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Mental Health, Motherhood

January blues

January 9, 2017

Lately it feels as if all the plates I’ve been spinning in the air have started to wobble and some may have smashed entirely.

I am trying my best to get from morning to bedtime without damaging my larynx through screaming or causing structural damage to the house because of door slamming.

The kids being on a lengthy break from school is a massive factor and I can’t help but wonder if my recent fallback on anti-depressants is making me dopey. Could it be the dark evenings? My need to binge watch the Gilmore Girls? The extra stone I’m carrying since Roses and King crisps made a seasonal appearance?

I feel so tired when I wake up and envision a day of washing, meal making and fight diffusing ahead and it’s all I can do to put a blanket over my head and call in sick… if only.

There’s just so much to do; car and health insurance needs to be renewed, I have to register for the household charge, top up the balance on our bins… oh and put the green bin out (with a sneaky 56 extra bags of torn wrapping paper placed in hope beside it). I could definitely do with some personal grooming, my nails are chipped and too long and let’s just say that Veet will have it’s work cut out for it. The boys all need haircuts and two of them could do with getting vests that don’t have unwashable stains or shrinkage due to heavy handed dryer use.

So, I make coffee and check facebook and all of a sudden it’s the afternoon and I’m still pj-ed and bra-less and I think “let’s have a pj day” like they all do on facebook… chilling on the couch with the kiddies, watching a movie; except every day of the poxy holidays has been a pj day and it has been anything but chill. The boys play separately but now and again their games overlap or somebody deigns to look at someone else and war erupts. They all want Mammy and while I know that I will treasure the memories, I am finding it very difficult to divide myself up and my hat is off to anyone with more than 3 children. This week Rian has been playing xbox Lego Pirates of the Caribbean and while he is fantastic at just 4, he needs my help in tricky situations.. I love to play with him but I can’t possibly allot him the one on one time he craves as Koray is in the kitchen on the old Xbox playing Lego Harry Potter and I have to go help him complete some missions (often with the help of youtube walkthroughs). Then there’s Conall, with his questions about ratings (his current obsession).. “Mam what age would you have to be to watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre?” and so on and on and on…….

As if I didn’t feel shite enough… I see other families out walking in the mountains, or on the beach in all their January shininess and I’m still elbow deep in white bread sandwiches and Baron St Jean.

Right now I can’t be arsed to make a resolution but I will try to reassess when they are back in school and I can have a moment to sit and be still and think.

 

Family, Motherhood

Summer 2016.. the story so far

July 15, 2016

It’s been approximately 3 weeks since the boys schools broke up for the Summer and it’s been non stop fun!

No, no I will mention a positive first.. This is the first year since 2007 that I can have semi lie-ins. Rian is always first to rise at 6.30 ish and comes into my room demanding “warm milk and his tablet”; I’ll provide these and warn in a treacherous whisper that he is not to wake anyone else. He will then approach my bedside 5 or 6 more times with crises that range from “my blankie is broke” (fell off his bed) to wanting a new app downloaded. This morning he cried to watch Iggle Piggle on Netflix and I tried to calmly explain that it’s a CBeebies show for 10 mins while inwardly shouting “get the fuckity fuck out of my room and let me sleep!!”

19fopi85psdcvjpgInevitably he’ll wake Koray in the top bunk and copious bum talk and muffled giggles begin; someone will go too far and Koray’s pterodactyl like screams will begin… this is the point at which I snap. I become part Old Testament, part rabid dog and stomp into their room growling about smiting them as god and all the holy donkeys are my witnesses… I will bring a plague of locusts on their bunks and set fire to all their false prophets (angry birds stuff). They quiet momentarily and as I put one leg in the bed, I can hear them collapse into giggles.

I’ll doze off and be woken by one word increasing in urgency POO. Rian will be sitting proudly on the potty and I’ll have to clean it and him. I’ll do this and get back into bed and Ossie (he works nights) will intimate that I should give up and get up and I mentally smother him with a pillow.

Rian will have enjoyed the poo drama and will often squeeze out an unnecessary pip once he is sure I’ve dozed off so he can scream POO once more. Koray will try to sneak into my room to steal my phone, knocking my water on the floor and at this point I hear Conall’s door open and I take one last loving look at my pillow and leave the bed. So when I say lie-in, I really mean a series of disturbed naps that do more damage than good.

elvis-1977Conall’s summer holiday goal is to stay in pajamas for the entire thing using every piece of technology in the house, stopping only to use the toilet; He’s doing exceedingly well as the other two keep me so busy that it’s difficult to police him. I am enforcing trampoline and reading breaks… imagine these things are a chore to him. Rian plans on wallpapering and carpeting the entire house in tiny pieces of play doh and Koray is causing maximum mental anguish with his emotional neediness. I am surviving by comfort eating, drinking wine and popping painkillers; I’ll end up like Vegas Elvis by September. And there’s Game of Thrones… I am so late to this party but I have watched about 43 hours of it in the last 2 weeks… it is sooo good and all I want to do is lock myself in my room and binge what’s left. It’s also helping to assuage my parental guilt; I may not be doing loads of outdoorsy, memory-making shit with the kids but I’m not selling them into marriage or slavery…yet!

Koray is in lego camp this week and seems to love it but is such a cranky little shit when I collect him, it’s as if he’s had to fake niceness with the teachers all day and then sees me and thinks.. “She’ll take a verbal beating and not leave or call the police (even though she constantly threatens both). It’s similar to when I leave work on a Sunday and Ossie calls to ask me how my day was and I bring up the time he forgot my birthday.

69b01f73-395c-4a00-b0bb-21ae96ecd875_16x9_788x442Conall will be starting his camp in DCU next week; it’s called Whizzkids and is an IT camp and aged 8-17 so I hope he can steer away from watching youtube videos towards the Mark Zuckerberg/ Bill Gates stuff… an easy transition, I’d imagine. Yes I’m aware that I am moving him from technology in my house to technology elsewhere but at least this way I don’t have to feel as guilty.

Again.. A positive; we are halfway through July which is the only full month they have off and August will be broken up with a hens and a family holiday.. to Leitrim; Both of which will be fraught with stories, disasters and drunkenness I imagine and I will be reporting from the front lines.

Bring on the end of August and my first time to be kid free 5…. Yes 5 days a week.. Oh the things I will do, the places I will see (I’ll sleep the first 3 months that’s for sure).

