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… unable to write anything though loving the two new additions to our family

Don’t worry reading this title, I haven’t popped out another two sprogs (that would literally push me over the edge). I also just couldn’t for the life of me write this week which, is highly unusual. I kept attempting to, but, was unable to formulate any kind of brain to webpage function. This is my tenth attempt so, let’s see how I fare. Maybe it’s the increase of dosage in my tablets? Who knows.

This week my sister in law’s welcomed the most beautiful little twin girl’s into our family. A family that, up until now, has been dominated by my three boys. My very boisterous ones at that! They are so utterly beautiful and, more importantly, I now have another two little humans that I can buy pink for and that will hopefully bother their arses to visit me in a care home one day (preferably with smuggled in alcohol). My sister in law’s journey to parenthood wasn’t as straightforward as mine. Sometimes you forget that other people face challenges and hurdles just trying to become a ‘mum’. Ultimately it is a title all us girls grow up assuming we will have. Just thinking that had already put things into perspective for me. What put things more into perspective is, how we are all just the same when introduced into this new whirlwind adventure. We are frightened, exhausted and, we will never think we are doing a good enough job. But, you are. No one can ever prepare you for those first weeks home but, one day you will be wishing them back. One day the visitors will stop and you will be wanting company. It’s funny how this whole thing works isn’t it? It’s only when we get some more sleep and, feel more normal, that we understand that. You will feel normal again! I promise.

In the boy’s news, baby is teething at an alarming rate. On Thursday I was single-handedly dealing with his seventh explosion in a few hours. Where was it even coming from? Like how is that even possible?  I began to think it could only be one of the plagues the Bible forewarned me about. There could be no other explanation (I am being brainwashed, read on).

Middle is doing great on the potty though seems to have developed quite the aversion to doing a poo on it. This is leading to what I can only describe as a daily apocalyptic nightmare. I literally gag every time this happens. He laughs hysterically of course.

Eldest is still loving school though randomly keeps returning home every few days with the same picture coloured in of an ark. The first few times I was thinking “well, he is certainly getting better with the colouring, that’s something”. However, we are now onto what seems like the twelfth ark picture in a few weeks and I am seriously concerned that he, and I, are being subliminally messaged. I’m not sure who by exactly, Noah maybe? I have two words for you Noah, the first begins with a F and the second is off. We are led by science in this family and, the drive to be kind and good people.

 

This week I have mainly been…. adjusting to new routines and observing, then ignoring, school gate etiquette.

Eldest is loving school. Not only that but, he has actually been so excited each morning that he is dressing himself! We are still having slight meltdowns over his trousers and how rough they feel but, on the whole, he seems content with his uniform. The seamless socks I purchased from M & S (after a lovely reader advised) have been amazing! I wish I knew they sold these years ago. Maybe the majority of my sanity would still be intact then? Who am I kidding!

The new addition of the school run has served to add slightly more stress to my days though, a few hours peace admittedly. Getting all of them out of the door for a specific time is proving slightly mental. Middle finds the morning and afternoon run, the prime time to deploy a tantrum about anything and everything. He has learnt to use the word ‘no’ in context. So now anything I ask results in a crossing of the arms, stamping of the feet and, a yelled “NOOOOOOOO!”. The afternoon run is around his nap time so, this one is particularly hell-raising. Trying to get him to walk the five minutes it takes to get to school is, well, head melting. It also usually takes fifteen in the end. Baby is all out of his routine too and now proceeds to scream all morning until right as I begin the afternoon pick up. Of course, everyone at the school gate then thinks he is the most amazing baby, always sleeping soundly- yeah right!

This leads me quite seamlessly to the school gate and, what I have observed. I might go all David Attenborough here as I think it’s warranted. In the vast landscape that is the school gate, there are two types of species. The ones that prey on everyone for a good old chinwag and, the ones who prefer to be lone wolves. The landscape is dominated by females mainly, with a few males stalking the perimeter. Said males seem to be of particular interest to the aforementioned chin waggers. It is important to note that they don’t seem to care for the attention nor, the intrusion. Appearance varies wildly. On one side we have the species that views the daily ceremony as a catwalk and, those that just don’t give a flying toss and rock up whichever way they want. And, why not say’s I (sorry, Attenborough).

