Desperately Seeking Help For Eldest

I’ve debated posting this blog post. But I think it’s actually essential that I do and I’m pretty certain some of you ladies have faced the same issues (in whatever capacity).

On Wednesday I went to pick Eldest up from school (mad Middle in tow wielding that blooming Paw Patrol ride on of his). As his class emerged, his teacher indicated that she needed to speak to me. Oh god, what’s he done now I thought to myself. His teacher then proceeded to hand me the above post-it note. I was blind sighted. Mainly because when I went to do his homework with him last week and asked him to get his ‘super pencil’, he advised that Mrs C had told him he no longer required it. “That’s amazing news Aden!” I exclaimed. “It shows you how much all your hard work has paid off!” I proudly added. We’ve been going through a workbook she sent home after his parent teacher interview every weekend.

Back to Wednesday. “How do I go about getting him referred?” I asked utterly perplexed, whilst he stood beside me. “You just need to call your doctors” she advised. “But he doesn’t need the aid on his pencil anymore, he told me so” I replied. “Oh, it wasn’t working and I am concerned that he is actually hurting himself whilst trying to write now” she informed. Whilst this conversation was taking place, Middle had disappeared entirely. “I have to go find the other one now but I will call the doctors right away” I yelled back whilst scanning the surrounding area for Middle. Having located Middle running around the playground like a mad man, off we set for home (Paw Patrol ride on under my arm as per). I immediately called the doctors en route who asked that I call back the following day and someone would speak to me.

The next morning, whilst awaiting them calling back, I made a list of all the issues Eldest is currently experiencing. Might as well get it all out there and noted, I reasoned with myself. After explaining his teacher’s concerns and advising of the options that had been exhausted by her, he grumpily responded: “refer him to Occupational Therapy because he can’t hold a pencil?”. Listen you sanctimonious arsehole, I’m doing what I was told to do by a fellow professional and I’m doing it to best serve my son. Granted I should have had some kind of supporting evidence from his school (bar a post it note and a conversation) but, I’m not calling you up for the sheer laugh! I was so livid I could barely speak. I didn’t bother to highlight the other issues I’m dealing with when it comes to him. I merely ended the call and dissolved into tears. A sea of frustrated ones at that.

This reaction left me entirely in limbo. What should I do? I decided to call the school and ask that Mrs C provide me with a letter, stating everything she had tried and why she felt OT would be beneficial for him. She then called me back apologising profusely for the way in which she had handled ‘post-it gate’. She also placated me with the fact that she had spoken with the internal support teacher with regards to getting him the help he needed. I was now calm. Well, I was until the following day.

Apparently I would have to self refer Eldest. Now, if we could all self refer ourselves places, I’m pretty sure I’d be sitting here with a liposuctioned stomach and a boob job! I was also having to do this once again with no supporting evidence from his school. Every medical professional will surely think I’m a neurotic nuisance now!

OT are yet to return my numerous calls and voicemails. I haven’t been able to sleep all weekend for worrying about Eldest and the fact that, the longer this goes on, the more he falls behind in school. Being able to write is an essential life skill after all. Who would have thought getting him the help he needs would be so dramatic? As I said to the doctor, my job as his mum is to ensure that he is kept alive and grows/prospers. Seemingly the latter isn’t important enough.

Baby Baby Baby Oh/Mad Middle/Toy Car Gate

Yes I have used a Justin Bieber song lyric as a blog post title. The shame! But it’s totally fitting (I promise).

It was 2am on Tuesday morning and Baby had awoken from his cot. As usual, I gleefully transferred him into my bed for lots of cuddles and kisses. As he lay there, greedily guzzling some milk, I stared lovingly at him. Come 3am I was still staring at him (stalker much?). He looked like a proper little boy and not a baby anymore. I found myself getting all emotional and sentimental. It seems like only yesterday that I was holding his little 6lbs frame in the same bed, glaring at him in disbelief that he was finally here. Where has the time gone? I can’t be dealing with this!

If there was a pause button I would hit it right now, at this exact stage. I love it when their personalities are starting to shine through and they still need you but are becoming more independent. He won’t let me open anything for him these days and insists on trying to dress himself (all of which have varying success rates). He is becoming highly vocal also and his dictation is clear and concise, mainly when voicing his extreme displeasure at his brothers “NO, bro bro!”. This is the worrying stage however as it’s when you start to consider another. How bad could it really be? I imagine very very bad indeed if I end up being a mum to four boys, which is exactly what would happen.

