Thursday, 30 April 2015

Cabin Fever and Sandwich Shops

Good morning!

Today is the 1st May and it is 6.58am. I was woken at 6.13 by my boy cooing next to me, which would ordinarily be lovely but, I didn't get to sleep until midnight last night thanks to my new blogging obsession and then I had a night feed to do at 3.30am. As you can imagine, I am a little bit tired.  So 'what is it today?' as my daughter asks every morning. Today I am without a car (duh duh duuuh). I know, shocking right? More to the point, I am without a car and I have both of the kiddiewinkles.  I suspect cabin fever might set in sometime between 9 and 9.30am around the time we have probably watched 'The Incrdibles' for the seventeenth time. 
'What's his name, mum?' My daughter asks each time.
'I don't know love, I'm not really watching it,' is my usual reply.
'You do know,' is her response. 'Is he a goodie or a baddie?' 
'I am not sure darling, a goodie I think.'
'You do know. He's a baddie.'
I thought I would try to record a real time blog today, one that documents my attempting to cope without a car. 
'Take them for a walk!' I hear you cry. I would but, no sooner do we start pushing the buggy and the girl either demands to be picked up or yanks her hand away from mine.  We live in a lovely little village with some parks however, in order to reach the parks you have to walk down a very thin path which runs alongside a very busy road. My fraught nerves can't take it.

The girl has now just awoken and come into my room, climbed into bed, started crying to be taken back to her own bed, asked Daddy to make her a chocolate sandwich (no prizes for guessing what that healthy snack is) and asked for her tablet for something to watch. Daddy has just set off to work in my shiny lovely new car (his is probably going to fail its MOT today) and I am going to seize this opportunity to shower and dress. FYI I might even attempt to wear a pair of jeans today even though I ate a McDonalds last night. Laying in my loose PJs, I can tell my tum is more wobbly than yesterday morning. Oh, I have spoken too soon. The boy's face has gone red to signal the straining signs of a poo and my girl is shouting for me to go and get in bed with her...

4.14pm
...The poo never arrived; he was obviously going red because he was pissed at something. The shower didn't occur for a while either as I climbed into my daughter's bed and played at Furchrster Hotel for a while, which was basically me pretending to be Cookie Monster and making pretend cookies for the guests at the hotel.  She has a cracking little imagination but, unfortunately for her, her creatively defunct mummy doesn't. After five minutes, I went to put a load of washing in the machine. Boo hiss to me. 

The shower happened - it was nice and uneventful apart from the girl sitting outside the shower door with the iPad. Getting dressed is a pain more often than not. This morning was no different. I dressed my girl in skinny jeans and a Peppa jumper and much to my and her dozing bro's dismay, she 'WANTED LEGGINGS.'  This melt down lasted a couple of minutes but, I didn't give in. You see, this mummy is an only child so I can be down right stubborn too. Instead, I grabbed some glittery nail varnish and dangled it in front of her like a carrot to a horse. Almost zombiefied, she followed it downstairs to the breakfast table.

Breakfast was calm until she begged and begged for the nail varnish to adorn her little nails. She loved the sparkles so I started to wash up.
'Take it OFFFF!'
Oh, I spoke too soon. I always do. I had to scrape it off with my own nails before it dried properly as I am not organised enough to actually have nail varnish remover in the house.

9.30 came and passed, as did 10.30. My boy had snoozed on his mat for a while while we watched Bolt. She threw a curve ball; I was all ready to answer questions about Mr and Mrs Incredible and how they both 'got busy' to actually quote Buddy/Incrediboy in the film. Thank God she doesn't realise that Penny in Bolt is Miley Cyrus otherwise I might have had to deflect questions about writhing on wrecking balls and Twerking.

11.15 hit and we were agitated and bored. Looking into the porch, I saw something that would either be great or really stupid. Daddy had left us the travel system so we weren't stranded in the house after all. 
'Grab your helmet and Balance Bike, we'll walk to the sandwich shop.'

Outside. It was going good. Well in fact. The boy only screamed the house down for five minutes whilst we got our trainers on.  I made a couple of trips upstairs to grab coat and my daughter, despite my telling her to stay downstairs, followed me. She does it whenever I am rushing anywhere or she'll just walk in front of me so I can't get past and then she will stop, is this behaviour normal or does she do it to wind me up?  When the boy is screaming and I am trying to get out of the house, I am already tightly wound up.