I have fallen, rather unintentionally, into the lone wolf category. I am unsure as to whether this is because, on day one, I forgot to put the brake on babies buggy and it rather aggressively hurtled into a yummy mummy. She was in no way amused. This may have been the catalyst to my ostracising from ‘the pack’. I also usually have a pint-sized dictator in tow who, on numerous occasions, has plonked himself across the gate horizontally in a rage, thus preventing other people from gaining access. No matter how much I say “hello” or smile, no one wants to know. That was until the afternoon pick up on Tuesday when a fellow lone wolf decided to take me under their wing. Patricia is a sixty-two-year-old grandmother who picks up her grandson every Monday- Wednesday from the gate. We have struck up quite the accord. As in one where I can’t swear as she was a Girl’s Brigade leader in her formative years. I am so thankful to Patricia for chatting with me and, making standing at the gate alone, like a knob, that little bit easier. I am also highly thankful that it doesn’t appear that she heard me on Wednesday when, upon leaving our street, myself and baby were very nearly run over by a speeding car up the lane beside the school. This old man gets out, like the exemplary person he is, and, accuses me of being in the wrong. Considering he was flying up a lane that school children generally walk up, driving up one side of the lane and, the fact I couldn’t possibly have seen him until I exited the path I was on,  has cemented his status as wa#ker of the new school year. ” How was that my fault?” I assertively screamed back, shaking. “Just, um, because it was” he intelligently responded. “I sir, am I pedestrian” I added, “who couldn’t see you from where I was due to the hedge. Maybe if you hadn’t been speeding, you might have seen me”.  He did not take kindly to this reasoning and began swearing and gesturing rather madly. “F#ck you!” I suddenly yelled! Mainly out of pure anger that he may have wiped out my third born. I then turn around to witness his shock at this little woman responding to him in the manner in which he spoke to me, only to see five parents dandering down the lane looking horrified. Look’s like this mama and Patricia will be school gate buddies for life! I actually wouldn’t have it any other way. Patricia rocks!

Before we nearly got run over
How he rolls on the school run

**I want to dedicate this blog post to the beautiful and amazing Rachael Bland who tragically passed away the other day. Her blog, Big C. Little Me. was an inspiration to many and sharing her battle so openly will have helped others. Not only now but, in the future also. This is why we have to be honest- to help others.**

 

This week I have mainly been….. a complete emotional mess as eldest start’s school!

I have been saying to anyone who will listen how much eldest was ready for school and how much I, as his mother, was ready to get rid of him for a few hours each day. I’m aware that sounds rather ruthless but, it’s been a LONG summer. I knew I would be emotional, he is my first born after all! I just had no idea how emotional I would actually be.

On Tuesday morning we met with his teacher for a chat. I couldn’t bribe anyone to mind eldest nor baby (middle at nursery) so, they all got dragged along.  The teacher asked him if he would like some pegs and boards to play with outside the room as we talked. I filled with immediate dread! He is attached to my side anytime we are together. “Yes, ok” he surprisingly responded. What?  We discussed his level of independence in terms of getting himself dressed, (when he can be arsed basically) any issues he has, (the feeling of certain clothing deeply distresses him) and, start times and finish times etc. It was at this point only that it hit me- the little baby boy I held in my arms only five years ago, was starting school in a few days time. I came home and immediately sobbed my heart out for an hour. I kept looking at him and thinking ‘I’m going to miss him so much’. He has been my little buddy since I took him out of private nursery, at Christmas, in order to give middle a go. If I thought Tuesday was bad, I had been wholly naive- as Thursday morning was to show me.

