Tag Archives: humour

Preparing for Baby Number 2: Then and Now

Oh how times do change between your first and second baby…..

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Preparing for Baby…..Then and Now……

Purchases

Then: Buy everything new. Shiny and new.

Now: De-moulding the car seat that’s been sat in the garage for 3 years

Baby Fashion

Then: Buy a special ‘just been born’ outfit, as well as a ‘leaving hospital’ outfit, plus spares if required

Now: Finding the old baby clothes and doing the ‘sniff test’ – if they smell OK, chuck ‘em straight in the drawer

Clothing

Then: Spend so much time and money buying baby stuff you forget to buy anything non maternity that will fit post-birth

Now: Buy yourself about 50 pairs of new pyjamas

Cleanliness

Then: Carefully wash (on a gentle wash with Fairy) every soft toy then go over with an anti-bacterial wipe when dry then finish off with a spray of dettol

Now: Use a wet wipe to wipe over a few of the baby toys lying around in the back of the cupboard

Nappies

Then: Research every nappy on the market, only buy those which are gold rated by at least 3 parenting magazines. Spend hours agonising which size to buy for a newborn

Now: Pick up a packet of essential/value nappies each time you shop, in various sizes

Cooking

 

Then: spend your early pre-baby maternity leave days cooking batches of wholesome slow-cooker meals and freeze them in little tubs with labels on

Now: Chuck a few packets of pizzas and oven chips in the freezer, concentrate on stockpiling tea and coffee like a nuclear war is pending

Hospital Bag

Then: Pack about 3 hospital bags because you just can’t fit everything into one bag!

Now: Chuck a toothbrush, PJs, pack of maternity pads, 5 nappies, wet wipes and a handful of used baby clothing in a carrier bag

Knowledge

Then: Read a lot of books about pregnancy and birth. Download baby apps, pelvic floor apps, labour apps until your phone memory is full

Now: Download the Domino’s pizza app and whilst waiting for said pizza do a pelvic floor exercise. If you remember

Birth Plan

Then: Write a very descriptive birth plan, covering every eventuality and including a spotify playlist. This should include Kate Bush ‘ This Woman’s Work’ and with two choices of song to play once baby is born dependent on gender (Isn’t she lovely by Stevie Wonder and Father and Son by Cat Stevens).

Now: Forget to write said birth plan, and you don’t care what music is played as long as it isn’t Now That’s What I Call Disney

What other preperation have you done for baby number 2?!

The Dance Class: A Parent’s Reality

The realities of taking a 3 year old to Dance Classes…..

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Realities of Dance Classes for Parents

Last year I thought it was a great idea to sign Nancy up to dance lessons. It was one of those thoughts, where you think ‘it’s probably time I left the house and started to initiate her into a social world,’ and in paticular I was looking for something for her to do so that she gets worn out and I didn’t neccessarily need to do much to achieve it. It suddenly dawned on me that athletes, musicians or dancers started this stuff when they were really small. So in order to ensure she has the best chance of turning into the next superstar, I duly signed her up.

She actually attends a lovely dance class where she does Tap and Ballet every Saturday. I didn’t think when I signed her up, though, how much of a commitment it is for me, and how you get sucked into the world of dance classes. This is the reality of The Ballet Class:

1.The Early Start

I have to get up every Saturday morning and get her to Ballet for 9.15am in the morning. On a SATURDAY. What the hell was I thinking?

2. Uniform

Every week she has to wear the dance uniform. Which comprises of a leotard, tights and a caridigan, as well as the right shoes. Not only did it cost me a fortune, I have to remember to wash* it and make her look presentable as well as getting her to the start for 9.15am. On a SATURDAY….

I also am still ramming her into the leotard as I refuse to buy one until at least September. Same goes for the shoes, I ordered them a size larger and it was only when she wore them the first time I realised they could slightly affect her dance skills, but she’s better now she’s grown into them a bit.

