Be wise, immunise

I hate taking my kids for their jabs. The look on their little faces when they realise what’s happening… gah. But a grown-up’s gotta do what a grown-up’s gotta do.

This morning, I made the mistake of explaining to Eva why we were going to the doctors – her pre-school MMR booster – as we were heading to the car. I thought she might appreciate the heads up.

Having managed to extract her from the garden where she’d run off to hide, I carried her, sobbing, to the car. Getting into the doctors’ surgery was even more interesting as she elected to put off the inevitable by lying on the ground in the car park screaming, meaning I had to hand Alex over to a stranger while I prised her off the tarmac. Alex, unimpressed by being shoved into the arms of an enormous bald gentleman he’d never met, also chose to proceed down the tantrum route.

So far, so fun. Eva’s jabs brought on tidal waves of tears from both kids but we did it. Look at my brave little pin cushion. Somebody’s getting an ice cream later.

The cocoon

It was never my intention to update this blog all the time, or turn it into a ‘thing’, chiefly because that would’ve entailed finding out what a ‘thing’ is, and then doing it. It’s more a place for diarising life with young kids (because I am extremely forgetful), sharing the funny stuff (because I don’t have colleagues), and venting (because I usually do that quite angrily and out loud while I’m having a shower and I’m not sure if the neighbours can hear me through the wall – this is quieter).

I’m finally sitting down to write this post about life as a stay-at-home parent slash freelance journalist slash can you be a stay-at-home parent with a job slash no not really. It’s been percolating in my brain for a while and, unlike any notions I’ve had over the years to get tattoos, hasn’t gone away. It’s about the overwhelming blanket of nothingness that can drape itself over you when you stay at home with kids, and what it feels like to be under it.

Continue reading “The cocoon”

Coping/not coping

There are certain moments in life that come with their own handy phrases and clichés, and it’s only when you live through them that you realise how apt they are. Heartbreak, for example, is a throwaway term until you’re jilted, sobbing and clutching at your chest thinking, ‘Ouch, bloody hell, they weren’t joking!’ Even when the physical ache dies away, the conviction that your poor heart has been stomped to pieces can linger for years.

There are plenty of jolly little clichéd phrases, images and expectations around motherhood, too. Fraught mum reaching for the booze or the meds – mother’s little helper! Frazzled mum with banana in her hair, mum putting her purse in the fridge, calling the children by the cat’s name, mum reversing the car into a post box, wiping baby spew off her best blouse before a party and hoping nobody notices. Mum on a spa break having her ‘me time’ with cucumber slices on her eyes, mum in her mumsy bra and big pants with her ‘mummy tummy’ and ‘wobbly bits’, sobbing at NSPCC adverts and nativity plays, whooping with delight because her toddler did a poo in a potty then sending little Jimmy off to school with his sister’s ballet bag instead of his PE kit. Mums!

Continue reading “Coping/not coping”

A day in town without the kids…

When Will and I first met, he was living in Westbourne Park. You know Notting Hill, with all the pastel painted houses, amazing restaurants and cool bars, Aladdin’s cave nick nack shops, buzzing multiculturalism and general Kate Moss vibe? Yeah, it’s nothing like that. It is really near there though.

So when he suggested leaving the kids with my mum and driving from our affordably dull suburban outpost for the day, I was delighted. There was something about test driving a car, but all I really heard was ‘kids to your mum’s’ and ‘it’s near my old house’.

Continue reading “A day in town without the kids…”

Diary of a rainy day

 

image

07.00: We can do this! We can get though a rainy day. It’s not like we don’t own at least a ton of multi-coloured plastic, moulded into entertaining, educational forms.

07.45: Might put CBeebies on for a bit and see if I can tidy away some of this boring plastic crap while she’s not looking.

09.45: How the hell is it 9.45? Why am I watching this episode of Twirlywoos AGAIN? Oh no, we’ve seen this Something Special at least three times too. I cannot watch Justin go to that playground ever again.

09.50: OK, bloody hell, calm down! You can watch Mr Tumble!

11.00: THIS HAS TO STOP. WE MUST LEAVE THE HOUSE. Continue reading “Diary of a rainy day”

‘Nature walk’

Today is polling day, and I thought we may as well go for a spin around the block after I’d voted as the weather was so lovely. Besides, surely it’d be good to do a little suburban tree safari, spot a few minibeasts, encourage some junior mindfulness with a game of ‘I Spy’?

Except, this is the only position that Eva would consider the pram hood being in:

image

I can’t say that the baby (bare foot just visable in the photo), stashed in the infant seat beneath his sister in the buggy equivalent of steerage, had an especially good view either.

Continue reading “‘Nature walk’”