Sunday, 3 November 2013

The Tedium of Life

Well hello and good evening. Isn't this a treat? Just you, me, a laptop and the X factor.  K is out watching our eldest offspring skip the light fantastic in her annual dance show so I have the sofa and the remote control all to myself which means I can sing along to X factor unchecked - wahoo.  Although sadly this also means there is no chocolate and no one to get me any. I have some Maltesers which will just have to do but they really are not a good substitute for the good stuff.  They certainly don't count as actual chocolate in my eyes.

So, let's get on with all the tedium. On reflection 'The Tedium of life' would have been a far better blog name for me. I am kicking myself that it has taken two and a half years to realise this. I might re-launch. Anyway, wrong name aside there has been an awful lot of tedium over the last few weeks. If you live a high octane kind of life you might find it all a bit much so best rejoin me for another post. 

I will start where we left off last time - which I believe was just as the teachers went on strike.  I am all for a bit of striking as it goes.  Although I am never thrilled at the prospect of a weekday with all of the children, the plus side is that I get to earn money looking after the poor unfortunates whose parents can't also strike. I did idly wonder, when I heard they were striking yet again, how many stay at home parents would need to join together to form a Union of Stay at Home Parents so that we might also go on strike. Our pay conditions, pension and holidays are SHOCKING so we could legitimately strike on a very regular basis which would be quite fun, but I cannot imagine it would do anyone any good and we would just wake up the next day to a filthy house and feral children.  But, back to reality - as the teachers enjoyed their day off  (all except G's year who very kindly agreed to go ahead with the year 2 school trip regardless)  I took five children to Crystal Palace Park and spent an enjoyable-ish three hours messing around in the mud whilst fielding endless questions as well as trying to placate Ted who was tremendously disappointed with the whole experience. It appears that when I told him we were going to see the Dinosaurs at the Dinosaur Park, he was expecting actual, real life ones in all their gigantic, vicious beauty and the impressive statues we actually saw were an extraordinary let down. I suppose, in a world where Father Christmas is able to drop off presents to every child in the world in one night, fairies appear and donate money in return for lost teeth and magic bunnies give you chocolate eggs - real dinosaurs are totally a possibility.  An extra child did  valiantly try to convince him that a T Rex had eaten all of the dinosaurs which was why the statues were the only things left, but it did little to pacify a newly four year old who was looking forward to a Jurassic Park experience.  An attempt to steer his attentions towards the live spiders at the farm was also thwarted when we walked in and saw that the whole 'exotic animals' room was closed for refurbishment. By that point I deemed the trip had lasted long enough, particularly as another extra child had done a full on mud splat and was covered head to toe with the stuff.  All this combined with the fact that Bea was having a particularly 'special' day. I have no idea what goes on internally with children, but I am pretty sure there are occasional chemical imbalances which causes the most improbable behaviour from them. Bea had been having a chemical imbalance episode for quite a while and the strike day was the very pinnacle.  By bed time that evening I had stropped out of her bedroom vowing to never parent her again and that she was 'on her own from hereonin'.  There is only so much a person can take and I had totally reached my limit.  She was rude, stroppy, a total know it all and although I'm not a big fan of the word 'disrespectful'. And not just to me.  Her siblings and the extra children were not safe either.  It is just terrifically wearing. I was also terrified that it was how things were heading on a permanent basis as she moved in to the dreaded 'Tween' stage. It made me tearful to think about it. Mercifully my strop finally seemed to make her see sense and her chemicals have been far more balanced since then.

