Monday, 27 June 2011

So it lies for breakfast, lies for lunch and lies for tea. Supper anyone?

I pretty much decided early on that lying was a way to make things more interesting. My parents still recall the parent's evenings where teachers would show them my exercise books with extravagant stories inside. "Yes lies I'm afraid" they'd blush. Their personal favourite (and one I'm not so proud of) is when I wrote about doing a poo in my wardrobe and my sister sitting in it when we were playing hide and seek. When questioned by mortified parents I said "We had to write about what we did in the holidays... again!" Clearly, I was bored with the teacher's lack of creativity enduced by back to work blues.

Lies you tell your children
We all know the obvious ones, like the one which empties your bank balance in December and the flying pixie who pays for rotton teeth. But not until you're "living it" do you realise how many lies you have to tell them, just to get you through the day.
"Don't worry the teachers will look after you."
"You can't go outside with no trousers on the policeman will tell you off" (no he won't, he'll be too busy looking for a new job)
Any question that includes the "D" word (death or dying) pretty much is answered with a lie. Really, who is going to dampen their day with truth?

Lies you tell your partner
"Who ate all the cakes?"
"The Kids."
*Who's been messing with my I pod?"
"The Kids"
"Why's it so messy?"
"The kids."
"Where's the change that was on here gone?"
"The Kids

Lies you tell other parents
"This is lovely; is it homemade?"

Anything that includes the phrase "you know, as a one off" probably started off as the truth and is now a lie.

Lies you tell the Relatives
"No, I don't mind" - Yes you do - you always do. You're a mother and therefore a control freak. I'm afraid it goes with the territory.

Lies you tell yourself
They really shouldn't be eating all those Easter Eggs. I'll just have to have help them out.
Beebies is ok because it's educational.
And the one which will erase all your angst... "They'll grow out of it".  (Yep, course they will. They don't tell you when though. "You don't see 15 year olds with dummies do you?" a comforting Mother tells her friend struggling to rid he child of the plastic plug. Yeah but you do see 6 year olds don't you? And that looks wierd enough.)
And sometimes, it's just more fun. Yesterday, I had to explain why there were lots of jelly fish on the beach. Every explanation resulted in a "why?". My knowledge of marine biology had been emptied, I could answer no more "Whys?" but he was still not satisfied. I had nothing left, I had to bring in magic, wizards and Lightning Mcqueen and only then was happy. Marine biologist has been crossed off the "when I grow up" list though, I don't think he could handle the disappointment.

So it's the lying game. Hiding the truth. Brushing things under the carpet. Whatever spin you want to put on it, our days are full of them. Rotten to the core us parents are. Rotten with lies.

Friday, 17 June 2011

The problematic pregnancy test.

Since finding out about the unplanned pregnancy, I have been sitting on (metaphorically) an episode that's needed to be blogged.

I had a little problem with buying the test. I was in a fluster, I'd done a test the week before it had been negative, but I still was being hounded by nausea and haunted by the missing period. On a saturday morning, out the blue, I stood up and said to The FH  "Right, I'm going to buy another test." and left him catching flies as a flounced out the house.

I didn't want to go to the local chemist as our neighbour works there, I wasn't bothered enough about being discreet to drive out of town. So I thought I'd try the local supermarket on the premise they have self-serve - the perfect invention for shopper's discretion. However, I didn't realise pregnancy tests, in our little town, are a crime hot spot, as it was enclosed in a security protected contraption. Right, a cashier it is then. The only cashier free was a lovely old dear, who tried her best to pretend she was passing through a mundane shopping item, but was really thinking "bloody hell you're going to have your hands full." We talked about the weather, as she scanned the "elephant" we were both ignoring and then had a very problematic five minutes trying to remove it from its contraption as we both pretended it was a  packet of dishcloths.

Eventually, I was free to leave. Or so I thought, as soon as I walked through the doors, carrying my one item in an orange plastic bag (a heinous act against the environment) the sodding security alarms went off. This is a very busy shop entrance for a small supermarket, I felt surrounded by glaring eyes, as the security guard, came over, "Ok what've you got?" he joked.
"It's a pregnancy test." I said in my notorious stage whisper. To which nosey passing shoppers analysed me to see if they knew my face. The security guard turned crimson and shooed me away with his hand "no worries, off you go."

That was 7 weeks ago, every time I enter the supermarket I catch said security guard eyeing my stomach for clues. I was tempted to hire a mock 8 month pregnancy bump, adorn it, and enter the shop, catch his eye and say "Yes it was negative. Thank god eh?" and then go an  buy a bottle vodka and 20 regal King Size.

So said pregnancy test was positive. I sat on the stairs in shock (this has actually been the acquired pose after each positive test) and The FH stood in front of me repeating "Right. Well then...Right. Well then..." for a few minutes. Then we mooched around each other, discussing practical things like who do we tell first and when it would be due and where we were going to live to avoid turning into The Pontipine Family. Then we talked about what we were going to have for dinner and who was going to pick the children up from the Grandparents and I suddenly was overwhelmed to check the result again. But the pregnancy test had vanished. "You must have put it in the bin?" The FH said. It wasn't there. It wasn't anywhere. To this day, we haven't found it. We hope it had sunk into the bin, out of view, otherwise there is a plastic stick with my wee on festering somewhere in this house - another good reason to sell!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Let's hear it for the boy!

