Thursday, 30 January 2014

Still January

Good Grief, is it STILL January? Does this month never end?  If you include the last week of December (which you should as December ends with Christmas - the following week is no man's land) then it really is over five weeks long but feels more like seven. It is ridiculous. Thank goodness tomorrow finally marks the end of it so that we may once again welcome the warm embrace of February and all collectively sigh with relief.  Although January has not been all bad - it has been an odd mix of miserable weather and high jinx celebrations. There are an unfeasibly high number of birthdays in January - an awful lot of my friends and their children seem to have been born in the longest month of the year. Either I just particularly get on well with Januarians or the beginning of Spring is when people feel at their friskiest and ovaries are at their most opulent. It surely cannot just be a coincidence.

It is such a long month I have managed to get on here twice. That is not an occurrence that happens oft enough.  It is however one of my resolutions/goals for this year. To write more. And to be better at it. After three years I sometimes find it a tad tricky to get motivated to write and I usually find passing out on the new sofa a far more alluring prospect. This year I am going to force myself to write more frequently so the posts are shorter (as per sister's request) and I shall attempt to write them without the TV on in the background so that I am better able to concentrate. To that end I have removed myself from 'my spot' and am now positioned in the slightly less comfortable surroundings of the playroom. The only distractions in here are toys and the mess and luckily I am neither a child or OCD so I am able to ignore both.