George took his chemical imbalance turn last week when we visited the dentist to check out a filling he thought had come out.  Due to his rather weak teeth and potentially my terrible parenting, we have had cause to frequent the dentists on a number of occasions, so I wasn't expecting anything particularly out of the ordinary. That is always how these episodes get you - you are going about your daily life not worrying about anything and then BAM a class A chemical imbalance of a melt down hits you right between the eyes. This one was over an Xray. Initially G was particularly jovial to the lovely female dentist as he sat in her chair - answering her questions and seeming genuinely excited about the prospect of an xray. But THEN the lovely dentist attempted to put the plastic instrument that holds the xray film, inside his mouth. The hell that broke loose started off innocently enough with him exclaiming that he didn't like it and that it hurt. Further attempts to convince him only served to rattle his cage and push him further in to the path of full on hysteria. By some miracle and quite a bit of stern talking by me, we just about managed to get an xray by me holding the film next to the tooth in place of the plastic instrument and the lovely lady dentist grabbing Cybs just as the Xray was taken. However we didn't realise this attempt had been successful as no one had heard the beep and he had struggled loose before we could be sure, so as i tried to (quite forcefully) get him to let me hold it next to his tooth once again - he became manic and his shouts, cries and protestations became louder.  He tried to escape - I got angry, the dentist and technician became desperate. Cybs continued to potter around. Luckily, just as it looked like G and I might enter in to a physical fight they discovered that the xray had come through and we had enough to go on. We all relaxed and returned to the dentist's chair - all except G who was still sobbing and hyper ventilating and very keen to leave. He did agree to get back in to the chair and I thought we were almost through the ordeal as he opened his mouth and the dentist began her work.  However by that point G had decided that nothing further was going to happen and he kept moving his head and forcing them to halt proceedings after a few seconds of each attempt to work on the tooth.  The lovely dentist managed to, eventually, remove the half of the filling that was still remaining and was all set to try and refill it. However G was still sobbing and refusing to stay still. Me holding his hand, the technician being kind, me getting cross, the dentist being firm, none of it convinced him to stay still or cope with even slight discomfort. At one point he said it hurt too much before they had even touched the tooth - it was then that everyone in the room lost patience and I saw the technician roll her eyes and sigh more than once. I became increasingly angry. None of it helped. We gave up. The dentist agreed to put a temporary topping on to the exposed tooth. G relaxed. He lay back and was suddenly able to hold still. She applied the temporary fix. G went crazy. He was screaming about his tongue. He went red and started gagging. He tried rinsing. It didn't help. We left as soon as possible and as I stood at reception trying to book another appointment, G started acting as if he was going to be sick. He went bright red and doubled over making throat grunts and retching through his hysteria. I was so cross and the woman waiting next to him seemed so alarmed, that I sent him outside where he just alarmed a number of passers by with his grade A performance of a child in great distress and about to be sick. I was having none of it. AS soon as Cybs and I walked out I began quite a tirade of angry hissing before we shut the car doors and I did a lot of actual shouting. Luckily for G the car journey was ridiculously short as we stopped to pick up Ted from a friend's house. Within minutes G was able to control his hysteria and the tongue issue disappeared. I am a tad apprehensive about returning on Monday for round two. I hope this isn't the beginning of a full of dentist phobia..... I really need lessons for how to cope with this sort of thing.

I have had my fair share of tantrums recently as well.  My last one culminated in a rather unfortunate incident with my phone. After a quick swim in the bath, the phone had become increasingly temperamental, eventually becoming almost unusable as the 'home' button kept sticking meaning that it was impossible to navigate the phone, and even if you did manage,  the voice of Siri (an allegedly helpful service apple provide) piped up asking if he could help me with anything. By the time he had asked me for the millionth time and was preventing me from doing something vital (I forget what it was now) I threw it down with such force that it smashed in to a million little pieces. So for a ridiculously long time (not hours or days but actual weeks),  I had no phone. It has been quite an eye opener. We have no land line or Internet (an ongoing battle) either so it meant I really had no way of ringing anyone or using the Internet until K came home each night.  There were no doubt texts I failed to reply to and events I missed out on but as I have no idea what they were, I have to conclude that it wasn't much. When the schools rang to inform of bumped heads or lost fillings, K passed on the message via email (my ipad worked for emails and selective texts with my phone sim) and I did what i could through the ever helpful FB in the evenings.  After a week we discovered that my new iphone was not going to be arriving for some time and it was then that I had a small (big) breakdown and began to panic. Luckily Kent Sister very kindly sent me her old iphone to help out. Sadly her help wasn't reciprocated by the Royal Mail who are exceptionally annoying. They delivered it a day late when I wasn't home. I had to wait until the following day to pick it up from the sorting office a mile away. The exciting day came and I set off full of hope that I might be reunited with cellular communication. I drove the mile, parked the car, exited the car, put Cybs in the buggy, walked the short distance to the sorting office and proudly produced my red card and driving licence which had my address on it. However, the package was addressed using my married surname and my licence still had my maiden name (I STILL haven't changed anything - I am definitely planning on it though I promise) and as it was a special delivery package the man behind the glass was not at all impressed with my lack of surname organisation and refused to hand over the package. My subsequent imploring fell on deaf ears and it became quickly apparent that he was not to be moved and insisted I return another time. I almost cried. I did the reverse journey - buggy, car, collapsing buggy, drive keeping cybs awake by opening windows and shouting etc. I couldn't park near the house so had to park a way off, get out, carry an angry Cybs who was quite keen to stay put and fall asleep, walk home, find Marriage Certificate even with a screamingly unhappy cybs, walk back, drive the mile there, exit car, put even angrier Cybs in buggy, walk to sorting office where a different man took an extremely cursory glance at my ID and handed over the package with very little ado. Finally I thought - a phone. NOT so. Kent sister is with O2 so the phone needed unlocking for me to use my Orange sim card. Cybs was not going to undertake another trip so I retreated home and let her sleep until we picked up Ted. With Ted collected and a packed lunch proffered, I set off with more high hopes towards the delightful Catford and the shop that had fixed my ipad.  Parking was yet again an issue so we opted for Halfords car park and a small walk over a potential parking ticket and convenient parking space. This involved emptying both children, looking around Halfords (I know they don't actually know I am not intending to use the shop but I feel guilt quite intensely so felt obliged), walking under the bridge courtesy of a vile subway, up the other side and triumphantly in to the shop through the fog of fag smoke. I produced my broken phone and asked how much to fix it - he sucked in breath and said "£65 - if you can find the home key" (I had thrown it away that morning) - I asked how long it would take and he said "while you wait". I gave him my sister's phone and asked how much to unlock it. He said "£45". I asked how long it would take. He said "5-7 days".  I sighed loudly, bundled up the children and walked out.  I was a broken woman. Neither option seemed a good one and I knew for a fact that many people had had their phones unlocked within minutes so I was very suspicious of a man who needed a week to do it. I went back through the stinking subway and up the other side, down the hill and back in to halfords to purchase the Spiderman bell Ted had seen and taken a fancy to. As he was buying it i saw an O2 pay as you go sim for 99p and purchased it. It worked. On a different number obviously but I was once again 'mobile'. Relief.