Mental Health, Motherhood

A Woman’s Work

May 17, 2016

It is hard to be everything to everyone; a good mother, a good wife, friend, daughter, employee etc.

We all try but sometimes we fold under the pressure. I am not an over achiever by any stretch of the imagination; in fact I am typing this as my house goes to shit. There are clothes to be put away, a trillion pieces of lego to be stored in the giant lego head and I could do with shopping around for car insurance. Some days, I tick along nicely and manage a relatively happy house… other days I LOSE MY SHIT. It all gets too much and I explode. After the meltdown, if I check my period app it will always say 10 days to my period.. any experts out there that can shed light on this?

mushroomsA Good Mother? Monday was 10 days till, I was preparing dinner but I had a lump in my throat for no reason and should have excused myself to my room to listen to early Madonna and weep for my lost youth but I was doing my martyr act and the kids were tripping me up everywhere I stepped. Ossie was judging my dinner choices and extolling the benefits of everyone eating the same dinner instead of making several different things. In my head I was imagining ways I could slowly poison him and be cleared in the autopsy results. The noise level was increasing and I’m ashamed to admit the following; I picked up a punnet of mushrooms and threw them against the wall and screamed “MAKE YOUR OWN FUCKING DINNERS” at the top of my voice. Ossie bolted to close the back door and windows but I didn’t give a flying shit if  Gwyneth-fucking-perfect-mother-Paltrow heard me. I grabbed the car keys and drove to the end of the road where I was racked with guilty and self-pitying sobs. I then drove to my sisters and in to the middle of her own domestic dramas.. she assured me I was normal and gave me cigarettes. I drove home after half an hour, reeking of fags and self-pity. I opened the hall door and my 4 boys were sitting on the stairs like the Von Trapps. They jumped up joyously and chanted “we love you mam“. I got them all bathed and put to bed and when I looked for food, there was none. Ossie offered to make toast but changed tack when he saw my face… a chinese was suggested which I declined as an extravagance for one. Half an hour later I had the best place on the couch, a prawn chow mein on my knee and a glass of wine.

Why does it take an almost breakdown for anyone to take notice of my needs.. is it selfish as a mother to even discuss having needs? I’d love to see a pie chart of my day because honestly the only time I get to myself  is a toilet break which I often put off to my weakened pelvic floor’s detriment. I cannot continue like this and be a good mother… I feel too hard done by and it’s making me snappy and weepy. It’s not fair that when a 3 year old asks you for the 10th snack in as many minutes that you answer them with “I had dreams you know, ones that involved a loft apartment in New York with an exposed brick wall, a roof garden and a laundromat where I would meet interesting people.”

Lucky Aide Lois from Malcom in the Middle 2000

A Good Employee:  I normally love getting out to work, hopping in the car, turning on the radio and stopping for a coffee; I like having a lunch break and some of the girls are best friends for life.. they are all wild and interesting. I like my job and I even like most of the customers. Lately though my babies are getting anxious as the weekend approaches and often stand at the window and cry as my car drives away and that is the hardest thing. I’m at a crossroads and dependant on the mercy of a slew of childminders (is that the plural?) and sympathetic bosses. If I quit my job, I will lose all contact with normalacy and friendships will eventually wane but are my kids suffering without me? I need a life coach… are they still around or was that a ’90s thing? Married-with-Children-married-with-children-30474101-800-544

A Good Wife: I try, really I do but I have not got much left for him at the end of an exhausting day. We still have a date night once a week that normally involves staying in and watching a movie and having a few drinks but at this stage in our lives, it’s enough. We are both hot-heads and built up rage at our kids can manifest in some adult door-slamming but our fights don’t last long and we realise that neither of us can do this alone so we are bound together as ignored dictators of a rebellious war zone. All pretence at romance is long gone and we sit in companiable silence at night in mismatched, worn out pyjamas. I’m a nag but if I didn’t, he would gladly sit on his phone as I do all the housework, oblivious…. he tells me to rein in my spending (I can be a bit fluthulach… my mam’s word). So, in essence, we are the quintessential poster couple for married with children.

A Good Sister/ Friend: I hope I am, I try but often when they ring I have to scream at the kids alot and then without warning, hang up because laughing has indeed turned to crying. I do cherish these relationships though as they are the ones who will always pick me up when things are too much and if it’s desperate… a night out will be arranged.

93414622A Good Daughter: Read the above regarding phonecalls. I am now in a position to understand my Mam’s dilemmas when she returned to full time work when we were kids… in fact we often cry over how hard it is to leave your kid’s in someone else’s hands (just one of the many things we cry over). I appreciate all they did for me and hardly begrudge them their lie ins… argghhh I do, I really do.

As women we are expected by society to fulfill all the above roles without swearing and preferably with lipstick. It’s impossible and if you are doing it and fitting in the gym and trips to garden centres, I am assuming that you are taking speed. We need to not be so hard on ourselves and support each other… to be successful certainly does not require adopting male characteristics, use your empathy and experience to support other mothers trying their best. If you feel like fucking the dinner off a wall, try counting to 5 and at least get a chinese out of it. If you, like me, sometimes feel like you are doing a shockingly bad job of all your roles, watch reruns of all the TV shows I’ve featured and you will feel perfectly normal.

Family, Motherhood

Screen-sitter

September 29, 2015

As a mother I deal with a lot of guilt, small things like:

Are the kid’s lunches too bland?

Is it right that 95% of Rian’s clothes are hand me downs?

I really should bake with the kids and nurture a love of cooking fresh and wholesome food.

Then there are the big guilts;

Do I let them have too much junk food, specifically happy meals… a euphemism if ever there was one; should be called mammy is just not feeling it meals ?

Am I cruel and restrictive to veto my son’s desire for a pink mid-sleeper? I’m reading so much about gender fluidity and I certainly don’t want to inhibit my boys, whatever their preferences but a pink bed? That’s a lot of husband-persuading and I don’t think I have the energy for the gymnastics that may be involved. 

martha-stewart-kitchen-wisdom-9780307396440_sqThe issue that I spend most time obsessing over and trying to justify to the little Martha Stewart who lives in my brain, judging me mercilessly, is the amount of screen time allowed to the boys.

The era I grew up in the term screen-time did not even exist. The only media available were TV, radio or the giant stereo system in the good room. My Mam was really strict about the TV and it was not allowed on till late afternoon. When I lived back with my parents for a year after we moved home from Turkey I’d often turn on This Morning and my Mam would arrive downstairs and I’d feel as if I’d been caught watching porn. She’d say “it’s a bit early for putting the TV on” and head into the kitchen and drown out Philip Schofield with Joe Duffy.

