Thursday, 26 March 2015

About Mummy's blog...(a letter to my boys)

To my lovely boys,

If you have found this, you must be making your way through the rest of the blog.


First things first, I hope you are reading this as teenagers, because you will notice I *occasionally* use words I discourage you both from using at home. I have always felt that writing down the words in my head, exactly as I think them, adds a certain authenticity to my writing.

It's just unfortunate that sometimes the first word in my head is cockwomble. Or twat. These are still not appropriate words to call each other at home. You are never too old for that Time Out chair.

I am not really sure how I feel about you reading all of this, though I have always known that posting anything online would put it permanently 'out there.'

The internet is crazy and scary and wonderful all at the same time. When I was your age I wrote diaries. With a pen and paper. I know that makes me sound ancient. I guess I am ancient compared to you two. I grew up in the 1990s with the Spice Girls, and tamagotchis, and hair mascara, and taping the Top 40 off the radio (remind me to show you what tapes are). I’m not going to tell you what was in those diaries (post-millennium they mainly detailed nightclub flirting with your father) but you can stop cringing, as I burned them so you will never have to suffer that embarrassment. Anyway, I digress. The point is that the blog became my modern-day diary. And rather than writing it in scented gel pens on carefully selected notepads from WHSmiths (which I hid under my pillow) I started writing them online.
For all to see. For all to share. For all to judge.
In March 2015, the month I am writing (you two are three, and six months, and a bloody handful), the blog page went mad. It took off. I started receiving hundreds of comments for every post and new messages every single day. I got recognised by strangers (yes really) and offers of writing jobs started coming in. It was all massively exciting but at the same time I got myself into a bit of a panic. Because, my little puddings, you two were at the heart of it all.  
So I want to set a few things straight. Right here, right now. Not because I have to. But because I’d like you to understand why I wrote so candidly. 

On the darkest of sleep-deprived days when one of you was screaming and I was irritable and the house was a bloody war-zone I wanted to read about somebody who felt the same. Somebody who would reassure me I wasn’t going completely mad. Somebody not afraid to admit that it can at times all just be a little bit shit.

That was the blog I needed. So I searched for it, but found nothing that was quite right. I’ll write one, I decided. And the blog was born.

I made a vow to myself very early on that I would document parenthood as I found it. Not how I wanted to find it. Or how I wanted other people to think that I found it.

But how it was.

I frantically typed post after post about pregnancy, birth, about life at home with you, trips out with you, and all that was between.

Type, upload, share. Type, upload, share. It was therapeutic.

It wasn’t ever really for anyone. But people started to read it. Just a handful of people at first, and then a handful became hundreds and hundreds became thousands…until I realised it was very much out there.

“I’m being too honest” I told your dad. “I don’t think I can do it anymore.”

And then I started taking stock of all the messages. All the comments. The tweets. The emails.

And I realised HOLY SHIT the blog was doing something.

Thank you, they said. For making me feel normal. For picking me up on a particularly bad week. For giving me the courage to admit ‘this week’s been crap and no I’m not enjoying every second.’ I received some pretty intense messages from other mums (and a few dads). About their lives, their battles with Post Natal Depression, their continuous feelings of failure and their resignation that they were very much alone.

'It’s just me’ they thought.
It wasn’t just them.

It was at this point that it became clear to me that ‘putting it out there’ (the blog I mean, stop wincing) was actually less risky than not doing so. I’m not saying I’m Florence bloody Nightingale for parents but hey some parents have found comfort in my honest words. And I have found comfort in their comfort.

So yes, I did call you tossers when you were toddlers. And possibly a cockwomble once or twice (sorry).

And yes I did sometimes cry and reflect longingly on days spent working full-time. I cut my maternity leave short both times (hey, at least I was fair) because the truth is I found full-time motherhood too hard.

And yes I did wonder why it wasn’t all rainbows and cupcakes. Why I was bored with park trips and baby groups. Why I couldn't cherish every second. Why other people’s kids never made me broody (always snotty, why so snotty?)

But the blog was never the full story. It was my very honest account of the moments I felt compelled to write about. The moments I came to appreciate others would want me to share. 

