Sunday, 24 March 2013

The dentist, the bitch and the programme

Stupendously glad tidings to one and all. I am desperately resisting the urge to annihilate our chocolate, biscuit and chocolate biscuit supplies so I am taking to the keyboard instead.

On Monday I discovered I had put on 2lbs, then I took G to the dentist who was very welcoming, asked if he knew me already and then asked me if I was pregnant. I said 'No' I had just had a baby which was in fact, in my arms right in front of him. He (who was quite portly himself) then apologised and said it was because he thought I had been to him before, however it was quite clear he was mistaking me for someone who was pregnant. To make it worse he then continued by saying that it took his wife a year to lose her baby weight. Which just confirmed the fact that he thought I was fat. I don't mind or take it to heart because I am fat and am acutely aware of it. However, imagine if I was 25 stone post pregnancy and had in fact lost a SHED load of weight and was now the thinnest I've ever been - it could have been incredibly upsetting. He shouldn't assume just because I am fat now that I wasn't fatter before - although admittedly it isn't easy to phrase that either. I think all in all unless a woman makes a point of saying she is pregnant NEVER ask her. It doesn't usually end well.

On Thursday morning as we cuddled in bed chatting Ted said "I hate that bitch". I asked him to say it again. He said it slower, but perfectly, I hate that bitch. We were in the middle of talking about his nursery and how he was having the day off but would go back tomorrow and see his beloved Marianna (his key worker) and more importantly Be Good. The day before I had been to his nursery for his parent teachers and yet again, was told that Ted's behaviour was erratic. It seems he has teamed up with a like minded party-starter and they feed off each others mischief and get themselves in to terrible trouble. So, as you can imagine this wasn't the ideal start to his 'new leaf' of good behaviour and I was worried that he was angry at his key worker for telling me about the bad behaviour and getting him in to trouble. I also mentally berated myself for allowing him to watch '12' Certificate DVDs - which in my considerable defence is because it seems all the superhero films seem to be a '12' - all four Spiderman ones, Captain America, Fantastic Four etc (and yet Coraline, where the protagonist is asked to gouge out her eyes and sew buttons in their place is a PG????). I decided to talk around the subject to discover his use of this new word. I asked what he was talking about and why he felt that about her. To my great relief it would appear that he has developed an interesting lisp and what he actually meant was 'I hate that bit' which referred to the day before when Marianna had insisted he tidied up for tidy up time. The relief I felt was, as you can imagine, momentous. There is a vast difference between the odd 'shit' and 'bloody' absorbed from his mother but at the age of three to refer to his nursery key worker as a bitch really would have concerned me greatly.

So, back to last week (my timeline is all out for this one but I can't be bothered, so just try and keep up). I survived, Cybs survived and even K survived the Actual Night Out. It was a stunning success. I will admit I had a wobbly moment about leaving as I was putting her down in the cot but once I was in the car and off I felt quite excitable. It was all jolly lovely and the pizza was deeeeelish. And huge. Just how I like them.  Cybs stayed beautifully asleep for my entire venture over the river and back and I got to catch up with all my old school friends - it was a fabulous turn out. I even made it home in time to catch the local mothers at a birthday booze in the tapas bar round the corner.  They hadn't eaten so were well away by the time I arrived at 11 and it hit me instantly how much more fun 'drunk' is when you are the one who is actually enjoying its effects.  So, on my first Actual Night Out I got to two events, Cybs didn't suffer and I was in bed and ready for sleep by midnight. I shan't be doing it again any time soon but just to know that I have done it is quite enough for now.  Especially as that was one of the last times she did sleep well - ever since my night out we (I say we but actually I mean I - K takes over in extreme circumstances but it is me who does it  99% of the time) have been suffering from nightly screaming of around an hour and a half which is making me slightly crazy.