Sony_watchman_fd210As a kid, I had seen handheld TVs in movies, big clunky things with a black and white picture and a large aerial. I marvelled at the technology and wondered would I ever possess something as cutting edge and conducive to my slacker life plan. In my teens I got a gameboy and would spend hours in bed playing Tetris, not much has changed as I now spend hours playing Suduko (I need an intervention or a hobby).

tumblr_nkeymjQtON1tdo3rqo1_1280I discovered the baby-sitting abilities of a screen late with Conall. He was 3 and I put him into my bed while I cleaned the floors and put the Bee Movie on. He had spent the previous 3 years attached to my leg or being needy close by and shouting MAM repeatedly. After 15 minutes of silence I peeped into the room and he was enthralled, I wanted to sing and dance with my new found freedom but instead cleaned the house from top to bottom. He watched that movie till it wore out and I had to replace it and then came Monsters Inc, followed by Toy Story. Koray was born and Conall now had a little portable DVD player and it allowed me to feed the baby and change those never ending messy yellow baby poos in peace. As Koray grew, he wanted to watch movies but that ended badly with him throwing the DVD player down the stairs once because the screen froze (we’ve all had one of those moments). I could do an entire post on cracked screens but if I was to total everything paid out it would upset me greatly. I am currently TV-less as Rian frisbeed a wooden jigsaw at Koray last week who ducked impressively and the screen took the brunt, I suppose a smashed TV was preferable than a trip to Temple Street.

maxresdefault (1)Koray started to take my phone when he was 2 and figured out how to go on youtube and use voice recognition to watch his strange little videos. He began the kinder egg opening obsession that was passed on to his younger brother. He also loved to watch people making cakes. I put the settings to kid friendly and hoped for the best as I now had another demanding little boy needing exclusive mammy time.

In the meantime Conall had discovered Minecraft and he got an Xbox for Christmas and loved to play. This led him to youtube where he watched guys like Stampy Longhead (nose) and Dan TDM narrate the games they were playing. These guys have 6 and a half and 8 million subscribers respectively. Who knew this could be a career choice? You sit on your ass at home and video yourself playing games and post it online… this certainly wasn’t discussed by my guidance counselor. (Possibly something similar but that required nudity and intimate bleach)

2015-09-29 13.49.03Rian copied Koray and began to watch the insufferable Kinder Egg opening. For the uninitiated there are hundreds/ possibly thousands of youtube videos of adults (and kids) opening kinder after kinder and expressing surprise at the contents. There isn’t much talk of eating the chocolate which concerns me. I couldn’t narrate those videos due to a loathing of thumb rings and a full gob of delicious chocolate. (A little way into that particular career and I wouldn’t find a thumb ring in the land to fit my sausage fingers)

  20150728_205947vjfkgfi_7261Conall is the trailblazer as the oldest and he is not interested in Pixar movies or the squeaky clean Dan TDM anymore… he wants controversy. He wants JackSepticeye… I love and loathe this guy… his language is fucking shocking and he seems to have bypassed the child settings on youtube by wearing a flat cap and looking 12 years of age. He’s Irish and has 6 and a half million subscribers! He is John Lennon to my son and the reason he wears a flatcap everywhere and says “top o the mornin to you” to everyone (even his headmaster). He is also the reason my 4 year old likes to shout nipple-twisty-fresh at inappropriate times. I berate myself for letting Conall watch him but he will do his homework on the promise of some Jack-time and go to bed early! He works better than Santy-threats.

My children’s bedtime routine now consists of bath, then bed with a fully-charged (they’d better be or the consequences will be Game of Thrones-esque) device. Koray in my bed playing Plants Vs Zombies, Conall in his own watching something highly unsuitable on youtube and Rian in his bed watching netflix. It buys me time to tidy up and I do go take their technology one by one and spend time reading them a story and having snuggles. I seriously don’t know what I would do without my digital babysitters.


20150917_171739I spend most nights in bed obsessing over everything I’ve done wrong that day and promise myself that the next day I will be the best parent I can be, What I don’t take into account are my kids and how their asshole behaviour will diminish me to a gibbering wreck. I sit on the floor to play puzzles with them or take them for a walk and it all degenerates into chaos so for now I’ll take the help in whatever form it comes in…After all, Conall says he wants to be a youtuber when he grows up and while this doesn’t match my plans of him becoming a neurosurgeon, the pay would be better and in the meantime he is building an invaluable vocabulary.Mummascribbles

Family, Mental Health, Motherhood

Baby-proofing your marriage; my experience

September 22, 2015

I had forgotten about the curveball/ grenade a baby throws into your relationship until I read an article on it recently. It completely changes how you both feel about each other and the manner in which you deal with these feelings will ensure your survival or destruction as a couple. I was completely unprepared for how much I would dislike my husband after baby number 1 as he would me but let me back the story up a bit..

223537_6142043137_8921_nMy pregnancy on Conall was as lovely as expecting your first baby can be; I would stroke my belly while smiling up at Ossie as he caressed my hair and kissed my head lovingly. We walked everywhere (no car at the time) holding hands and imagining what our little man would be like. “I’ll be happy if he has your nose” I’d say and he’d reply “I’ll be happy if he has your lips”… We’d then laugh at the possibility of him having my teeth and his ears.

At night we’d look in the empty moses basket longingly, willing the weeks to pass.

It didn’t happen like in the movies; For a few nights in a row, I’d get up to pee and as I’d make my way back to bed I’d feel a trickle down my leg and think ffs and go get a pad and do a baby wipe job on the undercarriage. I began googling and thought it could be my waters so I went to my GP who gave me a little pee container and said if I could catch some that that would be my ticket to the labour ward. That night I managed to catch some and I did the smell test… it smelt sweet, bingo! I was starting to get some light contractions so off we went.

I was in very early labour but the magic vial of amniotic fluid ensured my stay and Ossie was fantastic walking me the length and breadth of Holles Street to make things move faster and he let me gouge his arms with my fingers when a bad contraction took hold. His face was pressed to mine in the final stages as he told me to push push… “I can’t I answered, I’m going into the light.” (It was BAD)

37180_436518501866_8271316_nWhen Conall was put into my arms, I smiled at Ossie and I had never loved him more… “he has your nose” “and your lips” he answered with tears pouring down his face. We noticed his ears then and laughed.