There were so many other moments we shared. As a family. Undocumented moments I chose not to write about. The fantastic fun we had, the cuddles we shared as I read you stories, the fact the two of you and your dad made me laugh every single day...

Because the truth was, there were a thousand and one other parenting blogs describing the blessings of motherhood. There were blogs where everybody wore a Christmas jumper and nobody shat through their sleepsuit and everybody smiled all the fucking time. I know this because I read them. And there should be space for all types of blog to co-exist (who doesn't love a Christmas jumper?) but in my darkest hours of motherhood the ones I stumbled across didn’t add much value to my life. I needed something else. I wanted to reach out to the mums and dads doing the 3am night feed by documenting my despair at doing the 3am night feed.

And the good bits…well, you know those bits for yourselves. Those are our memories. I don't always post them on Facebook and Instagram (#myboysmyworld) but you are my world. You really are.

I don't always feel like I am cut out for motherhood but I've always known nobody could love you more. I hope you have grown up knowing that too.

Please put your dirty clothes in the washing basket and do your homework.

Love you always,


Monday, 23 March 2015

Lesson 54: Sod's Law for Parents

Eight ‘bloody typical’ moments guaranteed to happen in your parenting life:

1) Randomly bumping into somebody you know will occur when, and only when, you look like shit. You will also be accompanied by snotty and unruly children (‘yes these are mine’). Sod’s Law states that if said someone is an ex-boyfriend (or girlfriend) you will look exceptionally shit. Like a dog’s dinner that has been rained on.

This law is particularly painful if you knew that person in your life pre-kids, because it’s possible they will hold a memory of your tamed eyebrows and/or your legs without leggings. The one day you do make an effort (wrestle into skinny jeans/slap on some BB cream and lip balm) there will be no such old flame encounter.

2) The zip on the Gro bag/all-in-one snowsuit/pram hood will break or get stuck at a time when your baby's crying has gone off the scale (or, as we like to say in our house, when he has “gone savage”). You will be left trying to fix a broken zip underneath the chin of a crying and kicking beetroot-red baby. Upon experiencing such zip-breakage, I challenge you not to shout ‘you good for nothing piece of shit, I’m complaining to John Lewis!’ (You will never do this).

3) Your children will only 'sleep in' on the days you need them to get up. Saturday morning with nowhere to be? Oh they're awake at 4am, jumping on the bed shouting ‘BUNDLE!’ and telling you they have wet pyjama bottoms. And can they watch Ben 10? But when the
Thursday 6am alarm goes off for the child-minder run...they are in a sleep coma. Yep. 

4) The same sleeping misfortune happens in the car. You can be driving for an hour hoping  your child will drop off so you can listen to the radio, but he will maintain a constant whinge until you are five minutes from home. You will then find yourself sitting in the car outside your house, drinking in the silence whilst at the same time thinking this is another sodding NOWO (Nap Of Wasted Opportunity). If they just napped in their goddam beds you could put some washing out. And watch Judge Rinder. 

"A nap in my cot, you say? Oh that's funny!"

5)  The moment you are trying to leave the house, everybody (baby/toddler/husband) needs the toilet. You will spend a ridiculous amount of your life muttering ‘for fuck’s sake' whilst angrily getting another nappy out. For this reason, you must allow a forty minute margin of error to any target departure time. Of course when you finally are all out the door (and strapped into car seats, or the pram) the baby will squeeze another one out. Or be sick. By this point you will deny all knowledge and drive to Sainsbury’s.

6) The family lurgy will strike when you have a night out planned. Your ONE NIGHT of freedom to drink gin and dance embarrassingly to songs you don't know (whatever happened to N*Sync?) will die a germy death before you even get to dig out a Going Out Top.
Probably for the best as that Topshop number you wore in 2009 is unlikely to be a great fit over your yellowing maternity bra (no you are no longer breastfeeding, but underwire and padding just seems so fancy these days).

7) Friends will get have Hen Dos, 30th birthday parties and general organised fun activities when you are eight months pregnant. If you stay at home, you will sit on the sofa drinking raspberry leaf tea and watching The Voice, feeling depressed. If you go, you will be fat, sweaty and sober (and will have paid for the privilege). There is no winner here.

