A trip to the farm

I booked today off work and decided to do something fun but relatively inexpensive with the boy. After a quick google: ‘farms kids are allowed in near me’ (yes really), I found the answer to my parenting prayers. Hoar Farm (…yes really), a mere 17 minute drive away and cheap to get in!

We weren’t able to leave the house before the emptied nearly an entire pack of wipes in his bedroom. He thought this was hilarious. At least someone did.

When we got to the farm, (which owing to  some heavy rainfall last night was mostly mud, thick, sludgy slippery mud), I was excited to show him the chickens that had crowded round the gate. Will loves to try and say ‘chicken’ and he’s getting better at it, and gets very excited in the process. So I thought he’d love to see some real, live, clucking chickens. (Thought).

‘Look Will, Chickens!’

It was at that moment a cockerel decided to crow. Will did not like that. In fact it made him cry.

Want to know what else made him cry?

The rabbits (they jumped on something that made a noise)

The brown sheep

More chickens

The cat (it surprised him)

Yet more bloody chickens

The deer

The goats

When I asked him to walk

When the big flock of birds suddenly took flight

When I turned the tap on to wash my hands.

There were moments when he wasn’t crying. He quite enjoyed the cat. Which followed us. He felt better about the deer after the cat shielded it from view. He loved mooing at the cows, and the curly white sheep didn’t make him cry. In the short time we were there crying at all the animals, we got absolutely covered in mud. Will fell over, which to be honest, I expected. His insistence that I then carry him meant I have an alarming amount of mud on my coat. Front and back. I have to say walking across the car park with big brown patches on us did earn us some funny looks.

Was it a disaster?

No. You see if you want a day to be perfect, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Do I wish there’d have been less crying. Absolutely. But I got exactly what I wanted out of today; quality time with my little boy.

In other news:

We’ve discovered breadsticks are like crack for babies. We keep moving the box round the kitchen so he can’t see it. He pretends he wants a cuddle and when we pick him up he scopes them out, points at the box and says ‘more.’

Today Will took all the (damp) washing out of the machine, piled it on the floor, climbed on top of it and snuggled down exclaiming ‘Ahhhhhhhh’.

Will has some new shoes. They light up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Current stage of parenthood: The I need eyes in my arse stage.

Today began as a picture postcard of parenting. Hubs got the boy and settled him into our bed with his morning milk, Captain joined us wedging himself between me and the bald kitten, then snuggling up to Will whilst the boy gently stroked him. Beautiful, I felt all warm and fuzzy.

The boy got a little fidgety so hubs let him off the bed. We lay there, listening to the patter of his feet, his exclamations of ‘Marm’ at the cat. Then another sound, it was the scraping of bristles against the toilet brush holder. I don’t think hubs and I would have got out of bed quicker if it was on fire. The duvet seemed to be momentarily suspended in mid-air as we desperately scampered out of bed. After relieving the small boy of the loo brush we gave him his toothbrush, he loves brushing his teeth and it’s a most excellent distraction from his second favourite thing (brandishing the bog bush about). Whilst I put his toothbrush back in the pot he did his third favourite thing, unravelling the toilet roll. The speed at which he can reduce an entire roll of paper to a ribony pile on the floor is almost impressive if it wasn’t so frustrating. Today, as I tried to roll it back up he grabbed a big mound and started ‘blow his nose’ on it. As he doesn’t really know what this entails but he’s heard his Grandad do it lots of times he just bends over and blows raspberries with his face buried in the tissue.

Feeling breakfast would be an appropriate intervention to the carnage already reaped upstairs I took the little scamp into the kitchen.

‘Do you want banana pancakes?’

‘YEAH!’

I go to the fruit bowl to get a banana. I turn around to see the boy has pulled some utensils out of the kitchen drawer and is beating the floor with then. Wrestle utensils off the boy put back into the drawer and find he’s used the split second that took to make a good start on taking all the plates out the cupboard.

He has this very second tried to ‘blow his nose’ on my dressing gown.

On Thursday afternoon after ‘helping’ me to change the sheets, I heard a familiar sound and found him in the bathroom plunging the loo brush into the toilet, splashing water EVERYWHERE with a look of sheer delight on his face. Whilst I tried to clean up he emptied an entire pack of cotton buds (Q-tips) on the floor.

I know what you’re thinking, put things out of reach, close the bathroom door! But he doesn’t seem to have an out of reach. I suspect he has secret extendable arms and legs and can make himself at least six foot tall! As for closing the door he can open them now, it serves only to slow him down a bit.