Our little estate is lovely and quiet. There we were, walking along with the pram with my boy asleep again. My girl was riding along on the bike with her little plastic helmet.  When we got to the main road (which I swear is a lane diverted from the A1) she climbed off and held my hand. This is when my slackness kicked in. Where to put the bike? Balancing precariously on the pram, (well it is called a Balance Bike) we pushed on to the sandwich shop which suddenly felt a million miles away.  Now, I am not such a bad mother that I take my children on thin paths and busy roads regularly. We did eventually veer off onto a nice quiet country lane where we could get the bike back out. Which we did. See, it was all going swimmingly again. 'Look at me', I thought. 'I have got this down. I look like the perfect mother of two, out and about giving my children fresh air.' I actually looked terrible as today I chose to wear my ripped pink netball jumper alongside my jeans. (Have you noticed that I have a lot of netball gear? I love the sport, but I am currently having a hiatus from it due to having recently popped out a baby - this is not my decision as I am ready to play; it's my partner's decision as he, and I quote, 'can't handle two bedtimes' to allow me to train and play.) I am digressing again. It's like verbal diarrhoea but it's all running from my head to my funky new app... We walked a few more paces before the bike was dumped in front of the pram making us all stumble a little. Placing it on top of the boy in the buggy once more, we trekked on.
'Mum, I'm tired. Carry me.'
'And with what hand shall I push your brother with, darling?'
'Leave him.'
What here? On this little country lane? Oh, okay then.  We pressed on.
Like a mirage sparkling in the desert, I saw the sandwich shop. I also observed the step up to it. Our travel system is massive so the poor kid was left outside while I stood at the door shouting my order of two ham sandwiches and a gingerbread man.

There was danger at every point during the walk home.  The quiet country lane suddenly became filled with transit vans passing every minute or so. Thinking back now, they were probably going to the sandwich shop. Silly mummy didn't think that one through. We had to stop every minute or so to let a van pass. My daughter was still wearing her Mothercare pink bike helmet though so we were prepared. The bike was still balancing on the pram along with a sandwich bag. 

Eventually we arrived home and had our lunch. I needed a cuppa to calm my nerves (as we had to walk alongside the A1 again) and reached for the vodka to chase down the tea...as if! Vodka is disgusting. I grabbed a brandy. 😉 

The rest of the day played out quite calmly; we did some letter and number practise and watched about five episodes of Alvin and the Chipmunks. My daughter is amazed that I know the theme tune (it's the same one from the early 90s). I only had to bribe her with one little Lindt chocolate bunny left over from Easter. I could see it in her eyes that she was going to torment her brother; I talked her down with the bunny.

And that brings us to now. 5.12pm. The other half has taken the girl to the garage to collect the car. Miraculously, it passed the MOT after having £300 of work doing on it. So it didn't really pass did it?

I'll leave it there for now. Hope I haven't bored you; it hasn't been the most lively of days. I will assure that the boy is unscathed by being used as a Balance Bike holder and by being left outside a sandwich shop (I could see him at all times.) I will provide picture evidence. Please note the pink netball jumper and the random breast pad in the background. You'll soon learn that I leave them everywhere. One almost attached itself to my father in law's coat a couple of weeks back. You would have been impressed by my diving over the sofa to grab it.

Enjoy your long weekend, folks.


A second attempt to get the hang of this thing.

30th April 1.03pm
Ok, so my first blog post is live.  Great.  I feel almost liberated.  The only problem is that no one knows that I am writing a blog and I still don't have the guts to tell anyone or share it on Facebook.  I have, however, shared it on my 'Teaching Twitter' account where I have 41 (yes, you read that right) followers.  I also don't share my name on my Teacher Twitter as I fear that students and teachers may find me and laugh at my sheer and utter rubbishness at producing anything worth reading about.  I have my own Twitter that is private due to teacher reasons and I don't think I dare share my blog there yet.  I mean, I have actual real friends on there who I don't want to make fun of me!

I thought I would share with you a typical maternity leave day. Yesterday I had no specific plans; my daughter was at nursery and my amazing father in law (he isn't officially my father in law as my partner and I are not married - but that is for a whole other blog post.) took my boy out for a walk.  Right, I thought, 'let's blitz this shizz'.  We are fortunate enough to live in a four bed detached house.  I have to remind myself constantly of how fortunate we are at the end of every month after the mortgage has crippled both of our bank accounts.  However, with a four bedroomed house comes a lot of place to store your crap.  'I am going to be proactive and go to the tip' I thought. 

