We have survived the first full week of being back to school/preschool and nursery. Woo hoo! Not only this but, I didn’t forget to pick any of them up (yet)! This is in spite of all the different finishing times.
Eldest seem’s to be enjoying P2 despite his initial reluctance to go back. I think being reunited with all his friends is the main reason. As per usual, my pleas of what did you today are responded to with his usual ‘why do you always ask that mum? How am I supposed to remember a FULL day?’. My sincere apologies son for taking an active interest in your life and your education. He also randomly had no homework all week. Whilst this should have been amazing, it caused huge confusion and fear to all us school mums who automatically figured that our kids just weren’t bringing it home. To be fair I’m happy enough to wait for bloody Biff, Chip, and Kipper. I’ve also noticed that his new teacher seems to have a laminating obsession. Which, in a way is good as I can keep them for him and they will stay in good condition, though I am left questioning if most of my school fund money is going purely on laminating sheets.
Middle has managed to keep his clothes on all week at his new preschool and not insult anyone. But, it’s early days. He did try to leave on his very first day with two toys smuggled up his jumper. Apparently they were now his as ‘I played with them the most so, I bring them home now’. He is also point blank refusing to call his teacher ‘Mrs’ and has decided she will be referred to as ‘Mr’ purely because he ‘hates girls’. I don’t know how I am explaining that one to her. So, I guess he can explain himself and she can realise what she will be dealing with going forward. I must admit that his nervousness and clinginess this week have greatly surprised me. He usually just gets on with things and is very independent. But, he has asked each day if I will be staying with him and if not, when I will be back for him. I have secretly loved this as I don’t normally feel needed by him. Today he even came up to me out of the blue and gave me a huge cuddle and told me that he ‘loved me’. This is all so alien but obviously appreciated. I have to remember it is only his first week and it will take some time for him to adjust and settle. I know he will eventually as he has already made so many new friends (boys solely).
Baby has also embarked on a new routine in preparation for me returning to a new role. Because of this, I have had to change the days I usually work and he will be staying much later than usual. On the morning of his new times, it was almost like he sensed a change was coming. He awoke at 5 am and started shouting ‘cuddles’ from his cot. I dutifully adhered. Then, before he left, he just sat on my knee cuddling into me for ten minutes. This led to me spending all day battling the dreaded ‘mum guilt’. I’m not going to lie, I may have sobbed twice because I missed him so terribly. If I had of had my car I would have been straight down to get him. But, it’s important he gets used to these long hours in advance. I wasn’t the only one pining for him either as both the boys constantly enquired as to his whereabouts. The second he came home we all fought to get to him first. You would have thought we hadn’t seen him in weeks (it felt like that). We all got some slobbery kisses, then he did his usual and started pointing at the fridge and demanding a yogurt. I have never known a child so obsessed with yogurts in my life. He would literally eat them all day if I let him.
It’s new and stressful times for our family and I do find myself getting very overwhelmed with everything I have to do each day (literally from the moment I wake up). I have tried to counteract this with CBT. But, in terms of routine, it’s just not possible. Being organised is the only way to get them all out of the door in the morning and I have to do that don’t I? One mum said to me at the school gate the other day ‘it’s crazy all this and I only have two!’. It doesn’t matter how many children you have, it’s all the same. The same stresses and worries, the same organisation, the same mad dash to the school run, the same dates to remember and, the same responsibility that probably falls solely on you. I don’t see any men reading the floods of letters that come home and dutifully writing all the important dates/times in the calendar. There’s so much for us to do each day that I’m not surprised we all have days when we want to lock ourselves in the bathroom and have a sob (and a cup of tea). Like I’ve said before, we are only human. I’m writing that across the calendar in capitals so I remember that as well as all the other important things I’m supposed to.
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.
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
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!