8) If you do brave a G&T (or four), an otherwise sleep-trained baby will be up half the night. Eight month sleep regression? Meh. How about the ‘Oh look, Mummy and Daddy are trying to enjoy a normal adult evening the stupid bastards’ sleep regression. They just know.

 The Unmumsy Mum

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Who Wants a Teepee?

Firstly, I am a little bit too excited about this post. 

I have been asked to review, promote and link to a number of products since becoming a 'blogger' (I bloody hate that term, but if the shoe fits...)

Anyway, I have largely said no. Thanks but no thanks, as I do not want my page becoming a try this/buy this catalogue.

And then I came across local businesswoman (and mum) Becky, owner of Playful Little Places, and I thought HELL YES. I want in on the teepee action. 

So I am shamelessly capitalising on my blog following to help Becky sell some teepees. And offer you the chance to win one (see below). And if we're being honest to get myself a free one (with matching cushions and bunting). Happy days.
Beats the plastic tat usually cluttering my living room
Having read sponsored posts before, I think I'm supposed to take pictures of my whole family laughing and generally looking like the Brady Bunch inside the teepee. And detail how we relaxed in the teepee after baking a lemon drizzle and constructing easter bonnets (or some such shit). 

If you have been reading my blog, you will realise neither of the aforementioned activities occur on my watch, and I fail miserably at posing my children Boden Catalogue style (mainly because they don't follow instructions without bribes, and I am running low on bourbons). 

But we gave the teepee a go and it was FUN. 

Kids love dens, and Boy One was absolutely delighted with his new one, which we have to call the 'Bat Cave'. He spent a considerable amount of time gathering up toys to stash in his Bat Cave, and for this reason alone I am a massive fan. It bought me HALF AN HOUR'S PEACE. 

What's more, it isn't offensive to the eye. I mean it's a beaut. Becky is a curtain maker and that quality is evident. As is the fact she is a mum because the fabric is machine washable (handy, as I give it a week before sick/poo/dairylea appears in the creases). 

So thank you Becky, because you made Boy One's day. And mine, actually. 

The kids playing Angry Birds on the iPad (again) sometimes makes me feel like a terrible mother. The kids playing angry birds on the iPad IN A TEEPEE pretty much guarantees a Mum of The Year nomination. 
Not a 'Catalogue Family' pose I'm afraid
When my boys ask to read Mummy's blog in future, and point out my erm...honest account of their early years, I will simply show them these pictures and say 'that blog got you a Bat Cave.' 

Though there's no pleasing some people...

 The Unmumsy Mum 

Becky is currently running a competition on her Facebook page to win a teepee. You know the drill for these comps - follow the page, like and share the post via her page and cross your fingers.

Monday, 16 March 2015

An Open Letter to The Mum with the Red Coat

Dear Mum-with-the-red-coat,

You probably won't remember me. 

I saw you at the park on a rainy afternoon last week. I felt inclined to keep looking over and smiling at you because I sensed you were having a shit day. Actually I more than sensed it ... you looked bloody miserable. Your kids were kicking off and you had a When Did This Become My Life face on. I recognised the face because I wear it interchangeably with my Somebody Make It Stop face.

It was for this reason that I made a passing, 'Nightmare aren't they?!' comment, to which you responded with a very small smile.

You were probably distracted by your toddler (who had taken off both shoes, lobbed them from the climbing frame, and was refusing to come down) and also by your baby, who for the love of god you could not get to stop crying. Of course, there's a chance you might just have chosen not to engage in conversation with me because you heard my son declare, 'farty pants knickers bum-bum head!' in close proximity to all the other children. He does that a lot.

But I had a sneaky suspicion that you were, in fact, more troubled by the behaviour of your own children. Your face was red and you looked kind of sheepish. 

I just wanted to say something. 

I wanted to let you know that you really didn't need to be embarrassed that day. Granted your children were being total sods. I mean they were. But that isn't a reflection on your parenting and it isn't a reflection on you. By all means rage at them, swear under your breath, cry, get the emergency Bear Snacks out as bribery - hell, do whatever you need to. But please don't check over your shoulder as if you are anticipating a judgmental glare.

We are in this together.

