Sunday, 30 June 2013

Diary of a busy mum - Mondays

So a lot of you are busy mums and a lot of you who read this blog, read it to make yourselves feel 'normal'. We all want to tell like we are doing the right thing by our children. The women that work CONSTANTLY feel guilty about not being with their kids and the women that stay at home constantly feel guilty that they aren't bringing in some cash. We never seem to be happy with whatever job we are doing so we stretch ourselves to incredible lengths to try to cover all the bases.

Mondays are a work day. The alarm goes off at 5.30 to which I generally deliver a brisk thump to the snooze button. 'Another few minutes'. I think to myself, rolling over and pulling up the doona round my neck. It's winter at the moment and there is no incentive to get out of bed; it's dark, it's cold and frosty, and the kids are grumpy. Five minutes later the alarm goes off again and wakes me from my toasty slumber again ins Groundhog Day type scenario. I always think I will stay awake and just lie there but every time I fall back to sleep. This time I drag myself to the side of the bed and sigh then pull on my dressing gown before standing up and quietly making my way to the bathroom. The shower starts with a splutter and I'm in, trying to wash the sleep away. After lingering in the shower a little too long, I'm out and pulling my dressing gown back on already tasting the coffee that I am about to make. This is the time of the morning that I get a moment if peace, and I need this time to work up to the day, the exact reason why I get up at the time that I do. The coffee machine buzzes to life and i cringe at the noise, hoping that it doesn't wake anyone. I pop four slices of toast I the toaster planning to only eat two. Having been caught out a few times with prematurely woking children, I have learned to have backup toast readily available so I don't miss out on breakfast when the munchkins take mine. I sit and eat my breakfast, check my Facebook/emails/shopping apps, and work out what jobs I have to get done this week. After I have had my peaceful breakfast I'm up to get changed and get my makeup done before waking the girls to get them dressed and ready for daycare. I generally give myself all of fifteen minutes to get them ready. Luckily daycare give the children breakfast so if the morning goes to plan, I can get them dressed and their hair done and teeth brushed within this time. About seventy percent of the time things go to plan, the other thirty percent of the time we muddle through, generally with me not eating breakfast, the children with crazy hair and shoes on the wrong feet. How having the children out of bed for longer makes it harder to get them ready on time is beyond me. But thats just how it goes. If Miss A is up she is whining for me to carry her around everywhere, if Miss M is up she is into mischief, and Miss H...... well its pretty much impossible to get her up most days. On a good day; they are woken, dressed in their beds, teeth brushed an hair done and then promptly put in the car and taken to daycare for breakfast by 7.15AM.

I generally spend about nine to ten hours at work and am generally heading to daycare by about 5pm. As you can imagine pick up from daycare can be interesting when both mum and two and three year olds are tired. Miss A is in the first room and generally comes running, pretty much packing herself up from daycare by taking her bag off me, wanting to put her own jacket on and saying goodbye to the staff before I have even signed her out! We then head into collect Miss M. Miss M is generally found by hearing a 'mummy' bellowed as loud as possible as she runs as fast as she can directly towards my legs threatening to bowl me over. I brace for contact, watch with a smile as Miss M and Miss A hug (like hey haven't seen each other all day despite seeing each other at daycare). Then comes the hard work. As much as the girls are excited to see me they take FOREVER to leave the daycare center. I watch enviously as other parents stroll with ease to their cars with their young child in tow. No running, no screaming, no-one looking like they have even broken a sweat. Then there is me, wandering ahead as my children get distracted by every possible thing on the way out of the daycare center. They play with posters on the wall, the play stations that they have set up with colouring pencils and crayons, and then just when you think you have made it to the door they both giggle and yell 'RUN!' and head back in the opposite direction. I spend the next five minuted doing 'ready set go', and 'ok, bye, mums going now' and pretending to leave without them. By the time I get to the car I'm exhausted. And this is where the work starts. It is only when I get to the car that Miss A decides that she wants to get in the car all by herself. Now I drive a Holden Captiva (SUV) that sits relatively high off the ground. So Miss A stands her chubby short little frame right beside the car trying to jackknife her leg up to get into the car. If by some miracle she actually got up there she would only be on the floor of the vehicle and would still have to get up onto the car seat and then into her child restraint. So I take charge. I lift her up quickly, bracing myself for whats about to come. As I picked her up her little body began to tense. 'Noooooooo' she said quickly progressing from speaking to wailing. 'HELP!!!' she starts to scream (meaning that she doesn't want anyones help), And arches her back back making it almost impossible to put her in her seat. She lets out a scream until her little head is shaking as she runs out of air, gasps a bit breath in, and then cries loudly again, directly in my ear as I try to position her central to the seat. As she lets out the next cry she weakens her rigidity a bit and I manage to position my hand so that I can gently push her bottom down into the seat and then frantically get the clasp fastened before she gathers her strength for the next buck. It has always amazed me how strong toddlers can be! With the seatbelt secured I take a big breath in and wipe my brow having worked up a sweat, pause for a second, and then turn to Miss M who is balancing precariously on a ledge. I feel my pulse jump to that familiar rate yet again and then I am ushering Miss M back to the car with her protesting that she wants to do it herself. She attempts to go out on the road independently as I grab her little hand tightly and remind her of the dangers of running out on the to the road and then put her safely into the car. The drive home generally consists of miss M yelling form the back of the car that she wants the music turned up, Miss A yelling 'NOOOOO' at miss M in response to her yelling because she is still in a mood from her defeat at daycare, and me telling the girls to speak nicely.