There was a minor drama about his school trousers, which I expected. But, on the whole, he was relatively excited to get dressed. When I eventually stood back and looked at my little boy, decked out in the togs that will define him, my eyes began to brim over. After the obligatory front door picture, we rather frantically set off as a family to deliver him to school. As he let go of my hand to walk into his classroom, I literally felt like my heart was breaking (I’ve started to cry again whilst typing this -fml). He turned back and gave me the biggest hug and kiss, knowing full well that it was harder for me than for him. “It’s ok mummy,” he said. “See you soon”. He really is so thoughtful and loving which, of course, made me want to cry even more. It was strange coming back home and it just being me, middle and baby. Middle was loving being able to play with eldest’s toys without them being taken off him immediately. This kept him quiet and not peeing everywhere- the only bonus! When I went to collect him at 12pm, a bundle of nerves, he had got on great! Since he has been able to talk, we have always spoken about the best part of our day and, the worst part. I got this from the Kardashians, not a parenting manual, ashamed to say. “My best part was all of it” he stated. “What was the worst part?” I enquired. “There was no worst part mummy, I had a good day”.

This is the beginning of a big journey for him. A journey where he may not like the rules set for him and, knowing him, will try and rebel against them. A journey that will teach him new and amazing things and, show him how intelligent I already know he is. A journey where he will make friends and, probably lose some along the way. I can only hope and pray that he never lets himself down, nor I for that matter. Because, ultimately, I am more nervous than him. I want it to be a great experience for him and one that helps shape him. I want it to be a happy time for him and, I want him to thrive. I also sincerely hope that he doesn’t send his poor teacher round the bend like he does to me all day.

To all the pessimistic, moaners who harp on every year about the endless start of school pictures. To you, I say this- do you remember the excitement, pride and nerves you felt at your child starting another chapter each year? Do you ever think that maybe it took one full hour to get that child into their uniform so, therefore, it’s more than a big deal? Surely all the above warrants a picture, never mind where it’s taken. If you can’t be bothered to even consider all those factors then best to avoid Facebook for a week. Thanks!

In other less passive aggressive news, middle is alternating from being the perfect, potty trained child to a rampant defecator on my floors. I am going to have to take shares out in Domestos at this rate. He is testing my patience ten fold.

Daddy had to get into the door pic! All ready for his very first day of P1

This week I have mainly been…. party planning and getting exasperated by middle

Eldest is going to be five years old on Tuesday. I cannot believe it! Where has the time gone? It only seems like yesterday that he was a baby and I was pacing up and down the hall thinking “oh my god, what have I done!”. Obviously, I wouldn’t change a thing. I just wasn’t expecting everyone to be correct about the whole lack of sleep thing. I actually thought they were all exaggerating- duh!

“What do you want to do for your birthday?” I asked him last week. I will admit to being thoroughly disorganised this year what with having three of them now and potty training one. “I would like a Super Mario party in the house” he replied. Oh bugger! There is nothing quite worse than a kid’s party let alone a kid’s party in your house. The tidying up of middle’s second birthday party is still ingrained on my memory as it was only in May. “Um, ok then” I said, “I guess we did that for Owen so, if that’s what you want to do, we will do it”. I set about ordering a few Mario related paraphernalia off Amazon in a panic. Party bags, a load of crap to put inside them, banners and paper plates etc. When the party bag pruck arrived, I decided to finally be organised and set about sorting them. Could I find said party bags that had arrived a few days prior? No, I could not. “You opened them on the top of the stairs” I said to eldest, “so where are they?”. “I don’t know!” he replied. “What do you mean you don’t know? I specifically said to you not to open them as they were for your friends!” I wailed. Having searched the whole house and, being unable to locate them, I gave up. What arrived the next day? The fu#king party bags! I mean, what in the name is going on in my head? I can vividly see myself opening them and eldest doing a runner with them. I am seriously losing the plot and, any wonder! This is almost as bad as that time I put my mobile in the fridge and spent two days trying to find it.