Armed with black bin bags, I waded into each room and grabbed plastic toys, wooden toys, broken toys, lamps, documents that were unopened and seven years old (God, I hope the other half doesn't need them), old Converse trainers (I later got told off for binning them), old makeup and jewellery.  Basically, anything I could put my hands on in the spare hour I had alone.  I must say that I did not venture into the garage.  Spiders lurk in there...  Now, I don't claim to know much about recycling so I shoved all my crap into bags without separating paper and plastic etc.  I do separate my plastics, paper and bottles for the bins but, I was going to the tip. Doesn't it all just get buried in some dirt?  Don't get me wrong, I care for the environment but, when you only have an hour to cram as much rubbish into the car as possible well, Leonardo Di Caprio I ain't.  Sorry.

Oh wait, I have just remembered that I Sky+ Grey's Anatomy last night and Derek is missing...
Plus, the boy has just dropped off...
Back soon.

3.27pm and I am back.  I didn't just watch Grey's.  I also played with my boy, paired some socks and changed a nappy.  I also still don't know what has happened to Derek. 

Right, where was I?  Diving into the driving seat, I realised I had seconds to spare before Grandad returned with my son.  I headed out towards the end of the street and there he was steadily pushing the pram.  Drat.  I was going to have to take all the bags back out and I would never be able to convince the other half to go to the tip after work.  However, being the fantastic father in law that he is, he waved me off to the tip and waited patiently by our door.  (He does have a key - we don't deny the parentals of that little luxury.)

Upon arrival at the tip, I was asked if I had a permit.  Of course I didn't.  Now, let me describe to you my attire.  I was wearing my black and white wool jumper; the one I once attempted to wash myself (my mum usually does my wools) and it was paired with my favourite jogging bottoms which have my netball club's name emblazoned down one leg.  Sliding down my window, I fluttered my mascaraless eyelashes and smiled with my unbrushed teeth.  I usually brush my teeth but, in my haste to de clutter, I had forgotten.  My face had also been make-up free since Sunday and yesterday was Wednesday.  In my sweetest voice I explained to him that I didn't know that I needed a pass and that I did in deed reside in the local area.  I told him that I just had house hold waste, which, in my eyes, I did and he let me through.  He even directed me to the correct bay.  Well done that man.

Commencing dump and run. 

I grabbed the first bag (all my bags had ripped) and dumped it in the skip.  All good.  I turned around to see a man scooping out my other half's Converse trainers with a rake.
'These can be recycled love,'
Oh.  My heart dropped.
'What else have you got love?  Show me your bags,'
Oh.  I grabbed the rest of the bags, the old Moses Basket, the wooden castle, the leather mirror, the lamp, the printer...
'No no no, this is all wrong.  You can't do this anymore.  You must recycle.'
He had stopped calling me love.
This is how it all then played out.  Like an episode of 90s TV gold Gladiators, I ripped through the bags and grabbed all the wooden stuff and ran over to the wood skip.  In a mad dash I separated all the paper and posted it in the paper skip.  Grabbing plastic toys, I raced over to the plastic skip dropping at least two Peppa Pig figurines.  I definitely showed my bum at that point when I went to pick up the Peppas (damn jogging bottoms but, at least the maternity leave diet appears to be going well).
Then I spotted my moment.  The man, who had stopped calling me love, was over by the paper skip.  Grabbing my final two bags from the car, I ran over to the household waste skip, threw them in and ran, without looking back, to my car.

Dump and run complete.

I returned home to find a very patient (have I already said that I love this man?) Grandad waiting by our front door. And that is what a maternity leave day is like for me. No fit mums exercise classes, no baby yoga and no baby sensory thingamajig. Just dumping shizz in a tip and running off with my dignity almost in tact. 

I felt very proud of my uber fast de clutter of the house and upon telling the other half this when he returned home from work, he said:
'Don't throw away my stuff, I needed them.'  He was referring to his Converse trainers, the ones that have been sitting in the porch for the best part of seven months.
'Throw away your own bloody stuff.'
Fair point.

It is now 5.37pm.  That's how long it has taken me to write this short blog.  My daughter returned from Grandma and Grandad's at 3.30pm and since arriving home we have played Rapunzel with sellotape, eaten Kinder chocolate, she has climbed all over me, woken her brother, needed a poo, needed the iPad to watch while having the said poo, banged every key on the computer keyboard, demanded paper for drawing and sat on my knee for a cuddle.  I have barely sat down and that right there ladies and gentlemen is the maternity leave diet I mentioned earlier.

However, the post took that long to write that we ended up going to McDonalds for tea.  Parenting skillz!

And yes, today I am still wearing the jogging bottoms.