Playground Perils

Only the working mum who never ever, ever gets to drop off/pick up her little seedlings from school would ever be envious of the school run! To the stay at home mother or the mother that gets to partake some days …. it is one of the torturous aspects to parenting. It shouldn’t be – I agree! Let’s think about the symbolism here!

So, the idea is that you lovingly prepare your darling little bundle of joy, freshly dressed in long prepared, crisp uniforms .. transforming her into a vision of intelligence and societal perfection. You tie her hair into perfect little bunches and place beautiful little bows to the tops of the hair bobbles (just to emphaise her innocence). Her shoes are shining with precision, freshly polished each morning with my own eager fingers … knowing that shiny shoes demonstrate order, determination and pride (of which is very important for every year 1 pupil). I will then stand behind her whilst she brushes her perfect teeth and kiss her cheek, secretly thanking her for taking such pride in hygiene at such a young age. We will then skip down the stairs together and will be met at the table by my teenage children. They are already dressed and prepared eagerly chatting to each other about the day over the breakfast table. I will watch them all with extreme fondness conversing with each other! Whilst brimming over with pride, I will prepare fresh home-made pancakes covered with fresh healthy fruit. The children will thank me kindly for my time before they eagerly demolish everything on their plates. Without being directed, they will clear away the table and pop on their shoes. We will, of course  then all get in the car with plenty of time to spare before the school bell does ring. We drive to school bidding each other fond farewells, jealous of the time that the teachers will spend with them that is stolen from me!

Now this bit should be my favourite! I am, after all, passionate about education. Walking into the friendly, safe environment of the primary school playground hand in hand with my darling daughter. Passing the cutely arranged playground equipment and smelling the daffodils that are in full bloom, reminding us that life has been kind enough to give us yet another spring. I am, of course, surrounded by the friendly chatter of other mums. We join each other in a friendly clique, there to support each other. We eagerly chat to each other about the effectiveness of the primary provision, how we can collaborate to improve things. We look at each others children with fondness, realising that, in reality we are one big family (and we are so lucky to have each other).

We take our darling buds into the classroom, they hug us with their perfect hair and clean faces. Eagerly kissing us goodbye, joining hands together with their friends and making their way to the carpeted area .. the children are so excited for their day of privileged (free) education in an extremely safe environment.

Bliss! Perfection!

Ok, so there is the vision! And if your school run resembles this, then you are of a minority … I can assure you. And you may need to pop around to mine for a glass of wine in order to spill your bloody secrets!  But if, like me, you are reading this.. thinking what the hell is wrong with my family??? Then you are in great company! Does this sound more familiar?

After I have worked until 2 in the morning, I have finally dragged my sorry self out of bed, wishing that just one shred of organisation would exist in my flawed personality. I start by trying to wake up my teenage children (who no doubt have pulled a fast one and have been up texting and gaming long after they have permission). Like hibernating bears they grunt and disappear back under the safety of their quilts, as usual refusing to acknowledge my existence.

As usual I have decided that today is the day that I will remain calm; I won’t shout, scream  …. or cry! I have a senior position, I earn more money than my husband…. how hard can this shit be!

My 6-year-old shows me who is boss, whilst I practically beg her to put some clothes on. Of course my begging falls on deaf ears and I angrily begin trying to force her arm up into the air without it breaking. “Arms up for the queen” I sing through gritted teeth, as she wails loudly, claiming that I am hurting her. Tricky corner that today’s generations learn quickly; yell child abuse and the bitch has to let go!

Of course being an intelligent, determined individual, you will not be surprised to know that I always manage to get her dressed. Yay .. go me! Except the vision of intelligence and societal perfection may be a tad of an ambitious status. Never one to have been organised, I often have to resort to odd bits of uniform that happen to be clean. Except maybe the cardigan. Seriously she loses so many of these, that sometimes a 2nd day just has to be done! And I will admit to you all here (but please don’t spread this) that if I find another child’s name on the label, I pretend I haven’t seen it. Come on … somebody has her cardigan – right??

I don’t have the time to gander at You Tube tutorials in order to make her look like ‘Cindy Lou Who’ so it’s the same drab bunches, I’m afraid. I will also confess to casting my zealous gaze at the children who have immaculate ribbons and clips attached to their well cared for locks! Where do these damn parents find the time??? I, often wonder if the way to stop her pulling her hair bobbles out 10 times before we have even made it to school, is by stapling them to her head. Well, what are your suggestions? Ok … neither do I shine her shoes … but they don’t have dog shit on them … so that is a start? Surely?

Now the brushing of the teeth part is not a problem for my little one … she still enjoys the joys of oral hygiene (nothing like strawberry toothpaste to make the routine more exciting)  but teenagers that is another thing. Convincing them to carry out this essential task, is more like convincing them to undertake a bone marrow transplant. So much so that they often lie that the task has been completed. This has led to the compulsory breath smelling test! All trust has gone straight out of the window! I envisage the future might hold .. compulsory drug testing upon the return from school.

