The Job Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Vet Appointment

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

World Book Day- 7th March 19

I’m not going to lie, we love books in this house. Although I’ve been mega lazy with baby, middle and eldest get read to all the time. Reading to them is so important in order to build up their vocabulary and get them talking (as I found out with middle). Having said that, this (tis, if I can go all English Literature) is my first experience of ‘World Book Day’. Woah, way to add to my growing to do list- thanks! I had managed to store it in the ‘worry about that later’ part of my brain but alas, it has caught up with me. Why can’t they just bring their favourite book on this day and all read each others? I am so copyrighting that idea.

Eldest’s school has decided to go all rebel and put a ‘slant’ on the theme and, he must dress as a ‘word’. I could give them two upon reading the email they sent (will let you all guess!). Slowing reaching a level of panic and, not having any time at all, I suggested ‘school’ to hubby and explained how he would just go as normal. Apparently, that is a lazy effort. Personally, I think it is both hilarious and genius at the same time. No one will be as lazy to do that surely? Having been royally shot down, I then suggested ‘darkness’ and explained that he could go to school dressed in all black. Apparently, this too is lazy.

I’m all for encouraging reading at every opportunity but, after speaking to fellow mums at the gate, I sense this whole day creates a whole lot of unnecessary pressure. Everyone wants their kid to represent the cleverest character or, in my case, word. I’m very much my dad’s daughter in this respect as, at Halloween, when I was little, he cut out a triangle from a cereal box, put it around my neck, and told me to tell my whole GB class that I was ‘the Bermuda Triangle’. Embarrassing at the time but, utterly genius in retrospect. No matter what effort other parents had gone to, I still won. Simplicity or laziness, that is debatable. I know I felt like a right k#ob but, then I saw everyone laughing and I knew it wasn’t a bad thing (kind of). So, ladies hit me with ideas for words or tell me what your little ones will be dressing up as!

 

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!

Why It’s Time To Talk And End The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health!

Today is ‘time to talk day’ ladies. A day in which we should all be talking about mental health openly and honestly. After all, one in four of us will suffer from some kind of mental health problem and yet, there is still a shame attached to having these sorts of problems. Some of you may know and, others may not but, I have been quite honest about my own struggles with regards to mental health: https://youandmeplusthree.uk/2018/05/03/why-its-ok-not-to-be-ok/ I wrote this about my struggles with postnatal depression not so long ago. At first, I just put it down to the kid’s sending me absolutely batty but, it turns out it was much more than that.

After eldest, I suffered from postnatal depression. I didn’t realise this at the time however and just thought I was being overly emotional what with the lack of sleep and constant crying (him and me). I tried to let it slide for months, ignoring how I felt and making excuses for why I felt that way. I was tired, I was so busy, making bottles and changing nappies was so monotonous and, finally, I was just feeling this way now but it would eventually pass. Alas, it didn’t and I found myself on antidepressants for over six months. I told very few people. I was embarrassed and almost frightened that they would consider me a failure as a new mum.

With middle, I was wobbly afterwards. Not as bad as before but, also not great. His birth had been quite traumatising for me and he suffered badly from reflux and colic. There were days he would cry for four hours straight. My mum came to stay to help me one week as hubby was away in America with work. She left after two nights it was so bad! I found it very hard to bond with him, I’m not going to sugar coat it. I felt awful that I couldn’t make it better for him and viewed myself as a useless mother. The guilt I felt surrounding the lack of bond, made me extremely down and anxious. But, I got through it and came out the other end once he was on solids. Now he is a walking terror but, one that makes me laugh daily with his huge, gregarious personality. I still feel guilty to this day for feeling how I did when he was a baby. There’s the mum guilt again!

This time, with baby, was entirely different. I actually developed full-blown depression whilst pregnant with him. There were many reasons for this looking back. Mainly wondering how I would cope with three and the stress of looking after two other children whilst carrying what felt like a rhino in my tummy. When I gave birth, things got much worse. I didn’t even want to get out of bed most days. Which, is not an option at all when you have kids. Meeting friends filled me with dread and I retreated into myself. Motivation was not to be found and I didn’t even recognise myself any more. The feelings I had felt throughout his pregnancy came back to haunt me. How could I have thought those things? He was perfect and I was so in love! This quickly manifested itself in me becoming obsessed with every little thing that could be wrong. His weight, his eyes, oh my god- cradle cap! Basically, my anxiety was through the roof. I was placed on anti-depressants once again. These then had to be doubled as there was no change. Now I find myself having to wean myself off the ones I am on currently so they can be changed to another type. I’ve also attended counselling sessions and enrolled on a course that promises to boost my self-esteem and confidence. I am fighting against it with every part of me yet it still defeats me most days.

It’s time that we talk about our mental health to others and, especially, those who don’t understand it. How will they ever learn if we hide away from sharing how it affects us? No one wants to wake up each day feeling sad and hopeless. I’m also a firm believer that today’s society is causing more and more people to feel this way. We are expected, as women especially, to be all things to everyone. Wife, mother, cleaner, cook and worker. There are not enough hours in the day and it’s no wonder we are all feeling so overwhelmed. If you feel this way please talk to someone and don’t suffer alone. Even if you don’t suffer from mental health problems, make a point of speaking to someone who does. Ask them if they are ok over a cup of tea. Sometimes all we need is to feel supported and understood.

 

 

 

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………………

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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