On arriving home, miss M already has whipped her seatbelt off and is getting out of the car as I open the back door of the car to let her out. Miss A is much happier to be helped out of the car than being helped in and happily reaches for my arms as she is released from her seatbelt. Both girls run to the door to be greeted by their big sister. On a good day I walk into the smell of dinner cooking and Hubby to be in the kitchen, on bad day I find hubby to be on the couch looking like he has only just woken from a sleep. By this time it is almost six o'clock so you can imagine that the children are cranky and hungry, I am cranky and hungry, and if tea is not cooking, Miss H's first question to me as I walk in the door is ALWAYs 'mu-um, whats for tea?' which infuriates me even more. This is when crazy hour starts. Crazy hour, or hours, is that time of the night when the kids need bathing, dinner needs cooking, homework needs to be done, and no-one wants to do it. The younger children don't want to get in the bath, the preteen does NOT want to do her homework, and on a bad day, mum and dad barely want to look each other in the eye! It normally takes just one of the kids to do something funny which quickly thaws me out and everyone is back to being social again. We generally choose to divide and conquer, with one of us tackling the little ones bath and pyjamas and the other cooking dinner and arguing with Miss H about her homework or her contribution (or lack there of) the the work that is being done. After bath time, the house is normally chiming with Miss A's disgust at being made to get dressed and at least one of her parents are sweating yet again.

At the dinner table, Miss A is generally quiet and inhaling her dinner, Miss M is making conversation by asking around the table about everyones days. Miss H is normally chewing very loudly, and hubby to be and I sit back and giggle at the surroundings while food flies on to the floor. After dinner the fighting starts again as we wind up for bed time. Miss H is normally complaining about having to do the whatever job she is allocated while one parent is telling her to do her job faster as we painstakingly watch her work at a snails pace, while she is hoping that someone else will do it for her. She then choses this time to 'need to go to the toilet' to which her parents generally roll their eyes. She tells me today that not every time does she do a number two which tells me that most time she actually must just sit there staring at the wall because NO-ONE takes that long to go to the toilet when its just for number ones! Miss M and Miss A are normally running around the house burning off a bit of energy at this stage, giggling and squealing at the top of their lungs. Once the house is clean its time for teeth and bed for the girls, Miss H obviously a little later than the others, after which time their parents lunches and bags packed for the next day and then collapse on the couch exhausted and the day is done. I usually stay up to ridiculous times savouring the me time and then wonder why on earth I did it when the alarm goes off the next day.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Cheeky monkeys

So what is 'cheeky' nowadays? I remember as a child something simple like referring to an adult by their first name could be seen as 'cheeky'. By definition, a child being referred to as cheeky  has taken on a whole new meaning. I think if my mother were to be told that we were 'cheeky' she would have been quite disappointed,  yet I refer to my own children as cheeky little monkeys on a regular basis! Cheeky I suppose is tolerated at different levels and depends on the age of the child.

Miss A has started to get a bit cheeky. She has started to stick out her tongue at everyone to which I tell her I am going to pull her tongue off and give it to the dog. She generally laughs at me and then does it again five seconds! This seems to be a phase at the moment and I really am not sure about it. It is hilarious watching that chubby little face pointed directly at you with eyebrows raised and protruding tongue. This done to the wrong person however can result in a 'bad parent' type scenario where you are at the supermarket and they do it at an older lady who gasps and scuttles off in disgust. She will shout 'no' back at me when I ask her to do something, and will find all of this quite entertaining. I really cant help but laugh myself at her funny little face and therefore she gets away with it.

Miss M is at another level of cheeky. Miss M will talk back at you arguing the point. She will say intelligent things like 'poopey head' and 'bum bum' and run off giggling. She will wiggle her little backside at you when you tell her to go to bed and respond with a smug 'no its not' and is always very proud of herself with her responses. She makes everyone laugh though, and therefore she also gets away with it. At daycare today one of the daycare ladies who lets say goes by the name 'Liz' was saying goodbye to the girls. Miss M promptly turned around and said 'see-ya Lizard!'. I was mortified!! I almost felt myself instinctually duck my head from that smack around the ears that you would expect to get if you had have said something of that sort to an adult when you were a child. The daycare girls laughed it off and said not to worry about it because they had been saying it earlier. This morning, Miss M, on getting out of the car this morning said 'thank-you' for something. She then turned this into 'wank-you' which she obviously read the discomfort in my expression and repeated it a few times grinning before I told her it wasn't a very nice thing to say to get her to stop. Tonight at dinner, Miss M wanted me to get up and get her a drink and I told her we would all have a drink after dinner. She sat there all through dinner talking away, nibbling at her dinner but doing more talking than eating. Just as I finished and said I was full she looked at me and said 'oh good, you can get my drink now' which as cheeky as it was, it was hilarious so again by laughing at her 'more front that Myer' approach, we are fuelling this behaviour!

Miss H can be a whole new world of cheeky. Generally more so to her father because he likes to stir her up so she retaliates and generally ends up speaking the same way that he speaks to her. She gets involved in the arguments that her father and I are having speaking in that 'so ner' tone which drives me insane! The indignant tone in her responses makes me wild and I can feel the steam coming from my ears. She even argues with her aunties, which I find terrible! God, if we had have done that in our day!! And the comments they make are no longer funny but in fact can be hurtful. ie. 'mums undies are HUGE!'. So by eleven, cheeky is no longer funny, and I'm not sure at what age that changed.

Some parents let things go and its always interesting to be at the receiving end of it. I remember once speaking to a friend of mines brother when he was about ten years old. At this point I had a rather large 'coco pop' type mole on my face. I remember walking into the house and he looked at me and said 'you have some cake on your face', his parents were in the room with him and said nothing. I explained to him that it was not cake but a mole that I have had forever. He kept going, digging the hole deeper, and still his parents did nothing to stop him. I will never forget that awkward moment! I will also never understand why his parents didn't just save me the embarrassment by turning it round on him and saying that that wasn't a nice thing to say.

