Preparing for Back to School Bedlam!

I have been putting off getting uniforms for weeks now. Mainly because I knew how stressful the last time had been with Eldest. This time I would also have to bring Middle too who, rather surprisingly, has obtained a pre school place (for free!). I think I may still be in shock as Eldest never got one. I’m praying that they don’t read this blog and rescind the offer. If so, I’m going to go bankrupt due to nursery fees.

I planned to brave all this tomorrow. But, had royally forgotten that I had another appointment all morning. I also have Eldest’s sixth birthday party to arrange for Sunday. Bar ordering food and party bags, I am very much failing at life with regards to that. So, today it would have to be. As always, I prepared the boy’s for the day ahead. ‘When we all get ready, we will be going to a shop that sells school clothes’. Eldest rolls his eyes and shrugs a bit too over dramatically. I turn to Middle. ‘Owen, you have to also get a nursery uniform for your new nursery. Therefore you will have to try some things on’ I beseeched. He turned from his toast and advised ‘I don’t like you mum’. What?? He continued, ‘because you are a girl and I don’t like girls at all. I also don’t like nanna or anyone’. Charming! I find myself becoming more and more of a feminist these days but, of the Beyoncé kind (more laid back and purely to placate myself). I replied ‘Girls run the world Owen. I will also remember that the next time you ask me for the numerous items of which you ask me for in a day’.

We get to leaving and all them loaded into the car, off we go. Eldest insists on bringing his Nintendo Switch and, because of this, Middle must also bring something of his. This takes TWENTY minutes whilst he decides. Baby just sits in his car seat awaiting departure. The shop we must go to passes a Mcdonalds. Cue an almighty rage from all them once we have to drive past it (Nanna always makes us lunch on a Monday to ensure I actually eat). As they all whine and wail in the back seat, I approach a not so great roundabout for someone who has zero faith in their own driving ability, let alone others. Near collide with a speeding taxi driver.

Get to the school uniform shop and all enter calmly. Fabulous. Baby has even walked from car park to the front door by himself. Why was I worried? Get upstairs to the uniform part. We are the only ones there- perfect. I know what I am here for. Anything with a logo ONLY. Tell this to Sales Assistant. Off she scurries. I am trying so hard to watch that baby doesn’t head towards the stairs when I then realise eldest and middle are having an absolute field day with the shoe display. Deep breaths. This is going to end up like the vets I think. Sales Assistant returns with everything. Both boys refuse to try anything on and instead disappear into a whole display of trousers. I can’t actually see where they are. It’s like Narnia. Baby has also followed. I’m left ranting and shouting like some kind of mad woman. Out they come laughing eventually.

Eldest knows he is now at the point of no return so, tries on his uniform dutifully. Middle has to be straddled due to observing a whole display of school bags before we’d opened the clothes and trying to make a break for it. Meanwhile, a male has entered the shop with three girls. We look at each other and nod. The nod of understanding that the school shop is hell. We are in this together. As I watch him slowly loose the will to live whilst his girls try on multiple skirts and determine ‘they aren’t right Dad’ I actually think he has it worse. My boy’s just think everything is grand. I wave adieu whilst Middle shouts back ‘I hate girls, you are poo poo faces’.

Now I am sitting stamping their names onto all them. Well, what I have as, some of Middle’s will take ten days to arrive. Please don’t sew anything and look at http://www.stamptastic.co.uk . You order the ink pad and, your child’s name and stamp on all their clothing and belongings. It has lasted Eldest all year and I’ve washed all his uniform pieces daily. I also still had the ink pad and Eldest’s stamper so just had to purchase Middle the name stamp. Don’t make life anymore stressful than it has to be. I’m saying that and I’ve only managed to do the ‘logo shop’, I still have the trouser shop to do. I think I will do that one alone! I also have to try and navigate all the different hours they will all be in. Especially during Middle’s settling in period. Did I even mention the naming of the pencil case items? Arrgh, one worry at a time.