I get it. I do. When my eldest goes uncooperatively stiff from the neck down and I resort to dragging his dead weight out of the play-area and across half a football pitch, it is difficult not to clock the stares. And your son shouting, 'I'M NOT COMING DOWN! I HATE YOU!' was really quite loud - so naturally people had a gander.

But you then also felt the need to whisper (at a volume much louder than a true whisper), 'It's not time for your milk yet sweetheart, you've just been fed,' which though directed at your screaming baby appeared very much to be for our benefit (me and the other parent bystanders). As if you were worried we would think she should feed her baby

We didn't think that. 

I'm sure you had already fed her, winded her, and tried to soothe her like anyone would, singing softly about the little fishies on the little dishies and the boats coming in. She just wasn't having any of it.

We have all been there.

Jeez Louise, I'm no parenting expert but I'm pretty confident in my assertion that sometimes kids have shitty days. Granted, I never read this exact piece of advice in any Gina Ford or Jo Frost parenting manual but I imagine it's a footnote somewhere, or it should be ('If you can't get the child to do any of this shit it's likely to be because today is his total knobhead day,' or similar).

You are doing your best at an often impossible job, and that afternoon in question was a bit of a howler. Get angry about it, laugh about it (I'm sorry but his dramatic shout of 'I WANT A NEW MUM!' across the roundabout was hilarious), and then draw a line under it.

Trip to the park - failed. So what? 

File it in the Absolute Bloody Disaster drawer and start again. There's a Tesco Express within sight of that roundabout where you can grab a bottle of grown-up grape juice (and further Bear Snack bribes) on the way home.

Stick your fingers up and say SCREW YOU RAINY WEDNESDAY. Tomorrow  is a new day. Of course the kids might be shitty again tomorrow. But they might not.

Because here's the thing. Somebody's children have to be the worst behaved in the park. They just do. The law of averages suggests sometimes those kids will belong to you.

So, the next time another mum pipes up with, 'Nightmare aren't they?!' please know that she is not slagging off you, or your children. She is simply offering you the space to have a moan. She gets it. Because she too owns a teething baby and a toddler who likes to 'play dead' on the pavement. 

Lovely coat by the way. 

Best wishes,

The Unmumsy Mum

Forever living in hope that other mums will return the understanding nod of sympathy. 

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Lesson 53: It's Okay To Lose Your Shit

It is well documented that I lose my shit on a regular basis. So much so, I now get daily messages from fellow shit-losers. Thank you, by the way, your solidarity is much appreciated - particularly when I find myself once again locked in the downstairs toilet 'having a word' with myself. Talking myself down from collapsing in the living room and banging my head on the floor repeatedly (this often seems tempting).

Oh how we chuckle about the shit that got real (and then got lost) during the day. The on-the-floor toddler tantrums, the fourth sleepsuit change due to the latest baby faeces tornado, the plate of sandwiches on the floor, the general narkiness and testing rainy day dramas. It is all rather amusing. 

Except when it's not.

Sometimes, it's not funny at all. 

Some days, I don't feel the urge to poke my own eyes out, or shout, or drink some wine.

I don't feel the urge to do any of those things because some days I actually feel quite desperate

There are days I truly don't know what I'm doing. I don't know what to do.

I have two children who push me to my absolute limit. And I don't always cope all that well. I joke all the time that I'm 'not cut out' for motherhood. Well there are days when I seriously worry that this is true.

I have plodded through life being relatively good at stuff. I was good at school (organised team sports excluded). I got the much coveted First Class Honours degree at Uni. I went into a job I loved and did well at it. 

Then I had kids. And MAN ALIVE I'm not sailing through this one. I'm definitely not top of the class.

Sometimes, when I'm losing my temper in the car, or lying to the toddler that it's raining because I can't face another trip to the sodding park, or wishing the hours until bedtime would just DIE...I panic that there's something wrong with me. 

Why don't I enjoy being at home? Why do I find it so bloody hard? 

And then I start other mums feel like this? Do other mums struggle? Do other mums find the simultaneous baby and toddler crying so draining that they get in the shower and join in with the crying. So that everyone is crying in the bathroom at the same time. Fuck knows what my neighbours must think. 