Whilst we are talking about the teenagers … it may be the time to mention that I have to ask them more times to do something then I do the youngest. I have been known to shove my son in the garden in his underpants before now, upon refusal to get dressed. It helped for a short time, as the imagery of arriving to school in his pants was too much to bear. I do all the normal morning tricks … hide quilt, lay out clothes, shout encouraging words up the stairs, chuck them a cereal bar etc! All to no avail .. as they appear at the bottom of the stairs 5 minutes before I have to leave.

The eldest daughter is the best … she saunters down every morning looking like a different character from the Rocky Horror show. I try my best to hide my shock and to offer calm, friendly advice about her sluggish eyebrows, her orange face or her foundation laden moustache. But the reply is always the same .. “Yes mum I know” .  Well if you bloody know … why haven’t you removed it from your god damn face!!!!!!!

The curse of the PE Kit has to be the worst part. Although I am well aware for a full week that the PE day is looming … I still don’t have the skill to organise it in advance. Instead I wait right til the morning and then I root through my boot to find the remnants of last weeks fusty kit. A quick shake and a run over with the iron should do the job – right?

The arguments start as soon as the car door slams shut! Who would have thought that one could become so protective over a car seat – how the hell can it belong to somebody???? Realistically I have probably driven for all of 3 minutes before I break my ‘every morning rule’ and yell ‘For gods sake ……. ssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuuuutttttttt up”! I may even then issue a little punishment and turn the radio off so that we can all sit in an uncomfortable silence! That will show them. If I am really mad … then I begin … ‘The lecture’. I pack it full of things about ‘Grateful third world children’ and ‘they will need each other one day’ and ‘when I get the sack for being late … you will know about poverty then’. For a real good bit of emotive manipulation, I always throw in ‘if only you loved me the way I love you’. Now if I can see that both the silence and the lecture have failed to bring them to their knees in apologies .. I do the only thing that can take a teenager out! I confiscate the electronic devices! Boom!

As I pull up to the primary school … parking is such a nightmare that I literally would rather poke my granny in the eye than do this every morning. It is pure torture! It is honestly a cruel case of ‘lets put these people in an impossible situation and then moan at them every day for it’. I live too far away not to bring my car and parking is atrocious for the 15 mins walk around the school, so you have to park somewhere … but there is nowhere! The grannys in the houses around are literally waiting behind the gates like a venus fly trap. Seriously Traffic Wardens have nothing on these guys! Should your car marginally hang over their drive … you will suffer their wrath!

So when I finally start the mad late dash around the school to my daughters classroom, I am just about ready to beat the Mary Poppins like mothers with my daughters book bag (that’s on the days that I actually remember to bring it). As they give me a piteous smile as they are leaving the playground, I can hear their thoughts and if I couldn’t, it wouldn’t matter, because I can hear their gossiping the minute I have stepped three feet away.

It is with a frown I am met by the teacher who is (rightly so) frustrated at my inability to get her there on time. I share her frustration ….  I swear there is a time their!!! I give a shitty excuse that attempts to relieve me of the ‘bad mummy’ badge, I then explain I couldn’t find her book bag, I assure my daughter that she will be fine with the bottle of water from the day before and then attempt to peel the sobbing, snotty wreck of a child from my unwashed, dog-hair covered, suit. I resort to bribery and make a mad dash for the door. My pace is broken by the teacher telling me she ‘needs a quick word’. Yes drums please – the words every parent dreads to hear uttered. ‘You haven’t paid for her milk online this term, so she can’t have any today’! Nice bit of public humiliation for my child – and a nice glance of disappointment from the 6-year-old! I can read her thoughts also – ‘I will never do this to my child’ she ponders!

I attempt the total wipeoutesque run around the playground in my dodgy heels back to my car and could just burst with frustration at the gaggle of women still leisurely hanging around at the school gates. Seriously?? Do they just wait there so that they can awkwardly go silent as you squeeze by them just so that they can make sure that you know they are bitching about you? Or is it more of a piss take so that you can feel even more annoyed that they have the time to even stand and bitch, yet you haven’t even had the time to visit the toilet despite being up since 5!

Finally …. I am back in the safe confines of my car …… about to begin the day! Yes …. I bloody know ….the day hasn’t even kicked in yet!!! #godgivemestrength

Yet more holiday disasters!

Ok guys …. just incase you are sat looking at holidays … let me remind you of holidays to beware of!!!!

Diary of a Mental Mother

As promised, following on from my last post in the series I have jotted down a few more of my disastrous memories, in order to convince you to take a stay at home vacation instead of dolling out thousands on memories you frantically try to forget!