Next I began to think about food. Kid’s are easily pleased at parties. Cocktail sausages, sausage rolls, pizza- the usual. But, what about the adults? I quickly decided upon a chicken curry. Bung it in the slow cooker in the morning, cook some rice- job’s a good un! “That doesn’t really show a lot of effort” hubby moaned. “It’s a kid’s party, what will people be expecting? Some kind of A La Carte menu? They should just be happy they aren’t getting a bowl of super noodles” I responded. “I will make a curry from scratch then” he countered. “That’s grand, just don’t be complaining to me when it’s Sunday morning, we are trying to get three kid’s bathed and looking presentable, cleaning and, you are trying to cook with madness ensuing all around” I stated. It remain’s to be seen how Sunday will go, but, I imagine all the above will occur and, as always, I will be right. Men never listen and we will no doubt be like that Father Ted couple come guest’s arriving. “You fecking arsehole!” “Awk hello Mary how are you?”.

Middle is also becoming less of a baby by the minute and, this week, managed to go to nursery in pants and have zero accidents. This did not, however, continue when home. Instead he decided to wet himself at every opportunity. Didn’t I say he likes to surprise me? Two steps forward, five steps back. I will have to ask nursery what, if anything, they are doing different there that is ensuring no accidents. I cannot believe I have to do all this again with baby in a few years time. I really thought middle would be the last one I would have to potty train. FML. I am being quite harsh obviously as he has done so well considering he is so young.

In other news baby is back to normal and sleeping through. This deserves a party in itself! I also got my hair done again last night and, have decided, that this is going to be the norm from now on. I had three cup’s of tea whilst getting my colour on and, I think the girl was ready to throttle me. She probably thought ‘I’m only asking out of courtesy, you don’t have to keep accepting’. But, I had been let out for the evening so, why not! Upon getting my hair washed, I realised that this had been a very bad idea indeed. What with the bladder issues after having three kids. The hairdresser was spending forever doing a relaxing indian head massage with the conditioner and all I could think of was “I am about to wet myself right here and right now”. After she had finished, I ran like Forrest Gump to the bathroom and checked my phone whilst there. This is what confronted me:

I had been away one hour by that point! This is why I never leave them. Keep you all posted on the fu#kery that is the party on Sunday!

This week I have mainly been… loving me some middle!

Middle has officially stopped ‘poo flinging’. I have never been happier to type that sentence! Who would have thought I would even have to type that in the first place? Kids…..

The other day I took all three boys to the local park as I had no petrol and, no energy to go far after musical beds with eldest the night prior. When we arrived lots of other children were there, mainly older boys and some younger girls. The boy’s presence served to make eldest retreat into his shell. Middle, however, took it as some sort of challenge. Off he strutted like some kind of peacock, yelling incomprehensible mumbo-jumbo and pointing at them. “Why is he doing that?” I asked eldest. “I don’t know,” he said shrugging and rolling his eyes. I left him playing at the kid’s slide and went to help eldest navigate his way to the fireman’s pole. As eldest was about to take a leap of faith, I look over and observe middle single-handedly pushing all the older boys on the roundabout. He has only just turned two, surely he shouldn’t even have the strength to do that? Once eldest was down the pole and, middle had ceased offering his pushing services, I instructed them to go make friends whilst I sat with baby.

Having only just plonked my arse on the bench, I see middle hurtling towards me at full speed with the whole of the park running behind him. He has only stolen and, done a runner with, one of the boys band sticks. I take it off him and apologise to the boy in question for my son being a rampant, shameless thief. Everything is calm. Not for long. Middle has now stolen their ball and is running around the park dribbling it like Ronaldo, whilst they all chase after him trying to retrieve it. FMAL! I leave baby again to join the ball chase. Either I am wholly unfit or, middle is a very fast runner. It takes forever but, I eventually get the ball back. Exhausted,  I instruct them to burn off more energy. They then spend some time being relatively well behaved. That is, until middle decides to keep opening the park gate and running away multiple times. “Right, that’s it!” I yell. “We are all going home as Owen is being a complete nightmare”. Off we go to leave. Middle suddenly doesn’t want to go. “Let’s just leave and see what he does, that will teach him not to follow orders” I inform eldest. “But I don’t want to leave him, what if he doesn’t come?” worries eldest. “Of course he will come, he will be petrified at the mere thought we have left him on his own!” I smugly respond. We leave the park and walk halfway down the path adjacent. I glance back, ready to witness middle realising the enormity of his bad decision making. But, there he was, entirely non plused, solo see-sawing and loving life! Eldest would have been scared witless at the sheer prospect of me leaving, I underestimated middle.  Off I went to grab him and escorted a kicking and screaming toddler back to the car.