2015-09-22 11.55.42We were living with my parents and the segway into parenting was not so smooth. I had adopted a uniform of giant nursing bra, disposable pants and an oversized nightdress. I had gone from glowing and “all bump” to a saggy, leaking mess. Conall would not latch and my nipples were cracked and scabbing and I was getting little or no sleep. The moses basket was still pristine as our angry man had made his way between us. Then I contracted a kidney infection that spiked my temperature and had me shivering and in pain for a week. There was an ugly moment where Ossie tried to strip me of my fleece dressing gown and blanket and threatened a cold shower to bring my temperature down; I turned my pleading eyes to my parents who were putty in my hands and a row broke out with Ossie storming off and me agreeing to remove the dressing gown. I started to resent his light snoring at night and prodded him to wake when Conall cried even though he couldn’t feed the baby and had work the next day. I was insanely jealous that his life continued more or less the same while I had this screaming dependant that wouldn’t let me shower and I felt broken inside and out. I found myself narrowing my eyes and searching for “mistakes” Ossie had made so I could point them out and say “see, see you’re useless” (implied and not said). They were tough times and I began to plan my life as a single parent and I’m sure he did too although he would never dare admit it.

4113C06438L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_It was only when a couple of months later I was on the phone to a friend, Michelle who asked “well have you noticed how useless men are yet?” and I almost fainted… yes, yes! I’m not proud it was a phonecall full of misandry (it’s a word) and husband-bashing at it’s worst but it was cathartic and she recommended a book on how to babyproof your marriage. I bought it the following day and read it cover to cover. It’s hilarious and includes real stories and I came to the realisation that this is a thing. I’m sure some of you didn’t experience it and were blissfully happy but many women I talk to agree. Having a baby is HUGE… it changes your perception of the world and those around you. You realise quickly which friends will offer practical support and advice and which ones are pissed off that you’re not their drinking buddy anymore.

MkII_07The romantic world that you built the foundation of your relationship is stripped away and he has seen you at your worst/best with your vag in tatters and your boobs leaking. You now pee in front of each other as opportunities to use the bathroom are not as easy (I draw the line at pooing, never, ever do I want to see his poo-face). Sex is off the cards for a minimum of 6 weeks and new ways of intimacy have to be initiated. I remember telling my mother that Ossie was in a bad mood and she asked “have you had the other yet?” (her euphemism has always been the other) and I said “no”. She told me that it would be a good idea to keep him sweet and that there was “more than one way to skin a cat”. I will never forget those words…. they haunt my nightmares but she had a point.

Communication is the key… he kept asking me what I wanted and I would answer “nothing” and cry… (I still do this) but I should have told him I wanted him to tell me I was doing a good job, I wanted him to hold me and tell me he loved me and that I was still the same sex bomb I had always been to him. In hindsight he probably wanted these things too but we sat side by side and watched TV in bloody-minded silence while Conall fed oblivious to the chaos he had caused.

I baby-proofed our marriage when the next two came along simply because we talked about it and knew what to expect. It isn’t a fairy-tale, it is bloody hard but if you survive it together you have a strong foundation to lead you through the minefield of raising children.
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Family, Motherhood

A bad day

August 25, 2015

I’m having a bad day. Mondays are generally bad because I’m tired after a weekend’s work and could do with a lie on but the kids don’t take that into consideration and wake me at 7am.

This morning I was ensconced in a comfy spooning situation with my husband who had only returned from working through the night when I heard the first of the thousand MAMs I would hear today.

giphy (7)I wearily put my feet on the floor and decided today was the first day since April that warranted a dressing gown. I put a cloth headband on to complete my glamorous attire and began the day emptying the potty, making food for the kids that wouldn’t be eaten by anyone but me (enroute to the bin), and muttering obscenities under my breath.

I glanced longingly at my laptop many times only to hear my captors shout and I would run in shushing and issuing threats. Koray was playing Harry Potter on the Xbox and kept shouting “Mam I’m stuck on a level” and I’d have to youtube a walkthrough and help him out while the potty trainee (95% there) peed like a pregnant lady.

tom-and-jerry-starsI found time between potty washing and youtubing to put a wash on and when it was done I grabbed the wet clothes to bring to the dryer, and I dropped a sock; I bent to retrieve it and when I straightened up I cracked my nose off the corner of the wall. I heard a crunch and saw stars, like in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. My face went completely numb and I thought shite, I’ve broken my nose, the only semi-decent feature on my face. In these circumstances I revert to being a child so I went upstairs and woke Ossie to have a weep. He had a look and told me I looked like Owen Wilson.

giphy (8)I had a shower and put some make-up on and feeling a little better took the kids to an indoor play area. It was the usual chaos of bursts of energy followed by sweaty shouts for snacks. I did manage to have a coffee with my friend Susan who told me she was very proud that a) I was drinking coffee and b) I hugged her (I have issues… awkward hugger). We confessed to each other about how shocking our parenting skills were and then almost got competitive I’m a bad mother… no I am… I’m worse. This led on to our favourite topic about how we’d do a Thelma and Louise but not drive off a cliff… just book into a hotel to sleep uninterrupted.

On the journey home I made a rookie mistake and let Conall and Koray sit next to each other. They were playing with my phone in between torturing each other. Conall likes to call Koray Corey and make him cry and Koray retaliates by calling him Conor. At one point they got so crazy that I screamed JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH I’LL MURDER THE BOTH OF YOU at which point I noticed Conall was holding my phone up and he said “Mam, someone’s on the phone for you”.. Fuck… I grabbed the phone and noticed it was my work number and realised I was expecting a call from my boss regarding me doing some work for the new parenting club, fantastic.

269-5053947024269-IDShot_225x225I got home, took some paracetamol for my aching nose and made them dinner (yes I ate most of it). I got them to bed and set to tidying some of the day’s carnage when Rian yelled for the potty. I picked it up without realising it was full and poured cold piss down the front of my Harry Potter nightdress and bare legs…. I didn’t get to clean it off for a good 10 minutes while doing the pee/ brushing teeth/ bedtime drink waltz.

I’ve come straight to bed to vent and regroup, Ossie is off tomorrow and he can spend some quality time with his progeny while I lie on my bed and stare at the ceiling vacantly for an hour… it’s the little things.