O School, School, Wherefore Art Thou School?

Are the school holidays over yet? Seriously, how long have they been going on for? I feel like they’ve been ongoing for decades now. I am starting to lose the will to live on all fronts. The only part of me not wishing them to be over is the dreaded cost of the school uniform shop. I have yet to pluck up the courage to undertake it. I really must do that as I have two sets to purchase this year. Maybe next week eh?

Eldest is driving me bonkers trying to keep him entertained over the whole summer. He hates soft play now as, ‘it’s for babies and boring’. Fantastic, considering most of the summer has been a complete wash out. To remedy this, I have been arranging play date after play date. Each play date has descended into utter chaos however due to bloody Pokémon cards. At one stage he tried to swap ALL his cards (200) for ONE card his friend had. Um, hello? I am the one who’s bought them all, I don’t think so! When we got invited to a beautiful day out at Hillsborough Castle on Tuesday (the Queen’s residence whilst staying in Northern Ireland) and, I was explaining to him all the activities we would partake in, he responded ‘this is just a way to expel my energy. Like, that’s what adults do. Just try and expel kid’s energy’. How does he even know the word ‘expel’ at five? Also, how does he get that that is in fact what we do? In the end he had the best day ever, as I expected he would. I highly recommend bringing your kid’s there during the rest of the summer holidays. The scenery was vast and breath takingly beautiful and the tour of the castle itself was so interesting. Goss: The Queen’s living room smelt of stale smoke. So maybe she likes the odd cigar whilst lounging on her sofa when she’s over here. I can see her now in her dressing gown, watching Gogglebox and puffing away! **Don’t sue me Liz**

In other news, Middle’s behaviour is becoming worse by the day! He seems to be so well behaved in nursery yet his behaviour is utterly appalling when home. No amount of naughty step is working. He seems to get a kick out of any punishment, laughing in response to me losing my sh#t. He is also up half the night nearly every night. I’m exhausted and have come to the conclusion that it’s an attention thing. Yet I am unsure what to do as all them get equal attention. I maybe need to spend a day with just myself and him, make him feel special? I also have to try and get him to stop calling people ‘poo poo face’, telling people ‘mummy pees everywhere’ (no, that’s all you son) and stripping in the garden and trying to expose his winky to all and sundry. He cannot be left unsupervised for even a second. But, he is too young to end up on any kind of register. For that, we can only be thankful. Hopefully he adjusts ok with the change in nursery come September. I pray that it won’t serve to make him even more cray cray.

Baby is walking completely now. You all know how worried I was about how long it was taking. But, he has gone from 0 -100 the minute he knew he could do it. He danders from room to room now causing utter carnage. This week, unbeknownst to me, he turned the washing machine off. He also turned the oven down two days in a row, thus resulting in our dinner not being ready on time. Arrggh! The stairs are his new playground now as he has realised he can get up and down them with ease. Much to the detriment of my nerves! I brought him to the park yesterday, without him having a nap, and he went absolutely mad climbing up everything and going up and down the slide like he had been doing it his whole life. I honestly thought he would be my easiest one when really I am beginning to realise that he may be the worst. Because, he is watching both of them and emulating their behaviour (the good but, mostly the bad). So, forget the naughty step (it clearly doesn’t work) and forget reward charts (they only work for a short period of time), this Mama needs to come up with a new plan. Do military boot camps exist for kids? Please summer holidays, will you just be over already?!!

Looking like he just knows he rules the roost
Eldest at Hillsborough Castle

Beauty Boxes- Forget Them. Baby Boxes Are the Way Forward!

Back when I only had eldest, my biggest treat to myself every month was subscribing to a beauty subscription box. Every month a new box would appear at my door filled with varying surprises that promised to make me beautiful. After six months however, I realised that I never had the time to use even half the products. I no longer had the luxury of being able to pamper myself. I swiftly cancelled my subscription and waved goodbye to that thing formally known as ‘me time’.