So it sees that for the time being, vigilance is the key. Sitting and relaxing are not an option whilst he’s awake. And whilst not all the things he does pose a danger or risk of damage to property (he’s currently walking round hugging an empty milk carton) you can guarantee if you fall asleep on the sofa he’ll defrost the freezer whilst eating cat biscuits.

If you need me, I’ll be chasing after a toddler.

In other news:

I *think* one of the cats might have peed somewhere but I can’t find where.

Will is still calling both cats ‘Marm’.

I should be leaving the house in 20 minutes but I’m still in my pyjamas.

 

One week in.

I’ve completed my first week back at work (well two and a half days…) and it’s safe to say it’s nearly killed me!

My son continues to shun my affections and on Wednesday instead of giving me a kiss goodnight he shouted ‘No!’ and smacked me in the face. I felt my eyes well, hubs said not to take in personally (easy words from the favourite…) but I’ve decided, instead of getting upset I’ll wait until he’s a teenager and wants a fiver or a lift somewhere, I’ll refuse. That’ll learn him.

I am considering taking the little scamp out for a walk today, but reluctant after the new years day shenanigans. And if it’s only me with him and he kicks off I can’t walk away and pretend he’s not mine. It’s safe to say the festive season has taken its toll on my waistline, hubs and I have resolved to walk more (even if it means carrying a bawling toddler all the way round). On Tuesday evening we did a belly comparison, Will walked into the kitchen to see us pressing our bellies together and was furious. There was shouting and arm waving involved. I guess either he didn’t like the fact I was touching daddy or he knows the midriff is a dangerous area to carry extra weight and he’s concerned for our health…

Before any of that though, I must give the boy a bath. It seems he’s a little under the weather. It could be his teeth, it could be something that’s going round. All I know for is whatever the issue is he ‘sharted’ as some point last night (a fart with poo) so a bubbly bath should freshen him up a treat.

In other news:

The cats are at loggerheads again. The season of peace and goodwill is most definitely over.

Hubs and I attempted to learn how to whistle last night, fingers in mouth whistling. All we managed was loud blowing. Must. keep. practicing.

Two sleeps until my 32nd birthday.

 

 

It’s been a while…

It has indeed been a while since my last post, I’ve been going through some things, maybe it’s a  mid/quarter life crisis. The most upsetting thing I’ve been trying  to handle is the unshakable feeling that my son doesn’t love me anymore.

Sounds a tad dramatic, so was calling my sister last Sunday in floods of tears declaring ‘He hates me! I love him so much but he hates me!’ She tried to calm me down and I tried not to choke on my own snot.

I’ll explain. It’s been gradual, my decline in his esteem. It started as a running joke when he preferred to be cuddled and put to bed by his dad. Wrapping his little arms around hub’s legs, hugging him and exclaiming ‘Ahhhhhhhh’, but not cuddling me. Despite the fact that I would put myself in his way giving him lots of opportunity to do the same to me. Like a silly schoolgirl going out of her way to be around her crush. The thing that pushed me over the edge was trying to kiss him when he was in his dad’s arms and he pulled away from me, swiped at me with the little arms, (that I grew, inside me) and burst into tears.

Wow.

Hurts much. I excused myself sharpish, not wanting to ball in front of the boy and proceeded to alarm my sister by wailing like a dying moose down the phone.

In company I’d joke about it, and relish the days when I was at home and hubs was at work being the only adult around meant I would get affection from my son. Hubs is still the clear favourite, but waking up on the sofa, with my son’s favourite monkey teddy wedged in the crook of my arm was all the proof I needed that actually… he quite likes me.

In other news:

The new year is upon us and in lieu of a resolution I won’t keep, I’ve accepted I’ll be the same train wreck of a person I’ve always been.

My sister gave birth to my new niece in October and has confirmed birth the second time round is a walk in the park. (That’s definitely NOT what she said but I spoke to her on the phone afterwards and she had the same care-free tone as someone who’d just popped out for a coffee)

If I have to read Meg and Mog one more time, I may kill myself.

 

‘Thanks, now would you mind minding your own business?’

A slightly weird but definitely infuriating thing happened to me and hubs today.

Set on enjoying the bank holiday we got Wills ready and were out the house by 11:15 am (only and hour and a quarter later then planned score!) We began the day by looking at kitchens we couldn’t hope to afford but have optimistically booked a ‘design visit’ where I fully expect to have to scale back our expectations and sell one of my lesser organs. After traipsing round the vast showroom and drinking overpriced coffee in the café, hubs and I decided to head to the Fargo Village Beer Festival. Fargo Village is a new development for the city of Coventry, which has a bit of a reputation for being fugly. Mainly because vast areas of it are.  The Luftwaffe kindly flattened most of the city in the forties so bang went the medieval charm and up went some pretty revolting concrete buildings. Anyway the council have begun ‘tarting up’ the place Fargo Village is a fashionable development with a brewery, and other crafty/vintage shops including barbers shops and vegan food outlets. But most importantly there is a brewery.