Later on that day, I was sitting on the sofa struggling to stay awake after the disastrous trip that was the park and the stresses of dressing eldest that morning. Middle saunters in, climbs up beside me and, out of nowhere clearly says, “love you, mummy!”. He then asks if I would like “a cuddle”. I felt tears welling in my eyes as this is the very first time he has ever said those things and, it really did come from nowhere. The day’s fuc#ery had now been replaced with the best memory ever- his first I love you. It’s amazing to me how stressful days can be but how, a cuddle, kiss and even some thoughtful words, can make it all worthwhile. My boy’s drive me bonkers but there are no other people I would rather have doing so. Especially as they give the best cuddles going! I’m going to try and remember these moments when they are putting me through the FML moments. Try being the word.

 

 

Toys My Boy’s Adore (and ones that keep them out of my sight)

I thought I would do a little post about the toys of which my boys love to play with. Toys that they will happily play with for a long time and thus, keep out of my way (whoop whoop). I wish I was doing a post filled with Barbie dolls, nail polish, and unicorns. But that’s just not a part of my life and, never will be. I’ve had no choice but to master the art of building things, getting drenched with water pistols and kicking a football about, unfortunately!

Lego 

What is it with boys and Lego? It’s like catnip to them. My boys will happily spend ages building insane, haphazard items with Duplo. “Look at my spaceship mummy!”, “Look at my house mummy!”. They never resemble a spaceship nor a house, but I hear it’s wholly frowned upon to inform them of this. They love the little Lego sets you can buy that come with (the highly confusing, in my eyes) instruction booklets. I will never forget my first attempt at one of these when eldest was allowed one as a treat, after successfully potty training. Daddy was at work and he was not patient enough to wait so, I eventually gave in before I lost the will to live. It was like looking at something in an entirely different language. My brain is in no way wired that way. I ended up getting so frustrated that I couldn’t do it for him, I took the hump and began to cry. This should have been the point my Lego journey ceased to continue but alas, more things needed built when daddy was gone so, I trained myself to do it (begrudgingly.) You know what? It is actually a great mummy win when you manage to build your first one and see your child so ecstatic. We now spend time as a family building sets with eldest when middle and baby go to bed at the weekend. Although middle much prefers the the Duplo for his building escapades, the Creator sets are eldest’s favourite. You can make three different things out of all the pieces and, they aren’t expensive. Beware though, this means three sets of instructions- arrggh! Downside: Standing on the little buggers! Worst pain imaginable (excluding labour obviously).

Marble Run

Oh Marble Run, how I hate thee! How you doth taunt me with your need for logical thinking in order to be purposeful! Daddy (sorry, Santa) got this for eldest one Christmas when he was two. I think this was more of a present to himself considering that, for a year, he quite happily played with it alone whilst eldest ran around ignoring it. The boys, including hubby, will spend hours with this, making different types of towers, flinging marbles down them and congratulating themselves on their building prowess. As much as this is my nemesis (the marbles too which seem to be everywhere in my house) it is educational and encourages them to try different directions and different pieces in order for the marble to successfully navigate its way around. They especially love all the little accessories that come with it. There are different pieces that you can place on that make the marbles spin, change the direction it will go in and even a little bell that once the marble contacts it, will ring. I found that this was great at helping middle learn his colours, as was Lego. Even saying the colour and pointing to the piece you need, helps them begin to associate. Downside: Marbles, marbles everywhere. A plague of marbles will descend on you and your house.