There are also the times when there is unintentional cheekiness. Everyone has had the dreaded moment in the supermarket when your child yells out 'mum, why is that lady so fat?', or 'mum, why is that mans skin like chocolate?', or 'mum, I want to have a turn on that wheelycar' pointing to a man in a wheelchair. When Miss H was littler we had friends who had a daughter in law with cerebral palsy. I remember when one day she asked Miss H a question and Miss H responded with a giggly 'stop talking funny!'. I have never felt so uncomfortable and shushed Miss H and then ushered her away to explain to her why this lady spoke differently to us.

I can always tell a whether parents are old fashioned or not when their primary school aged child stands up next to me. On some occasions the child will openly try to measure up against my 149cm tall self saying 'WOW! You're short!' or 'Im nearly taller than you!'. The children who have the old fashioned parents will at least discreetly sidle up to me, look at the top of my head, and then quietly disappear, whispering to their friends/siblings that they are taller than Miss H's mum!

Monday, 24 June 2013

The dog did it!

So my blog/facebook followers would know that presently half the household is unwell. Both the two little ones have had a virus and are on antibiotics for ear infections and chesty coughs, so I have a fridge full of penicillin. I myself, am full of snot, completely blocked up, with the dry crusty nose which is such a great look! Miss H is complaining of a scratchy throat (but you never know with her whether she just doesn't want to miss out on the attention that everyone else is getting!). And hubby-to-be, well he just looks nervous most days at the moment, waiting to be struck down.

This morning was all class. I was running round the house cleaning, my nose coated in thick white moisturiser, hoping to God that the postman wasn't going to knock with a package. The youngest was in our bed for most of the night, so I was so tired I woke up to the sound of my own snoring, closely followed by a kick in the shins from hubby to be. The morning progressed with a whiney, clingy toddler. Lots of crying and 'up pleeeeeeese' while I tried to make breakfast and clean the house with my free arm.

I was cleaning the house when miss A began her usual routine of stripping naked and refusing to get dressed. Miss M had also decided it was dress up time, and was sporting a very summery dress. The heaters had both been turned on high this morning to counter the single digit and negative temperatures that we have been having, and the house was a toasty warm. So to avoid the fight, and to stretch out the time that he wasn't clinging to me, I let them stay half nude and went on cleaning. Miss A is at that age when she thinks she is having a conversation with you, and some words make sense and the rest is just gibber. She stopped me in the hallway, as i bustled through with an armful of washing, and was pointing into the bedroom repeating the dogs name. 'Yes!' I congratulated her on getting the dogs name right 'why don't you go knock on the window!' I said, hoping to distract her a bit longer so I could at least get a load of washing on. She looked at me strangely. So I changed my attack. 'Why don't we come into mummy's room and you can see him through the window from in there?' I asked, in my best happy child convincing voice. Miss A is fascinated by our dog and loves knocking on the windows at him and has even started reminding miss H when its time to feed him. Our dog has followed my every move through the house ever since he was made an outside dog. If I was in one bedroom, he would sleep right outside that window. Then when we started renovating and moved into the other room, he came too, etching a nice new sleeping spot into the grass outside that window. Never mind the super sized kennel that hubby-to-be built him! He prefers to be near me. 

By this stage miss A had been into the dress ups and had put her pyjama top back on but was wearing a dress as a skirt with it and was getting frustrated as she tried to pull the dress off. I helped pull the dress down momentarily before miss A started screaming 'help!' and backed herself into a corner to avoid my helping hands. I sighed and moved on to making the bed. Miss M had come to investigate. Miss M is well known for her sense of smell and has thus scored the nickname 'beagle'. She will often get out of bed during mummy and daddy's 'sneaky snack time' walk into the lounge room and say 'I can smell chocolate!' leaving her parents, tight lipped, concealing the evidence, giggling like children who had just been caught out. Miss M can also pick a full nappy from the other end of the house and is often heard to be chiming 'mu-um, [miss A] has done a poo-oo!'.

Miss M strolled into the room and stood in the window, her blonde hair glowing in the sun. She looked at me, smiled, and then promptly changed her expression to disgusted. She screwed up her nose, sniffing and said 'what is that poo smell?'. My eyes widened as I swung around and looked for miss A who was waddling out of the room with a brown stain down her chubby legs. 'No no no no no!!' I started repeating to myself in panic as I chased her out of the room trying to stop her before she went and sat on something. You never know which direction to go in these scenarios. Do you find the poo before someone steps in it, or do you clean up the toddler before it spreads further??? I chose the latter and grabbed a pack of wipes and cornered miss A in the toilet to clean her up. Miss A happily sat still while I cleaned her up. All the while still gibbering about the dog. 'Yes! We will go say hello in a minute when you are all clean!' I said, concentrating on what I was doing. 
'Ok!' I said, once I was happy with my job. 'Now, where's this poo Miss A?' I asked. She turned on her heels and ran her little naked self out of the toilet. I followed, figuring she would proudly lead me to her work. I followed her into her bedroom, and there it was, a big yellow poo. Whilst thanking God that it was at least formed, and then considering perhaps it was too formed and mentally adding more vegetables to the tonights planned dinner, I noticed miss A was saying the dogs name again. I looked out the window wondering whether he was looking in, but no dog. It was then that it occurred to me. My eyes tracked to miss A who was accusingly pointing at the poo, with her little eyebrows raised in indignation, and BLAMING THE DOG!!! The dog never-the-less was securely outside!! I have heard of farting and blaming the dog but this is just ridiculous!! I cleaned up the mess giggling, and made a mental note to start listening better to my toddler, no matter how cryptic her sentences!!!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Hunting and gathering with Dad