Here are the rest of my resolutions/goals for the year:
  • Get Charlie (the cat) and K (the husband) 'done'. I have made inroads with Charlie after he attended his very first appointment with the vet, although sadly it turns out you need more than one. He has had his first round of immunisations but he needs yet more before we can finally take him back to be 'de-sexed'. Although having him immunised will mean he can finally go outside and I can therefore finally stop foraging around in cat litter for poo - it really is the very worst kind of Lucky Dip. Charlie is on the right path but sadly K is still very much not. I forwarded an interesting article to him about a U.S. man who had donated one of his testicles to medical research for the princely sum of $10,000 - the heading of the email I sent was 'two birds, one stone'. I tried to reason with him by pointing out that we would be nicely on the way to affording our loft conversion if he had two of his (now useless) appendages removed and generously donated them to advancing medical knowledge. He is being unashamedly selfish and refusing. Tsk.  Failing that idea I shall keep on trying to persuade him to be 'snipped'. I have suffered enough what with all the palaver of pregnancy and birth four times over and I feel now the ball (or balls in this case) should really be in his court when it comes to a permanent solution.  It is a shame no one wants Charlie's for any research. I have a feeling that that appointment isn't going to be cheap.
  • Shout Less. Particularly in the mornings. And evenings. There is an unfounded presumption that I am an 'earth mother'. I have no idea of its literal meaning but in my mind an earth mother is less shouty, more hairy and far more holistic than I am.  Whilst I am able to stay at home and look after my children without going clinically insane I don't think this makes me 'earthy' (now I sound like a mushroom or a red wine). Examples of my non-earth motherlyness: I never give the children homoeopathic remedies to any of their ailments; I do not 'juice' vegetables for them; I wear deodorant; I allow the children to skip their reading practise if we can't be bothered/are all too tired; I let them watch far too much television (I mean really lots. Hours. Once I turned it off and G asked if it was broken - in front of adult guests I was clearly trying to impress - hence turning it off) and spend far too much time on the ipad (again, I mean hours - sometimes Ted spends a whole afternoon on it if I can't be bothered to fight him off it); their diet includes an awful lot of sugar (I notice that this is now the new 'hate' food to follow fat and carbs before it - all food groups are created equal in my world - let's stop the hate people it is so dull) and I am also a terrific shouter. If we are running short of time this increases tenfold. When I ascend the stairs a good twenty minutes after sending G up in the morning to get dressed and discover him standing in the middle of his room, naked save for a pair of socks, busily swirling his pants/top/trousers/jumper around on his finger in his own little world, entirely oblivious to the urgent need for clothing, when I know we have to leave the house in five minutes flat - my shouting goes crazy. It is not a side of me that I am keen on. If it were up to me I would waft around all benevolent smiles, calm voice and loving hugs but quite frankly they are so annoying at times that far from wafting around I would like to start swatting them away like flies. Particularly Cybs. There is some bullshit crap 'study' doing the rounds on FB (do not get me started on the crap that circulates) which assures us that three children is in fact, easier, than having four. I had endured quite a few hours of Cybs whining and crying at me and pulling on my leg whilst I was trying to cook supper for umpteen children and then clearing up from umpteen children eating - when I clicked on to FB to be greeted with that joyous 'news'. My comment on the survey was less than polite. When Cybil is happy, she is a joy to behold and makes me wonder if we could manage one more, but when she is vile she really makes you want to open the front door and hand her to any passer by brave enough to take her on. She has a hideous temper and if you say no to her - even if it is purely for her own benefit (e.g 'No, you can't eat a stock cube it really won't taste very nice', but she thinks it's a chocolate and you are trying to keep it from her...), she can be very angry for a VERY long time. And if she wants to be held, regardless of how much stuff you want to get on with, then she can also be back breaking and exhausting. This is not 'easier' than not having her. She is a human being who will need care and attention and money spent on her for the rest of her life which is a pretty big undertaking so how this can 'be easier' than not having that extra child is a big pile of doggie do do. I try not to allow myself to be taken in by spurious surveys and studies - as I used to work in the world of PR I am well aware that they are to be disregarded at all costs - however this caught me unexpectedly and could not go without comment. Sorry. 
  • I also need to swear less. I am pretty sure earth mothers do not swear like I do. Or in fact most mothers. I have to tell the extra children not to tell their parents what I say within their earshot on an almost daily basis. I live in fear of Cybs clearly saying 'Shit' - it is a surprisingly easy word to say and she hears it so much she might think it is an important word - potentially more important than 'stop' and 'more', her current favourite words. G asked me yesterday if Ducking was a 'bad word' as well as the 'f' word (I think K is to be blamed for this one though - I say Ducking very infrequently.....). Walking home from school pick up I accidentally called an inconsiderate driver a wanker. Loudly. In front of a lot of children, who once again, weren't all mine (in my defence I thought I had only said it in my head). I found myself saying shouting to Cybs "I just wanted a "FUCKING" wee" (the swear word was quasi under my breath hence the inverted commas) when she ran after me crying YET AGAIN as I tried to escape for a minute of privacy and relief. This is not how I imagine myself. I want to be a cool, calm, consummate, in control mother, able to bake brownies before breakfast and still sweep up the cheerios and put the dishwasher on before we calmly leave for a slow amble to school all smiles and merriment with absolutely no tears (from me or them) and no swear words shouted loud enough for neighbours to hear through the walls. I am determined I shall achieve such greatness this year.
  • To appreciate something from each and every day. Regardless of how crap the day may have been. I get incredibly annoyed by the phrase, 'Live every day like it's your last'. If you lived every day as if it were your last and then live to see tomorrow, and the next day and the next day etc then eventually you will end up very fat, very broke and I should imagine your family will all be incredibly fed up with spending 'quality time' with you. There was an article once about a woman who was suing a hospital for wrongly informing her that she only had months to live. Although relieved when she was told that they had made an error and she was not imminently for it, by that point she had spent all of her life savings and put on three stone (or some such amount) so she was suing them because far from learning a lesson about what was important in life, she awoke the day after being told the good news to realise that she was broke and fat. This gave me comfort. It confirmed to me that you can't run around whooping for joy every day just because you are lucky enough to be alive to see another day or wearing uncomfortable fancy pants matching underwear just in case you get knocked down by a bus. However, it IS important to find something good about your day and be happy about it. Even on a day where you feel hideously fat and it doesn't stop raining all flipping day long so that all three school runs are conducted in the wet and your youngest screams about being in the buggy for the school run because you feel it is only kind to try and protect her from the freezing, driving rain with a rain cover (all toddlers HATE these) and you realise that your coat is 'shower proof' not 'water proof' which is actually what you wanted from it and then you come back to make yet more supper with an angry child around your ankles - even on days such as these it is important to find something to make you smile - I think that is the point and what I am trying to achieve in 2014. 
  • To that end I also want to go out more.  January has been full (relatively) of nights out for me and I have enjoyed it far more than I imagined I would. I even stayed out for a whole night! Not out out, obviously, I am not that sort of person, but I went out to celebrate The Replacement's birthday at a fancy pants place in Chelsea and then I stayed overnight with The Magician and the Magician's Wife. It was my first night away from Cybs and it was glorious. I am still relatively fresh from giving up breastfeeding so it did feel incredibly decadent. Especially because it was like staying in a very comfortable hotel with Sky TV, ensuite bathroom and a Ferrero Roche on my bedside table - bliss. It wasn't even tarnished by my early alarm call at 7.15am so that I could get up and return home by 8am in order to ensure the big three could get to swimming. The hangover wasn't particularly pleasant but it was entirely bearable and I was still 'high' from the decadence of the night before. So, now I know that leaving Cybs for the night is possible and we all lived to tell the tale, I shall be attempting it more frequently in 2014 and beyond. In order to truly enjoy going out though, I shall have to adhere to my final bullet point....
  • Lose weight. Always. I shall always and forever be in the throws of some weight loss scheme. It doesn't really need to be stated. I am back on track with the 5:2 diet (finally lost 2.5 pounds this week) so I am hopeful that this year will result in me looking a lot better at the end of it than I do at the beginning. It is just jolly slow going. Some days I think I look ok for someone of such girth and then other days/nights I look in the mirror and my soul cries for me as I am sure I look just like White Dee from Benefit Street (albeit with better breastal support). This is not acceptable. I am definitely doing something serious about it this year.
And there it is. The end of January THANK flippety jibbets. A less fish-wife-worthy me for 2014, less of the physical me and less of me on each post.  Let us all raise a drink to that. Chin Chin.

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