Hubs and I were surprised to find the place pretty much deserted, the brewery was open (huzzarh)) but other then that it was very quiet. It wasn’t hot but we sat outside because it’s May and that’s what the British do. In other countries I’m quite sure people would be sat in coats on days like today, but we’re out in pub gardens, with shorts on, freezing but acting like there has been some sort of heatwave. I kind of like it, we NEVER waste sunshine in this country. Even if it’s bloody freezing, if the sun is shining we’re out, lighting barbeques, having picnics cramming  ourselves into pub gardens and wearing the shorts we brought four years ago but have only worn six times. (Unless of course we went abroad on holiday.) Anyway, I digress. We sat outside; Hubs with a beer, me trying to calm a tired William (whom I suspect is having a poo this very second, yep, please excuse me a tick.) Tired William was balling so I decided to placate him with a bottle, when he’s had enough I popped him in his pushchair, but he started a protest in the form of wailing at the top of his lungs. Ahh the naptime fight, a battle of wills with Wills. It doesn’t happen every naptime but when the little foghorn is fighting sleep you sure do know about it!

As he wailed I uttered soothing phrases and  pushed his chair back and forth.

‘Excuse me’

‘Err, yes?’

‘Maybe if you sat her up she’d stop crying, I don’t think she likes that’

He is actually very tired, he is fighting sleep, that’s why he is crying.’

‘Oh is it a boy?’

(No I just call her him for shits and giggles yes it’s a fucking boy, he’s in blue corduroy dungarees!) ‘Yes it’s a boy.’

‘Oh, and is he your first baby?

(What the fuck does that have to do with anything?) ‘Yes, first baby.’

‘I hope you don’t mind me saying?’

(Of course I fucking mind, who in the name of arse do you think you are? creeping up behind me and giving me advise I neither need or asked for!) ‘Not at all, thank you!’

 

Thank you!! I fucking said THANK YOU. I didn’t mean thank you, there was nothing about that situation that I was thankful for!! You see, when you have a baby you sort of become public property whether you like it or not. Sometimes it’s nice that strangers say nice things about your baby, but sometimes it crosses a line. Like the woman who asked; ‘… and are you feeding him?‘ The temptation to reply: ‘No, I refuse to offer him breast or bottle, we send him out into the woods to forage for his own food…’ To the people that ask ‘Did you have a natural birth?’  What comes out of my vagina is my business, and although I’ll happily talk through the process to preggos, that particular question is posed in a way that suggests anything other than natural is sub par. And it absolutely isn’t. There are babies and mammas that wouldn’t be here today without the marvels of modern medicine. So you can stick your natural birth question up your arse.

I’ve never had such an intrusion before. Perhaps this person thought they might combust if they didn’t intervene. But what if I was having a bad day. What if it had been one of those days when I’ve doubted my abilities. The days when I’ve cried, thinking there are a million women who’d be a better mummy. Women who never get tired and make only organic home cooked food. Who attend every baby group going and keep an immaculate house. If this had happened on one of those days I can’t tell you the damage it might have done.

But today has been a good day, I’m looking over at my little boy who is sharing a rusk with Captain and I feel all warm and proud. And I’m wondering how I’m supposed to get rusk off the cat.

I may not be a ‘supermum’ but I’m doing my best. If I want or need advice, I promise I’ll ask for it. If you don’t hear me asking, keep it to yourself.

In other news:

There is a black cat coming into the garden that my black cats are hell bent on terrorising. It’s not always easy to distinguish which black cats are mine form a raging ball of hissing and clawing.

We’re off to a wedding in a couple of weeks. Going to get Wills a suit, hoping I can keep it clean for longer than five minutes…

I’ve started a diet. Hubs is looking for sanctuary somewhere, any offers greatly appreciated.

 

 

The greatest adventure you’ll ever have.

When I was heavily pregnant and resembling a space hopper on legs hubs and I went for a coffee. This isn’t unusual for us and I have to say it was a much easier thing to do without a baby in tow. As we drank our coffees (caffeine free for me) an old lady, who was sitting on the next table, watched us rather intently with a half smile on her face. As we got up to leave she touched my arm, asked if this was our first, and told me ‘This will be the greatest adventure you will ever have, enjoy every second, there is no feeling quite like the one you get when you are a parent.’

Naturally this made me blub, and it took an awful lot of self control not to have a full on pregnancy hormone induced meltdown in the middle of Costa’s.

Thinking about what she said to me I’m left wondering ‘When will it feel like that?’