So today Hubby-to-be was feeling a bit sorry for me with my present head cold, and decided that he would pitch in by doing the grocery shopping. I must have looked pretty crappy because to top that off he decided he would take Miss M (3 years old) with him. Now those of you ho have read my previous posts, would know that Miss M can be a bit of a challenge. She is a very busy child, quick thinking and moves a mile a minute, but never to our advantage. Until now, taking Miss M out in public was something that probably could only have been made easier with valium and a leash! Miss M lately seems to be growing up, which has put a new edge on her escapades. All her little tricks have gone from being exploratory and destructive, to more grown up and independent. Sounds great doesn't it? Not always! Unfortunately grown up and independent never coincides with us wanting her assistance. Miss M who is quite capable of dressing herself, wiping her own bottom, putting herself in her car seat, will only do these things sporadically with most times her insisting 'you do it' in a whiney I'm about to cry voice. And conversely, like her baby sister, the times you are in a hurry and need to do something for her, for speed and ease, she will refuse your help and insist on doing it the long way.

So anyway, hubby-to-be left the house this morning with a very enthusiastic Miss M in tow and I got some peace and quiet with Miss A, who is still unwell. On leaving the house Miss M said to her father 'daddy I want the windy ones' meaning that she wanted the back window of the car down. Her father obliged, given the weather was nice. On arriving at the supermarket, H2B got Miss M out of the car and was about to head into the supermarket when he realised the rear window was still open. Swearing under his breath he unlocked the car, put the keys in the ignition and wound the window back up. Calling to Miss M to follow, H2B opening his wallet and spied the bank card was not there. Again, swearing under his breath, he explained to Miss M that they would again have to get back into the car. On getting in the car Miss M made the request for 'the windy's' again, and her father again obliged. luckily we live very close to the supermarket and a quick minute later H2B had come home, explained the lack of cash situation to a confused me as he walked in the door, and left again with the wind in Miss M's hair as she wanted. Again arriving at the supermarket, in a different park, he got Miss M out of the car, locked it, and went to head inside seeing the rear window was again open. Another slightly louder curse word was said as he again, unlocked the car to wind the window up and the relocked it and went in. After about half an hour of peace and quiet for me, hubby-to-be walked back in to door at home with a smirk on his face, shaking his head. 'what?' I asked hesitantly, stretching out the word with a worried expression on my face. He giggled and started to tell the story.

Hubby-to-be had made it in the door of the supermarket unscathed and proceeded to collect the ingredients for our sunday bacon and eggs brunch. Miss M insisted on carrying the shopping basket as her little independent self kicked in. Being sick and whiney, I had put in a specific order for sourdough, rather than our usual $1 loaf of bread. H2B was busy scanning the shelves when he got a phone call. One of his mates had managed a power tool injury the night prior and was busily telling the story. This obviously is distracting to anyone, let alone an alpha male that wants to know every detail. It wasn't until a few minutes into the conversation that H2B had 'that feeling' you get when Miss M is up to something, that same feeling that every parent gets when the house is abnormally quiet. H2B looked around him expecting to find Miss M. Nothing. 'ah.. yeah mate I'd better go, I've lost me kid.' he explained in his usual calm tone. His mate, laughed and responded with a 'yeah you'd better deal with that' and promptly hung up the phone. So with his heart skipping a beat or two, H2B proceeded to put his brain in Miss M gear and made a quick trip up the end of the aisles. It wasn't far up the back aisle of the supermarket he spotted a flash of blonde hair and the back of a little girl wandering around with her basket that was almost half her size. H2B called out . '[Miss M]! What are you doing?'. Miss M didn't even pause, she just kept on her merry way, yelling back over her shoulder 'I'm trying to find the bacon!'. H2B caught up to his independent little miss and spied that she had been doing a little shopping of her own. 'what's this in here?' he asked pointing to the basket. Miss M had decided that it was a grand opportunity to get some snacks and had cleverly collected a pack of biscuits and two small containers of flavoured milk. Getting his heart rate back to normal, H2B ushered Miss M and her basket of goodies back to the fruit and veg department, all the while Miss M explaining where she had been collecting her items from. 'Right' he thought 'next on the list, tomatoes'. Miss M happily followed. H2B carefully checked a few tomatoes making sure that they were well ripened and then he heard a thump, and some items scattered along the floor. While H2B was checking his tomatoes, Miss M was doing her own checking. She had attempted to open a punnet of cherry tomatoes and had managed to drop the lot on the floor. H2B let out an exasperated sigh, looked around making sure no-one saw, and regathered the cherry tomatoes and put them back (here lies a timely reminder to always wash your fruit and veg!). Another big breath in and they moved to the deli to get the bacon. Miss M was interested, having initially been looking for the bacon, and followed while her father moved to speak to the deli attendant. While the order was being filled H2B was distracted by Miss M exclaiming 'ooohhh tickets!!' followed by the whir of the ticket dispenser as half the roll of tickets came rolling out. H2B yanked the roll end of the deli tickets out of her hand and Miss M wandered off happy with the three that she was allowed to keep. Thanking God that this was the last item to get, he ushered Miss M through the checkout with her items, made his purchases also, and headed home to tell the tale, automatically winding down the window for Miss M. He arrived at home, unpacked the couple of bags and went to head inside leaving the car window open.