Now I have three children, five and under, pampering oneself is definitely not on the agenda. I’m lucky to even find the time to drink half a cup of tea most days! I also find myself severely depleted of funds what with them continuing to grow all the time (how rude) and needing new clothes constantly. Especially with baby eating me out of house and home (he literally never stops eating). So I was mega excited when I came across the Troberg Baby Box subscription service.

It is a baby clothes rental service. So, you pay a monthly fee and receive a box that contains sixteen items of clothing in a size you decide. All items are 100% cotton and machine washable. You can use them for up to three months (or less if need be) then just send the box back and get the next size up sent to you! I was sent the Bjork box which consisted of :

  • Onesies
  • Pyjamas
  • Bodysuits
  • Sweaters
  • T shirts
  • Bibs
  • A hat

I was very pleased with the selection I received and loved how soft they felt. I really wish this had of been around when baby was born as he was so small then started growing at an alarming rate. One minute he went to bed with clothes fitting him and the next I was fighting with buttons and trying to squeeze him into things. Cue me hot tailing it to Tesco’s to procure the next size up.

This little box is a saviour for new mother’s and, a sustainable one at that. I know I regularly accept hand me downs for middle and baby due to how extortionate the cost of clothing three boys is. I also think it makes for a fab gift idea for a new mum. How good would it be not having the added stress of panicking when your baby starts to suddenly grow out of all the clothes you’ve been bought? You can subscribe for the box at : https://www.trobergbabybox.com/. Let me know how you get on 🙂

That moment you realise that it’s Monday tomorrow but you are super comfy in your Troberg pyjamas!

Bereavement and the Boy’s- trying to find some humour amidst the sadness

I have never felt more nervous in my life having to break the news to eldest that Molly was no longer here. Knowing that with a few words, I would send his world crashing down. That, for the first time, nothing I would say or do would make it better for him. I couldn’t bring Molly back for him, nor myself.

We sat at the kitchen table, after the others were in bed, and I broke the news to him. ‘Molly was very sick and the vet’s could no longer help her. She’s passed away and is now in heaven’. He looked confused. ‘What does passed away mean?’ he enquired. Arrgggh I was trying to get out of saying the ‘d’ word. ‘It means she died son’ I replied in between sobs. He looked at the floor and calmly asked what she died from. I had decided the best and most simplistic way, was to say her heart just gave out. ‘Her heart just stopped working son’ I said whilst cuddling him. ‘She had a heart attack and is now no longer in any pain’. At this, he started scratching his head. ‘Are you ok Aden?’ I asked. This was going much better than I ever imagined. ‘You had a heart attack that day in the vets when they told you the price of the vet’s bill and you were ok’ he ventured. Oh sh*t! ‘Um, that was just a turn of phrase son, I didn’t literally have a heart attack but unfortunately Molly did’. This is when things changed. He dissolved into floods of tears and refused to even let me console him. I have never felt more terrible in my life to see him so utterly heartbroken. He cried for nearly an hour. ‘Molly wouldn’t want you to be sad, let’s talk about some good memories we have of Molly instead’ I offered.

We then discussed the varying humorous things she had done over the years and he calmed down considerably. Phew. ‘Can I get a new dog for my birthday?’ he asked once the tears had subsided. Um, no!

The next day was Middle’s turn. The second he awoke, I was straight in to tell him before eldest could break the news in an insensitive manner. ‘Owen, I have something to tell you’ I said. ‘Ok, what you want say?’ he responded. ‘This is very sad for mummy to have to tell you but, Molly has died. She was just too sick’. I looked at him for any sign of emotion. None. ‘That’s ok’ he finally said. ‘Me go to do huge poo now!’. Off he sauntered, zero f’s given as usual.

