Children, in twenty years, guess who’s coming to dinner?

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Sons, I want you to prepare yourself for your father and I coming to dinner in around twenty years time (or whenever you hopefully move out).

I’ll ring ahead of time and insist you make my favourite – lasagne – from scratch, and your dad’s favourite – apple crumble. As soon as we arrive your dad will take off one shoe: Just one mind.

I’ll ask for red wine but will only drink it if it is given to me in a very specific cup and if you hold it to my lips whenever I shout. I will jut my tongue in and out of it without ever actually drinking it as that’s just how I will roll.

Once dinner is served your dad will refuse to sit at the table and announce he hates lasagne. He will cry and continually request chocolate milk and a bread roll.

I will eat your lasagne … If the stars are aligned, but be warned, if I get so much as a whiff of a vegetable I will straight up regurgitate it into your open hand. Half way through the lasagne I may decide it’s no longer my favourite – I think it was a different shade last time I had it – and I’ll demand dessert.

Your father will eat the custard, and the crumble topping but then he will discover there’s apple in the bowl and simultaneously shit himself and realise he’s only wearing one shoe which will devastate him.

He will then lie on the floor and eat any old food he can find in between the cracks in your floorboards that you cooked days ago. Probably lasagne – just tastier than the fresh lasagne on the table.

At some point I will want to hold my wine cup myself and when you’re not looking I’ll just let it tip out over your most recent or precious purchase.

We will go to bed at 7pm quite easily and instead of going to bed too, you stupidly will stay up to actually enjoy your evening and watch whatever the equivalent of Breaking Bad is in 2035. You will retire for the evening at about 11.30pm.

At 11.32pm I will start screaming as though I’m being slaughtered. As soon as you get out of your toasty bed I’ll stop. I will continue this every hour on the hour until 4am.

Your father will wake up at 11.45pm and start shouting out numbers, colours, modes of transport and favourite characters from his favourite TV program.

JEREMY CLARKSON!!!

JAMES MAY!!!

RICHARD HAMMOND!!!

He will continue to do this every two hours on the hour.

At around 3.30am he will crawl in the dark on his hands and knees in search of an object – any object – then find the radiator in the room and bang his object against the radiator until you give up and get up at 4am.

(He may find a tambourine or xylophone – you probably don’t remember even buying them! But he can find them like a pig searching for truffles).

The next day we will both insist on chocolate cake for breakfast and make you watch utter shite on repeat for 4 hours.

Just when you think you can’t take anymore Grandma will pop round. She’ll give you a leaflet about the dangers of drinking too much and how it makes you terrible sons and give us a chocolate cake and a cuddle and take us off to the pub.

Prepare yourself lads,

We’re looking forward to it.

(Revenge is a dish best served cold, and that lasagne better be stone cold or I won’t touch it).

Good Lord, he really is a little shit isn’t he darling?

 

You could never have met anyone on this planet more desperate, more excited and more suited to be a grandparent than my mother.

She had me, her perfect only child, obviously, and then began her wait to become a grandma. She waited a long thirty years. I saw her disappointed face after every relationship went sour. I think she thought it might never happen.

However, I was slightly worried about telling her I was pregnant as it wasn’t great timing, wasn’t planned, and I was living in sin in a fairly new relationship. I took a deep breath in Costa coffee and told her “you’re going to be a grandma.”

I apologise to the patrons of Costa that morning who were witness to a lady shrieking, screaming, howling and jigging about like Ed Balls doing a Samba. As soon as my son was born she had moved cities to be near him and is practically down the road handily popping by on a daily basis with milk, bread, wipes, ready meals and a million kisses for her little Lord Fauntleroy angel who can do no wrong. Then we surpassed her expectations and gave her a second grandson – well, you’ve never seen a happier woman.

However, like Marie Barone, she can be slightly critical of my parenting.

When she pops round the first thing she will comment on is how the boys smell. Apparently they always smell of something. She has the fully oxygenised nose of a greyhound, my nose has obviously curled up and died after living with three males.

“Hello darling, oh… has someone done a poo?”

“Hello darling, oh… I think he’s done a wee… shall I run them a bath?”

“Hello darling, do you mind me asking when you all last had a wash?”