So you would think that this was where the story ends. No. Miss M bowled in the door, quite smug with her win, and got stuck into her biscuits and milk while her Dad went out to the car, wound the window up and came in and started on the bacon and eggs. A bit later in the day it was shopping time. Time to do the weekly shop when no-one was hungry to avoid the spontaneous hungry purchases. Funnily enough, this mornings incidents were readily forgotten and Miss M and Miss H accompanied H2B to the supermarket. Again Miss M insisted on having her own basket and wandered round trying to collect more items. First was a punnet of strawberries which she was made to return to the shelf. She then made comment on the 'HUUUUUGEEE Watermellum' which I am sure she would have attempted to tackle into her basket if it wasn't for its size. The next was a bag of grapes, which Miss H snatched away and made her younger sister return to the shelf. Dad was on the verge of having had enough. He looked over from what he was doing to see Miss M with a cucumber in a freezer bag. '[Miss M]!' He Exclaimed 'put it back and stop touching everything!'. It was at this point that miss M let out a big wet sneeze, right into the bag in which the cucumber was in. Being in between school pick up and dinner time the supermarket was a busy place. So this time, when H2B glanced around to see who was watching, he saw at least three people had seen the germ explosion and were laughing. 'I think we had better keep that one now!' he said. They wandered another couple of aisles, while miss M kept her hands to herself. On one occasion she was seen to be wandering off to which her father issued a 'miss M come back here' order, to which she responded with 'I'm just looking at sump-ping'. Arriving at the toy aisle, H2B was feeling exhausted, and when Miss M spotted the bubbles and started claiming that she 'needed' them, he picked up Miss M and put her in the child seat of the trolley. 'this isn't my seat!' she said in a disgusted voice 'this is [miss A]'s seat!'. The remainder of the shopping was completed with Miss M secured within the trolley, occasionally commenting on items as they passed such as 'Dad! theres the pussy mouse food!!' (meaning a cat with long whiskers we are guessing!?!). They got the rest of the shopping done and even managed to secure a bag of lollies and then made the trip home. Arriving home H2B pulled into the driveway across the road attempting reverse in, to make the unpacking easier. Miss M chimed from the back seat 'We don't live here silly!!!' which was received with a giggle from both Dad and Miss H. As the car was put into reverse and they made their way into the driveway, Miss M was comforted by the more recognisable scenery and exclaimed 'THIS is where we live!'. Having had a very eventful day, H2B stopped the car smiling, glad to be home and even more glad that the rear window of the car was done up!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Potty mouth

'Mum, what is up your nose you silly?!' Miss M chimed. Laughing at the twisted up tissues shoved up each of my nostrils. 'I have a cold and I don't want boogers in the food' I told her, wondering if this answer would suffice. She laughed some more and then continued to eat raw pasta off the bench that had been cleverly tipped all over the bench top by 'accident' allowing convenient access for her to snack. So here I was, with only one hour to spare, making a casserole for the netball club that I wasn't even going to eat, and a sponge cake for my mothers birthday, with tissues shoved up my nose so I didn't have to touch my face while I was cooking. It was inevitable that these germs were going to strike me down, I've been surrounded by them for over a week now and I'm surprised I have dodged them for this long. 

Colds are such attractive things. The snot constantly dripping down your face, the red nose, the squinty eyes and the sneezing with your legs crossed incase you pee. Hubby-to-be walked in the front door, took one look at me, raised an eyebrow, and headed straight up the hallway to bath the kids. We were headed to my mothers house for dinner to celebrate her birthday. As much as I should have stayed home, I needed to get out of the house. 

In the kitchen Miss H had grabbed the iPad and had random songs playing. Miss M was sitting across the bench watching me cook and mumbled a word i didn't quite hear, whilst looking me dead in the eye with a very pleased-with-herself smirk. 'Pardon darling?' I asked continuing to stir the onion. 
'Fucking' she repeated looking rather smug. I froze, my eyes wide 'We DO NOT say words like that!' I scalded her. 'Thats a very naughty word and we shouldn't say it'. It was just then it occurred to me that the song playing at the time said exactly that! 

We have been pretty lucky with miss M until now. She has never really sworn. She did have one episode when she was a bit older than two, where she very delicately marched herself into the lounge room announcing that 'I shit myself eberywhere in my pants', but other than that episode (when her parents completely lost the plot laughing and had no way if disciplining her due to the hilarious nature if the comment), nothing.

Both hubby-to-be and I tend to use swear words a fair bit. He is a tradesman who has difficulty separating 'work talk' from 'home talk'. I was brought up not swearing and after years of living with a concreter, I now sometimes believe I swear more than him! It just rolls off the tongue, adds so much more emphasis to what you are saying, and lets be honest, if you stub your little toe, the words 'poo' and 'darn' just don't cut it!! But hypocritically, I sat there saying 'we don't use these words'.... Umm yes WE do, but no SHE shouldn't. I don't believe there is any point in shielding my children from swearing anymore, it's everywhere. Even though they bleep it out from radio edits of songs, it's still there. It's on TV, Radio, and everywhere in the community. The rules for swearing in my house are like the rules for drinking alcohol; you can use it when you are old enough to use it wisely and in moderation!!! 

