My birth story (sorry Linda)

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Soooo, we’d bought all the gear, filled the freezer with batch-cooked goodness and packed the hospital bag. I’d completed my birth plan  (‘ALL THE DRUGS PLEASE!!’ underlined several times), and dutifully attended the antenatal classes. We were officially ‘READY’.

Twas the night before my due date and I was so impatient for everything to just START. As far as I could tell, there was naff all happening; no ‘show’, no ‘drop’, no twinges, absolutely nowt. So, I made one last attempt to speed things along with a lip-burning chicken madras from the local Indian, and resigned myself to another week or so of waddling about covered in coconut oil feeling sorry for myself. Read more

The Mum Reflex

There are so many things in life that we do almost without thinking and have absolutely no control over – like saying “mind your head!” just AFTER someone’s knocked themself out, or automatically apologising when some eejit bumps into you in the street…

Since I’ve had Miss O I’ve found that, even when we’re not actually together, like when I’m at work or she’s managed to escape to Grandma’s,  I seem to be on some kind of permanent parent autopilot:

  • I find it physically impossible not to say “WEEEEEEEEE!!!”  when a child goes down a slide. If the child in question isn’t yours (and you’re not even WITH your child at the time!!) you run the very real risk of being labelled the park odd-bod…

 

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“Come away from the scary lady darling…”

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The alternative ‘must-have’ toys list

The other day, I read that companies are already putting together their lists of the ‘must-have’ children’s toys and gadgets for Christmas 2017.

It’s May, chuffing MAY!

Why this surprises me I really don’t know; advent calendars seem to hit the shops earlier every year, and who the actual f*ck is buying those Easter eggs they put out on Boxing Day…

But here’s the thing. When it comes to toddlers, these lists COMPLETELY miss the mark.

Sure, they might play with the toy for five minutes or so once you’ve spent the best part of an hour wrestling with the packaging, frantically untwisting 40 different plastic ties to the soundtrack of your little darling’s impatient screams (I’m absolutely convinced that it would be easier to break into Buckingham Palace than it is to free a  family of Sylvanians from their sodding box). But beyond that? It won’t even make their top 10…

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This is where all the cool toys are kept, right??

Here’s Miss O’s current list of ‘must-have’ toddler accessories: Read more

Why soft play is a lot like going clubbing…

I’ve just rolled in from another action-packed soft play session with Miss O, and realised that it’s all feeling rather familiar; the sticky floors, the dated tunes blaring out at a volume that makes your ears bleed, that faint whiff of vomit…

Here’s why soft play is a lot like going clubbing:

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“It’s so bloody loud in here…”

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Eating out with toddlers – a whole new dining experience!

In principle, I’m a big advocate of taking young children out to eat. I think it’s really important that Miss O is regularly exposed to the experience whilst she’s little, and love that she gets the opportunity to try different flavours and dishes (I imagine that’s also a big plus for her; the food at Chez Mama is hardly 5 star). In practice though, it’s a bit of a mission.

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Pre- and post-baby dining adventures are VERY different beasts:

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Why my toddler should be the next Prime Minister

As election fever grips the nation once again (ok, it’s not exactly a fever, more of a light chill) we’re gearing up for another six weeks of political hoo-ha, puzzling polls and excruciating ‘on the street’ interviews with Beryl from the arse-end of nowhere explaining that she’s voting UKIP because bananas don’t smell the same anymore…

So, will our next leader be May, Corbyn or that other bloke?

I’m considering mixing it up a bit and throwing another candidate’s hat into the ring…here’s why I think my 18 month old has all the makings of an excellent Prime Minister:

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Miss O working on her campaign manifesto…

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Doing the Mum Maths

My guilty conscience has never been a nagging little voice in my head; it’s Miley Cyrus swinging about on a giant flippin’ wrecking ball screaming at me until I do the right thing. The guilt festers inside me until I HAVE to fess up, even with really minor things – I just can’t hack it!

One of the most difficult things about motherhood for me is managing those seemingly constant guilty feelings – did we do enough stimulating activities today, could I have handled that situation better, did I make the right choice there?

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“I’ll look after the remote mummy…”

As the day draws to a close I can feel myself doing the ‘Mum Maths’ and tallying up my score; five points for taking Miss O to the farm today, -10 for the part when she lobbed food pellets at a cow and almost blinded it (she’s got one hell of a right arm on her). Eight points for getting two types of vegetables onto her lunch plate, -10 for letting her have an Easter Egg before 8am because she’d been up for 4 HOURS already and it’s the only known cure for incessant whinging…

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Nursery report vs mum report

Miss O goes to nursery two days a week, and she absolutely loves it. We both found it a bit tough when she first started, but now she runs in every morning without so much as a backwards glance in my direction (heartless little creature)…

At the end of each day, I get sent a little report on what she’s been up to, which seems to be fairly standard practice these days. Does anybody else read these and worry that they’ve mixed your child up with another, less feral, classmate?

Here are some examples, with my ‘mum report’ extracts for comparison (thank God we don’t actually have to submit one of these; I’d have OFSTED banging on my door within the week!): Read more

‘What to Expect’ – 10 things the baby books didn’t cover

Lambing season also seems to be baby season this year – my lovely friends and family are popping out sprogs left, right and centre at the moment! What surprises me the most when they ask for advice (aside from the fact that they’re actually asking ME; they clearly don’t read this blog) is how shockingly little of the detail I remember! The products we used, the routines we had in place, the tips we tried; it’s all a bit of a blur now…

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FYI – that’s a ‘she’s just crapped herself in her sleep’ smile…

What I DO remember, however, are the following glaring omissions from those ‘What To Expect Once Your Hoo-ha’s Been Hijacked‘ type books: Read more

Hurrah for cousins!

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“…so I said ‘mama; if you don’t hand over those chocolate buttons right now, it’s gonna get REAL frickin’ screamy in here…”

J and I were a bit late to the whole parenting game compared to our other siblings, so by the time Miss O rocked up, she was lucky cousin number 7 (in that everyone else felt damn lucky that their child actually slept occasionally. Fun fact – did you know that giraffes only sleep for 30 minutes a day, max?? Remember a time when it seemed IMPOSSIBLE that any being could function on so little sleep? Yeah, me neither…).

Anyhoo, here are some of the definite pluses of arriving fashionably late to the procreation party (which with hindsight sounds a lot dirtier than I meant it to…) Read more