Now Molly’s ashes have been returned, it’s restarted the grieving process. Eldest will not let me bury her at all! He has been attached to the box and wants to bring her everywhere with him. At first I thought it was so sweet and loving and, it made me happy to see them reunited again. But, I have to draw the line when, the other day, Molly accompanied us to the pound shop, all around the town centre and also the barbers. I watched eldest get his hair cut mortified whilst the poor barber kept glancing down at the little box resting on his lap nervously. Did he know it was a pet? Did he think he was lugging a relative around? Who knows! I also had to beg him not to bring her into Burger King! Imagine. Middle is handling her being back home much differently. On the day she returned, as my nephew came in the door to visit us, he brazenly walked up to him and stated ‘Callum, you will never see Molly ever ever again. Molly is dead’. When asked to say something nice about her whilst we all said a few words, he responded by turning around, putting his bum in my face and blowing a raspberry. To be fair to him it dispersed the sadness we all felt. Only middle!

Period Pain- What Period Pain?

I’m going to totally level with you girls. I am so squeamish, despite the fact I’ve given birth to three boys naturally. I love being pregnant as, no periods! I have been struggling this past year though because, tampons are actually hurting me. Maybe it’s my body’s way of being like ‘wtf is this? There is something foreign entering, we are not used to this!’ **inserts joke about sex life**

Then I saw a Facebook ad. A menstrual cup. It sounded utterly disgusting but, cheap. I ignored said ad and went to Amazon. Whilst on it, I purchased myself a purple menstrual cup. I hope to god I never have to go on Amazon chat and discuss this purchase, Maybe I should for a laugh?

It arrived right as my period had started. I opened the box and stood dumbfounded. What in the name of f? I had to somehow get that thing inside me? Not only that but, the instructions were in German. Nein!!! After a few frenzied messages to my besties, one of which went like this ‘so I just shove it up there and hope for the best? I’m going to end up in A & E later whilst they extract it!’. My girls let me do it.

So, it was fidgety, not going to lie. I also have never felt at one with myself so deeply. But once it was in there, it was comfortable and I peed lots and it didn’t budge at all. I’ve been finding lately, if I even have a tampon in and, cough, it’s gone (thanks kiddos). You can leave these in for 12 hours and, it won’t move at all. I removed mine after three hours, expecting to be confronted with the river Nile. It was only slightly filled. Removing them is slightly awkward. But, you just push like you are having a baby and, it’s only slightly full. Clean and reinsert. It really never fills fully. It is also so not messy once you get the hang of it.

I am on my second cycle now with numerous cups and, all I will say is, screw you Tampax and Kotex, best decision I ever made! To those that view this as completely incomprehensible, I say try it firstly. This is actually a cleaner way of dealing with things. I am so OCD and I actually love this way.

These are the ones I am now using: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01HT5U92C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 They did take some time to arrive but, at least the instructions were in English! Plus, you get three of them.

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!

Mourning Mad Molly

In advance of Monday, after something amazing happened last week and plans had to change, I am posting this now. I know come Monday that I won’t want to face this nor be reminded.

Today we lost the only other girl in our family. A girl that has been by my side for nearly fourteen years now. A girl that made singledom bearable for me (even when she was having more sex than me, what with all the pillows she was humping!).

I will never forget the day I went to pick you up. I had been very thorough in my research. Every article said ‘look out for the puppy that has the most confidence as they are the leader of the pack’. The minute I walked in you swanned right up to me, bold as brass. I mean, I probably should have noticed that your mother had a propensity for serious barking at the time but, I was already in love with you.

We went through so many things together in the transpiring years. Break up’s with boys, me sobbing furiously into your fur on the sofa. Even the time I came home drunk and tried to make you dance to Jay Z with me (that was auntie Jess’s fault, or was it the cocktails?). At no stage did you treat me like a mentalist. At every stage you provided endless affection to me. Even at times when I felt no one else ever would. Then, I met the hubby. You fell more in love with him than possibly me! We spent long summers with you roaming about fields, you off the lead, never ever managing to burn off the endless energy you seemed to possess.