Magformers 

I thought I was bad at Lego until I encountered these things! Mental they are! But the boys really like them. They are building shapes which contain magnets. Middle’s greatest pleasure on earth is waiting until eldest has built something using all the pieces, then, silently creeping up behind him and wrecking his creation. Little s##t! You can get lots of different and crazy sets- ones with wheels and even ones that light up. Downside: Some of the objects the makers have built with the pieces, and dipicted in the guide, are highly complex. Eldest is a stickler for rules and this sends him into a meltdown when he can’t recreate them by himself. Also very expensive. A starter pack of thirty pieces will set you back £29.99.

Cars- of any kind, any shape, and any colour!

The boys are bonkers for cars and have amassed quite the collection. This is what happens when the pound shop starts selling Hot Wheels and eldest has realised that Nanna is a complete pushover! Middle will line them up, quite methodically, then race them down the car garage he got for Christmas. They also enjoy racing them up and down the hall to see who wins. I love cars for this reason mainly. It’s nice every once in awhile to see them playing together good as opposed to battering each other. This is the only time this happens as they are too engrossed and focused on trying to win the race. Downside: Before the calm, there are always multiple arguments over who owns which car and who will race which one. Also the fact that I have to put them all away afterwards (why are there are sooooo many?)

Trikes, Bikes and Scooter’s

Anyone who reads my blog will know that these will be the death of me. Between avoiding them in my kitchen to having to lug them around everywhere we go! The boys are obsessed. The whole point of the things is to use them outdoors. My boys, however, love nothing more than shouting “ready, steady, go!” and racing them up and down the hallway. This makes the dog go bloody mental as she scampers out of their way barking her disapproval. Anytime we have attempted to go a family walk and, brought all these things with us, it has been utter chaos. They will cycle or scoot on them for five minutes then abandon them to roll down hills and get positively bogging! The only plus side is that they expel lot’s of their energy. Downside: Health and safety hazards when dragged indoors and you will be forced to carry them around when you bring them anywhere outside.

Thomas Trackmaster 

Eldest was positively obsessed with Thomas when he was a toddler. Our whole living room became a dedicated Thomas shrine. Middle has recently inherited his old Thomas toys and, at present, this is the new ‘thing’ in our house. Eldest has reestablished his love affair with them and can now teach middle how to build the tracks. They will quite happily do this for a while until middle stops following orders and eldest loses patience. Downside: The trains for it run on batteries and tend to find their way under your sofa. I can’t count how many times I’ve been able to hear one chugging away and not locate it! It’s happened so many times, I can hear the sound in my sleep. I call this ‘Thomas Tinnitus’.

Nintendo Wii and XBox

This all started when my sister in law purchased hubby a Nintendo Classic for Christmas. We were shoving the boys to bed as early as possible so that we could relive our youth and play some Mario. Eldest noticed and asked to have a go. After a few wobblers over not understanding the controller didn’t operate like a tablet, he was a little pro. I class Mario as quite harmless, maybe others disagree. But it’s not like he is playing Grand Theft Auto or anything (one of the best in its defense. The Daily Mail would disagree however as that’s seemingly the cause of all youth violence.) After becoming bored with it, my MIL gave him her old Wii. He then progressed to playing the rather trippy ‘Kirby’. Finally, hubby has now dusted off his XBox and myself and eldest have taken to playing Lego games on it. These are quite good as you have to figure lots of puzzles out and really think about what you are doing. We have played Harry Potter Years 1 -4, Marvel Superheros, Indiana Jones and The Lego Movie game. Downside: It has become apparent that myself and eldest share the same competitive streak. This has led to us shouting at each other for ‘casting the wrong spells’ and resulted in hubby banning us from playing for a full week! So unfair- wasn’t even my fault!