Miss H (now eleven years old) only swore twice as a small child, both occasions quite entertaining, but still only twice. I still vividly remember the daycare ladies faces as I arrived to pick her up from daycare. One of the daycare workers approached me as i walked in the door and had a serious but slightly amused expression on her face. 'We need to talk' she said. I felt my pulse rise a little. 'Yesssss???' I said hesitantly. 'We had an incident with [miss H today]' she explained, and she began to tell the story. She explained that miss H had been on one of three tricycles pedalling around a circular path surrounding a garden bed. The children were only allowed to go in one direction around this garden bed to avoid crashes. They had been happily doing so until on of the boys had decided to get off his tricycle momentarily thus holding up the tricycle traffic. It was at this point miss H had climbed off her tricycle to investigate. Miss H at this age had a head full of blondey brown Shirley Temple ringlets and big blue eyes. One of the daycare ladies had spied miss H standing there with hands on hips and a scowl and sure enough the words that followed almost made her fall over 'would you fucking hurry up!?'. I looked at the daycare worker in the eye as she told me the exact statement she heard, she sat there looking me in the eye for a moment and then erupted with laughter. She continued to giggle, out of breath, then wiped her eyes. 'Im sorry!' She said still chuckling 'this is supposed to be a serious conversation because we can't have other children repeating it' she explained 'but oh my god, it was so funny' she started giggling again. I stifled my chuckle and assured the daycare worker that i would deal with it. Miss H was then taken home to the naughty corner for a small amount of time and it was explained to her that this is what would happen if she used these rude words again. I can honestly say it nipped it in the bud. Even though, at eleven, she admits to using the occasional swear word, she doesn't swear in front of me, or other adults, so I'm happy with that. She understands that people find these words offensive, and that it just makes her look like 'not a very pleasant little girl' to adults when try hear her speaking like that. There is however, something positively hilarious about a toddler using curse words in context. These tiny little beings trying so hard to be big people and using these very adult words in a sentence. But at the same time, it's how you handle it the first time that will make all the difference as to whether it will happen again. 

It is quite unpleasant to hear adults using curse words, but some people are 'better' at swearing than others. It has always amazed me how hubby-to-be has a knack of slipping in a swear word, leaving the person he is speaking to standing there wondering if they heard correctly, or even not hearing it at all. He has a tendency to refer to people as a [adjective] c*nt, which when put into written language looks plain awful. But somehow he managed to slip it in and roll on with the conversation without even batting an eyelid. There is 'this C', 'that C', 'skinny C', 'fat C', 'silly C', 'funny C' and the list goes on. It's not even used as a derogatory term in most occasions but more an adjunct to the adjective. I remember one day when Miss H was quite small making a trip to the bank to speak to a loan officer about a personal loan to buy a car. We had just been redirected to a desk to speak to the loan officer, Miss H had picked the worst time to fill up her nappy and had stunk out one end of the bank. We joked our way through that in our introductions and then the  conversations about loans got underway. The loan officer seemed lovely and must have been only about 10 years older than us so we thought we were in with a bit of a chance. So the conversation was then opened with 'so what can I do for you today?' So hubby-to-be started giving the details of our requirements. After this part of the conversations the loan officer queried a few of the details and hubby-to-be replied with 'we were discussing it the other day and this C... over here reckoned we should talk to you about it'. I held my breath and felt my face go bright red. The loan officer smiled and said 'ok no worries ill just go and grab you an information sheet and your file'. Did I just imagine that? I thought as I watched the loan officer stride off into the offices. 'I can't believe you just said that!!!' I hissed at hubby-to-be. 'Said what?!' He replied, looking bewildered. I told him what he said and his eyes bulged. 'Did I?!' He balked, and then cracked up laughing. I wanted to crawl under the desk!! How on earth he said that in that scenario without meaning to, and whether the loan officer even noticed, i will never know! Strangely enough we got the loan despite our pooey kid and potty mouths. 

So hopefully miss M learned her lesson today, however this child does prove to be a little different from the others in her approach to everything. Yesterday for example the builders were here and using a nail gun which she found fascinating. The big bang made by the nail gun at one point sent her running squealing up the hallway screaming 'that scared the nuts out of my nuts!'.... Two points were made clear to miss M right then. 1) you don't have nuts, 2) whilst not a swear word its still not a very nice thing to say! The same miss M was found today in the back seat of the car talking bites from the air in front of her making loud chomping noises as she did so. When asked what she was doing she replied 'just eating the fairies'. By fairies she was referring to the glittering dust specs you see in a beam of light through a window. The logic of Miss M always leves me shaking my head. But very rarely without a smile on my face.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Sick of sick

Does anyone else out there feel like your kids are forever sick?!? My kids seem to have everything, from ear ache to headache. From sneeze to wheeze. And even the odd foot and mouth, lice and everything nice! I suppose that is the joys of being a working parent and having our children in a germ pool during the day. Unfortunately with gathering a large group of children comes an increase of nose picking, bum scratching and face licking accompanied by an inability to recognise when it's probably a good time to wash your hands. I don't begrudge daycare for the illnesses. It's not their fault! I myself have been 'that parent' that sent my kids to daycare when they are unwell. Because let's be honest, if we kept them home for every sniffle, you'd never work! Sick days are used only for the kids and if you use one for yourself you HAVE TO be on the verge of death! And unless you have ever sat yourself in a room of 15-20 children and managed to get them not to stick their fingers into anything suspicious, I suggest you give them a break! My problem with the cold and flu side of the scenario is that two of my three children are asthmatic, which puts a whole new slant on a cold. It means sleepless nights with frequent puffers, pillows under mattresses, vaporisers, steroids, nebulisers and the odd trip to the emergency department (and even a call for an ambulance in a little scary moment). Colds and respiratory tract type illness are an asthmatic (or the mother of an asthmatic) 's worst enemy! 

When you're at home with sick kids you get NOTHING done. There is no 'cleaning the house while you have a day off', because if that child is genuinely unwell, they do not want to leave your side/lap/hip. Being a nurse you would think I'm better at it. I'm NOT! I forget doses of antibiotics, I forget to look at the clock when I give my kids panadol, and I am one of the worst for 'she'll be right'. I have 'she'll be righted' through contagious illnesses, asthma attacks, dislocations/breaks and god knows what else, simply because you don't have the time. Unless the illness or injury is demanding your attention (ie. your child is screaming in pain/has a roaring temperature/ or is struggling to breathe) then 'she'll be right'.