*I admit there may be weeks where the uniform may not get washed and she may look slightly dishevlled and smell slightly like a PE kit.

3.  Waiting

When I signed her up for classes, I couldn’t wait to watch her in her cute little pink uniform and watch her gracefully piroet around. Well, I wouldn’t know what she actually does, as I have to wait outside the class in a cold church hall. I can’t go anywhere in case I need to help her get to the loo.  It is 45mins of pure me time though, I guess, as long as I take a jumper and a flask.

4. Other Parents

The waiting room looks like a parent wasteland. I’ve seen some parents in their Pyjamas, although I haven’t done that yet. Some look hungover, some look tired. Some look absolutely pristine and as if they’d just got off the jet from St. Tropez. Not many people talk to each other, and seats in the corners by the dividing door to the class are a premium, as you can spy on your child through a crack. My idea of meeting more Mum friends hasn’t really become a reality as yet….

5. Noise

No-one thought to tell me that  group of 3-5 year olds in a tap class are LOUD. There is half an hour of out of rythmn, tap tap tapping as well as children roaring like lions or singing the Frozen theme tune whilst they stomp about the hall like elephants. Also, the teacher is loud. She has to be, to keep it in order. I sometimes wonder if she needs a drink after the class.

6. Progress

I keep taking her, because she seems to enjoy it. But can she actually dance? I have no idea. mainly because we are always too late so I can’t look through the crack to see if she is actually moving. I ask her to show me what she does at home but all I get is a roaring lion and a shuffle on the kitchen floor. So we keep on, keeping on. Maybe I have the next Darcy Bussell right here….

7. Once you join, you can never leave

Once you’re a fully signed up member of the dance class, attempts to leave are futile. You need to give one term’s notice to leave, and not that we are planning to, but I would never be as organised as to work out when that would be! I can barely remember NOT to turn up when it’s half term….

8. You do as you are told

If the teacher tells you to buy something, you buy it. You label all the clothing as you don’t want to get told off by the teacher. You get your fees paid on time and you sit there every week and smile even though you may be dying inside.

9. The Car Park

The car park is a war zone. The later you are, the more likely you are to abandon your car in the middle of the car park, blocking off 5 cars in the process. Some people wedge themselves sideways just so that they can park in the car park. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a school at pick up time, but parents plus cars equals carnage. I am surprised no-one has been run over as yet. Once the first class ends, the real issues begin as people attempt to leave, and the next class attempt to park.

 

Pregnancy Cravings

Everyone knows when you’re pregnant, you get loads of cravings, right?

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I’m craving……

-Peace and quiet

-Cereal

-A lie in

-A day free from frozen

-Maternity clothing that actually fits

-Lots of warm tea

-Brie

-To be able to sit and watch Netflix for a few hours…or days

-Sleep

-A day to myself

-Energy

-A roast dinner

-A clean kitchen floor

-90s music

-The Archers

-A packet of Haribo. No sharing.

-An evening just lying on the sofa

-Er did I say sleep already?

-A bath. Without visitors or plastic tat

-A house that I can instagram

-A sequin bomber jacket like Taylor Swift

-Jelly

Pregnancy Perks and Pitfalls

There’s got to be some perks to this pregnancy lark….right?

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Pregnancy Perks

Not having to pay for the dentist

Being able to get out of anything by saying you’re pregnant

Being able to sit down on buses or stare at people intently rubbing your belly until they let you have their seat. Or give you a sandwich.

Having naps at work

Free prescriptions!

Being able to swim whatever time of the month

Not having to buy any tampons or sanitary towels! Take that VAT loving government!

Not having periods! For 9 months!

Just letting it all hang out. The freedom of not having to suck your stomach in.

If you’re a bit fat (like me) then you will get no annoying “are you pregnant” type questions as people are too afraid to ask

Wearing pyjamas all the time and no one telling you it’s wrong

Bring able to eat whatever you like! No Worrying about dieting….