I hate to admit it but I am not particularly good at coping with non sleeping babies. She is usually ok in the evening but once you reach 10 o'clock it enters 'the danger zone' and she could wake at any point and then cry on and off for around an hour and a half. But on Thursday night it didn't stop. I tried everything, in the bed with me, in her cot, feeding, dummy, ignoring, cuddling etc etc. In the end I gave up and put the pillow over my head and ignored her cries which left K to take over. Mercifully so, as by that point Bea and G had also been woken up and the cries were reaching epic levels. He took her downstairs and away from me. Bea was sobbing by this point. It was a horrid night. My thoughts towards my youngest were uncharitable at best and potentially fatal at their worst. It seems totally 'other wordly' in the cold light of day, that I could ever have felt such horrid things. I know I am going to be eternally damned for just 'thinking' these things but I also said some pretty mean things to her and I wasn't exactly gentle and loving. I felt hideously bad about it all of Friday morning - particularly when I read a blog from a woman who had lost her son at a year old and then listened to a woman on the radio, quite by chance, speaking about the loss of her son who was nearly two. I took both of these things as signs that I should be nicer to poor C and have been so ever since. Luckily, she has also slept better.

I don't read parenting books or have a particular 'style' - I am most definitely not an Earth Mother (see above), Yummy Mummy (too fat, lazy and poor), Working Mother or a Gina Ford regimented type either. I have decided that my 'style' should be summarised as The Haphazard Parent - this is for two reasons - the 'hap' part stands for happy - on the whole I am quite happy to do it and my children are quite happy and due to my laziness and laid back approach to almost every aspect of my life they don't seem to have any major anxieties or tense, worrying behaviour and seem generally ok. However the downside to my haphazard school of child rearing is the 'hazard' part. Not having a hard and fast method of getting babies to sleep through the night, believing my 3 year old might refer to his Nursery key worker as 'that bitch' due to the crap I let him watch on TV, putting off going to the dentists for too long so that G has severe decay in two teeth and although the dentist assures me that some teeth are more prone to decay than others and it is actually more to do with genetics than a lack of oral hygiene, ultimately even if the decay was not entirely my fault, I should have taken him to the dentist far more often than I did. So there is the hazard part. There are many other hazards obviously but these are the most recent.

On the plus side of life is my new TV Heaven - Nashville - a better concept of a programme that doesn't take place in a hospital I cannot think of - country music, bitch fights, fit men, children, marriage, deceit - all bundled up in a fab one hour segment. Brothers and Sisters was good but I think this may just top it. Luckily there is only one programme a week or I might get stuck on the sofa again like I did with the Real Housewives. Now Cybs is bigger and requires far less feeding, my beloved sofa and I are spending huge expanses of time (relatively) away from one another. I have to snatch the odd ten minutes here and there in order to try and get through all my dramas. I have now downloaded the Nashville album and it is making kitchen time far more enjoyable and as luck would have it, Cybs finds my country mum dancing frickin hilarious. I am now desperate to talk 'country' on a full time basis and go round talking/singing about my feelings and my head and my heart and my heart and my head and refer to a group of people as y'all. I can use 'honey' as a term of endearment and refer to myself in the third person as Mama without attracting too much attention so I am going to start off with that.

I have also hit upon a genius idea to boost the morale of the country at the moment - well actually just the people with children but that is a vast number of them so I still stand by it - my idea is 'Parenting Certificates' - something to help give us a little lift after all the crappy weather, potential loss of child benefit, tax credits, shutting down of local hospital A and E departments etc etc etc. It would be relatively inexpensive but very effective so a real vote winner. I think it could work something like this; you would be able to nominate yourself or nominate others for a piece of parenting that you think is deserving of an award. It doesn't have to be groundbreaking or ambitious - I came up with the idea after my night out when a friend told me of her night fixing a tyre on the side of the road at three in the morning with her daughter in the back of the car, after spending the evening helping her very sick mother try and get the hospital care she needed and still made her important business meeting with Harvey Nichols the following day. The spectrum for brilliant parenting certificates (and I haven't worked it all out yet but I think there should also be a medal system for really outstanding feats) is wide and diverse, coping with chemotherapy and still making a child's school assembly; having a newborn and still throwing a fabulous birthday party for the older sibling; managing to feed the family when you have no money; making cakes for the school cake sale even though you have the flu - that kind of thing; getting a lovely shiny certificate through the post as a validation for your extra special effort or coping ability would be a real bonus. Especially if you weren't expecting it.Kids get certificates and rewards all the time - they love it and I am convinced adults want the same as well but are too grown up to admit it. To be honest, if they gave me a printer, some stamps and a website I'd probably offer to set up a Govt department from the comfort of my sofa. I could do with some more reasons to sit on it.