In those moments of doubt, a dark cloud descends, pushes down on my shoulders and I panic. 

I'm so crap at being a parent. I can't do it. 

And then, I snap myself out of it. Because that moment in the shower, and the white lies about the weather, and the wanting to kill someone in the car....well, those things are not the measure of a mum. 

On those dark days, I measure myself against mums in parenting magazines. Mums on twitter who #lovelife. I will always fail against those mums. Big time.

And then I think, what a bloody stupid measurement. 

The only measure I need is my children. How are they doing? 

On Monday night, Boy Two fell asleep mid-feed and I sat with him for ten minutes in the dark, stroking his little ears. And he smiled. It was probably wind because ten minutes later he puked in my bra. But hey, he smiled. And then I popped in to say goodnight to his brother and instead of tucking him in, I got under the covers and read him two stories. And marvelled at how much he understood. How he is a proper little boy now. At how smart and funny and happy he is. 

So if a measure of a mum is how well her kids are doing, how happy they are, how loved they feel; well then I'm doing just fine. 

Maybe it's okay to have days when you're not fine at all. When you're not coping. When you want to divorce your children because they have self-activated arsehole mode again. 

Wobbly days. 

Granted some of my wobbles are a darn sight wobblier than I'd like, and if I could eliminate all wobbliness (my thighs included) I would. 

But parenting wobbles don't make you a bad parent. They make you a real person. Wobble away my loves. You are all doing just fine. 

The Unmumsy Mum

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Lesson 52: You Don't Have To Explain Yourself To Anyone

Mums are defensive creatures. We feel the need to explain why we do things. Why we feel things. Why we behave in certain ways. To explain that this isn't usually what we'd do but we were short of time/it's a treat/we are having a difficult day....

This is unnecessary.

I know why we do it. Because we are always questioning ourselves. Doubting our decisions. Our best is never quite enough and we have Mum Guilt. But this habit of defensive over-justification really doesn't do us any favours.

I hear mums (myself included) adding rationale to their every parenting move. As if we are anticipating the 'but why?' question so we throw the answer in beforehand.

'I only got him a dummy because he is whingy, I don't really agree with them...' Relax. A dummy is clearly working for you. High five.

'She wouldn't usually have a chocolate biscuit as her mid-morning snack, it's just I haven't got to Tesco to stock up on fruit this week....' Chill the fuck out. She's having a biscuit. I can see she's happy, healthy and I'm sure as you say she does like her veggies. She also likes chocolate biscuits and you promised her one if she used the toilet at playgroup. Crack on. I'm not judging.

If I ask you in general conversation 'Are you breastfeeding?' and you are not breastfeeding, you don't then have to elaborate on all the problems your baby had latching on, or her low birth weight, or the mastitis that stopped you in your tracks. You do not have to explain yourself. Of course if you want to chat about these things I'm all ears. But you actually need say no more. It was just a question.

'Yes he's two. No we're not potty training him yet. Next question.'
To a large extent, I think we over-justify our parenting choices and behaviours because we hate feeling judged. If I just explain why I've done it this way she won't think badly of me...

Well, actually she still might.

I'm sorry to say I have met a small handful of mums who definitely are judging you. And me. And everybody else. These are the mums who think they are doing everything right. In fact they know they are. They've bought all the parenting manuals. They've read every Which? report dating back to the first travel system ever invented. It's their way or the highway. 'You really shouldn't....' 'I'd be careful doing that with him because I've read....' 
Well thank you Mrs Judgy Knickers, but if I need your advice I'll ask for it. Until such a time you can fuck off. 

Don't live in fear of those mums. Because you will end up paranoid that everybody is silently forming an opinion about you and your parenting. Let's face it we are all a bit judgy. It's natural. Sometimes I take one look at a mum and immediately think I know what type of parent she is (I'm not proud of this, and I have been wrong many times). But sometimes, that judginess you anticipate just might be mistaken. 

I, for instance, once felt massively judged when declaring 'I can't hack being at home all week so I'm heading back to work soon, hooray!' The mum I'd met at playgroup just that morning then quietly explained she had decided not to go back to work at all. Because she liked being at home so much she would do all she could to avoid returning to work. And there I was, sat cross-legged in the baby sensory area, outlining my Being-At-Home escape strategy. How shit a parent did that make me sound? 
I was tempted to backtrack and clarify that of course I loved every minute with the baby, and if we could afford it I would have longer off....but this would have been bullshit. So I made my excuses and left.

