Ten signs you’ve lost your mummy marbles

Mummy's Writing Darling

Ten signs you’ve lost your mummy marbles

 

1/ You call the cuddly toys in your house by their correct pronoun and correct yourself if you make a mistake LIKE IT MATTERS TO ANYONE. “Darling…he wants Peppa Pig,  can you bring him, I mean ‘her’ up with some milk?” She’s (I mean it’s) not real woman, have a word with yourself.

2/ You sing a song while you’re emptying the dishwasher – which is fine. But you realise after a couple of minutes you’re not singing the latest Adele tune. You’re singing “Incy wincy spider” and there are no children in the house.

3/ You call your other half ‘Daddy Pig’, in front of his colleagues.

4/ You’ve forgotten your PIN number but thanks to Mr Tumble you can do the sign for cash machine and an interpretive dance for “how am I meant to buy chicken dippers now?”

5/ You’re out on your own with adults, drinking wine – yet you’re bobbing your leg up and down as though you’re soothing a baby and you’ve got “show me, show me” mixed with “I love Woolly and woolly loves me” going round and round inside your head.

6/ You call up your energy supplier to complain and when they apologise you say “it’s ok. it’s not a big thing. It’s a Bing thing.”

7/ You give your friend a hug and can’t help but tap her back several times in case she’s holding a burp in.

8/ You’ve been reading your child a story involving a sheep. You are hamming it up with all the enthusiasm of Jim Carey and are delivering lines like Brian Blessed. You are doing your best ‘she.e.e.ee.ee.eeep’ voice. Your child fell asleep five minutes ago.

9/ Your children’s names are interchangeable and are also apparently the names of your husband, mother, the big issue lady and the check out lad in the co-op.

10/ The bin men / women come. You stand at your front door waving to them all and shouting “Truuuck!!” Both your children are with their grandparents.

.

 

 

When one child becomes two

second child

1/ The noise level in your house will double. At night you’ll find yourself lying awake appreciating the small pockets of silence you get because your ears will ache. Remember when the baby would stop screaming and you could have a few minutes peace? Well now you have an older professional ‘waker upper’ in the house who might as well be walking up and down with enormous comedy cymbols belting out a Mariah Carey power ballad.

2/ The shit level in your house will double. Shit, shit everywhere. You’re running some sort of shit relay race. Your house will smell like shit. You’ll need more wipes. Secure sponsorship deal with wipes brand before baby number two to save you thousands of pounds. Make an under the table deal right now with bin men / women so that they will take an extra four bin bags each fortnight – warn them they will smell of shit.

3/ Your exhaustion will double. You’ll be utterly exhausted. You’ll be so tired you could cry. You find yourself just getting on with it because there’s no other choice. People will regularly say “are you ok? You look shattered.”

4/ You’ll have less time to eat. So you will eat less. But you’ll drink more – so the calories even out.

5/ Your mother guilt will double. Now you’re not just the inadequate mother of one – but of two. And today you didn’t give child A enough attention because of child B. And vice Versa. And repeat.

6/ You’ll work better as a team with your partner. If I was into sport in any way I could probably insert a great sports analogy here about two people playing against one versus two people playing with two – but I can’t and I’m too exhausted. But let’s just say it seems to work much better when you have one each to take care of. And there seems to be less fights about me having to always pass the ball (I tried!)

7/ Child B may not be anything like child A. They may be a completely new personality – and temperament so don’t think “Oh wouldn’t it be great to have another A”. Cause B is a whole new ball game (sports reference! Get me!) and you’ll have multiple discussions (fights) with your other half about who child B takes after. His current money is on the postman.

8/ It’ll be easier (the baby thing) than the first time but in many ways harder. You’ll know which way round to hold them but you’ll also not have the luxury of it just being you two. You’ll have to do all the very difficult baby stuff whilst looking after a very difficult precious first born (in my case, a toddler).

9/ You’ll forget how old they are. When people ask you’ll say “hmm…. Like… Maybe 4 months?” They will look at you in disgust. You’re not really counting anymore, you haven’t got time – all you know is, they’re not crawling yet thank Christ.

10/ You’ll want another child… and then not. You’ll swing violently between wanting another child (when they are being sweet together or have slept a couple of hours) and never ever ever wanting to even meet eyes with your partner just in case.
11/ Your confidence will take a knock. Going out alone with them will once again seem impossible. Remember how you finally mastered going out / eating out with a child, got all confident about it? Well, you’re back to square one! How am I meant to do this with two?

12/ Your heart will break. It’ll feel like they (the new addition) were never not here and never not a part of your family. There will be moments when they look at each other or interact that will be so utterly beautiful it’ll make your heart break into two and then rush back together again.

Been there! We’re all in it together

mummy's writing, darling

Been there !” the lady shouted out of her car window, a huge smile on her face, the silhouette of two older children sat in the backseat. She had stopped in the middle of the road to let me cross.