Camping

This has to be my worst holiday like ……. Ever!!! In fact it is in danger of taking over today’s blog entirely! It has been labelled this for many reasons. Of course the good old British weather ….. Yep of course, since we were in a tent .. It was bound to throw it down hour after hour, day after day for the entirety of the weekend. It didn’t help that the tent was so old that it was no longer waterproof per sa! Let’s just say if you dared to brush against the inside of the tent … You may as well…

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THE WONDERS OF THE ENGLISH KS1 CURRICULUM

dead dadWhen the 6 year old daughter informed me she had drawn a picture at school of her Daddy and her teacher didn’t like it … I said her teacher must be mean! Upon further inspection maybe i should retract that statement ? I clearly needed a chat with said child! I asked her why she would draw a picture like this and she replied “well Daddy made me mad so I might chop off his head like Henry the VIII used to”.
Mmmmm maybe we need to look again at the primary curriculum! That or I can support it with extra curricula at home … maybe a spot of ‘Dexter’? 😉

GOODBYE 2012

Diary of a Mental Mother

Feeling slightly unaccomplished on my bucket list for 2012 and am not really being helped by people’s Facebook status discussing their immense proudness upon reflection of their achievements for the outgoing year!!! I must admit I did sit down – keypad upon my knee trying to rack my brains to impress my friends list with my major successes of the year!! To say I struggled would be an understatement …. I could think of the odd event that might raise a few eyebrows but they didn’t exactly fall into 2012 per sa!!!
I did after 3 glasses of wine, hours of YouTube and copious amounts of begging texts to my friends to urge them to remind me of amazing times in 2012 that I just obviously can’t remember, manage to make a list! It just wasn’t exactly as I had wanted it to be!!!

1) Gained two dress sizes …

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New Years Eve 2015 – I bring to you … The Master Plan

Your Social media is no doubt jammed with the obligatory New Years Day Blogs – where we all commit our innermost strength to bringing about immediate change to our somewhat tempestuous lifes, generating great wealth and of course losing that much resented extra weight and becoming somewhat of a super parent.  You will be happy to hear that really, I bring you no such news!  Ok who am I kidding .. I too have joined the masses, but rather than bore you with my own selfish resolutions – I instead am going to …. (drum roll please) share my master plan with you .. so you can take it as your own and be just as successful as me!

  • Lose weight
    1. To ensure this is successful I will not forget to eat all day because I am too busy and then walk through the door and stuff myself with 5 bags of crisps, 3 sausage rolls and 2 chocolate bars to stop myself from vomiting and shaking!
    2. And I absolutely will not wash it all down with a glass of red to help me forget the size of my to-do list!
  • Bring about great wealth – Maybe betting my friends that I would be a millionaire by the end of the year was a little bit of a push but I say aim for the moon!
    1. I will not waste 15 mins of every hour checking out newsfeeds on social networking.
    2. I will not clean my floors three times a day to avoid the big pile of work building up on my desk.
    3. I will not give myself a much needed one hour break after working for a tough 15 minutes of graft.
    4. However should I still be in a position where KFC declines my bank card by the back end of the year .. the solution is simple. I have a choice between organised crime, structured gambling or … the red light corner. Although admittedly the last one may take a little more time to earn the paper.
  • Super-parent – This one could be the most difficult for us all because there seems no set way to handle this highly skilled occupation. So we may have to settle for a more basic level of achievement in this area.
    1. I will put the days of informing my children of the punishment of their crime, only to withdraw it moments later after mushing under their puppy dog eyes or unbearable wailing, in the past. I am to become the dictator they fear! (I am – honestly).
    2. When my children speak I will always listen! I will focus really hard to not trail off whilst they tell me the irritatingly slow details of the latest teenage crisis where annoyingly enough I have to know every kids surname in the school.
  • The Queen of organisation
    1. Never again will my children arrive for costume day in their uniform. In fact I may just become head of the school PTA!
    2. I will not need to retrieve crispy PE kit from my boot as once again I haven’t had time to wash it. Thou shalt call me Madame Wishy Washy.
    3. I will not receive £500 speeding fine because I haven’t posted the letter on time. I am going to purchase stamps right after I have finished this blog! (watch this space).
    4. I will not double book myself constantly both disappointing both my employer and my friends – I will instead hire a PA (who is fit and half naked – please enquire for post through my inbox) to ensure my diary is kept up to date and myself well informed.

And there it is … in it’s full glory! A simple step by step plan to become Ms Perfection herself! Easy peasy! Please do let me know how you get on.

Happy and prosperous new year to you lovely lot!

Summer Slip Ups – Part 2!

Maybe you are thinking that our holidays got better from there. Well they did! We had an unforgettable day on the Jet Ski’s. Now that was fun! For the husband!!!!!!! I suppose it is one of those things that everybody wants to try and I am very glad that I tried it to be honest. The experience may have been one of the most traumatic experiences of my life – Yes but I suppose I could liken it to the both wondrous and miraculous experience of childbirth ….. I was glad when it was sodding over! Well yes that was true but I was also glad I did it.