 

 

 

This week I have mainly been…. worrying about eldest

When I went to my interview last week, I had to leave early in the morning. My mum gallantly looked after the boy’s whilst I did so. There was only one thing I didn’t do before I left- I didn’t dress eldest. There was a very valid reason for this. I didn’t dress eldest because it is the most stressful part of my morning routine. I couldn’t face it and, also, figured maybe my mum should finally see why I am so stressed just getting out the door each day. He has an issue with every item of clothing! His socks don’t feel right, his shorts are too tight, change to jeans and they are too loose, his top doesn’t feel right and finally, his shoes aren’t right either! Some days I will be on my third clothes change with him and ready to lose my shit. I dress middle and baby first, daily, because I know how long eldest will take me. I can tell from watching middle that something is not right here. I have felt so for a long time. My husband, however, thinks I am overreacting. I’m not, obviously (us women are always right).

What will he do when he has to independently dress for PE lessons at school? I’m not going to be in attendance to change his kit multiple times! What will the other children think when he has a monumental breakdown that his socks are ‘hurting him?’ I love him so much and, I am worried about him. He is generally overly sensitive about everything and, I find this mostly endearing. Just not when I have to dress him and be somewhere for a specific time! Arrgghh!

Personally, I think there are sensory issues going on with him. I have ‘google panicked’ it and came to that conclusion. So now I have to figure out how best I can help him going forward and, try to be more supportive (and less ready to kill him). I plan to raise this with his new teacher by way of pre-empting any breakdown that may occur. I also plan on discussing it with the health visitor prior so she can either set my mind at ease or think I’m a neurotic mess! I can’t just do nothing for fear I am overreacting. To do so is a disservice to eldest. He has always been the most loving, intelligent little boy. Before middle arrived, we were literally joined at the hip. I wonder what is going through his wee head right now and why even clothing seems so daunting to him? I hope anyone who knows’s us reads this and realises why I can be so stressed with him from the get-go. I literally endure hours of stress just getting him dressed each day. There is always a reason for losing your shit daily and, never forget that. Have kids they said, it will be fun they said- yeah, it’s a right barrel of laughs! Someone shoot that messenger (with a pretend gun obviously, I’m not a Trump supporter).

This week I have mainly been…. utterly disgusted with middle but thankful for my friends

“Mummy, can we wake Owen yet?” eldest impatiently pleaded whilst jumping up and down on the bed at 8am the other morning.

I have had some kind of throat infection all week and, I won’t lie, all I’ve wanted to do is die in bed all day. This is not an option, however, when you have three needy sprogs. “Ok!” I finally relented. “It’s actually a bit odd we haven’t heard him yet” I added. Off eldest went to wake him up, whilst I stole some baby cuddles in bed. Two minutes later I heard eldest convulsing in giggles and yelling “mummy, you have GOT to see this!”. I had a brief moment of utter panic that middle had possibly finally mastered jumping out of his cot, maybe he had thrown and broken something important? Eldest would be evil enough to find either scenario amusing. What I didn’t imagine I would encounter ladies, was some kind of dirty protest. Bits of poo all over his rug, cot and, more disgustingly, hands. I stood there for a few minutes, in complete shock, letting the fuckery of the situation seep in. “Who does something like that!” I finally yelled. “That is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen in my life!” I continued. “Monkeys at the zoo probably don’t even do that! Bad boy!”. Eldest is still in fits of laughter during this and middle is looking at me very unbothered and, almost looks impressed with himself. Middle bathed, poo removed and everything bleached, I found myself being unable to even look at him most of the day. There is no way my genes are in him, they can’t be. I mean, what even made him think to do that? The mind boggles and the stomach retches. As I am typing this, he has just done it again! I cannot believe it. Is it acceptable at times like this to just disown them? Or is that frowned upon? Guess I better start potty training soon. I’m sure this will make my days even more relaxing and stress-free- not!