Righty ho I have to get going, sorry, this is all a bit bitty. Oh well, life is a bit bitty. Bit crap, bit good, bit happy, bit sad. Sometimes you want to go around hugging people, sometimes you want to go around punching them in the face and then kneeing them in the crotch. Such is life. That's it for now. Y'all go and enjoy yourselves. I'm off to bed to cope with a screaming Cybs.

Tarahhhh xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Mother's Day and out

Bonjour, hola, hello and welcome. I have been trying to catch you up for ages - sadly every time I put it down on virtual paper it all sounds ridiculously dull - I keep trying to 'sex it up' to make it more appealing for you guys but that has meant that it hasn't got written so I'll just say it 'as it is'. Sorry.

I went OUT. YES OUT. I exited the house in a gay fashion totally alone. Alone I tell you, alone. Toute seule. It was fabulous. I mean I only walked down the road to the school to sit on a child's chair at a child's table and answer quiz questions based on the children's curriculum but still, it was a night out of the house with no actual children and no one wanting to feed off me. I met Cybil's Godmother there and we merrily caught up, drank a lot of wine and attempted to answer questions and it was all treeeeemendous fun. I even surprised myself by knowing the answers to about ten questions which was thrilling, although sadly I was not believed for half of them which was fair enough as I didn't know I knew half of them. I even knew a character called Rainbow Bright which is amazing as I have no recollection of her or from where she hails. So strange. Anyway - the night itself was a huge success however the Cybil aspect of the equation was not as successful -  having promised K I would be home by 10.30, the final round of the quiz began at five to eleven and I felt that I really did need to see it through to the end however at around the same time I received a text from K telling me that Cybs had been awake for half an hour and was incredibly unhappy and that Bea had awoken due to the noise. I asked, via text, if I needed to come back. K replied, 'no, you stay as long as you like'. I, being ever the hopeful drunk romantic, assumed that he was willing to suffer the noise and annoyance so that I could finish my first night out in a bloody long time and continued to help with the last quiz round on film music (I got one wrong and one right so I cancelled myself out and may as well have left). I texted him to say thank you and to officially approve any actions he wanted to take as regards Cybs. Eventually the reply arrived and it involved the 'f' word. It turns out he had chosen a very inopportune time to try sarcasm in a text.  Upon the receipt of the 'f'ing' text I grabbed my coat and hurried home to silence the mewling infant.

The following day I felt the full force of my first night of over indulgence and by 7.30 am I was sat cross legged in my beloved onesie on the floor of Bea and G's bedroom with my head in my hands and started to wail about how on earth I was going to get them up and out. Mercifully Bea was being kind and helpful and after I had some tea and toast I felt well enough to get me dressed and the children fed. I also knew that I was aiming towards sitting in the hairdressers for my first hair cut since November which helped considerably. I deposited the big two with their respective schools and dropped Ted with a kind friend to play with her son. My baby childcare fell through at the last minute but luckily Cybs was either very tired or slightly drugged from the drinking I did the night before as she sat very happily on me and drifted in and out of sleep for hours. It was glorious. The only slight issue was that it was costing money we don't really have. Should you be someone who is contemplating giving up work forever I must warn you that getting your hair done will be a bone of contention for the rest of your life. For some reason, and I don't know why, K having his hair cut once a month is a 'necessity' but me having my hair done every few months is a 'luxury'. I don't know if this is true for every household but it certainly is in ours. It is a major issue and I will admit to having a rather large, hungover style paddy on Friday a.m when the subject of payment reared its ugly head once again. To be fair if he had lots of money he wouldn't grumble and is quite generous however when money is tight it is incredibly irritating when I know full well that he will leave the house and think nothing of buying an extortionately priced pack of flipping cigarettes but has a major issue with me getting my lanky hair cut and coloured for an extremetly reasonable price. GRRRRRR. And so it is that the downside of not having your own income is a. your wardrobe is crap and b. your hair and make up are not deemed necessities however there will always be money for fags and booze however tight the budget.