As it turned out, I later discovered that the very same happy-at-home mum had thought I was silently judging her. How bad must I sound for not wanting any sort of career, she thought. I bet she thinks I'm lame for wanting to stay at home. We were both slightly in awe of each other. And both feeling guilty. What a pair of twats.

I actually think not justifying your every move comes across quite well. An 'I do this because it suits me and my family' attitude commands respect. It indicates a confidence in one's own ability to decide what is right. Not right in the preachy preachy holier than thou total authority in the history of everything that was ever fucking right right

But right for you. For your kids. For your family. 'No I don't breastfeed,'  'I'm not going back to work at all actually,' 'We use a dummy - it's been great for us!' 

Enough said. 

Lesson 52: You don't have to justify yourself to anyone*. One size parenting does not fit all. We're all different. Heaven knows our kids are all different. Explain yourself only if you want to. Mrs Judgy Knickers and her possy of parenting expert SuperMum friends feed on your defensive outpourings. Resist the urge, hold your head high and let them 
The Unmumsy Mum

[*Unless you are one of those parents from Junk Food Kids who gives your two year old coke in a sippy cup. That can never be right and you should be sterilised. You absolute moron.]


Thursday, 5 March 2015

Lesson 51: Shopping With Kids

For the love of god I'll never truly understand why I self-inflict the trauma of going shopping with my kids.

I know how it plays out.

I've been bumbling through the role of parent for THREE YEARS and the only thing that has really changed in that time is that I have created a second small human to take with me. I bloody know.

And yet still I embark on these adventures.

With a pram loaded to the max with snacks for the toddler and Lamaze toys for the baby (plus said baby in the pram and toddler clutching one hand), I leave the house feeling optimistic and smug.

We are all dressed before midday (winning), nobody is crying (yet) and we are off out.

We're not talking about the supermarket Big Shop here (also hell with kids, but kind of essential). We're talking about clothes shopping. Shopping shopping. 'Going up town.' The fun kind of shopping you once enjoyed on a Saturday afternoon when you had time to browse, try stuff on and then buy a dress from Topshop (plus a peel-off face mask and new nail varnish from Superdrug because you had a social life to dress for).

With kids in tow, the more likely turn of events is something altogether different. Something more akin to the last time I attempted this misery...

We didn't even get to the first shop before The Toddler needed a wee. 

We then sprinted (not easy with pram plus three year old on foot) straight to M&S to make use of the facilities. Which are always on the top floor, meaning you have to queue behind Wednesday morning shoppers with mobility scooters and walking frames who are also waiting for the lift. 

Mission toddler wee accomplished, we exited the toilets and it dawned on me that I now had only thirty minutes before the baby would be due his next feed. Spying the M&S café on the other side of the third floor, I begrudgingly headed over and bought a fruit smoothie bottle for an extortionate £2.60. This at least meant we could legitimately set up camp in the café and sort out the baby's bottle whilst the toddler ate one of the fifteen Bear Yo-Yo Snacks I had packed in the change bag. 

Finally clear of M&S (an hour later), we headed to John Lewis - our first proper shop (and,  incidentally, our last). The Toddler ran riot, 'flying' with arms outstretched between clothing sections, cutting up middle-class shoppers who voiced their disapproval by tutting. I started trying to regain control in a very measured Supernanny voice 'we don't run off darling, come here please'...but after chasing him through the furniture and lighting started yelling 'FOR GOD'S SAKE COME BACK HERE OR YOU WON'T HAVE ANY MORE SNACKS OR THE iPAD' allowing bystanders to witness the true Jeremy Kyle nature of my parenting. 

We were, by this stage, at the onset of an I'm Going To Be An Arse tantrum which true to form culminated in him lying down on the floor of the lift. At the exact same point the baby decided to wake from his ten minute nap and cry. Such was the circus of my family that when the lift stopped at the second floor, the childless couple who had called the lift down decided to wait for another. So proud.