After the smell notes she will comment on whether they are too hot or too cold (there’s never an in-between).

“Hello darling, oh…shouldn’t he be wearing warm socks on his ickle footsies?”

“Hello darling, oh… does he need that jumper on? he looks overheated to me.”

“Hello darling, HE’S NOT WEARING A JUMPER HE’LL CATCH HIS DEATH!”

And to top it off she will comment on how I should go out more. Why don’t I just pop down the road for example. Why isn’t the dishwasher filled. What have I been doing all day?

Last week she took us all on another little Yorkshire break to give me a “rest” (HA) and to spend quality time with the little darlings she had wished for for three decades.

On the second day after getting around five hours of sleep I saw her in the kitchen. She said our eldest woke up at “FUCKING FOUR! FOUR!”

“Yes” I said calmly, he does that.

My youngest was strapped to her leg letting out a high pitched dolphin sound trying to claw his way up her body. She was trying to fill the dishwasher dragging her leg around with my one year old attached to it like a dead weight. My eldest was running from room to room singing “Away in a manger” throwing hula hoops across the carpet. It was around eleven and she had been up for seven hours already.

“Grandma!” my three year old was shouting in his ridiculously high pitched Elmo voice, “can you play my game? can you play my game grandma?”

“Yes … just …. I’m …. I ….. need a cup …. of…”

“But Grandma? Grandma? Can you read the three bears now? Grandma?”

“Well….just….the dishwasher….I”

“Grandma? Grandma? Can I have a chocolate biskwit pwease Grandma?”

“You didn’t eat your toast…so….I”

The one year old was demonically howling now at her feet, his head buried into her crotch desperate to be picked up. She picked him up and held him with one hand whilst trying to boil the kettle with the other.

Both boys were wearing no socks and no trousers and I could smell a waft of turd.

She let out an agonising sigh and said to me

“Argh… he (my youngest) really is a little shit isn’t he?”

We laughed and I have never ever felt happier in my life. That feeling when someone else sees what your daily life is like, they get it. The moment when your most loved thing in the whole world is a “little shit”. She got it. I felt validated.

I held the little shit while she prised open a bottle of wine with her teeth and we had a splendid holiday. Hic…

 

 

 

Why Mums Can’t Diet

This morning I trundled my large arse off to play group with my youngest son. I only fully woke up about five minutes in when he smacked a tambourine off my right tit and started trying to choke himself on a mini maraca. I realised where I was and looked around the room at the other mums dancing to “the magic ring” (insert joke here) looking like bloody idiots.

To stop myself from smashing my skull into the opposite wall in time with the bananas in pyjamas song, I started to think about my diet plans for the day ahead. Gluten free toast for a late breakfast with some nut butter and a banana I mused. Some fancy herbal tea throughout the day to keep hydrated I thought. pulses and brown rice for lunch I mulled over. Nicoise salad for tea and bottled water. Maybe I will go all out and have fizzy water tonight.

Ten minutes later I had to remove myself and my arse (otherwise known as my one year old) from the group due to him thoroughly hating the music and dancing (unlike the other twenty kids) and rolling around on the floor making the same noise I suspect a cat would make if you slowly ran over them with a lawn mower. I made a swift exit while the other mums looked sympathetically on.

I ran to a coffee shop and got an extra large latte. For the stress. So that’s my diet broken.

I then came home, put him down for a nap and watched Jeremy Kyle on ITV+1 as my life is fucking tragic. I eyed the Chinese take away left overs my husband left from last night and thought about having it for lunch with a glass of wine because it’s Friday and I need a reason to go on.

This is why mums can’t diet. We can start off with very good intentions. We can throw out all the crap food. We can read all the diet books. We can follow these gurus on Instagram. We are educated. We can prep like a boss and meal plan and feel so completely motivated and then….CHILDREN HAPPEN. “Children” happens to your day in some way. Our blood pressure goes up and up and up and even though you’ve told your head NO NO NO NO. Your heart is chanting “pizza pizza pizza pizza.”

Not only this but our days are too long. There can be fifteen hours between waking up and passing out when the kids are forced to bed and you haven’t had time to have a piss, let alone make a chickpea curry.