Then the kids came. You loved eldest from the moment you set eyes on him. Even if his weird ninja moves in the moses basket scared the daylights out of you to begin with! You were patient with him, even when he pulled your tail or tried to mount you like a horse. Middle you never warmed to. A fact that greatly bothered me. At one stage I worried you might attack him. But, you never would have. I get that now. You just realised that now I would have even less time for you. You always were smart. I did have less time.

One day you got sick. You were fine and the next you weren’t. I still will never understand how it happened so quickly. We tried everything we could. At a cost that we couldn’t even afford. We just wanted to make you our Mad Mols again. But, it was to no avail. I decided that you should be buried under the cherry blossom tree. The only pink in my world of blue. Every time I look at it in bloom, I will think of you and my boys- my favourite things in the world.

You may have humped pillows like mad, despite being done. You may have had an abundance of energy that no one could ever quite deplete but, you were the best horniest, energetic dog in the world! We must also not forget the fact that, when eldest was born, you received an ASBO because I couldn’t go out to get you as quickly when you barked. But, in some parts, that’s a badge of honour! I love you to the moon and back Molly. Your madness actually prepared me for being a mum to boys. Someone up there was looking out for me. Rest easy old girlie. I miss you so much already xoxoxo

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

Chasing Away the Mum Guilt

I have a confession to make. I have been doing CBT for awhile now. No, I haven’t started smoking some kind of new age cannabis oil to relieve my stress (not after a whole day spent in an Amsterdam coffee shop resulted in me mistakenly determining that I was being abducted by ISIS). Actually, I have been attending weekly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions. Because, lets face it, anti depressants are only masking things. They will never fix the negative thoughts that lead to me actually feeling depressed in the first place.

My session yesterday really got me thinking and I knew right away that it would help some of you also. I was explaining how, when I shout at the kids after a very long day, I feel awful. That I go to bed mulling it over and over and regretting why I hadn’t just taken a deep breath and got on with it. How, the next day I will apologise profusely to whichever boy got the yelling at. She stopped me there and then and asked ‘what do you do when you receive a compliment Grace?’. I was slightly taken aback. ‘Huh?’ I responded. ‘Well’ she said, ‘you’ve just told me you run a mum blog. A blog were you show that motherhood isn’t perfect. That it’s difficult, yet here you are beating yourself up. What do you do when a fellow mum let’s say, gives you a compliment?’. I thought of my besties and how they are always bolstering me. Of all the lovely messages I get from you all thanking me. ‘I feel like I don’t deserve compliments and usually list all the reasons why the compliment is wrong’ I honestly replied. ‘How do you think that makes the person who has given you it feel?’ she enquired earnestly. I dissolved into floods of tears. ‘It probably makes them feel shit’ I said, through sobs. ‘I don’t want to make anyone feel that way’ I added. She nodded.

The session continued with her giving me some homework. She asked me to write down every negative thought I have. It’s 10am as I type this and I have written half an A4 page. She also asked me to write down every compliment I receive. From 7pm yesterday, I have a full A4 page. One friend told me I have inspired her as a mother, one told me I’m great at twerking (which I’m not but, god loves a trier!) and one told me I am so good at giving others confidence. Normally I would have argued that these compliments weren’t warranted nor, deserved. Instead, I replied to everyone ‘thank you for the compliment’. Because their compliment made me feel good and I want them to feel good for having given me it.

It really is as simple as changing how you react in your own mind. Instead of thinking ‘I am a bad mum, I shouted so much today’, we should say ‘it was a long day and, we are human’. God knows we all got yelled at and we turned out ok. Well, my mum might disagree! Let’s all try and be more positive. Because, at the end of the day, if we survive each day with everyone still alive- that’s utterly fantastic! You are all doing great. You can reply ‘thank you for the compliment’:)

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!