Having two older children, a girl and a boy, I was kind of forced into it (if I am to be honest) as you were required to have an adult on each Jet Ski. So I stood up to the plate … like a true grown up! The problem was, none of the kids wanted to go with me. It was a slightly embarrassing situation to watch the kids scrambling around their Dad begging him not to lumber me with them!

I ended up with my 11 year old son. He was only half convinced and definitely not eager. His Dad had sidelined him with the line “Remember how crazy, Mum drives on the roads? Well imagine what she will do on a Jet Ski!” I suppose he was somewhat curious and thought he would bite the bullet! His dad gave him lots of hugs and longing glances as we reversed away from the Pier!

The Son didn’t allow me any kind of settling in time! Oh no! No sooner had I turned the mean machine on, he was yelling “Faster, faster!” and waving his hands in the air. I explained to him I needed to work the machine out and he had to bear with me … to which he replied “Just get on with it Mother!”. It really didn’t help that despite leaving the Mariner first … we were the last to make it onto the open sea …. with his Dad and Sister zooming by at 70mph! “How fast are we going” he yelled excitedly …..”Urmmmmmm 40” I lied!

I got to grips with it in the end (It wasn’t too unlike riding a motorbike they said … which really helped since I had never bloody been on a motorbike never mind been in charge of it) and stopped imagining a shark leaping out of the sea and eating us all in one gulp! But by the time I had gained this kind of confidence … the rest had moved onto jumping the waves!!! “Let’s do that” he jabbed me in the sides! I had no choice …. I pressed the accelerator down and hit that wave! I felt like we had jumped the height of a house as we bumped down with a thud back onto the glistening ocean surface …… and my breasts unashamedly broke free! They had escaped the strappings of my bikini and were riding the waves with me! I stopped and with extreme panic asked the son to help me return them to the safety of my bikini. “What are you doing?” Shouted his Dad confused by our standstill. “Mums boobs have come out” he swiftly shouted to the whole of the Jet Ski party!

We set off again … determined to try to impress my son this time …. I grabbed the accelerator hard and we began to glide out to the open ocean, rapidly gaining speed. It felt quite simply amazing actually. I was in control (I didn’t get that feeling a lot in my real life), the rush of the wind across my face, my gorgeous young man clinging to the back of me whooping with delight, the splash of the waves against our tanned skin …… then boom …… we hit a wave …. sorry re-phrase … a wave hit us! Trust my jet ski to go under the wave rather than over it! Completely utterly drenched! That in itself wasn’t too much of a problem .. until of course the salt water began to mix with my mascara and slowly begin to burn and melt away my Iris! As I wiped my eyes I realised that big lashings of snot had adorned my face and were hanging precariously across my mouth. With nothing to wipe it on I was reduced to trying to gather it on my hands and flick it into the ocean!

“Mum why are you stopping again? Get going”. I quickly explained to my bundle of joy that I was temporarily blind (I omitted the details about snot flicking) and in quite considerable pain and that it might be dangerous of me to take this machine forward at this second as we would probably die! “Oh well … just try it …. besides I can direct you”. Yay blind Jet skiing – why do kids have all the best ideas?

I smeared my eyes with my bikini the best I could and through slanty puffy eyes, I braved the ocean once again. I warned the boy to hold on as we were going for it ….. and we did! This time we really did! No jokes to be inserted here: we took a massive wave and boom the boy squealed with delight! Mission achieved! As we thudded back down onto the sea, butterflies were churning my stomach with delight…. I was officially a thrill seeking cool mum! And then the handlebar struck my knuckles and ripped them open!! Blood sought the open air and began to trickle down my hand into the water! Oh Shit!!!! Jaws!!!! We surely had fu@*ed it now!!!!! No other thoughts could occupy my head-space other than the circling man eaters underneath my Jet Ski. I was under immense pressure now not to give them my only son as a little snack!

“Again, again .. you are not scared now are you Mum. This is awesome!” I went for it again trying to banish the Jaws theme tune from my head!   We began to glide flawlessly over the Ocean! What a rush! I loved it! “ Muuuuummmmmm aarrrgggghhhh” yelped the boy.

“Oh my god what’s wrong” I screamed, trying to safely turn around to see what was wrong. He was covering his eyes and wriggling to get away from me …”Your bikini bottoms have come undone and I can see your ass crack ……. Help … quick!“. I stopped again to relieve my son of his unfortunate view.

“What’s wrong” Shouted his Dad again!

“ Mum’s …”

“Don’t you bloody dare or I will push you off” I interrupted his confession!!

I can’t describe to you all the flood of relief when the Jet Ski guy shouted us back into the Marina. ”Oh that’s sad isn’t it Son … I wish we had longer!” I really should think what I say as the Owner shouts over “You want longer?”

“He has had enough now I think …. he might get a cold” I stuttered back.

“You what???” the son began ….”Shut up now before I feed you to that shark that I have just seen over there” I warned him!