I was on my usual power walk to my son’s nursery. My nearly three year old goes twice a week for his benefit and for my sanity. I walk the significant distance with my first son in a buggy and my five month old son on my chest in a sling. It was raining and bloody freezing. Everywhere there were huge rivers of water I was carefully navigating myself around, just waiting for a car to screech by and drown us.

A man in a van had just swerved into the side road we were about to cross seconds earlier without pausing or indicating and I was too busy giving him the ‘death stare’ and tutting to notice her. But then I did. She didn’t need to stop – she just did, because, it would seem – she remembered how it felt. By ‘it’ I mean, being a parent and the difficulty of getting about with two young children, in the pissing down rain.

But ‘been there’ has deeper connotations than just that moment. In that moment we connected; The kind stranger and I. I shouted thank you and smiled, and in that smile we connected over the sleepless nights, the exhaustion, the worry, the feelings of inadequacy, the guilt, the judgement, the small daily struggles that seem never ending.

I have had a few moments like this in my three years of being a parent:

The moment when I had my first born in a pram in a supermarket queue. He was screeching and I was panicking as the whole store stared at me. I was frantically rocking the pram back and forth. The lady in front of me begged me to go in front of her. She told me she knew what it was like and that was perhaps the first time when I felt like “oh! other people have been this crap before?” I thought it was just me.

Then there was the man who offered to, and then held my child and entertained him while I desperately tried to get my new high tech buggy folded down on a bus for the first time. He was so sweet with my son and if he hadn’t offered I probably would have just gone back home red faced with my new mum confidence at an all time low.

I have no idea if this man had ‘been there’ or was just a lovely human being. There can be, of course, some parents you meet who don’t appear to have ever ‘been there’ and scowl at you or tut and make your day a whole lot worse.

Sometimes it seems being a parent is a competition and there sure are a lot of really negative comments thrown at us everyday. You’re damned if you do and you’re a crap mother / father if you don’t. It can all get a bit depressing and you can feel like you’re failing at every stage. But it’s those ‘been there’ times that I hold on to and sometimes make my day.

In the months and years to come it might be me helping out a new parent in the supermarket queue or on the bus or in the street. I hope I can make someone’s day a little brighter. Although at times it can feel like we are on our own – don’t ever forget that we are all in it together.

 

Foolproof ways to cope with your fussy eater child

mummy's writing darling

I have based my findings on years of research with my own fussy eater toddler child. Do not attempt these tactics with other people’s fussy eater children or with fussy eater adults due to ethical reasons.

Also you can just tell the fussy eater adult to sod off and never come for tea again.

Firstly : Lower your expectations. Starting each day assuming your fussy eater child will not eat anything they are given means you will be pleasantly surprised when they eat a spoonful of chocolate cake last thing before bedtime. 

Don’t put a lot of effort into making anything you would be upset to see thrown against a wall or tipped down a toilet. 

Don’t try and work out the formula of what will make a fussy eater eat a certain food. There is no formula. It is a complete random set of serendipitous sporadic stimuli that will work one moment of one day – usually never to be repeated.

Don’t attempt a restrictive diet yourself during this time. A woman can’t be expected to abstain from carbs when she’s forced to sit in front of hot buttered toast for an hour.

Watching your child ignore it and refuse to eat it will make you want to scream “You don’t know you’re born!” before rubbing the toast over your face and toasting the rest of the loaf for yourself using your hands to eat Lurpack while you’re waiting.

Compromise. Let them have it the way they want it. It may make you gag to eat stone cold baked beans, but they like it that way so just go with it.

Lie. I’m sure there are lots of ethical reasons why you shouldn’t lie about what you are feeding a person. But they’re your kids. They’re your fussy eater. So lie.

“Yes darling, this is Peppa pig yogurt (semolina) and this is Peppa pig yogurt (sweet potato mash) oh, and look at this amazing Peppa pig yogurt (humous).”

Any new food is a victory, even if technically it’s a Ritz cracker. It’s a new food group! “There you go, dip it in your Peppa pig yogurt son!”

Always remain poised for spontaneous regurgitation.

Especially if you’ve tried to conceal a healthy foodstuff under the usual crap. You play with fire – you’re going to get spewed on.

Try to find the positive in anything they will eat. “He ate lemon cake, so that’s one of his five a day.” “He ate the breadcrumbs on a fish finger – so thats Omega something isn’t it?” “He ate baked beans so he must be over his, ‘I only eat beige things’ phase!”

Tell yourself every day that this is just a phase and they won’t grow up to be one of those “freaky eaters” who will only eat ready salted crisps and diet lemonade.

It’s not like it’s hereditary … I have no problem eating anything. Except Oysters, ooh… wonder if he’ll give an oyster a go? Maybe if I hide it in a Peppa pig yogurt.

Block out all memories of how you used to imagine pre kids that your children would eat what they were given. Especially fruit and veg! You weren’t to know you were being a tit.