This week began with eldest returning home from school on Monday with a note advising that his class would be putting on a talent show. The letter asked that any child with a discernible talent put themselves forward to perform. ‘ Do you have a talent you would like to showcase to all your class mates?’ I asked eldest eagerly, full of hopes of dreams. ‘No, I don’t have a talent mum, anyways it sounds sooooo stupid!’ he replied. ‘Everyone has a talent, think of something you are good at’ I implored. He pondered for awhile then confidently answered ‘I am really good at farting in people’s faces’. Give me strength! Safe to say he didn’t partake and observed instead.
Later that evening the P1 mum’s WhatsApp group was going into meltdown. ‘What do they have to wear tomorrow for the trip?’. ‘Um, what trip?’ I sheepishly sent. ‘The farm trip, I think they need wellies’. FML I had completely forgotten that he was going on that. I cannot keep up with the constant letters advising of colour runs (next Friday), sports day (the following Friday) and summer fair (the Saturday after). I’m beginning to think it’s better if the kids are tattooed with each date for the diary at the start of the year, thus ensuring no one can forget. It’s only a bit of ink. Between these dates and all the bloody birthday parties I have to remember. Aw the social life of a five year old! Maybe I’m just jealous?
Middle is his usual, laid back self. His latest thing this week is telling me when I shout at him to stop or ‘you will never see me ever again’. Not sure if that’s a threat, sounds like quite the offer to me. Another new one is taking off his trousers and pants, jumping repeatedly on the trampoline and screaming ‘girls, girls’ at the ones next door like some kind of walking hormone. I keep having to speed out and redress him before the little girls are permanently traumatised. The sun is fun until these sort of things occur then it’s just plain stressful. He did get a full time pre school place which I was totally shocked about. I’m not complaining however. I just hope they know what they’ve let themselves in for. Hopefully he manages to keep his clothes on until the settling in period is over at least.
Baby has finally taken a few unaided steps. Praise the lord!! He has also been throwing some almighty tantrums which seems a bit early to me. Maybe he is just giving me a glimpse into how severe the two year old ones will be. I dyed my hair dark at the weekend as was so sick of dealing with the roots. Being blonde, broke and having kids is not a good combination. He took one look at me and burst into tears petrified. He didn’t realise it was me. Not only this but he refused to come near me for a whole day. Maybe I’m onto something there….. **stocks up on varying shades of all hair dyes**.
As all of you know, it’s been a stressful few weeks. A seriously ill dog that’s peeing everywhere, the usual chaos with the three boy’s and even a job interview to prepare for with all that going on! That’s why I was so happy to have been sent a book to read, to take my mind off the stresses. It’s tagline, ‘be the hero of your own story’, intrigued me and resonated with how I’ve been feeing about life in general lately.
Reader, I Married Me, centres around Chole, her colleagues, friends and family. She’s thirty five and finds herself suddenly single. As if this wasn’t s#it enough, her work life isn’t faring much better. Becoming increasingly fed up and, after a few too many gin’s, she declares that she will marry herself. I mean, why not? No nagging men, no one to have to wrestle the remote control off and, a great excuse for a party! Her journey to achieve this will have you laughing and cringing in equal measure. As will the many colourful characters Chole is surrounded by. You’ve got the obligatory gay best friend, the mum who is slightly bonkers and the back stabbing work colleague. What could possibly go wrong? There are also lots of mum characters, drowning under the pressure of motherhood. We can all relate to that right?
I found the book so easy to read and very uplifting. It gave me hope that sometimes you can be at your lowest ebb but, things ultimately happen for a reason. You just don’t realise at the time you are going through it. I especially loved the setting of the book- Brighton. The beaches, the surfers and the gay scene! So, if you are looking for some inspiration, with a dollop of humour, get yourself a copy now! I have a little Q & A with Sophie coming up too so, get reading 🙂
Reader, I Married Me! by Sophie Tanner is available in Kindle format now (priced at £1.99) and you can pre order it in paperback also: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reader-Married-Me-Sophie-Tanner-ebook/dp/B07B7S8Q1P/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Reader+I+Married+Me&qid=1553451565&s=gateway&sr=8-1 Let me know what you guy’s think!
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.
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!
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!