Unexpectedly and two weeks earlier than promised, my new iphone arrived 48 hours later. I was THRILLED. In time for half term and G's bday. However as we had no internet I couldn't get it up and running which was crashingly disappointing. I had to bundle the children in to the car, drive to a friend's house (who was out) but whose wireless broadband was already set up with my laptop which meant that we could sit there and configure my new phone via itunes without having to get out of the car.  The children were remarkably patient and eventually the phone was raring to go. We were all jubilant. Until I inserted the new sim once we got back home and it failed to work. I had to wait another 24 hours for EE to sort it out and then I was finally, finally back up and running.  It was actually something of an anticlimax as I was expecting a deluge of missed texts and voicemail messages.  However the phone remained belligerently quiet. Nothing momentous occurred.  And nothing momentous has occurred since either. Although I am greatly relieved to be back in the world of modern technology. 

That was duller than you thought wasn't it?


Hello and welcome back to another weekend and another X factor. I wrote that bit before half term but then fell asleep and didn't have a chance to finish it.  You didn't miss much - there was just a Halloween disco for G and Ted (it wasn't that much fun for me but they had fun) and a 'date' with G's hot teacher left to fill you in on. Sadly the date didn't go as planned as he kept talking about G and even gave me targets for him and what with me having to keep half an eye on the three children who were also on the 'date' with me and him dismissing me after ten minutes, it was not entirely what I had hoped for. The fresh make up application and perfume were a total waste of time.

Half term has been and gone - I went to see Bea's dance show which was fabulous, and then we packed up and braved the storm and travelled safely to Suffolk. It was an incredibly busy time with a lot to cram in to an abbreviated trip - particularly with halloween and G's birthday. It actually flew by. I had no time to get anything sorted or even finish off this post. Still, I am back now and G's birthday is well and truly over and done with. He has been exceptionally spoilt and has had an awful lot of celebrating.  Oooh and thanks to a bit of a tummy bug and the fabulous 5:2 plan I managed to lose weight on a school break! My new exciting total weight loss for the month is a heartening 9.5 pounds! I am beyond thrilled. Other than that life is pretty much as it ever was. The children are all getting bigger, the house gets messy and then gets clean and then gets messy again, money comes in and then goes straight back out again. Cybs and Ted keep me on my toes  so i don't tend to get too bored. Cybs is developing at an alarming rate and can now scooter which makes life a bit tricky as she can't even see over the handlebars of Ted's microscooter but that doesn't stop her thinking she should be allowed to scoot off as he does - albeit at a much, much slower pace. On one of the last days before half term she was casually scooting across the playground with one hand on the handles and the other by her side holding a cereal bar. She occasionally took a mouthful of it whilst still on the move. It was then that I really missed having my phone. I would have loved to have that on film. I write it now in the hope that I can bring back the memory if I ever re-read this. She insists on her breakfast being just the same as the others - Cheerios served in a bowl with milk and a spoon and she also likes to drink from a glass and isn't a big fan of the sippy cups that i keep trying to force upon her. She is still not a fan of milk but I am now really and truly over breastfeeding. I think I have now reached a point where I could happily put my baps firmly back in my bra never to release them again.
So, that is all that there is to report. We had a jolly half term, I now have a phone back and I am less fat than I was at the end of September. It really is a thriller of an entry. I shall go and investigate if The Tedium of Life is already taken as a blog title.

Let's re-group when I am 35 and see if I am a bit more interesting then. It is beginning to sound decidedly middle aged which doesn't sound decidedly fascinating but you never know.
Goodbye 34 - you were just as useful as all the other years. I thank you.

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