Mummascribbles

Motherhood, Musings

Ben 10 tried to wreck our holiday; our family trip to turkey part 3

August 19, 2015

We pulled up to the Seapearl Hotel and fell out of the van like the Clampetts. Orlagh was waiting and as Ossie said goodbye to his big brother Mehmet she saw me put my sunglasses on (lady code for crying) and she put her own on sympathetically.. she’s nice like that; I like to surround myself with emotional basketcases, makes me feel semi- normal.the-beverly-hillbillies-truck

We were portered (is that a word?) to our room which was amazing as it was a family room; 3 single beds in one and a double in the other for all the hot stuff me and the husband may get up to.

I fell onto the phone and ordered a bottle of wine.. Sultaniye, the absolute best and Ossie braced himself for the car crash that was inevitable. The wine arrived and I poured some for me and Orlagh and I sipped (glugged) as I unpacked. We made our way down to the poolside for the evening entertainment and I ordered vodkas while chain smoking. Ossie wisely took the smallies to bed and Conall threw himself into the kids competition with gusto. I got the hiccups and could not do anything to get rid of them bar take my un-detoxed self off to bed.giphy (4)

The kids loved the pool, Koray’s swimming lessons paid off and he swam like a little fish, while Conall looked on shocked. He tantrumed and blamed me for cancelling his lessons but if any of you remember I had to as he would become hysterical if he left the safety of the steps. It was a kick up the arse for him to see his little brother so proficient and he pushed his limits even putting his face in the water and I couldn’t have been prouder. I kept telling him that fear is the only thing that could stop him swimming (A fine parenting moment I congratulated myself) so he’d focus on that. I felt a bit frumpy with my togs but had nothing to worry about when I saw the size of some of the ladies squashed in tiny bikinis; I envied their swagger.

There was motherhood in all its examples poolside and I became a  bit of a voyeur. There was the breastfeeding hippy, that always seemed 100% focused on her kids… I admired her and was desperate for her approval although she copped me on my one night out dressed up sans kids, having a fag waiting on my taxi at the front of the hotel and I almost kneeled down in front of her to beg for forgiveness. She trounced off with her baby swathed to her chest in organic, breathable cotton. There was also a huge group of sun-bed hoggers from Dublin close by. There were many, many kids, some in nappies and the mammy was able to sunbathe uninterrupted all day. She had a gorgeous figure which was adorned with belly rings and fancy fringed bikinis. There was always a matching kimono/kaftan; her hair would be in an immaculate hun-bun, eyelashes attached and tan even. I could see the Dad always legging it around after the kids but I admired her Idon’tgiveafuck attitude. I don’t think my sizeable arse sat on the sun lounger for more than 5 minutes at a time and that was with Ossie’s help. “Mam I want an ice-cream, mam watch this, mam get in, mam I need a poo, mam…fuck off (Rian).”

I must have bought them every conceivable inflatable device for 2 minutes peace, along with all varieties of ice/pops and fizzy drinks… I made the mistake of ordering Conall a cocktail one night called a Ben 10… green juice with a sparkler and the 3 of them had me hounded all holiday for Ben bloody 10s.

MCDONALDS_KUSADASIOne day I was sick of sitting around the hotel and suggested bringing them into town; Ossie looked at me as if I’d suggested bringing them to a country club for a round of golf. We had the double buggy and decided to head for dinner… they all shouted McDonalds (including Ossie) and my vision of a nice family meal dissipated. We sat in the air conditioning of Mcdonald’s in a row looking out the window. I could see a restaurant (Planet Yucca) across the street and watched sadly as couples on their holiday in their going out clothes (mostly white) perused the menu leisurely outside. I tried to block out the sounds of my kids screeching over a sibling pinch, being looked at the wrong way or spilling their juice everywhere. I snapped back and cleaned them up, hurled some abuse at my startled husband and we made our way up one of the shopping streets. giphy (5)Conall spotted a Grand Theft Auto t-shirt. He has never played this game but decided he needed it so he lay on the ground screaming like Veruca Salt as we looked helplessly at each other. People were stepping over him and looking at us as if we were the shitest parents ever. We tried reasoning, some force but by jesus he wanted the t-shirt. The sweat was pumping off us and things got a little ugly … To my shame I said to my much-put-upon husband through gritted teeth “just buy him the fucking t-shirt” which he did and when Conall emerged smiling from the shop it took every ounce of my maternal strength not to punch his smug little face. We then went to get their haircuts in an old friend’s barber shop. The three of them went mental and tried to trash the place (I blame Ben 10)… Ahmet (the owner) looked at me as in “Are you ok?” and I just said quietly “what happened to my life?” He laughed as people with grown up kids tend to. 

I haven’t even gotten to my amazing night out or the incident in the lift with the cocktail…. it’s coming

To be continued…

Family, Motherhood

The Shoe Situation; Our Family Trip to Turkey Part 2

August 18, 2015

We were picked up in the airport by my husband’s oldest brother Mehmet in a mini-van and brought to his holiday home. The kids were delighted at the lax seatbelt laws and ran about the van alternating between screeching and whingeing for the hour and a half it took to get there. My wonderful husband had sat up front chatting with his brother and was unaware of the crisis in the back.

When we arrived, Ossie was reunited with his sister whom he hadn’t seen in 15 years and it was like a scene from Long Lost Families. His other brother Yakup and his Mam were there too, along with his sister’s two boys aged 13 and 10.

20150807_145627Nanny Ozdemir was thrilled to see the boys and babbled away to them while playfully slapping their bums (now I know where Ossie gets that particular trait). My boys are used to having an authoritarian granny (see Mom Corleone) but it proved helpful that this one doesn’t speak any english. The amount of times that Rian told her to fuck off was shocking but myself and Ossie just smiled indulgently as if he’d said I love you nanny. Koray was easy to bribe; I’d say go and kiss your nanny and I’ll give you money for the shop… and Conall much the same (note to self: undo the message that it’s ok to take payment in exchange for kisses).

20150806_203937It was difficult getting them to adapt to the shoe situation… never EVER in the house but they needed to be placed outside the door and slipped on immediately upon leaving the house.. the theory being no dirt would touch your feet and contaminate the inside floors. I was a nervous wreck shouting SHOES constantly. It didn’t help that Mehmet appeared to have OCD and was forever hosing stuff (including my manky kids) . My boys loved the freedom of no shoes and would leg it to the dusty playground across the road and appear to roll in dirt and come back to the house like they’d been up a chimney. Nanny Ozdemir was shocked at first as the other 2 boys were super-obedient and would sit quietly on their tablets, speaking only when spoken to. She soon became accustomed to the wildness of my progeny and would often burst out laughing at their shenanigans.