So Apparently despite the fact that on the Jet Ski, I burnt my eyes out with the sea salt, that my I flashed the ocean with my bare breasts , I ate more snot than I did as a toddler, that I may even admit to damn near soiling myself a little out of pure unadulterated fear, I cut my knuckles open from my super jumps and bled enough to tempt the sharks and my finale was not a mega jump or a 360 turn … instead it was revealing my ass crack to my distraught 11 year old son!! Despite putting myself through all this for my darling boy … apparently I just simply did not try hard enough … I should have gone really hard …. Just like his wonderful Dad!

Summer Slip Ups – Part 2

Maybe you are thinking that our holidays got better from there. Well they did! We had an unforgettable day on the Jet Ski’s. Now that was fun! For the husband!!!!!!! I suppose it is one of those things that everybody wants to try and I am very glad that I tried it to be honest. The experience may have been one of the most traumatic experiences of my life – Yes but I suppose I could liken it to the both wondrous and miraculous experience of childbirth ….. I was glad when it was sodding over! Well yes that was true but I was also glad I did it.

Having two older children, a girl and a boy, I was kind of forced into it (if I am to be honest) as you were required to have an adult on each Jet Ski. So I stood up to the plate … like a true grown up! The problem was, none of the kids wanted to go with me. It was a slightly embarrassing situation to watch the kids scrambling around their Dad begging him not to lumber me with them!

I ended up with my 11 year old son. He was only half convinced and definitely not eager. His Dad had sidelined him with the line “Remember how crazy, Mum drives on the roads? Well imagine what she will do on a Jet Ski!” I suppose he was somewhat curious and thought he would bite the bullet! His dad gave him lots of hugs and longing glances as we reversed away from the Pier!

The Son didn’t allow me any kind of settling in time! Oh no! No sooner had I turned the mean machine on, he was yelling “Faster, faster!” and waving his hands in the air. I explained to him I needed to work the machine out and he had to bear with me … to which he replied “Just get on with it Mother!”. It really didn’t help that despite leaving the Mariner first … we were the last to make it onto the open sea …. with his Dad and Sister zooming by at 70mph! “How fast are we going” he yelled excitedly …..”Urmmmmmm 40” I lied!

I got to grips with it in the end (It wasn’t too unlike riding a motorbike they said … which really helped since I had never bloody been on a motorbike never mind been in charge of it) and stopped imagining a shark leaping out of the sea and eating us all in one gulp! But by the time I had gained this kind of confidence … the rest had moved onto jumping the waves!!! “Let’s do that” he jabbed me in the sides! I had no choice …. I pressed the accelerator down and hit that wave! I felt like we had jumped the height of a house as we bumped down with a thud back onto the glistening ocean surface …… and my breasts unashamedly broke free! They had escaped the strappings of my bikini and were riding the waves with me! I stopped and with extreme panic asked the son to help me return them to the safety of my bikini. “What are you doing?” Shouted his Dad confused by our standstill. “Mums boobs have come out” he swiftly shouted to the whole of the Jet Ski party!

We set off again … determined to try to impress my son this time …. I grabbed the accelerator hard and we began to glide out to the open ocean, rapidly gaining speed. It felt quite simply amazing actually. I was in control (I didn’t get that feeling a lot in my real life), the rush of the wind across my face, my gorgeous young man clinging to the back of me whooping with delight, the splash of the waves against our tanned skin …… then boom …… we hit a wave …. sorry re-phrase … a wave hit us! Trust my jet ski to go under the wave rather than over it! Completely utterly drenched! That in itself wasn’t too much of a problem .. until of course the salt water began to mix with my mascara and slowly begin to burn and melt away my Iris! As I wiped my eyes I realised that big lashings of snot had adorned my face and were hanging precariously across my mouth. With nothing to wipe it on I was reduced to trying to gather it on my hands and flick it into the ocean! 

“Mum why are you stopping again? Get going”. I quickly explained to my bundle of joy that I was temporarily blind (I omitted the details about snot flicking) and in quite considerable pain and that it might be dangerous of me to take this machine forward at this second as we would probably die! “Oh well … just try it …. besides I can direct you”. Yay blind Jet skiing – why do kids have all the best ideas? 

I smeared my eyes with my bikini the best I could and through slanty puffy eyes, I braved the ocean once again. I warned the boy to hold on as we were going for it ….. and we did! This time we really did! No jokes to be inserted here: we took a massive wave and boom the boy squealed with delight! Mission achieved! As we thudded back down onto the sea, butterflies were churning my stomach with delight…. I was officially a thrill seeking cool mum! And then the handlebar struck my knuckles and ripped them open!! Blood sought the open air and began to trickle down my hand into the water! Oh Shit!!!! Jaws!!!! We surely had fu@*ed it now!!!!! No other thoughts could occupy my head-space other than the circling man eaters underneath my Jet Ski. I was under immense pressure now not to give them my only son as a little snack!                                                                                                            

“Again, again .. you are not scared now are you Mum. This is awesome!” I went for it again trying to banish the Jaws theme tune from my head!   We began to glide flawlessly over the Ocean! What a rush! I loved it! “ Muuuuummmmmm aarrrgggghhhh” yelped the boy.

“Oh my god what’s wrong” I screamed, trying to safely turn around to see what was wrong. He was covering his eyes and wriggling to get away from me …”Your bikini bottoms have come undone and I can see your ass crack ……. Help … quick!“. I stopped again to relieve my son of his unfortunate view.

“What’s wrong” Shouted his Dad again!

“ Mum’s …”

“Don’t you bloody dare or I will push you off” I interrupted his confession!!              

I can’t describe to you all the flood of relief when the Jet Ski guy shouted us back into the Marina. ”Oh that’s sad isn’t it Son … I wish we had longer!” I really should think what I say as the Owner shouts over “You want longer?”

“He has had enough now I think …. he might get a cold” I stuttered back.

“You what???” the son began ….”Shut up now before I feed you to that shark that I have just seen over there” I warned him!

So Apparently despite the fact that on the Jet Ski, I burnt my eyes out with the sea salt, that my I flashed the ocean with my bare breasts , I ate more snot than I did as a toddler, that I may even admit to damn near soiling myself a little out of pure unadulterated fear, I cut my knuckles open from my super jumps and bled enough to tempt the sharks and my finale was not a mega jump or a 360 turn … instead it was revealing my ass crack to my distraught 11 year old son!! Despite putting myself through all this for my darling boy … apparently I just simply did not try hard enough … I should have gone really hard …. Just like his wonderful Dad!

                                                                                                                                                                                  

Summer Slip Ups – Part 1

Summer Holidays! Yay! Unless you are me of course. Don’t get me wrong, on paper I had an amazing summer planned with perfect precision. Nights out with friends, manic parties at our pad, sleepovers, shopping trips, days out with the kids, picnics, games days, watching TV (a rare luxury in my life), weekends away with my ladies, days in the garden, eating out, eating in and cleaning (Yes to be fair that does give me a peverse pleasure: well not the cleaning bit but the clean house defo!).

However, I also had a Summer Tour planned with …… the kids! Oh yes … Sure, I love being with them … but I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t stressful. I am one of those un-organised people who never ends up packing until leaving day! Then, of course, we have to take the obligatory plastic bag with wet washing because I had to wait for the washer to finish, we don’t have time to make snacks (so we pay a fortune on the motorway), we take cameras with no batteries, bikini tops with no bottoms, odd shoes, we pee in bottles in the car because we forgot the toilet trips and many of the essentials are left straggled around the house in our mad dash to make our transport!

Now, if you have followed my blog for some time you may well remember my holiday disasters blog where I detailed a few of my disastrous adventures. Every single bit of which was true (I hate to admit). Well my luck hasn’t changed and my summer tour just seemed to be riddled with similar unfortunate mishaps which just may see me retiring my holiday hat for the entirety of my mobile life! I may have to depart this to you over the next few episodes … I have far too much to tell you in one measly blog!

So, our first stop was Picturesque Cornwall. The kids were just brimming over with excitement ….. like hell they were. They were devastated that I was pulling them away from their bedrooms and their friends and we weren’t even stepping foot on a plane. If it wasn’t Florida … they weren’t infused. I spent days trying to entice them by scenic pictures of St Michaels Mount and even details of Surfing lessons … but to no avail. My son may be a dancer …. but even the exertion that took, was sometimes too much. The idea of being wet and out of breath was just too much for him .. he would shudder and lovingly turn back to the comfort of his Mine Crap game!

They were ok when we got there though …. Well that was until I tried to convince them to leave the hotel of course. Whilst I shared leaflets of interesting places over breakfast my daughter said to me “Why do you feel we have to go out Mum?” with a perplexed tone. I explained to her that we were on holiday, it cost money and I didn’t particularly feel it was value for money to sit in a Premier Inn all day. She replied “Well you wouldn’t because you are adventurous!” Yes of course I was – It was the bloody Zoo I was proposing, not the Amazon Rainforest!

Cornwall was quite peaceful! I suppose I mean uneventful … apart from the tumbling I took from the rocks I suppose. After a bit of rock exploring on the beach with the younger two (my nearly teenage daughter is far too cool to go ‘exploring’ and definitely too cool to be seen schmoosing with her mum!) My youngest daughter of 5 years quickly informed me that I was too old to be an explorer and therefore should not dare to venture any further up the rocks with them both. I humoured her a little and let her go up a few more steps. As I was gazing at the Waltons vision of my adorable children, climbing rocks, breathing fresh air, not knocking the crap out of each other, I quickly realised that the tide was coming in and decided a hasty re-treat was in order. I ordered the children down quickly and of course … they declined. I clung up the rocks to help her … lifted her into the safety of my arms and began to descend ……… head first! As we tumbled down the rocks cutting my shoulder open, ripping my dress and banging my head … she declared angrily ….”I told you that you were too old didn’t I Mummy, why don’t you ever listen!” She refused to speak to me for the rest of the day .. disappointingly shaking her head at me every time our eyes should meet.

So we moved onto Paris after our week was up in Cornwall, where we were joined by my husband. I was more than grateful for a bit of adult company. Well I say adult ….we had just stepped out of the car in Paris when he stepped out into the road without looking and was narrowly missed by a motorbike and a few cars. As if that wasn’t bad enough, since he was near the other side of the road, it would have been safer for him to carry on. But on no! He had to embarrass us all in full flow by doing a strange kind of rain dance right back across the screeching traffic! It seemed I was now in charge of 4 kids instead of 3! And there I was, all excited for a little bit of respite. I guess I could forget that if we wanted to return home in one piece.

After a bit of sight seeing and an overnight stay we drove across France to land right in the south in the beautiful town of Canet! Now this is where it started to go really wrong.

My husband had been as rushed as me in getting ready for our holidays. So when he stripped off for the pool I quickly reminded him that he looked like an extra from An American Werewolf in London. His rug back was not exactly turning him into an Adonis! As if a light-bulb had appeared above his head … he began to frantically search the tent. Presuming he was looking for a shaver or maybe even some wax or similar .. therefore I was left a little open mouthed when he pulled out a roll of gaffer tape. “We can use this” he declared with a great big smile plastered across his face! Although of course I knew it was a ridiculous idea to wax somebody’s back with gaffer tape, I was also not at all impartial to causing my husband a bit of un-necessary pain. Payback for 14 years of snoring maybe?

So I began! Hid precariously behind the walls of the tent, I began the attempt to remove his unfortunate Shag Pile back. With every painful drag of the tape … he asked “Did you get much?” I glanced down at the tape and the odd few pube like hairs entrapped against the sticky surface and replied ” ….Yep”! As you can imagine … I took more skin than hair and the final result of patchy back and purple bruising was not exactly the finish he had been hoping for. Still I told him it looked great and he marched off to the pool complete with grin! Men!

I was more worried about our neighbours! It seemed his wails of pain had attracted a little bit of attention. I saw them gawping at him open mouthed as he walked by … physically shuddering when they saw his bruised exterior! I guess they imagined our green domed tent to be some façade for our S&M dungeon. Either that or he was the domestic victim of my morning rage. I saw them looking at our children with pity! Dragging them along on our perverted holidays … how could we! I left the role of tape hanging off the side of the tent … just to keep the rumours flowing!

‘Out you go …. Come back when the street lights are on’

2014 is very different to the 80’s that I grew up in. Rose-tinted memories of playing ‘leap frog’ and ‘May I’ with like-minded kids as the sunset over the street were quite accurate. It did happen! Not every day albeit … but it did happen! We roamed the streets without the use of mobile phones to contact us and we found other activities to amuse ourselves other than selfies! The main hub of activity on our street was not cyber bullying and overall we ‘played’!.
Despite my enjoyable pure memories, I still do not encourage my children to take to the streets. Why? Well, my loyal readers, because I am a realist. And although I remember Kirby and Queenie with great fondness, I also remember stumbling across dirty needles and white dog shit! Yes white dog shit! Sometimes I will admit to thinking that white dog shit was in fact chalk and …… yes you can guess the rest can’t you. On that note … I haven’t seen white dog poo in years. Does this no longer happen … are dogs evolving and the ones that used to defecate white long blobs no longer do?
I also remember being chased by gangs ready to give me a good kick in for stumbling into ‘their’ street (a more tame version of the bloods and the crypts) and my ‘playing out time’ often being encroached by forced trips to the shop for my parents with a note signed by my mum to allow me to purchase cigarettes for her. At least I had a use. The rest of my playing out time was not ‘my mum being thoughtful of my reminiscent childhood experiences’ but my siblings and I being told to get out and stay out until directed otherwise. In other words … we didn’t want to bloody play out a) We had no choice b) We had no toys ; )!
Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend who mocked me for not encouraging my children to ‘play out’. I watched her supping her coffee with immense proudness as she exclaimed how her son had gone out first thing in the morning and didn’t return til it was dark. Her cheeks were all rosy with passion as she described the rugged dirt on his face and the exhaustion that washed over him as he slumped into the armchair.
She therefore appeared all perplexed when I asked her what it was she thought he had been doing all day. “What do you mean” she replied, appearing slightly annoyed that I had questioned her sons innocence. Of course this was not my intention, I was not questioning his innocence (as such), but more of children as a collective group. She stumbled upon her words as she tried to think of an adequate reply that would clear her son of any wrong doing. I realised that maybe my question was a little offensive and to be honest it wasn’t really what I was getting at. So I re-phrased and asked her what great achievement her son had undertaken to warrant her proud rosy cheeks. After some serious soul searching she responded. “Well, he played out!”
Don’t get me wrong guys, I don’t think that is a bad thing, nobody said when they step out the door that they need to achieve greatness, my response is more linked to somebody alluding to the fact that their son’s day has been more worthwhile than mine as he sat and read or played on his computer. We sat about therefore comparing and I sought to dispel the myths behind ‘the park is better than the home’. So I thought I would share the top five with you. Why? Well no other reason than to set parent upon parent of course ; )! And next week I will write an equally controversial blog about working v’s stay at home parent and we can all really fall out! (I joke with you … don’t worry!) So here goes and I shall sit behind my keyboard waiting for the backlash!
1) “He got some fresh air” she said. Now surely this has to be a fallacy. How much fresher is the air inside our homes to outside of it? My home is not to be likened to those of the hoarders in the recent BBC series. We, surprisingly, don’t have cockroaches or rats! I often have even been known to open windows and even let a spot of fresh air in – you know. My appliances do not leak carbon monoxide and I do not fill my home with dangerous substances such as nicotine or weed. Therefore the air inside is quite fresh I will have you know. I however may want to plant the seed … that your little darling may have been hidden behind the bike sheds filling his lungs with substances that are not so fresh … just saying!
2) “He is so street wise because of it”. Come on people, what does this actually mean? They know how to cross the road? They know how to get from the park to their own home? They know their parents phone number? I can assure you, you don’t need to send them to the park every day to gain this kind of worldly knowledge. I might hasten to add my own interpretation. Street Wise is not a positive term. It means that kids know an extreme amount about the world they live in – they are wise about the streets that they do dwell in. Now you would hope that means – they know a variety of bird species or woodland flowers even. But what they know about weed is nothing to do with the annoying things you get in your flower bed, that I can assure you!
3) “They played all day – good clean fun”. Ummmm Where do I start with this one. Played what exactly? Now I don’t mean to be a negative nunny but I doubt very much the children are donning cloaks and making swords from sticks whilst re-enacting sword in the stone! Even the younger kids wouldn’t dream of fixing a veil in their hair and being the Royals. More likely strip naked like Harry and run around the park like flashers! Mind I am from the hood! But seriously past 5 years old .. they are dressing inappropriately and puckering up to the camera with half a face showing! What the hell is that about. Errrrmmm I know how I can make myself look attractive … I will pout like a duck and hide half of my face from the camera. Thank god these kids don’t have the money for plastic surgery … I am thinking what the generation would look like with one eye sown up, a permanent pucker and slugs for brows! Anyway back to the ‘players’. Yeah that’s more what I’m thinking – ‘players’. Teaching each other inappropriate terms, graffing up the park, wiping dog crap on door-handles, cutting washing lines, nicking bins and as they approach puberty … awkwardly smashing teeth, feeling breasts and playing you show me yours! Well I won’t moan about my nerdy boy killing pigs on minecraft if he is not learning where to score from.
4) “Builds up the immune system” – Come on! I don’t know any kid that first tried a cigarette, a bottle of cider or their first kiss for that matter in their god damn bedroom! Seriously that kind of problem is made for the park! Surely that cancels out any health benefit that being on a park next to a main road in the middle of a city might bring. I do feel I must just mention here also that these kids aren’t out climbing mountains or running marathons you know … they are just sat on the metal tractor swinging their legs … mostly whilst learning the French for fuck off and stuff!
5) “Fuels the imagination” – This has to be the worst one I think. Now the people that have changed the world that we live in based on their ‘imagination’ … I do not believe ever resided down the local park with the hoodies … Steven Hawkins, Mark Zuckerburg, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs!!!! Come on guys … Watching an episode of Why don’t you is going to stir these kids more than sat watching some guy skin up underneath the slide! I recommend banging on ‘Pursuit of Happyness’ on Netflix getting the local hoods around to your gaff and teaching them that there is no excuse for not having a job, even if you have managed to get somebody pregnant!
So Parents .. choose as you will. And the decision is surely yours to make and I have no preference with which you choose. But I did think there was an unfair balance in the ‘playing out’ parents guidance and thought my two penny worth wouldn’t hurt. But please remember if your friends choose to cage their children up within the constraints of their family home … they may not be lazy or controlling. They may simply just remember their own playing out days far too well ; )! Happy parenting folks!

Facebook Addiction

Mmmm anybody still struggling with this little problem? ; 0

Diary of a Mental Mother

Well it must be said whilst I am sure this title made many of us smile – it is actually no laughing matter! It attaches a whole new meaning to the initials FA! While most of you reading this may chuckle, as you are well aware of this disorder, but how many of you are actually aware of your own addiction to the social networking sites?

Step 1: Please check your dependence by using the checklist below;

1) You feel like you have been isolated from the world if you haven’t checked Facebook during your work hours.
2) When you get your precious 10 min break, you check Facebook before you have a wee.
3) You check Facebook whilst you have a wee!
4) You can feel your annoyance rising when there are no new stories on your mini feed.
5) You wait with excited anticipation when you load ‘new…

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