Being able to fart whenever you like and that’s OK because you’re pregnant

Suddenly getting the energy to plan house redecoration, crafts, spring cleaning the house and pinteresting like a mo’fo

Crying at anything and everything but people don’t mind because you’re pregnant

Being able to get out of any kind of physical labour such as hoovering or lifting 3 year olds

Pregnancy pitfalls

Not being able to have any actual treatment at the dentist because you’re pregnant

Not being able to take Lemsip

Not actually being able to take some medication you can get for free

Not being able to reach and therefore manage your bikini line

uncontrollable flatulence

Forgetting to wake up after a nap

Not being able to eat all the nice cheese. And paté.

Not having any alcohol.

Discovering how you dance sober.

Knowing the mother of all periods will await you in 9 months time

Feeling so sick you can’t do anything you’ve planned

Getting stuck in the car, wedged between the steering wheel. And always beeping the horn when you try and get out.

People assuming you can’t do anything because you’re pregnant. Like run. Or have a bath.

As soon as you get pregnant, you suddenly get invites to parties, weddings, hen dos, holidays and every social event on the calender. Which you then have to attend. Sober.

Bearing in mind the last 12 months your social calender looked pretty empty….

Being the designated driver.

Thoughts on Pregnancy: Second Time Round

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I had just come to the conclusion that one child was plenty enough thank you,  when I found out I was pregnant.

My first thought was: oh shit.

My second thought was: oh shit, I can’t drink anything now.  HOW AM I GOING TO COPE?!

My third thought was: oh god, I’m not going to sleep until 2020.

Don’t get me wrong, I am pleased that we are having another baby. It’s taken long enough. But this time things are just a bit different.

When people ask me “is this pregnancy different to the first?” I immediately think: of course this pregnancy is different.

For a start, I’ve been sleep deprived for most of the last 3 years. So, you know, that adds a little edge to things. Also, this time I can’t just lie on the sofa and do nothing all evening when I feel ill. This time, I have a three year old who still wants you to hold them as you walk along the pavement and who wants me to be the fairy godmother when she’s playing Cinderella.

This time around, I have no time (or energy for that matter) for yoga or swimming. I am drinking too much caffiene and I accidentally ate a cheese board the day after I found out I was pregnant because I forgot about the whole “don’t eat cheese” thing.

This time, I hardly have any time to actually think I am pregnant at all.

I also have the benefit/disadvantage of knowing exactly what I’ve let myself in for. I can learn from my previous experience and I know for sure what I want and don’t want to happen this time. But I know one thing I can’t avoid and that is I’ll still have to push this Bubba out of my Va-Jay-Jay. And I know it fricking hurts.

This time, I pay a fleeting glance to emails telling me my baby weighs the same as an avocado. I don’t have the 26 apps I had last time, all telling me the same information that I poured over night after night. I bought actual books last time to read and studied like I was a student midwife.

I might try and do some pelvic floor excersizes on the way to work if I sneeze and start to panic, unlike the military set schedule I had 3 years ago. (Seriously I bet I could’ve cracked nuts with my pelvic floor).

I don’t have to buy anything this time round; I have everything going moldy in the garage. I just need to have a day sometime to go and bleach it all down. But I have plenty of time for that.

I am not sure if I can be described as “glowing” second time round. I frequently forget to brush my hair and put make up on, meaning I look more like a character out of The Walking Dead each day. Hell, I haven’t even shaved my legs this year yet. I used to pour over maternity sections in shops choosing jeans and dresses that accentuated my bump. This time I’m just wearing leggings and baggy dresses. Looking like a pregnant bag lady is quite a skill you know.

Oh, and symptoms: if you’re any different to last time (which, in fairness was 3 years ago so how could you even remember) then you must be having a boy. Or a girl. Or a hairy baby.