In other, less disgusting news, I want to greatly thank my bestie Jess for what she did for me and my boys this week. I’m crying even typing this. I have no money at all and my fridge was totally bare, bar a few cartons of milk. I was off on a right moan to her about how bad things were- as us ladies do. The next morning, just as I was about to get showered, my doorbell rang. Standing on my doorstep was a chirpy Asda delivery man with bags of shopping. Strawberries, apples, Frubes, pasta, chicken, bacon, freezer stuff and even a bottle of wine for me. I was in floods of tears all day. The thoughtfulness and the kindness of this gesture will never be forgotten by me. I am so incredibly lucky to have the friends that I do. Jess, Yasmin, Diane, Andrea and my sister. I couldn’t get through what I am going through lately without them. One day I will find the strength to write a blog post about all that. At the moment this Mama is too emotionally and physically drained to do it. My humour will hopefully return next week.

This week I have mainly been…. in awe at how many times eldest can let me down a bucketful!

This week we loaded all three sprogs into the car and went ‘visiting’. As a parent, going visiting is a daunting and terrifying experience. Will my children behave? Will they annihilate everyone’s houses? Will we be forced to apologise endlessly for them not keeping the peace and running mental? All these things run through your mind and that’s before you’ve even left the house and arrived anywhere!

Thinking it would be a good idea to expel some of their energy first, we stopped at a park. Middle was loving life, recklessly flinging himself down the slide, as is tradition (see my swimming post). Eldest got bored after awhile so hubby took him rock pooling. All was going great until eldest got his shoes wet whilst performing said rock pooling activity. Complete meltdown about having to wear his soggy shoes to walk back to the car. Weeping and wailing he was, like some kind of tantruming toddler. Trying to keep the peace, I agreed to carry him back to the car until we dried them out at the place we were heading to next. So there I was, five foot three me, lugging around my huge four-year-old, two f@cking long fishing nets and trying to run after insane middle. Hubby was, of course, strolling peacefully along with the baby in the buggy.

Get to the MIL’s (mother in law’s) house with shoeless eldest. She enquires as to how he is doing with his numbers. Hubby replies that he can count to twenty and recognises numbers up to ten. MIL is very impressed and proud. I add that he also keeps saying a word then telling me what that word rhymes with. “What rhymes with clock?” MIL asks him. He looks at her and swiftly responds “Cock!”. I am horrified. “I hope you mean cockerel!” MIL replies. Hubby, who appears to be extremely proud of his son’s vocabulary, helpfully asks – “and what rhymes with duck?”. “F@ck!” he confidently answers. I have never been more mortified in my life! What happened to cap rhymes with tap? In fairness, I have never asked the clock or duck question. MIL then goes to another room and returns with a game she has purchased him called ‘Gas Out’. Cue excitement from eldest when he realises the objective of the game is to hit some green, gas cloud device that either bubbles or farts depending. If it farts, you are out of the game basically. Hubby, MIL and eldest play a few games and eldest is in his absolute element. Next, it’s off to visit their great gran.

Their great gran is the most lovely and ladylike woman you could ever meet. I call her ‘the lady’. Her house is always immaculate and not a thing is out of place. It’s filled with a multitude of ornaments and pictures of family members which are proudly displayed on the fireplace. This all serves to reduce me to a quivering, nervous wreck what with boisterous eldest, reckless middle and barfing/exploding baby. I knock her door and brace myself. A few minutes later and all of us are seated in her living room. We are having a serious conversation when, out of the depths of nowhere, a chorus of loud farting noises erupts. Unbeknownst to me, eldest has managed to smuggle the above-mentioned gas device into her house with him! Cue more horrified glances between myself and hubby as we frantically try and explain what has happened. Middle then gets bored and decides he will use her whole bottom floor as some kind of running track. Eldest looks on then concur’s that this looks like lots of fun so joins in. After herding them up multiple times, like the wild animals they are, we decide it’s time to leave. Load them all back into the car and wave goodbye to ‘the lady’ who seems ecstatic to see the back of us and thankful her house is still intact. Start the car, take one look at each other and state in unison “thank god that’s done for another few months!”.