We left John Lewis without having looked at a single item.

I had set my sights on further shops to 'nip into.' Next, GAP, H&M, Zara....but you simply do not nip anywhere with small children. Yet again, it was not to be. 

Having resigned myself to the fact we would head home (and after muttering 'fucking kids, fucking waste of fucking time' under my breath), the baby did a poo. Through his suit. Fucking fuckety hell shit and arse. 

So I angrily marched (as best as one can march whilst pushing a pram and dragging a sulking toddler) back to M&S to change the nappy. And the babygro. And the vest. 

And then we went home. And put Peppa sodding Pig on. And I sat with PTSD (Post Traumatic Shopping Disorder) and vowed never again.

Perhaps the most tragic conclusion to this shopping adventure was that when I actually did become lucky enough to shop alone for a few hours the following weekend, it was largely disappointing. Firstly, nothing fits. I needed a new swimming costume and even the navy 'tummy control panel' suit made me look like fucking Moby Dick. Secondly, I felt on edge - I've lost the ability to browse because I have trained myself that I live on borrowed time, even when there is no rush. And lastly, I ended up in Baby Gap and H&M buying outfits for the kids. Because tantrums and crying and shitty babygros aside I love the little buggers.

Lesson 51: Don't take small children shopping. And don't try on a swimming costume four months after giving birth. 

The Unmumsy Mum

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Lesson 50: Toddler Funnies

'Kids are SO funny!' people used to tell me before I decided to take the plunge myself. Are they? I thought. Funny how? They seemed pretty fucking annoying to me.

I actually had no reason to trust these people, who, it later transpired, were liars. 

They told me I wouldn't even remember my life before kids. 

I do. Oh how I do. 

They told me having kids would be the 'best thing I'd ever do'. Granted this is probably true long-term, but it is definitely not true at 3am when one child needs feeding and the other has pissed the bed. At those times it makes my Top 5 'What the hell was I thinking' moments (alongside my red adidas trousers and turquoise Kappa jacket combo). 

But the kids being funny bit...well, I'll give them that. That wasn't a lie. 

The humour doesn't happen instantly. I mean babies aren't all that funny are they?  Sure it's mildly entertaining when they sit up and topple over. Or when they flick food on their head and wonder where it has gone. But generally my babies have never really made me laugh out loud (I have cried out loud though...oh god there has been lots of crying....)

But when they become toddlers, when they become small people (rather than screaming potatoes), the comedy gold moments materialise. Scattered amongst the tantrums, the food refusal and general arsehole-ish behaviour, toddlers are bloody hilarious
Hours of LOLs
Below are just a few of Boy One's 'funnies' from the last couple of months:

'Can I have a special meal for my birthday tea? From B&Q?' (KFC).

[Loudly outside Tesco] 'Why are we at Tesco again? Do we need more wine?' 

'Does that lady have a FANNY? DOES SHE HAVE ONE MUM?'

'How will baby brother get out your tummy? Is there a slide?'

[Playing his fishing game] 'I like big rods best. Do you like big rods Mummy?' *Insert unnecessary parent chortling*

'That's a graveyard. It's where you go when you are DEADED. You go there on the Underground.'

'Are we going to have a sniff of the smelly bush?' [Rosemary in herb garden, I swear!]

'That squirrel is hungry! He's looking for some chicken nuggets!' 

[With a big sigh] 'That IS the question.' 

And amongst all of the above gems, we are treated daily to his current obsession with all things boobs, pants, bum, poo and farts. Granted this does get annoying. And at times it's bloody embarassing. 

But on the rainiest and most boring of days, when the baby is screaming and I would quite like to hide behind the fridge door drinking wine through a straw (whilst sobbing), there is something undeniably comical about a two year old shouting 'Booby pants!' 'Stinky poo fart!' and/or 'Knickers ON YOUR HEAD!' whilst in the Post Office. 

God love 'em.

Lesson 50: I'm sure many of the above are 'you had to be there' moments, but if you are a new parent still in the baby stage, or if you are shortly transitioning to the toddler years, you can look forward to similar funnies of your own. 

Alongside the arsehole-ish behaviour. Sorry about that. 

The Unmumsy Mum