I know I am lucky to experience this again. I am grateful for this experience, no matter how tired I am or messy looking I become. Once August is here, we will have our little family complete and that will be a great feeling. I am looking forward to baby snuggles and seeing Nancy’s face when she sees her brother or sister.

And also, I’ll never have to be pregnant again.

Answers to the question Why?

Answers to children’s most irritating questions….

WHY?

Well, because it is.

Because that’s what someone named them.

Who knows?

I’m not sure really.

What made you think of that?

I don’t know why daddy always leaves the loo seat up. Beats me.

Why are you asking me that?

Because we have to share a birthday cake. You can’t eat it all.

Because it wouldn’t be nice!

Well I don’t shout actually I just talk a bit loudly at times.

It’s just the way it is.

Because the Police told me so.

Because if you don’t sleep you won’t grow and if you don’t grow you won’t be able to reach anything yourself one day.

Well that’s what I eat.
No you don’t eat meat because you don’t.
Because you don’t.

Ask your Daddy.

Let’s think about that overnight shall we?

Everyone eats their dinner first.

Well babies can’t talk because they’re too small.

Something to do with clouds which go Grey and then there’s hot and cold air and….erm…well the sky just makes a big noise.

It’s one of life’s mysteries.
It’s something that we don’t know about.
It’s a secret.

I’m not sure why.

I’m not sure why I don’t know why.

Do you want some sweets?

Goodbye Granny Pants

When I was pregnant and I was told that I had to buy some massive pants for after the birth, I was half amazed and half disgusted that I had to buy some Granny Pants. 

They looked bloody HUGE.

I couldn’t find any to start with. I just needed some non fancy everyday kind of granny pants. I didn’t even think I’d wear them. In the end I went to BHS and bought about 5 in varying dark colours. One thing I noticed about pregnancy was that every book I read and everyone I spoke to talked in hushed tones about wearing dark clothes and using dark towels and dark granny pants. I couldn’t imagine wearing them at all.  In BHS, I hunched my shoulders, trying to shield my face in case anyone I knew saw me in BHS and then, buying Granny Pants. It was an ordeal. 

2.5 years later…..

I am wearing the same granny pants. The granny pants moved in and they never moved out. I found the Granny Pants to be quite comfy, actually. Reassuringly secure, if you will. They held everything that was starting to flop down quite well. They also hid the bushy nightmare that was my bikini line.

But.

But I am 32 years old, not 92. I really should wear some non Granny Pants for a bit, right? Something that may make me feel a little more Giselle rather than Granny. I realised one day that I had given up on my pants. I had become accustomed to pants that came up to my belly button. They didn’t exactly make my VPL look any better. Skinny jeans and Granny Pants is probably not such a good idea, in retrospect.

So I set off to look for some sparkly new pants. I felt excitement as I entered M&S (yes, I could’ve picked a sexier shop, but you know, I’m starting off gently). 

As I walked into the lingerie department, I looked around at all the pants. Loads of pants. 

And I got immediately confused.

So. Many. Pants.

What the hell was a Brazilian pair of pants? Why were these pants made of what looked like spandex? I picked up a thong, which looked menacingly floss-like. They were the same size as my daughters pants. 

My head swirled with lurid pink, and black lace and little white bows. 

Shorts, high leg, bikini, Brazilian, no VPL, short leg, French knickers, high waisted, midi, waist cincher, thong….the words meant nothing to me. 

How do you even know what knickers to wear anyway?! 

I just wanted some nice pants. Pants I could just wear and not feel like I had a piece of string up my bum.

In the end I just picked a pair that looked like it covered at least 65% of my bum. Brazilian. That’d have to do. 

I purchased my new pants and felt a nervous anticipation about wearing them. 

The next day, I examined my pants. I seemed to have picked up a pair of pants that looked like they were the wrong way round. My derrière was barely covered by a lacy back and the front was just as bad.  