11825695_10153256096503138_1518317933831901748_nIt was a great place for kids, a pool, a playground and fruit and veg growing all around us. Koray loved to take seeds from the Sunflowers and shell and eat them. Our outdoor eating area was shaded by meandering grape vines (ironically). The back garden yielded tomatoes, figs, peaches, apples and some that I didn’t recognise.

I once helped the mammy prepare some okra for dinner without having a clue what it was, but t’was yummy. Breakfast consisted of a buffet of tomatoes, cheese, olives, peppers, boiled eggs and bread. Rian with his egg obsession (blame Kinder) would insist on “hatching” all the eggs.

I liked all the meals, mainly vegetarian and tomato based but the men did a BBQ one night for the Irish person and even made me chips to my shame (secret delight).

I did my best to help Fatma (sister) to prepare the food as she seemed a bit of a dogsbody (when I asked Ossie to ask if she was ok legging it around after everyone she answered “but what else would I be doing?”) but she would chop like Gordon Ramsay and look sympathetically at me as I autopsied a tomato, slowly. The only downside to our week with family was that the weather was in the mid to late 30s and the sleeping arrangements weren’t ideal. I was in a room with 2 single beds pushed together with Conall and Rian… I would invariably end up sideways with the gap sawing at my spine. There was no air conditioning and I felt like there were a thousand hair dryers styling me to suffocation.

I stuck out enough among my olive skinned, black-haired in-laws but it was impossible to wear make up so I paraded my boiled-shite look as brazenly as I could. There was no question of alcohol but the boys would sneak to the beach every night for some beers so I bought cigarettes (an occasional habit, mainly with drink) and smoked in secret to hold on to a bit of boldness.

11754543_10153255008728138_8712106861760590134_oWe had a few outings, one particularly disastrous one which on paper seemed fun. The local bus is a tractor pulling a cart (more tourist attraction than backwardness) and was to bring us into the town. We piled on, 5 kiddies, me, Yakup, Fatma and Mammy Ozdemir (Ossie was at the dentist…. a reoccurring theme on this holiday). My already battered spine was forced to sit on a wooden bench with Rian on my knee for 40 minutes while the sun bet the shit out of me. When we got off, it was clear to me that no one knew where we were or where to go. There was an arcade and we let the kids run amok in there. When we had to leave all kids (mine) started screaming and had to be physically removed and put back on the tractor…I think Yakup rethought fatherhood in his future that day.

I had really low expectations for a week with the in laws but it proved to be bonding, low maintainence and nutritional. Plus I always fall a little bit more in love with my husband when I see him in his natural environment and how lovely he is to his mammy (take note, my little shits).

I was ready for some air conditioning, gossip and most of all wine….Mehmet packed us up in his van of death again and off we sped weaving in and out of insane and illogical traffic, seatbeltless….. A glorious week in a fabulous hotel beckoned….surely there could be no dramas there?

To be continued…..

 

Life Unexpected

Family, Motherhood

Potty Training Blues (Browns)

July 20, 2015

Here we go again… potty training for the third and definitely final time; two words that strike terror and apprehension into any parent’s heart. I am remaining positive and dreaming of a new carpet (very necessary) and enough money saved on nappies to finance a Penney’s spree.

I can remember training Conall 5 years ago; we were optimistic enough to have his name down for playschool that September. I figured we’d the whole Summer to do it and any parent worth their salt will tell you that’s the best time, let them run around in their pants without getting hypothermia.

The first few days there was no success whatsoever; he would cooperate and sit on the potty for hours, getting off only to pee on the carpet. His thighs held the imprint of the potty and there were times that I put a blanket over his legs and a movie on to relax him. He seemed happy with what he thought was a new seat. The house was sodden with pee but that wasn’t the worst of it.

giphy (2)He loved the freedom of unbridled pooing. I caught him out the back once actually dropping a log on a log. Another time he pooed his pants and his feet got tangled in the mess as he tried to remove them and he tore off up the hall leaving brown footprints. I realised what was happening (my parents were over for dinner of course) and I screamed at my husband to catch him but he was like the gingerbread man (dropping chocolate chips). He tore up the (carpeted) stairs and across the (carpeted) landing and jumped onto his (freshly laundered) bed. I was rooted to the spot and when I eventually made my way upstairs, my Dad intercepted me like the butler in Downton Abbey saying it might be best (for her ladyship) if I went downstairs. Ossie had Conall in a football hold and looked at me shaking his head, tears in his eyes. The smell hit my nostrils and I screamed “NOOOOOOOO, we’ll have to move house, or at least burn it for the insurance!” I could hear my Mam downstairs unscrewing the top of a vodka bottle. The clean up was a blur and the more we scrubbed, the more tangible the odour became… fart-fragrance febreeze, shake n crap, Cilit bangs… you get it. We ended up hiring a steam cleaner.

At this time Conall was a big fan of watching nursery rhymes on youtube and while watching humpty dumpty he pooped his pants. Being a curious 2 year old he had to have a look so he had a rummage and getting bored went back to changing the clip by clicking the mouse and then had a bang at the keyboard. I did my best to clean both with cotton buds and dettol but for months my hand smelt of poo if I sent an email and all had to be binned.

We ended up deferring playschool for a year and postponing the training as I’m sure you understand due to our house was becoming bubonic at this stage.

2013-05-02 09.20.20Koray was much easier and was fully trained a few months after his second birthday. The carpet did endure some more urinary accidents and his pants have seen more than a few skid mark situations but nothing on the armageddon scale of Conall’s training.

This brings me to number 3, Rian. He has been ready to train for a long time but we had to wait until he had healed fully from his willy operation. We started last Monday (and when I say we, I mean Ossie as if left up to me I’d have them in nappies for life, much more hygienic than their crop-circled pants and I wouldn’t have to deal with toilet seats being left up and piddly puddles on the floor and sometimes the wall!!!??). He has been brilliant, every poo has hit the potty, although the other two have been taking lazy wees in his potty in the sitting room when my back is turned, MEN!

