set of problems. How you deal with them is up to you as a parent. I can only share what I am going through now.

In conclusion, from here on in, I will defend my followers when things like this happen and not just stand back. Because I started this blog to counteract all this perfection and show parenthood warts and all. We may not agree with the choices other’s make but, if it works for them so be it. In future, if you have free time and want to troll, I suggest the Daily Mail comments section. Always some mum bashers/bashers of everything on there. Check out the featured image, at the top, to be reminded of exactly what is important. Please share this so we can eradicate this mum shaming. x

Regards,

Grace (You and Me Plus Three)

This week I have mainly been… date nighting in Fermanagh!

Don’t you just love Wowcher and Groupon? If it wasn’t for them, I doubt I’d ever get to go anywhere. You can’t deny someone a bargain stay after all! We booked a deal to stay at Lusty Beg Island about four months ago then, did our usual and forgot about it. It was only when we received the ‘warning, your voucher is due to expire’ email did we finally get our arses in gear and book it. Booking is the easy bit, finding someone to look after three, mental boys for the night is the hard bit. As usual, eldest and middle had to be split up in order for us to sell the idea of babysitting them for a night. Once anyone has looked after them both together and, witnessed the obligatory 6pm-8pm battering session, they refuse to do it ever again. Eldest was packed off to my sister on the promise of a ‘sleepover’ with his cousin and the other two stayed with nanna. Freedom beckoned. But first, a cheeky Nando’s because, why not?

We arrived at 3 pm, drove the car onto a little ferry and, were transported to the most beautiful little island. So picturesque. After checking in and obtaining our key, we went to explore our room. It was perfect, even if it only had a shower and no bath. Is it a mum thing to want to have a bath in peace once you get away from your sprogs or, just a Grace thing? I’d no sooner sat on the bed when I received a Whatsapp from my sister advising that eldest had been awarded ‘star of the week’ at school. I burst into tears. He has wanted to get star of the week ever since he started school. Every week he has become increasingly frustrated when he hasn’t. “Maybe you would get star of the week if you refrained from glueing your artwork to your face?” I helpfully offered last week. Either something clicked or, she is just running out of children to award it to but, he did it! Trust this to happen the one day I don’t pick him up from school. I know how excited he would have been to tell me. Mum guilt began to set in. Only one thing for it- wine! After a few glasses, the guilt subsided. I could always make it up to him the next day. Off we went to play a game of pool in the hotel’s game room. After a few vinos, the game was rather one-sided I’m ashamed to admit.

We had the most amazing steak and dauphinoise potatoes for dinner, overlooking the lough. Perfectly relaxing. Next, we headed back to our room for a few more drinks (yes, we are that broke these days). Come 10pm the two of us were royally merry. “Let’s go to the bar and ask if they will make me a big bowl of dauphinoise potatoes” I demanded. “At this time?” hubby replied. “Yes at this time! When a girl want’s potatoes, she wants potatoes! Failing that surely they will have Tayto”. Begrudgingly, hubby retrieved his coat. We entered the bar, approached the barman and, asked for some potatoes. “Um, the kitchen closed at 8pm” he responded dumbfounded. “We have Tayto though”. Some people just get it. Tayto in hand, we found a table. It appeared we were the only ones there. That is, until I heard a lot of giggling and four girls came hurtling around the corner. They then joined our table. We got chatting and,  they were all fellow mummies and fellow mum’s on tour. I shared my Tayto and they shared their fishbowl gin. Hubby sat there quite obediently whilst not just one, but, five women proceeded to talk utter shit to him. I have never drunk gin before and, now I know why!

Waking up the next morning to check my phone, I was confronted with a smashed screen. “What the? When did I do that?” I panickedly asked hubby. “I have no idea, I don’t even know what time we came back to the room at” he replied. “You may also check if you have your engagement and wedding ring as I vaguely remember trying to stay awake whilst you repeatedly emphasised how your finger has got fat this week and they no longer fit” he added. I had been thinking that all week in fairness. I leapt up to begin the search. No wedding ring. Gin 1, Grace 0. Eldest may have been bestowed star of the week’ but his mum has been titled ‘twat of the week’. Middle has also disowned me upon returning as my phone is ‘broken’. All my worries that he loves my phone more than me, have just been proven. Never again (until next time I get some freedom).

Star of the week- this would happen the one day I don’t collect him from school!