In other news Middle has me entirely exasperated this week. I picked him up on Wednesday from preschool and he was more subdued than usual. He also looked quite sheepish in hindsight. I buckled him into his car seat and off we set for home. “How was your day?” I implored. “Um it good” he replied whilst fiddling with the bottom of his trousers frantically. “What are you doing?” I asked. He threw me daggers then dissolved into giggles. “Me have a car” he replied whilst wielding a black toy car that had seemingly emerged from the bottom of his trousers. “Where did you get that from?” I replied alarmed. He looked at me like I had just uttered the most stupid question ever. “I took it from nursery because I want to play with it at home in my room”. Oh dear god! I pulled the car over and tried to explain the concept of stealing to him. Whilst doing so, he continued to retrieve a further eight cars from every crevice of his trousers! “How many do you have Owen?” I yelled. “Lots AND me have more in my jumper too” he answered proudly. “You can’t just take things from nursery Owen, that is wrong! The other children need to play with them. How did you even manage to smuggle so many up there?”. I asked this for a reason. Mainly as he hadn’t placed them in his pocket like a normal person but had blatantly shoved them all up the bottom of his trousers. “I wait until no one looking and I just put them up there one by one” he answered matter of factly. Surely this was the least inconspicuous method he could have deployed? His trousers are cuffed at the bottom and super tight! How no one managed to observe his shenanigans is beyond me.

Upon returning home, I confiscated his contraband and hid them. I then had to message his teacher and advise that she has a thief in her midst and one of whom was showing zero remorse for his actions. Whilst reprimanding him he kept repeating “but where my cars so I play with them?”. He was not receiving the message at all that what he had done was wrong.

This kid- he literally dances to the beat of his own drum all whilst I scramble to fix the situations he gets himself into. I am also having to strip search him before we leave nursery now as I don’t trust him one iota. So I reckon three kids is more than enough and Baby can stay as my baby. Imagine trying to keep on top of two Middle’s? Um, no thanks!

Pre School Peeves, Homework Hell and Hair Disasters!

Middle is STILL settling in at his preschool. We are coming up to week five and he is only in until 11:30am as opposed to the 1:30pm he should be. It doesn’t seem to be solely him either but, lots of them! I’m finding myself getting envious of other mums whose kids have settled in and all. Not only this but, I think their process is just drawing things out when there is no need. He is used to being in nursery for longer than their standard day (at his private one). In saying that I have no idea how he, as an individual, is getting on each day. The app I check daily never seems to be updated. Is anyone else having the same issues?

Upon picking him up on Monday he bounded into my arms and gave me the biggest cuddle. We then went to change his shoes (they wear pe shoes when in class). Upon getting to his peg, he was enraged that a little girl was sitting under it getting her shoes on. “That girl is at MY peg!” he bellowed. “Aw it’s ok, she is just getting her shoes on then you can sit there” I placated. “No, it’s mine and she is a girl so, she move now!”. What a way to ingratiate yourself to other parents son. The girl having vacated ‘his spot’, off we went to the car. I quickly glanced back at the snack menu to see what he had eaten that day. It informed me that he had had peppers, apple and muffins.

When we got to the car, I enquired as to what he had eaten that morning. He looked positively fuming. “We had some orange thing mum. It was disgusting (yelled). I don’t like it at all” he said whilst gesticulating wildly with his hands. “Aw, well, at least you tried something new. I guess we all like different things. Did anyone else try it and like it?” I ventured. He rolled his eyes then started mimicking his teacher. “Mr T (he is point blank refusing to call any of his teachers Mrs) said ohhhhh it’s sooooo yummy”. With this he mimicked her putting it into her mouth. “But, it so wasn’t mum. She tells lies” he added with annoyance. You can’t win them all I guess ‘Mr T’.

In other news, Eldest is finally receiving homework again. Although I dreaded it starting back up again, I have been impressed with how easy he is finding it. I can totally see a difference between his work in P1 and now. The amount has definately ramped up however and it is hard to get him to sit down and focus on it no matter what time I attempt to do it.  His behaviour the last few weeks, when at home, is also driving me to distraction. I’ve had to introduce strict new rules and be rigidly firm with him. I’ve began to notice that when he is bored, all chaos breaks out. Middle is crying and Baby too. He invades their space and begins to lash out for no discernable reason. This continues until one of them obliges him and stops what they are doing to muck around with him.  Arrgghhh!

Some of you may have saw that I decided to home bleach my hair last week (I know, I shouldn’t have done that). I lasted a grand total of a few months dark! Obviously it went very badly, very badly indeed. I drove to the local chemist and all they had was a silver hair dye so, I reluctantly purchased it. I mean it couldn’t have gotten any worse could it? Well, it actually turned out ok in the end. I am loving it and may now become a professional colourist (just kidding). I find that the level of  depression I am dealing with makes me quite impulsive and do things without thinking them through. Normally I would weigh up the pros and cons whereas now I just go for it. I guess I’ve went from being Eldest to being Middle. In some ways this is a good thing as I’m not worrying as much but, it has it’s downsides. Mainly with hair decisions……..