Mother's Day. Now I should imagine your day was ever so slightly marred by my lack of contact. I know it is now traditional for me to spend the afternoon alone and writing to you guys but this year I broke with tradition and decided to surprise my mum with a round trip to Suffolk.  It would have made a fantastic surprise too if it wasn't for my beautiful but slightly moronic nephew who misinterprated my text asking what 'mum' was doing for mother's day and assumed I meant his mum and not mine. The ensuing conversation I had with him was clearly at cross purposes too but we didn't realise our misunderstanding until I was on my way down to Suffolk first thing Sunday morning and my mother rang. It would appear that the beautiful nephew turned around after our conversation and informed my mother that I would be coming down to Suffolk but that I would definitely NOT be coming to see her and that I was instead planning to spend the day with my sister. It didn't occur to the beautiful boy that it might be a tad hurtful to callously inform his grandma that I would be driving for nearly four hours in a day and coming to within five miles of her house on mother's day but not bothering to even drop by and deliver my missing card. It seems quite hilarious now but obviously at the time I was a trifle annoyed as it was meant to be a fabulous surprise for her and indeed be her 'gift' as I hadn't even remembered to post her card in time so this was really meant to make up for that. I haven't spent time at mum's without more than one child for over six years. It was remarkable to see what it it is like when we're not there and it is quiet. It was lovely.  I had planned for us to do something 'grown up' like going out for a long walk up to visit dad's grave or even go in to town but when I arrived mum was half way through a Sunday Roast for my nephew and niece who was also over. I clearly enjoyed the benefits of this roast and even had time to eat it as mum held Cybs so it was well worth the long car trip.  Unfortunately mum was worried about the cost of my Diesel so she also gave me money for my return journey. I think I may be the only adult who ended up making her mother cook for her, cost her money and inadvertantly caused her distress for the night preceding mother's day. Still, it all worked out in the end - I arrived home to find the big three in bed and K cleaning the kitchen. I also got some lovely home made cards - Ted got very in to it and I had about four from him. All in all it worked out beautifully, both mothers visited and acknowledged and I got a rest. Perfect.

Other than that very little has happened. Expressing milk is a total no go. I have no idea how people do it. Or when. I tried to have a go at the weekend in the evening after Cybs had gone to bed (she does that now, finally - it is all very exciting) and I got just over one ounce of milk from both boobs. It was massively disheartening - especially as she just gagged on it when I tried to introduce her to it via the bottle. I then tried again a few nights later and got absolutely nothing. Not even a drop. Which reminds me yet again why I hate expressing so much, because even in the face of quite obvious successful breast feeding I began to worry that I wasn't actually producing as much milk as I thought.  I am giving up on the whole expressing idea - especially as there is an awful lot of faffing involved with it. I am attempting to leave the house once again tonight for the Actual Night Out I started all this sleep training/expressing malarkey for in the first place so I am very hopeful she will sleep peacefully and allow me to inhale my pizza without worry. Mercifully there is no drinking tonight as I will be driving. I don't think I could live through another hangover with this many children and this little sleep behind me.

So, that is it. Not sexed up and a bit matter of fact. But at least you know what has happened. I must go and pick up Ted and attempt a restful afternoon before all the excitement tonight. I may finally have got Cybs to sleep in the evening but I still struggle to stay awake. Not only was last Friday a nightmare for me but I also ended up going to bed at 7.30 which was a good three hours after I wanted to go to bed.  I am definitely not young anymore.....

Until the next time. Au Revoir. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx