Tuesday, 9 October 2012

It Could Happen to Any of Us

The other night my husband showed me a video on YouTube of a lovely young girl, singing a beautiful song on this years’ X Factor.  It was fabulous, she was amazing and the audience rose up to roar their appreciation for her talent.  I was really enjoying it too until I saw Gary Barlow’s face. 

I have been a fan of X Factor for years, but this year, I cannot watch it.  Every time I see his face, I remember that the day his youngest child died was the day my youngest child turned eight months old and my heart breaks for him and his wife.

I also cannot watch the news this week, because April Jones mother’s face shows everything I dread most in life.  It was the same for me when Madeleine McCann disappeared.

I am now a mother for over seven years; it is what defines me more than anything else as a person.   There are times when I cannot remember my life before my children.  I know I worked and played hard, got to see some of the world, fell in and out of love a few times and took stupid risks I now realise I was just lucky to get away with. 

But now, everything is different. 

It’s not just the normal stuff, like being tired all the time, not realising I have porridge on my eyebrow for hours after breakfast, puke/snot/play dough on my clothes, never using a bathroom alone.

It’s something else.

I am, by nature, a very emotional person and my children have been a constant source of dehydration for me via my tear ducts through the years.  However, starting with the disappearance of innocent little Madeleine, I have changed.  I don’t know if it has been perceptible to those around me but I have hardened somewhat to the outside world.

I now know that beyond a shadow of a doubt, there are bad people in the world and even though I cannot understand how their first instinct is not to love, protect and feel for a child, I know it to be true that there are those who will harm children if they get a chance.  This doesn’t just apply to whoever took Madeleine and April; it also, appallingly applies to some of those who should cherish children most. 

I am also infuriated by those cold, unfeeling people, who believe that when something bad happens to a child, it’s always the parents fault and think it’s ok to say so on the world wide web.

I cannot blame April Jones parents for allowing her an extra half hour out to play as a reward for doing well at school because I’ve done that many times for my children.  I cannot accept that just because Gary Barlow has three other children, the loss of his fourth shouldn’t be so tough because I know that from the moment you feel them move in your belly, they own your heart till your last breath.

Our children, like taxes and death, are a great leveller for all of us the world over.  We, well most of us, adore our children and will lay down our lives for them.  It is our strongest strength and sometimes, heartbreakingly, our weakest weakness.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

One Frugal Mama

Up until three years ago we as a family, were honestly quite blasé about our insurance overall.

Whether it was home, car, contents, health etc., we generally went with the cheapest deal, not giving much thought to the cover that came with it.  I guess somewhere deep down inside, we thought we were made of iron.

That was until someone virtually parked in the boot of my other half’s car and our lives took a very different path as we discovered that not only the car but his spine were a lot more fragile than we could have ever believed.

The world of insurance cover and its importance took on a major role in our lives.  Thankfully for us, it has all worked out well, but it could have been a very different story.

I am, by nature, a frugal person.  No, that does not mean cheap, it means I’m sensible with my money, which with three kids has become even more important over the years.

Like everyone else we have being going down the long slippery slope of things costing more, while less money comes in, so finally, I’m starting to look pretty smart and not so stingy.

I will not and I really mean will not pay more than I have to for anything.

I will compare home insurance, I will compare car insurance, I will compare health insurance, I will compare the cost of nappies from one supermarket to the next, I check a web site that tells me the station with the cheapest petrol in my locality.  I subscribe to web sites that email me special offers.  If I can find a household necessity on special offer, my personal favourite being buy 1 get 1 free, I will stock up on it substantially.  In fact, recently a baby wipe manufacturer had a buy 1 get 2 free offer and I actually got dizzy with joy whilst almost forgetting to put my kids in the car in my haste to get to where they were on sale.

I will give my business to whoever gives me the best product or service for the best price. 

It’s the right thing to do people!

So join me in my frugality, maybe we can start our own movement, you know you wanna.

* This is a sponsored post *

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Ballad of My False Nails

At first I was afraid,

I was petrified.

Kept thinkin' I could never live with you by my side;

But then I spent so many nights

Just feeling sorry for myself,

And I grew strong and I learned how to glue you on,

And I looked good, ten talons long, French manicured, no chips or breaks,

I showed you off all day long.

I’d never been a dollybird,

Hardly got nails manicured,

But if I’d have known for just one second you would break right off on me,

I would have bought, extra strength glue,

I would have burned my cuticles just to look good with you.

Weren’t you the ones who tried to dazzle with your shine,

Did you think I’d crumble,

Did you think I’d lay down and die –

Oh no not I!

I will survive.

As long as I’ve got marigolds I know my nails with thrive.

I've got all my nails but one,

Learned how to polish on my own,

I’ll survive,

I will survive,

Hey Hey …….

Friday, 13 April 2012

Things They Say

I’ve been somewhat absent from the world of blogging for the last few months.  I’ve been swaddled in the wonderful world of a new baby.   My cuddly little bundle is doing great and routine is settling back in nicely with a bit more sleep too.

One thing this time has reminded me of is that my kids are absolutely hilarious.

I cannot count how many times I’ve said to myself I should write down their little nuggets of wisdom, mispronunciations or a misinterpretation of something they’ve heard.

Here’s a selection of some of the more recent favourites in our household and if you’ve got any please send them to me.  It would make my day.

What Daughter Says – “Could I have ornage and lemon please?”

What she means – “Could I have orange and melon please?”

Son – “Mummy, why are faces always in their nude?”

Me – “because they couldn't breathe if you covered them up.”

Son – “Mummy, you so silly, it's freezin on faces.”

Daughter’s favourite number – “Vin Vin In Knee”

What she means – “Infinity.”

Son – “Where's the fuckin troll gun”

Me – “I beg your pardon?”

Son – “Where's the fuckin troll gun please”

Me – “We don't use bad language in this house” (blushing furiously)

Son – “Where's the fuckin troll gun, I play Thomas the Tank”

- pause -

Me – “Do you mean the Fat Controller?”

Son – “Yeah, whas you tink I sayin?”

What daughter says – “Mokoma Key Troll”

What she means – “Remote Control”

Daughter – “Why are you always pregnant?”

Me – “I'm not always pregnant; I’ve done it three times”

Daughter – “Why does Daddy never do it?”

Me – “because he's a man and only women can be pregnant”

Daughter – “is it because he doesn't get labour trains?”

What son says – “Min Mih Mid Aisle”

What son means – “Finn McMissile” (you need to have seen Cars 2 for this one).

Daughter – “Do you mind that I know everything and you know nothing?

What daughter says – “Chicken”

What daughter means – “Kitchen”

What son lisped to his big sister during silence after she had been in trouble

– “you’re attitude shucks lemons.”

Then after a pause

-         “Or melons.”

What daughter says – “This is the worst day of my life ever!”

What daughter means – I asked her to brush her teeth and or hair.

Daughter – “Mummy, does Daddy think you're really sexily?”

Me - mute (due to embarrassment of being in queue at supermarket).

What son says - “El fell ent.”

What daughter says – “Effluent.”

What they both mean – “Elephant.”

What son says while taking a sanitary towel from my handbag in a cafe -

“Here's your special nappy Mummy.”

What son says – “I seed you kissing my Daddy on he’s wips with you wips.”

What son means – He saw me kissing his Dad on the lips.

Son looking at his aunt’s wedding cake – “Can we put a candle on it?”

What daughter asks for - paintball ale.

What daughter wants - pinhead oatmeal.

Son, after spending hours taking out and dismantling every toy in his room –

“I sick and tired of the mess of this house!”

Daughter – Why are cars?

What son announced very loudly when finished in the public bathroom at his aunts wedding –

“I’m putting my snake in my cage and fushin.”

What he means – he’s pulling his underpants up and flushing the loo.

These are literally just a few, I’m sure I’ve forgotten more gems than I remember.  I'm looking forward to number three enriching our lives with some in the next few years.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy Mother's Day

This morning at 7.30am as I cleaned vomit from the bathroom floor, I thought to myself what an unexpected start to my Mother’s Day.

That’s the thing about being a Mum though; you can’t pick and choose when you’re on duty.  From their first breath, things in your life are never the same again.

Our baby cried all night, our eldest has a tummy bug and our middle child has headache inducing verbal diarrhoea.  He’s the entertainer in the family.

What made things a tad more difficult this morning was that my husband took me out to dinner last night, which was lovely.  We talked about grown up stuff and got to eat all our own food with little or no stains on our clothes.  We also had a couple of drinks and as all parents out there know, hangover + kids = hell on earth.

So my bleary eyed husband took the boys to his parents’ house, while I stayed home to nurse our daughter.

My little girl is so sick that she and I have spent most of the day on the couch together.  She wants me here, to rub her head and rest her feet on my lap.  I’ve been cuddling her, singing to her and just spending time with her which is already becoming a more and more precious thing for me.  As my cousin recently said to me, our job is to prepare them as best we can to leave us.

Being a mother is the toughest, most demanding and exhausting job I’ve ever had.  There are days when I can’t take another fight, deal with yet more mess, have everything I own destroyed or a hundred other problems.  I’ve cried my heart out for feeling like an utter failure and then I’ve cried even harder for feeling guilty about getting angry with my wonderful kids.  Every day means experiencing almost every human emotion at a hundred miles an hour but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

So today I want to salute mothers everywhere at every stage of the job. 

Whether you awoke to the smell of burning toast, homemade cards, school made presents, dirty faces and wide eyes or sophisticated presents, flowers, chocolates, perfume, spa days, fancy dinners, which I trust they do as they get older – remember, you are worth it. 

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day and keep smiling.