First Week Finito!

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.

This also happened this week- no high chair! I’m so emotional about it. He however is loving life!

Preparing for Back to School Bedlam!

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

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

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

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

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

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

School Shenanigans , Sun and Not Much Fun….

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**.

Surviving the Easter Break!

A few weeks ago, I picked up eldest from school full of excitement. Because, the Easter break was upon us and he would be off for two whole weeks! I was excited for one reason  and one reason only and that’s  the fact that myself and him would get to spend some time alone together. We never get to anymore. This was going to be wonderful. Well……

Day one I asked him what he would like to do. ‘Ummm’ he pondered, ‘let’s go shopping’ he finally decided. Weird, I thought but, if that’s what he wants to do, we shall do it. Off we went to the local shops. He started off easy with Home Bargains, picking a relatively cheap toy and a book. This isn’t too bad, I mused to myself. Then he spotted the pound shop. How bad could that be? Well, after five minutes he had filled a whole basket with utter crap (he probably inherited this reckless £ shop spreeing from me in his defence). I managed to talk him into procuring a few useless items in the end and ushered him straight out before he spied anything else. We’d no sooner left and walked past a barbers. ‘Mum, can I get my hair cut in there?’ he asked. I looked at the current state of his hair and quickly established that a hair cut wasn’t a bad idea. Another ten pounds gone. Day one had cost me a grand total of twenty pounds!

Day two he had to accompany me to the doctors. This proved entirely awkward. I tried so hard not to get emotional as he was present but, I just didn’t manage it. It was also highly embarrassing having to speak about my mental health with him seated right beside me but, need’s must. I spoke to him on the way to the car park and explained the importance of being a male and talking to someone if you feel sad. When we got back to the car he began to moan. ‘Mum, these trainers don’t even fit me anymore. I mean, feel how my toes are right at the top!’. I leant over to test his theory. He was correct. Arrrrggggh! Off we went to purchase new trainers. But, I couldn’t buy him some without getting a pair for middle. He has been wearing eldest’s hand me down trainers for two years now (eldest was so easy on all them, they were like new). It was time middle got a brand new pair. To be fair eldest picked a pair that weren’t overly expensive but, they only had one pair in middle’s size and they cost more than I had expected. I was going to be bankrupt by the end of the week at this rate. Upon picking middle up, box in hand, he took one look at his gleaming new trainers and declared ‘this is stupid treat, where my lollipop?’. The gratitude is strong with that one- not!

The next few days were glorious. We spent lots of time outside. This was great as they were easily entertained with all the toys out in the garden. Even baby was loving life on his Paw Patrol ride on, basking in the sunlight. That was until middle decided that he was having too much fun to reenter the house so would just keep peeing on the grass. What is it with this child? He knew to do it in a corner that I can’t see from the kitchen also. Lot’s of naughty step and time outs seemed to solve this problem. Until, the following day, when he ran into the house demanding that I ‘wipe his bottom’. ‘Why’ I implored. ‘You haven’t gone to your potty?’. At that point eldest came in, shaking due to laughing hysterically. ‘Owen did a poo outside’ he claimed, in between convulsing. ‘HE DID WHAT?’ I yelled. I don’t think I’ve ever ran so fast. There, in the hidden corner, was a very large poo. Who does that? I mean. who? Poo removed (with a doggy poo bag, the shame!) and, bottom wiped he was placed on the naughty step whilst I grabbed every single Easter egg he had received. He was told they would be going in the ‘big bin’. You know sh#t is going down if something is going in the ‘big bin’. This resulted in him crying the whole night. Well, don’t be an utter savage then son!

Baby is on the move walking wise. His confidence has grown so much that, his new favourite thing is standing up on the bed, hands in the air, waiting a moment, then flinging himself forward. Why did I ever think he would be my easiest one? He has obviously inherited middle’s ‘just do it anyway and see what happens’ approach to life. I’m on tenterhooks every time he even moves now. How am I ever going to keep three of them alive? Little boys have an obsession with scaling things, climbing and jumping from heights. Help!! Who up there hates me? I want to deal with unicorns, plaits and nail polish not Lego, farts and football.

On the plus side, I have survived these two weeks with my sanity nearly intact. Roll on the summer, I mean, oh god, the summer! Better take up yoga before that arrives!

Treat day

Looks so cute but quite happily does a poo in the garden!

For some unknown reason, he is majorly obsessed with this watering can.

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!

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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)!