I realised I needed to sort out the lady garden area pretty nifty too. A VPL was the least of my worries, at the moment I had a VBL (visible bushy leg).

But, they looked nice at least. If I breathed in. So I wore them. I spent half the day scratching my bum due to the lace and the other half trying to sit down without getting a wedgie. 

Does that happen to everyone, I wonder?

Thing is, putting on my Granny pants, I feel comfort and minimal effort is needed to just throw them on. Maybe they’re not so bad after all…..

Mum Fog: Things you forget when you’re a Mum

You give birth, you don’t sleep for months, brain cells dissipate..you think you’ve got through it, but then the Mum Fog descends and you start to forget to do everything…..

1. Shave

You get to the swimming pool, you get into your costume and you just remember you didn’t sort out your lady garden which is growing down your legs.

2. Nail painting

Paint one lot of nails, and then  get distracted and forget to do the other hand until you only remember when you sit down at your desk at work.

3. Where you’re going

Get in the car, turn the key, set off down the road….end up anywhere because you either

a) zone out completely and don’t remember how you got there

b) panic that you’re going the wrong way because you suddenly don’t recognise anything on the route your going on (even though it is the right route and one you have done for years…)

c) whatever the day or time, you start driving to work. Or even get there, before you realise.

d) start driving and actually forget where or why you left the house

4. Names

a) Before I gave birth, people’s names easily rolled off my tongue. I knew who people were. I knew their goddanm names. Now? Well, nowadays, my brain seems to paralyse when I have to start mentioning people’s names, so now most people are referred to as: Lydia-Eleanor-Linda-Dan-John-Mary-Jane-Sarah-Sophie-Nancy.

b) Same goes for the TV. Shows I have watched for years, suddenly I don’t know anyone’s names, reducing characters to ‘Thingymebob’ ‘Whatsisname’ and ‘Him/Her/That one from The Bill’ thus making people think I don’t actually watch said programme and am making the whole thing up.

5. Reply to text messages

You send me a text, I may even read it. But then I sort of answer it in my head, or think about answering, and then Nancy starts throwing Yoghurt at the TV, and then suddenly it’s 11pm and I’ve fallen asleep dribbling on the sofa. Soz.

6. Shampoo

I’ve washed my hair once, twice,  heck sometimes I can’t remember how many times I’ve put shampoo on. But then did I use conditioner? Maybe just do it once more, just in case….

7. Wee

a) I spend my whole day asking a two year old if she needs the loo and in the process forget to actually go have a wee myself. My bladder is now made of steel, and I shall probably become incontinent very soon.

b) When I do finally open the floodgates and have a wee, I can’t do it in peace, there always being a small child wanting to share this moment with me.

8. Listening to nursery rhymes or watching Cbeebies when there’s no children

Yes, I have driven most of the way to work before I realise I’m listening to nursery rhymes, or been sat in front of the TV watching Tweenies before I realise there’s no children around. I’ve even sat staring at the blue screen after 7pm on cebeebies. For like, ages.

9. What to do with no kids around

You’ve got a baby-free night! hurrah! You go to a restaurant and sit in silence looking at each other. Or you might be in the car, and you see a postman, and you just want to shout “Oh, Look! Postman Pat!” but there’s no-one in the car who appreciates that comment.

10.  Er, I’ve forgotten what I was going to write here.

forget-mum-parenting

 

Potty: No Training

I find it odd that we are supposed to be training our children in the art of life-long continence when in reality, I don’t have a frigging clue how to teach someone how to manage their bowels and bladders. Is there a potty training, training course for clueless parents? If so, I missed the boat.

Before I could even say ‘potty’, my girl was stripping off and weeing in the plastic thing. It was like a game of cat and mouse: Dare I talk about this phenomenon, shatter this spell which she appeared to be under?

One day turned into one week. We clung onto Pull-ups like our lives depended on it. I think we found it harder than she did. Mind you, she found wearing knickers a slight problem initially, but we seem to have gotten over that now, some 6 weeks after she threw her last nappy aside.

