It’s 2017 – Why is taking a baby out so frustrating?! 

The UK is a modern country. I feel living here qualifies me to say that. We have all the mod cons, men can marry men, women can marry women, we’ve embraced boutique coffee shops and the future king did the school run this week.

Not too shabby, all in all.

But now I experience this ‘green and pleasant land’  a little differently. Because now I am a parent, and I can’t tell you how frigging frustrating it can get sometimes.

Firstly, let’s look at parking. Most places provide spaces for parents and children. A lot of people moan about these spaces (‘We didn’t have them in my day’, well no, you didn’t but your toilet was also in the back garden so change is good Brenda.) Any way these spaces are supposed to be helpful and designed so you can get tiny people strapped in safely without bashing the car next to you. Or they would be if you could ever actually park in one. They are either taken by ignorant dicks (usually in the more expensive cars) or other ignorant dicks whose kids are teenagers. Often the number of parent and child spaces are woefully inadequate in number. There is a large multi-story in Coventry with only 6 parent and child spaces. 6.

Now if by some miracle I have managed to park in a space that gives me adequate room to extract my child from his seat, I have to consider trolleys. This isn’t an issue now. but when he was tiny and needed the shopping trolley (cart) with the baby seat in, our local Tesco supermarket (apparently the largest in the UK) has only four of these trolleys. When I couldn’t find one of these trolleys I was forced to put William’s car seat in an ordinary trolley which left no room for the groceries. If I did happen to get a trolley with the baby seat on I found their design such that I  couldn’t actually see where you I was going. Nice one.

Today I took wills to get new shoes. I’d had to park in a regular space (standard) and the design of this particular place is very attractive but not really helpful if you have a pushchair. Shoes purchased, I headed for a loo. The particular shop I went to is forward thinking in that it’s one of the only places with a Father and baby changing room. This is brilliant and ‘Mother and baby’ has always irked me somewhat as I don’t feel that because I’m his mother I should be the one to change him. In the same way I don’t see how having a uterus makes cleaning my responsibility. Anyway huzzarh for father and child changing rooms, because if dad takes the baby out, there is somewhere he can go for a nappy change. Anyway, as is common the mother and baby changing facilities are in the women’s toilet. But I didn’t need to change him I needed a wee. Except, I couldn’t because all the neat little cubicles wouldn’t fit a pushchair in. If I took the bags and Wills from the pushchair how was I supposed to pee holding on to them all? There was no way I was going to go with the door open or leave Wills outside unattended and I was on my own, there was no one to wait with him! Luckily, they had disabled toilets. Plenty of room for us both, but I did feel a tad guilty for using them.

It reminded me of when I took Wills to town, once again I needed a wee, the changing facilities were just a room with a changing table and the cubicles too small to get a pushchair in. (But they were immaculate.) I found a disabled toilet, but it was locked. I had to ask an attendant for the key. The attendant was male. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t like asking strange men to unlock a loo for me, and have to apologise because I don’t need the disabled facility I just need somewhere big enough for me and my son. The guy was lovely but he did have to hover outside to lock it up again after I’d finished. It is kept locked to stop unsavoury things occurring in there. (I dread to think…)

Now if I’ve manage to survive parking, trolleys and peeing, lets look at the actual shops. So many shops with barely enough room to get your buggy through. If it happens to be a big shop, they tend to stick stuff in the way, ensuring it becomes an obstacle course. Lots of sticky out legs to catch the wheels on, tables with clothing draped over which your biscuit (cookie) covered toddler likes to grab at, and you can’t swerve to avoid because there is no sodding room!

So many things that used to be simple, no longer are, mostly down to a lack of thought. Do I expect it to change anytime soon? Sadly no, looks like I’ll be putting up with it. Fingers crossed by the time I’m a Gandma we’ll have it all sorted, and my complaints won’t be met with ‘Well you chose to have children..’

In other news:

Wills and Captain have managed to squish a sandwich into the floor and fill my travel cup with cheese. (I suspect Wills is responsible for the cheese in  the cup, Captain for helping the sandwich off the side)

It’s Marms four year adoptoversary today! She celebrated by getting soaking wet and laying on our bed.

Our little boy is becoming quite the chatterbox!

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Public enemy number 1.

For some reason, I can do nothing right today. My son has spent the morning wailing. The causes have been various, his daddy went to work, I stopped him drinking my tea, I took the house phone off him, I had a shower, I took my foundation out of his mouth, I picked him up, I put him down… all sorts of unreasonable things a mother does! 

He’s currently stood on the sofa smacking the wall and I’m hovering so I can catch him if he falls but I’m not sure I could take another meltdown from him so I’m pretty much leaving him to it. 

Now would be a good time to point out that it’s only 9.50 in the morning. When I took my make up off him, he threw himself on the floor and beat the carpet with his fists. I haven’t eaten yet, I think taking him out would be a good idea but it’s a wet and miserable day, I’m not sure where we would go. He has absolutely no interest in his own toys today, finding amusement in anything/everything that is highly unsuitable/dangerous. 