When this is done, I may start a carpet fund if anyone would like to donate as it is currently held together with years old milk, bodily fluids and miscellaneous gross stuff. I think it’s time to bring back “the good room” that nobody can enter. My Mam is a big fan of them and I’m starting to see the sense, one room I can let visitors into without their nose crinkling in disgust and a look of incredulity at the torn wallpaper, writing on the walls and nameless stench.

Twinkly TuesdayAdvice From The Heart

Motherhood

Wonder? Woman

July 9, 2015

I have discovered the secret to good parenting, although like the answer to weight-loss it is not a solution that is compatible with my life. The answer is time-management and I suppose I have known it all along like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz but it was too tiring to click those damn heels together once let alone three times (have I mentioned my bunions?).RubySlippers

I’ve been struggling lately and have been doing many jobs badly; there’s been a lot of junk food and housework avoidance and while my inner feminist thought fuck it, actual me was fraught and weepy.

I was using downtime to write and use social media and plates were spinning in the air (probably literally). There was and is no structure and as much as I like to consider myself a “fly by the seat of my pants gal” things have to change.spinning-plates

I had this epiphany today as I achieved quite a lot in an hour. The reason for my haste was that after a long day getting the boys hair cuts, a trip to an indoor play area, a visit to my mams and dropping my husband to work; I was locked out! I tried getting in a top window but couldn’t fit and Conall took the opportunity to shout “too many dinners Mam?” A few phone calls later, I had procured a key and at this point we were all starving and I was severely behind on tasks I’d already procrastinated.

I plonked them in front of Netflix and a new cartoon named The Day My Butt Went Psycho which I calculated would gift me a half hour. In this half hour I;

  • Unloaded, reloaded the dishwasher
  • Realised there were two bags of stinking black potatoes in the vegetable drawer and cleaned it
  • Customised a frozen pizza for Conall (added pineapple and corn)
  • Unloaded, reloaded dryer
  • Put a kiev and chips in the airfryer for the other two
  • Put broccoli on to boil
  • Peeled and washed 3 carrots as snacks for the boys so they wouldn’t come fridge-picking
  • Chopped a ton of veg and put it in the soupmaker
  • Threw together their dinners
  • Cleaned the kitchen counters
  • Put on another wash
  • Ran up the stairs and got the bath going
  • Lay out fresh pjs
  • Closed all the curtains, put on nightlights and turned down the beds

While they were in the bath, I glanced at the clock and could not believe my superhuman ability.

I realised I had 15 minutes grace while they bathed so I put my cape back on and hoovered and mopped downstairs and placed all the bedtime drinks on relevant bedside cabinets.

I was a sweaty mess at this stage but I was not shouty or frantic. I got them all into bed calmly with lots of cuddles and Rian only told me to fuck off once so it was a successful bedtime. I will finish this and may even have time to watch or read something.

I’m not sure this parenting method is sustainable but I’ll give it a go.. it’s circuit training parenting; short spurts of frantic energy and no drugs consumed bar coffee…

It’s the coffee, it just dawned on me. I have never drank coffee in my life until a few weeks ago when my child-minder Rebecca in her parting gift as she left for a year in Australia (the selfish bitch), introduced me to a mocha. She’s perceptive and realised I’d need a lift without her and I’m hooked.coffee_gfx


Time management and caffeine are the keys to successful parenting. I need to stop using the quiet moments to flake out and do stuff I like; I have to be on my game… this isn’t school where I can coast along and then turn out great grades by last minute, frantic studying.

I’ve got to be consistent, to be prepared, to make extensive parenting plans involving different coloured pens… and I will, right after I check facebook briefly.

Domestic Momster

Family, Motherhood

Desperately Seeking Susan

July 4, 2015

I can’t have stuff, my small army won’t let me. They have stripped me of my youth, decent clothes, dignity and now they are taking my possessions. The catalyst for the following rant happened last Thursday morning. I planned on taking a morning shower which takes some military planning. The oldest two were playing Lego Batman on the Xbox but my two year old was wandering around the kitchen trying to sniff out treats. I sat him at the kitchen table where my laptop was charging and put on youtube, a 17 minute long kinder surprise opening video… just enough time to shower and dress. I hopped in the shower with my mammy antenna humming loudly; I ignored it as the hot water was so delicious and closed my eyes pretending I lived a leisurely, minimalist existence. I dried off… silence, hmmmmmmm.

As I descended the stairs Conall (7) shouted ”Mam, don’t come into the sitting room, you won’t be happy!” “Shit, shit, shit, I jumped the last few steps only to see Rian grinning and wiping the windows with a tea towel. There was a discarded Dettol spray on the floor. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t care that he’d smeared the window but I had just washed them the night before for the first time in possibly a year…. argggh, why now, it’s like he knew.

I made my way in to the kitchen and sat at my laptop with a cup of tea; I opened it and liquid seeped out… and what was that familiar smell? Dettol!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOO

i have NothingThe three boys ran into the kitchen to see why mammy was wailing. Rian piped up “ I broke your laptop mammy”. Conall and Koray looked at each other as if he had admitted to playing Grand Theft Auto. I’m not proud of this but I began to sob and I said “this laptop was the only joy I had in my life and you took it from me, I have nothing left, nothing!” Yes, it was dramatic but I was PMSing and channelling Bodyguard Whitney. Koray said quietly, “I’ll get you tissues” and came back and mopped my face while saying “you’ll be ok “ softly over and over while Conall awkwardly massaged my back. The culprit stood his ground with an angry little frown taking the carnage in and clearly revelling in it. I then got a things could be worse speech from Conall where he listed everything from being burnt alive to being on the Titanic.

jackieo-60s-pillbox1I got everyone in the car, put on my Jackie Onassis sunglasses and drove to my friend Susan’s.             The journey was silent, peppered only with Rian’s Father Jack impression although instead of feck and girls, he sporadically shouted fuck and laptop. giphy

Susan answered the door in her dressing gown and proudly announced she had showered for my arrival which I said was a lovely thing to do and then promptly burst into tears again.

She was taken aback and looked confusedly down at her dressing gown; I explained it wasn’t the kindness of her personal hygiene but that my youngest had destroyed my social media and Netflix addiction. We then played our favourite game, swapping assholery (kids not piles) stories followed by a half hour of here’s what I’d love to do right now. The second game always involves a hotel room, room service, alcohol, a bubble bath and hours of alone time, on a bad day an airport or even a hospital stay (nothing serious but requiring bed rest and alone time) may be involved.