Mostly as well as tired, lonely, guilty, fed up, inept I feel like I’m already failing our son. I have no idea what sort of parent I’m supposed to be, but having said that I’ve got to 31 and I’m not sure exactly what sort of adult I am. As I type this, one of my hands is blue because I came into contact with a leaky pen, I had hoped I’d be a much more presentable person. Not much chance of that as one of my favourite t-shirts has a cartoon picture of Little Red Riding Hood kicking the Big Bad Wolf in the nuts on the front. I was distraught when the key ring with the same image broke last week.

So where is my adventure? Is this it? Yesterday I had to stop Wills eating biscuit crumbs off the carpet. I also had to intervene when the threw up on the carpet and proceeded to play with it. This is a new thing, if he doesn’t keep it in his mouth to chew to it, he plays with it. (I would like to take this opportunity to point out he has lots of toys, but apparently sick is much more appealing.) All in all, day to day life doesn’t feel very adventurous.

But perhaps I’ve hit a slump. I’m faced with returning to work next week and although I crave adult interactions and not being at the beck and call of a tiny human, I am dreading it. I don’t feel I’m ready. I don’t think I’ve prepared William yet. (Although how I’d do that, I have no idea!) I don’t feel I’ve got this mothering thing down, so how can I go back to work when I’m not a ‘proper mum’ yet? And also, why don’t I feel like a proper mum? What the deuce is one of those anyway?

And then I think about the old lady in a coffee shop. She’s been there, I imagine her children ate biscuit off the carpet, she craved a cup of tea in peace and cried often. But there she was, smiling, genuinely excited for me.

So maybe I need to think a bit deeper.

How about the first time I heard him cry? When hubs told me we had a boy, our first shopping trip, first walk on a beach? (Well carry, mummy was walking), our first swim, first night in his cot? First solid food? First time he reacted to his name? The absolute joy those moments have brought.

So maybe it’s a lot of tiny adventures that are ever so easily overlooked by overtired parents.

And maybe, one day, I’ll be an old lady in a coffee shop smiling at a ginormous space hopper lady and her husband.

In other news:

I fear that Marms has abandoned ship, to pursue a life with the neighbours. Heart is officially broken and I still call the furry little traitor every night.

The remaining loyal cat is becoming more interested in interacting with the tiny human. These moments are usually extremely cute.

Three more sleeps and I’m back at work.

 

Postpartum nights out.

Recently, hubs and I indulged in a night out. Graciously, hubs took the role of designated driver, nanny came round to babysit, I purchased a new dress all systems were go!

Here are some observations on how nights out have changed post baby:

Pre Baby:

Spend time selecting outfit, shoes, matching underwear and jewellery

Spend hours getting ready, bath, exfoliate, hair make-up

Shave everything

Drink excessively

Take selfies with friends and random people you meet in the loo

Discuss current events, who you hate at work where you want to go on holiday etc.

Drink even more excessively

Stagger into an eating establishment you wouldn’t touch with a barge pole when sober

Stumble into a taxi two to three hours later than you said you were going home

Get home, begin seduction of partner with no regard for noise or furniture

Wake up late morning regretting food and alcohol choices from previous evening, spend all day watching Made in Chelsea drinking coffee and eating nutritionally questionable food

Post baby:

Pick whatever dress is clean/fits from wardrobe between bathing/feeding and entertaining baby

Have quick shower when hubs gets home, shave only what will be on show and only if it’s excessively hairy (noticeable from a distance)

Tuck saggy tum into ginormo pully-in pants wear whatever bra happens to be clean(ish)

Try to keep safe distance from infant to avoid getting chunder on only clean dress

Greet babysitter, apologise for the mess (carpet is mostly rusk) feel pang of guilt as you leave your tiny person

Get to drinking establishment, one which is decidedly more sedate than where you would have frequented before baby, talk mostly about your baby

Text babysitter for update on condition of offspring

Show friends/bar maids/bouncers pictures of your baby

Text babysitter for update on condition of offspring

Drink quickly, you’re out; need to make the most of it

Text babysitter for update on condition of offspring

Feel fine until you get hit by the air sniper, find taxi go home

Attempt to appear sober and responsible in front of babysitter

Have big ideas with regards to seduction but pass out on bed before you’ve even kissed

Get woken early by offspring intent on ensuring your hangover is a torturous as possible

Put episodes of ‘Hey Duggee’ on repeat in desperate attempt to keep offspring content whilst you drink cold coffee and put together a lunch

Drink copious amounts of coffee throughout the day and wonder why the hell such an insignificant amount of alcohol has caused a hangover of monumental proportions.

Wake up the following morning with all the symptoms of a hangover…