I can’t decide if he’s tired (all hell broke loose when I put him into bed) if he’s teething or if he’s just decided to be monumental bum hole today. 

Either way, I shall continue my day, as public enemy number one. 

Please send ear plugs. 

In other news:

Yesterday, Wills thought it acceptable to smack Captain with that sodding loo brush!

Winter is here apparently, slightly peeved we didn’t have a summer in between…

My summer house has been erected (tee hee) I just need a couple of days sans rain so I can paint it (it’s never going to get painted).

‘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.

 

 

Working and working at parenting.

I am on my third week back at work. The first two were a breeze. This week, not so much. I put this down to two things:

Firstly- the novelty of being back at work is starting to wear off and I’m realising ‘this is my life now’

Secondly – daylight sodding savings. My alarm clock may have said six thirty this morning but I think we all know it was actually half five. I was present in body only today. I also forget where I work… whilst at work which wasn’t great as I was on reception.

I also had a slight wobble after loading Wills into his dad’s car this morning, as I looked at him through the window, he looked all wide-eyed and sad. I didn’t want to leave him, but I had to, ‘my son looked a bit sad this morning’ is not a valid reason not to go in. So gave him exaggerated smiles and waves as his dad drove off and cried on the journey into work.

With gallons of coffee and fizzy drink I made it through my working day, (and three bags of crisps), popped to the shop for nappies and got home, to put the dinner on. After tea hubs and I prep for tomorrow. Then Wills goes to bed and we vege out on the sofa. Tonight Wills decided sleep was definitely not on the agenda. When his wailing showed no sign of abating I retrieved him for some cuddles on the sofa. This was going swimmingly until he smacked me in the face with his monitor. I’m still not sure whether this was an accident or his way of voicing his disquiet about the sudden life upheaval he’s experiencing. What I do know is the inside of my mouth is swollen and my tooth is now moving.

William has very recently started crawling. It is quite literally amazing how they go from crawling a few tentative paces to all over the sodding place. Naturally he finds the most dangerous things to crawl to.  And his new found mobility has meant a huge rise in bumps, usually gained at the exact moment you take your eyes off him. It’s also meant he can indulge in his favourite hobby of following Captain around. I’m okay with this as it helps both of them burn off some extra energy. I’m not okay with William eating cat biscuits so the pursuit often involves Captain, Wills and Mummy.

Hubs and I are slowly getting into this new phase, our parenting has to be different now, all the rules and routines have had to adapt with him and now we’ve thrown working into the mix. We now need to consider childcare, dropping off and picking up, making enough food to send with him (he doesn’t stop eating!) I’ve said it before, every time we think we have this parenting malarky down, he changes and we are back to square one.

In other news:

Captain continues to steal things from the neighbours house, his latest crime was witnessed by said neighbour.

Marms has eaten a couple of meals at our house, but she growled at me when I stroked her. (The cow.)

My first Mother’s Day was lovely! Flowers, a mug and the promise of a night out for cocktails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The witching hour.

Wills is in bed, his chunky form has been securely zipped into his sleeping bag, he has been lowered gently and silently into his cot, his tiny chest rising and falling with each sleepy breath, floppy rabbit placed near him, a comfort should he wake. Peace.

Until the shitbagging cat marched in for an impromptu, (full volume), miaow-a-thon. At least Wills was delighted to be woken and find a cat in his room. Mummy was decidedly less impressed. Thankfully he was two feet into the land of nod and settled quickly. I now find myself in the witching hour, the time the house takes on a silence it never seemed to have before Wills. The time when I try to cram in resting/catching up on hobbies/ self maintenance/drinking wine.

As hubs is out enjoying himself at a beer festival I decided to cook myself a Chinese, thank you, Mr Gok Wan. I can’t tell you how much I’d rather have ordered one but I’m yet to find a nice one close by and just ordering for one doesn’t qualify for delivery and picking it up is not really an option with a baby. So far I have managed to burn the rice, something I seem to do with alarming regularity at the moment. But I did buy a huge bag of prawn crackers so I won’t starve.

I did intend to sit in my clean and tidy living room and enjoy an evening by myself but after an earlier emotional crisis and a couple of hours spent sulking in bed I’ve managed to hoover. That’s it. The sofa is covered in ironing, the carpet in biscuit. Wills’ toys remain scattered about and the draining board is stacked with washing up. Luckily I’m too exhausted to care, I’m sat on the floor, the cat on the sofa (he’s in my spot).

So it’s ten to nine, I’m sat on the carpet drinking wine, in a messy house, starving but thoroughly enjoying my witching hour!

In other news:

The boy crawled today, it turns out Captain was all the motivation he needed.

Hubs has assembled a work bench today, he now feel like a fully fledged dad.

Wills noisy habit of blowing raspberries for hours on end has returned with a vengeance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…