 I think when you are always dealing with sick kids you start to triage the kids illnesses and only deal with something that is life threatening, sleep threatening or sanity threatening. Miss H often (on a weekly basis at least!) will come up with some form of complaint like 'my ankle feels weird', 'my knee clicks', 'what does it mean when your palms are itchy' or my favourite 'my arm hurts when I do this' which I respond with 'we'll don't do that then!'. The poor kid one day may actually find something wrong with her and ill shake it off saying 'what would you like me to do about that?' just because as a mum, you're sick of sick! Presently I have had one day off last week with Miss A having had high temperatures, now this week I have had two days off with Miss M having high temperatures, asthma and the works and now Miss A has gone and shared with her sister so hopefully it has run its course by the start of the new working week. There's also the fear of being the hypochondriac mother and the knowledge that there is such a huge pressure on our health system without us taking up appointments for, lets face it, something the doctors cannot treat! 

Then there's sick day envy. Watching your childless friends having time off for a cold or a 'mental health day' knowing that your sick days are already used up a few months into winter. The beauty of it however is that generally by the time your kids hit school age you know they've pretty much had everything under the sun and they'll cruise through. While all the other children [non daycare] miss half their first year of school. For those of you who are going back to work. Plan for most of the first year to be spent on family leave! It took my kids a good six months to develop their 'day care immunity'. I must admit to a family leave guilt. As much as I would prefer frankly to sit at home and get paid for it, I feel bad having days off! You feel slack! You feel like your letting the team down! But in the end, above all you're a parent and those little snotty noses come first.

Child illness is just plain gross! They don't tidily vomit in a bucket, they hurl everywhere, often in their beds, leaving chunks of things you didn't really want to see again lodged in their hair. They don't just sneeze, they explode great green candlesticks down to their chins. They don't want to curl up in bed with some aloe vera tissues, they want to sit on your knee, wipe their nose on your shoulder making you look like a snail has taken a detour, and then scream like a banshee if you try to wipe their nose in the socially appropriate way. And they want to cuddle. So you tend to their cuddling needs, jumping at every hiccup (thinking they're about to throw up), try not to breathe when they sneeze or cough, and smile outwardly yet cringe inwardly when they give you that big snotty kiss that you know will be the first thing you think of when you are busily making breakfast for kids with tampons up your nose having caught the bug.

We have tried vitamins, diet changes, changing routines, extra cleaning, hand gels, extra hand-washing, toy sterilising and the works. Every now and again someone suggests another expensive idea and while I consider it momentarily, I always come out thinking, this is all just part of it, everyone is in the same situation at some point; winter, another probable sleepless night ahead, minimal sick days left and fingers and toes crossed that this one [illness] will be the one that gives them immunity to dodge the germ bullets until the employment anniversary clocks over, and you had more sick days again!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Nudity in winter!

So what do you do with a kid that WILL NOT leave her clothes on?
Apologies to anyone who finds this photo a little confronting but I figured all the worrying parts were covered and there is as much flesh as you see in an Anne Geddes photo! I just wanted to give you all the mental image of what goes on all day and everyday at our house. I woke up this morning to Miss M running into our room yelling '[miss A] is all nudey!'. Groaning because it was freezing I jumped out of bed knowing that Miss A was obviously still contained in her cot which meant the possibility of piddle on cot sheets which also meant an increase to the already huge washing pile I already had. Arriving in the girls bedroom I found a cheeky face grinning at me as she jumped up and down in her cot. No wet sheets at least, but the temperature this morning was a bit close to zero to be running round in the clothes that God gave you!!! I put a dressing gown on her to avoid the getting dressed fight until at least after breakfast, and got her out of bed. Sure enough after breakfast there was the usual fight. It usually goes in three stages. 

Stage one- Initiation. This is where mum initiates the getting dressed momentum by gathering Miss A's clothes and taking them to her. It is at this point she either runs away laughing making me feel like I want to crawl back in bed with the anticipation of exhaustion OR this is when she yells 'HELP' and tries to tear the clothes from my hands so that she can attempt to dress herself.

Stage two- independence
This stage is when you have to sit and watch Miss A put her pants on her head and then help herself to the washing pile and put your underwear on as a t-shirt and you can do NOTHING to help. She will sit there trying to push her chubby little arms through the neck hole of her clothes so that her top resembles something from the Flinstones but you CAN NOT help!! No matter how frustrating it looks. If you even look like moving the tag to the back, or adjusting the sleeve so her arm can slip in more easily, Miss A will scream like a child possessed and then once released from your grasp will look you dead in the eye and quite matter-of-factly say 'help' which  interpreted means 'I will do it, now back off!'. This goes on until Miss A has got herself into a straight jacket type scenario and then she is screaming 'HELP!' again, but in a more literal sense of the word.

Stage three- surrender 
The term 'surrender' may have the reader tricked into believing that by this stage Miss A is dressed by her mother. This is incorrect. There are two versions of stage three. Version one is where Miss A will happily let you fix the straight jacket type item to a more comfortable position and then move back at stage one for the second item of clothing. Version two is where Miss A gives up, throws the clothing item into the wind and runs off bringing us again, back to stage one. So really by surrender, this implies that Mum is infact the one surrendering. Giving up to avoid the fight. If after a long time of persisting, Miss A is finally dressed, and you let her out of your sight, she will be undressed in less than a second leaving you whimpering in the corner.

So that's my daily battle to get the child dressed. I joked to someone the other day that I was considering buying her a onesie to out in her in bed backwards so she can't get it off....I'm thinking more seriously about that at this point as I reach desperation. The postman, I think, has now become accustomed to a nude child or two at the door when a parcel is delivered. I think also the people over the road would be used to seeing a nude child perched int he front window of the house. I wonder at times, if i were to do the same, whether they would be scared into realising that clothes perhaps are a better option. Here's to hoping that she grows out of it before she is school age when it becomes just plain weird!