Then there’s the fact we don’t go out. We have no social life. The only thing we have to look forward to is Strictly, X Factor and Gogglebox. And you think I’m going to sit and watch those with some carrot sticks and a fennel tea? Give me the fucking wine and a straw and leave me be.

Just Eat also contact me more often than my mum. They seem to really care about me. It’s a forbidden love.

Erego – Mums can’t diet.

I’ll have the weekend off and start again on Monday. No one ever started anything good on a Friday. Anyway got to go, Just Eat are texting me.

 

Smelly Poos

mummy's writing darling

Smelly Poos

Don’t whinge about your husband
some people don’t have a husband
or a boyfriend for that matter
or friends even – to have a coffee with, and a natter
some people are lonely and despair
if he won’t fill the dishwasher, do you really care?
You could be widowed, or too ugly for a man
hold on to him Ducky, for as long as you can.

Don’t go on and on about how much you loathe your job
don’t you know some people have to thieve and rob?
some people can’t get an interview or type a CV
some can’t get their head around a bloody PC.

Don’t moan about your dinner, praying to Venus
oh if you could just. be. thinner
Some people don’t have meals, or food while we’re on it
ditch the calorific wine and have a Gin and tonic.

And don’t moan about your children.

Don’t cry about your baby, never sleeping through the night
his smelly poos
how much milk he gets through
how bloody expensive was that Jumperoo?
how he wrote on your wall with your eyeliner pen
I swear to God boy, don’t make me count to ten
how sometimes his crying drives you crazy

Some people can’t have a baby.

Don’t holiday with children – recalculating. The Journey, part 1.

 

A holiday with my mother and my two children always begins the same:

An arrangement to be picked up at a specific early time by mother, say 8am and a short text the night before to double check time and an assurance that the weekend will be an opportunity for me to relax.

The morning comes with several frenzied texts at 6am checking if I am ready and will I be ready early, a warning not to pack too much and a semi veiled threat that money has been paid to get in early so I better be ready on time. You can practically feel the sense of relaxation wash over me as I battle with a baby and a zealous toddler into outfits and scramble 75% of everything I own towards the door trying to text back with my free hand.

Then mother will arrive and announce there is no room in the car for anything else and that we can’t take the baby’s walker or seat or jumparoo and we will be ‘perfectly fine without them’ as the holiday house will be ‘perfectly safe for a baby’. Then she will reiterate several times how she can’t understand how we need so much to go away for three days. Little does she know the only things I have packed for myself are under eye concealer, codine, baby wipes, a swimming costume and a bottle opener.

Then we are in the metal prison – the car – where I know I will be trapped for the next two to three hours with a baby, a toddler, mother and a sat-nav so ancient and badly made that the journey usually gives me an overwhelming urge to open my door on the motorway and roll out.

We must rush rush rush to get there because we must get our money’s worth – we MUST enjoy ourselves and we MUST get there asap so the ‘relaxation’ can commence. We MUST have fun and we MUST relax – but not a second earlier than the moment we pass the holiday site sign.

So we career down the motorway, mother making rude hand gestures at fellow drivers, the baby screaming, the toddler whining about weetos, the sat nav shouting at us, having some sort of break down because she thinks there’s a roundabout where there is no roundabout. Her angry robotic voice ordering “Recalculating, recalculating, recalculating, recalculating” like a premenstrual dalek.

Then mother will declare that she has put the paperwork for the holiday ‘somewhere’ and continually comment on the weather – glancing at the blue sky, swerving around Eddie Stobarts saying “we better get there in time to ‘enjoy’ this weather!”

The baby is miserable, the toddler is now screaming that he can’t find his Triceratops and mother is cursing that she paid a fortune to get in early as the dark clouds come over the horizon, the sat nav wants us to recalculate and my blood pressure sky rockets into orbit.

I want to google “restaurants on site opening times and wine lists” but there’s no reception in the middle of nowhere. Mother thinks we might have put the wrong postcode in but she doesn’t recall which bag the paperwork is in. It starts spitting. I realise I haven’t brought a coat or any underwear.

If we were at home we could be sat in our pyjamas watching Mr Tumble. Why do we do this to ourselves? There is no such thing as a free lunch and there is certainly no such thing as a holiday with small children. Don’t bother.