There are a few things I have encountered during this transition process, and I thought you’d like to hear my words of wisdom, or, er learn from my experience:

1. Kitchen Roll is your best friend

Never before had I loved some paper so much. I take it everywhere with me; it mops up accidental wees on restaurant floors, other people’s carpets and you can fashion a makeshift Pull-up pants from the really strong stuff.

2. 2.5 year olds speak loudly in toilets

My girl can’t help herself but comment on everything and everyone in the public toilets.

“She smells!”

“Is that a lady?”

“You’ve got a YUCKY BUM Mummy!!!”

Have all been uttered from her mouth.

Nothing, however, NOTHING beats the time we went into a loo in a Pub, right after an older lady, who for reasons I can’t fathom, left the toilet in a less than cleanly state.

“ARGH! POO! MUMMY! SMELLY POOOO! THE LADY DID A POO!” she screams as we walk into the toilet stall, the only one currently available. She’s hopping from foot to foot, desperate for a wee.

“Just get on the toilet!” I hiss, trying to wrench her onto the seat whilst holding my breath and trying not to breath in through my nose.

“NOOOO! MUMMY! CLEAN IT!!!!!” She cries, and in my desperation to avoid her 5th pair of knickers in a day, I do what I never thought I ever, ever would.

I grabbed the loo brush and I cleaned that old woman’s poop from the toilet. For my girl.

“HOORAY!” She shouts and jumps on the toilet, only to do the smallest wee in the history of wees.

I silently cry inside and order a large glass of red as I walk back to the table…

3. Your hands will never be cleaner

See example above. Also wiping moving bums means wee and poo ON YOUR HANDS. I scrub and scrub. Antibacterial soap is a must. As is alcohol gel. Maybe some washing up gloves…

4. Trousers are OUT

Skirts, dresses = yes. Easy access to potty and toilet, no fussing, and when you’re out in public, you can whip off the wet stuff pretty easily. I feel sorry for those who have to wear trousers for any reason. In fact, when we are indoors, I aim for the heating on and minimal clothing, in an attempt to reduce the washing pile that I only just got under control from when she was born….

5. Repetitive Speech Strain

All I do every minute of every day is ask her if she needs a wee or a poo. It takes over your life. We have come full circle, from talking to each other about her wee and poo, when she was a newborn, to talking to her about her wee and poo. You ask and ask, and the time you forget to ask, is the time that they do need one and pee all over the floor….

6. Getting excited about wee and poo

You have to be mega interested in wee and poo, OK? When your child uses the potty, you have to summon up the enthusiasm and the energy to really WHOOP WHOOP and Holla! about the amazing feat they have performed. Even when it really smells and poo is hanging from their bum and they are running around your living room. Way to go!

 

Toddler Car Journey Moments 

That moment on the motorway when you hear “Hello Mum!” and realise that your child has escaped their arm straps on the carseat

That Moment when you realise you have a 3 hour car journey and only have one CD with you – ‘Cbeebies Party’

That moment when you know you should’ve stopped at the last services to change their bum, as the next services aren’t for 30 miles and you can smell a poonami occuring

That moment when they drop their toy on the floor and you try to scrabble around with your left arm behind you to find the said toy

That moment when they repeat the above again….and again….

That moment when the ipad battery runs out

That moment when you try and play I Spy with a 2 year old

That moment when they drop their milky drink all over the car floor and you have cheesy smelling car for weeks to come

That moment when they will not believe there isn’t a microwave in the car to make warm milk 

That moment when you spot a cow in a field and then they never get to see the cow because they looked the other way and now they are well annoyed and demanding another cow

That moment when you hear absolute silence…..

……because they have systematically taken every wet wipe out of the packet and are eating them

That moment when they fall asleep 5 minutes before you get home

That moment when you arrive and can get out of the bloody car