Thank you Susan for having kids that are assholes too, and for admitting you struggle. Thanks for getting your husband to try to salvage my laptop and when it couldn’t, it was nice of you to comment on it’s cleanliness and dettolly smell. Next time you call, I will do my best to shower for you but I may need to lock the kids in the shed while I do so.

Motherhood, Musings

Summer Bummer

July 2, 2015

I loathe all school holidays but the Summer ones have a special place on my hate list (just above the ice-cream man and below anti-vaxxers. I am writing this at 10pm from the top step of my stairs, tummy rumbling as my 3 are all awake and insistant that they are not tired. They ran the length and breadth of the streets all day, sweating profusely as neighbours commented “they’ll sleep tonight”. It may have something to do with the amount of ice-cream and sugary drinks they consumed, it may be the brightness or the sticky heat but they are not tired. If it were winter I would have had 2 glorious hours of kid-free time under my belt by now; I feel like moving to Sweden for 24 hour darkness.

“ Mam there’s a monster” “Mam I need more water” “Mam…. mam… mam”.

 

                  Reasons I hate Summer10003006_10153180856043138_6873644945176506878_n

 

  • Sun-cream; I am a paranoid wreck when it comes to protecting the kids… which factor? I think 50 but my husband who grew up in Turkey never seeing a bottle of sun-cream argues with me that they need vitamin D. I opt for 30 and apply it as his eyes bore into my back. How often should I reapply? In the meantime I have forgotten myself and fried my neck and arms sufficiently farmerish. I always seem to apply the factor when I feel the burn as if it has reversing effects. I don’t remember my parents using cream on us and plenty of scaldings happened on Wexford holidays. The only time I can remember seeing this magical potion was when we went on our first foreign holiday to Majorca when I was 12. It was such a novelty to go on holidays in the 80s that your extended family would turn up at the airport to watch your plane land and greet you as if it were an episode of Coming Home For Christmas. The quality of your holiday was judged by the colour you had gotten and if you were still white or pink you would hang your head in shame as those sliding doors in arrivals opened. krapiva
  • The Outdoors: You are branded the shittiest parent ever if your kids don’t partake in some outdoorsy fun or at least a Summer Camp. My CV list of hobbies are as follows; cinema, reading and art; I also throw in walking so I don’t look like a slob but it’s only because they can’t prove I don’t walk or catch me out with probing questions on what team I walk for etc. Letting them out to play on the road is torturous. They beat each other, whinge and scream which is nothing unusual, only now they have my neighbours as an audience. Today I used 5 plasters for scraped knees due to miscellaneous falls; Rian ran into a bush of nettles and I asked a 10 year old kid what I should do? He rubbed his leg with a dock leaf and then applied aloe vera gel from a plant in his garden… I was thinking Zirtek and sudocrem but mini Bear Grylls sorted it. At one point I deluded myself into thinking I could relax on my porch (broken bit of a step) and watch them with a mocha and my phone. Koray put a cigarette butt he found in the garden in my fresh mocha and anytime I glanced at my phone they yelled “put the phone away Mam and watch me do this sick trick on my bike”. Then comes time for getting them in and I’m like a fishwife screaming their names. Eventually I’ll put one in a rugby hold and get him in the house and begin the chase for number 2 when I notice number 1 has escaped and the merry dance continues for an hour before I unleash PMS Aisling to the stunned shock of the crowd. Why do we all feel the need to take the kids to a zillion fun places over the holidays? I am agog at the tagging that goes on on facebook and have thought to do some fake tagging just to keep up… like Aisling and kids at the museum, the theatre, the fucking Guggenheim. When I was a kid we went to the pub and got a bottle of red lemonade and a packet of crisps between us and if it was sunny it was a beer garden. Bring those days back… I’m starting a petition on change.org.2015-07-02 00.08.44 (1)
  • The Paddling Pool: The bane of my life. A sniff of hot weather and they’re stripped to their nip and in the freezing, disgusting water. They don’t like it clean, they half fill it with muck, possibly a progressive skin treatment; I may bottle it and make my fortune. They also like to run in and out of the house with their mucky feet, slipping and half breaking their neck and the sound barrier.
  • The fact that Rian still wakes at 6am regardless of what time he goes to bed, hence I don’t even have the compensation of a lie-in.
  • The Flies: that is all.
  • The Late Evenings: Every night for months I will be asked “why am I going to bed when it’s bright?” “Why can I hear my friends out?” BECAUSE IT’S BLOODY SUMMER, GET INTO BED!!! I have blackout blinds and curtains but to no avail…I’m thinking of painting the windows black or removing them altogether.BBQ
  • BBQs: My husband is in caveman heaven as he cooks meat and drinks beer; meanwhile, in the kitchen I am chopping salads, microwaving potatoes, cleaning kids bums, getting drinks, cutlery etc ready.
  • The Sweating: I am bad enough at the moment with my imagined peri-menopause but the Summer has me in a perpetual lather and not in a glowy, movie way. My hair is stuck to me and my face is puce… I can’t even put makeup on as it slides off, I’m a hot mess. The kids are just as bad and my laundry load has tripled with sweaty sheets, paddling-pool remnants and sun-cream staining.whisky-foxtrot
  • Ireland: We are so excited by the prospect of good weather that everything comes to a standstill: Tesco gets sold out of Bundys; everyone seems to be carrying a 6 pack (beer definitely not the other kind) and decorum goes out the window. Women love to wear a vest top in the summer, pity they can’t have a decent bra to go with it; it’s like Jeremy Kyle, why do all the women wear dirty grey bras under their vests? Men think they’re built like Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid Love when they are really like Mr. Bean… my eyes, keep your tops on, I can’t bear it. Then there’s all the talk of the weather continuing? ending? dirty_windows_01
  • Damn sunniness showing up the filth of my house and particularly my windows. The bins stink and attract flies which I spend half my day swatting with a flip-flop or spraying till we have to evacuate the house due to fumes.
  • Self-maintenance: All that pruning, painting, filing, dyeing, waxing, buffing, moisturising, calorie-counting… makes me want to put on Pjs and eat Wispas.


I’m a Winter person, I like artificial heat and lighting. I like my kids in bed at 7.30, too cold to get out of their quilts. I love flannel sheets and winter boots. I enjoy Christmas and dark evenings and wine at 5pm cos it’s night, right? My kids want to go out? Sorry it’s lashing, snowing, hailstoning I say smugly… now get back in front of that Xbox and play Minecraft.
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