An introduction to the madness

So.... after looking back over the past usage of my Facebook account I have come to realise that I have more 'followers' than friends. Not that I don't see these people as my friends, because I certainly wouldn't have accepted a friend request from anyone who I wouldn't happily have a candid conversation with, but because, whenever I see these people, I am forever getting comments on my most recent Facebook status. Whether I haven't seen these people for years or not, does not seem to matter. They will all make comment on my latest status and how it made them laugh, cry, made their day better or otherwise. Today, having seen another message from one of my follower friends, I have decided it's time. Today I start a blog.
So where to start? I suppose I should acknowledge that not everyone who reads this blog will know me or my family directly so I should probably begin by introducing myself and the people who make my life so entertaining.

I'm a 31 year old mother of three girls. Miss H (11), Miss M (3), and Miss A (21 months). To give you a mental image of myself; I am 4' 11", I weigh 54kg, I am very loud, swear more than I should, laugh a lot and could be described as manic.... even that I just don't shut up! What do I like to do.... well I would like to think of myself as artistic however I never seem to have had the time to do anything with it. I can sing, dance, have self taught the basics of guitar and piano, but again have had no time to do anything with it. I have been a teenage mother, a guest speaker, a nurse, a teacher, have auditioned for australian idol, have run a half marathon, and have come close to death on a couple of occasions.... I have had bells palsy as a child, been hospitalised for over a month for peritonitis/pneumonia/fluid on the lung, I have a weird blood antibodies, I am a carrier for haemochromatosis, I have been in a car roll over. I have fat friends, skinny friends, gay friends, straight friends, black friends, white friends and I love them all the same...... but above all this I'm a working mum and I'm tired. And this I guess is where the hilarity comes in!

Hubby to be.
we have been together for almost fifteen years. He is a 32 year old concreter who calls a spade a spade, drinks like a fish, swears like nobody's business, and at times is a non-bald version of Homer Simpson with an athletic physique on a 160cm tall frame (you get my drift). He can drive me insane, and do things that make me want to punch him directly in the manparts, but loves me dearly and unquestionably at the same time, which I never thought at all possible. He was the good looking bad boy at seventeen that no sixteen year old can resist and he grabbed on and hung on tight from there..... above all this he is a father, and he loves us..... he is obviously not as tired as me because the pathetic excuse for a man has a nap every day [said in that voice you used when you were repeating what your siblings are saying], and has an equal part in the hilarity that is my life!

Miss H.
Almost 12 years old, bubbly, loud, talkative typical pre-teen (eye roller) that can at times be a bit vague and self-centered but under it all has a huge heart and a caring nature. Her big claim to fame is that she shaved her hair and raised over $21,000 for breast cancer research 18 months ago. Her hair has only just got back to a workable girly length which has increased her face to mirror time threefold! Spends her time with her face in an Ipad, annoying her sisters, or following her mother around in a shadow like manner until her mother screams blue bloody murder, at which point she whines 'what was I doing wrong, I'm bored!!'. Miss H LOVES an argument and will debate that the sky is green just to get her parents blood pressure up. In the face of defeat she will insist that her 'teacher told her' and leave the debate at a stale mate.

Miss M.
Almost 4 years old, mischievous, clever, busy, blonde haired and blue eyed angel looking type child that underneath is the devil incarnate. Gets into everything, AND I MEAN EVERYTHING. This is the child you will find with sanitary pads stuck all over her, or the one that gets into your makeup and blames the baby, or the one who cleverly works out how to remove and then replace the childlocks from the cupboards so you spend your time wondering how all the folded clothes ended up on the floor. Miss M keeps her parents on their toes.

Miss A.
Miss A is a moody adult in a fat baby body. Miss A looks like a sharpei dog when naked. Miss A spends her time getting dressed and screaming 'HELP' which in Miss A language means 'don't friggin touch me I can DO IT MY MYSELF' which is the most confusing concept EVER for her parents because when she needs help she also yells 'HELP'. She spends and equal portion of time getting undressed. She is often found naked in her bed having pee'd all over her sheets or in the fridge door looking for snacks. Miss A does not have a thyroid condition - she just likes her food, she chucks a beauty of a tantrum in which she stares you directly in the eye and sporadically yells 'NO' until she gives up and folds herself in half crying loudly. When Miss A is in a good mood she is running round the house (naked) giggling, pretending she is a dog, pushing round her dolly in the pram, wanting 'UP peeeeeeese' because her mother is trying to eat, or asking her mum to 'HELP' with something which then generally leads again to another tantrum because who the hell knows what she means by that!!! Miss A loves to challenge her parents.

Presently we are renovating.... our house is THAT HOUSE. The house that is always half done, that the neighbours wonder if they'll ever finish it. There is stuff everywhere inside and out because with the renovations nothing has its place yet. There is always washing on the couch that needs folding. There is always something sticky on the floor, something drawn on the wall or something smudged on the windows.
There is a HUGE black dog (6 year old) in the backyard who has a big scary bark but who is sooooo excited to have a friend to play with once you get past the gate. He is contained by a small fence that he is afraid to scale having hurt his man parts as a pup (prior to his manpartectomy). And on the few occasions he has got out, he sits at the front door with a sad face waiting for someone to get home. He is scared of thunderstorms, water, my pointed finger and scowl, and my stomping up the hall to the backdoor when he has been unnecessarily barking. He was bottle fed in the palms of our hands as a pup and reminds us very much of scooby doo.

So thats the gist of us.... we aren't perfect, but we are a house full of fun/love/noise and craziness. It is at this point I would like to make it clear that I love my children dearly! They are an exhausting little bunch but I wouldn't change them for the world! When complaining about my bad day I am never wishing it away but rather as a way of 'laughing it off' because lets be honest sometimes you either laugh or you'll cry!

Enjoy reading,