I have recently found out I will be having a nephew, just a few days after I discovered I had another of The Future Husband's buns in my oven. As a mother of two boys, with a nephew on the way, I'm fully preparing myself for a third boy - it just feels like that's the way it is going to be.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if I found out The Future Husband and took part in medical research to earn extra cash as a student and the conversation went something like this...

Scientist: You do understand all the possible side effects?
The FH: Yeah headaches, sickness, lack of energy - pretty much a hangover right?
Scientist: Well yes, I suppose there are similarities. And the final part of the small print, about possible permanent side effects?
The FH: Oh I didn't read that bit. Can you fill me in?
Scientist. Well, there is a chance that it could effect your sperm chromosomes, on a permanent basis. You would still be fertile, but there is a high percentage it could stop you producing the 'X' chromosome.
The FH: And in Layman's Terms?
Scientist: If that happens it would mean you wouldn't be able to father a little girl... only boys.
The FH: Bonus! Where do I sign?

Actually, on a serious note, The FH has a theory this one IS going to be a girl, when asked to explain his theory he said, "Well I've worked out when we probably conceived, and I think I was being a bit gay around then, a bit sensitive. I mean I watched that Notebook film with you didn't I?"
"Right then, I better put that one out on the Internet, there's a lot of women out there changing their diet and timing the conception in vain. Little do they know, they just need to get the partner to watch a Musical, buy some metra-sexual face products and bake a few cupcakes and they're on to a sure thing!"

Here are some of my favourite quotes about bringing up boys. They're pinched from friends, family, colleagues and any other parents who I've crossed paths with...

"Patrick is like a Springer Spaniel, he's fine once he's been taken out for a couple of hours"

"The postman found my brother hanging from his bedroom window sill - he wanted to see where the raindrops went."

“We had a house full of guests and my 4 year old was sat playing with his cars. He was taking the tyres on and off, a guest asked what he was doing, he said “I’m a mechanic.” He asked him if it was a hard job to which he replied “It’s an absolute bastard.”

“I answered the door one day to a Neighbour who said “Did you know your two boys are playing on the roof?”

“One of my favourite memories of my son is when he had chicken pox; he was lovely, it really took the edge off him.”

“At four years old, my son, who has two older sisters, asked when he was going to turn into a girl. I told him that they haven’t worked out a way to do that yet.”

“He wriggles out of harnesses, breaks down stair-gates and dismantles child locks. This boy will not be restrained.”

“No he’s not hungry he ate a play group; he’s had sand, paint and chalk.”

“One afternoon my son came home from playing out and told me they’d found a lion’s head in a cardboard box. I gave him a lecture about telling lies. He told me to follow him, where he took me to some wasteland where there was indeed a lion’s head in a cardboard box. The police found its body in a bigger box a 100 yards away.”

In conclusion, I have two boys, I’m preparing myself for the possibility of a third, when it comes to bringing up boys this is what I know:
If you have a pack of baby wipes and a spare outfit with you, anything is achievable.

Monday, 13 June 2011

The Swimming Costume Story

A few months ago I posted about our new comedy doorbell. FYI it is still going strong, children are not yet bored with changing its ring and  the unwavering embarrassment it brings me lives on! However, in said post I mentioned The Swimming Costume Story, this was enough for your curious ears to say "tell us more..."

Well you're in luck, the blogging drought, caused by the marking pile, means I have no new material, so old stories are making a comeback. So, here it is, back by popular demand, never been blogged before, for your eyes only (apologies for over-hyping it really doesn't deserve this intro)... The Swimming Costume Story!

This took place about 4 months after my first child was born. I was pretty pleased with myself because I had shifted the baby weight and was on a bit of a high as everyone I met told me how great I looked - which was really a testament to how horrendous I had looked at the end of the pregnancy (actually that's probably a bit unfair to Waynetta). Yet I was on a weight loss high, determined to keep on going, so I bought myself a new swimsuit, in a smaller size,  online. But as with all things bought online, there usually is a hidden surprise. The surprise was it had very high cut legs. This needed a second opinion. I called my sister, who dropped in on her way home from work.

"Where's The FH?" she asked, holding the baby.
"Gone  to the supermarket with a very long list." I hollered from upstairs, whilst I wriggled into the Adidas one piece.
"What do you think?" I asked, trying to walk normally, fighting the compulsion to catwalk strut into the room.
"Oh its great. The legs are fine. Wow, you really have got your figure back."
"Are you sure?" I said pulling at the material clinging onto the tops of my thighs. "It feels a little bit Baywatch-esque"
"No, it's fine, you're just being paranoid."
At this point, as I stood on a chair so I could see my bottom half in the living room mirror, the doorbell rang. We looked at the sleeping baby, nuzzled into her chest, then at me, clad in a very small Lycra one piece, stood on tiptoes on a dining chair.
"Then my face crumpled with relief, "Oh it'll be The FH, he always does this."
"Rings the doorbell?"
"No, carries too many shopping bags back from the car, then can't get his keys out and ends up ringing the doorbell with his nose." I said heading to the door. In a swimming costume. In November.
"Are you sure?" she asked, cringing slightly.
"Yeah. Who else would be calling now?" I surmised, turning the latch. "How funny if it wasn't?" I guffawed, arrogantly.
And then...
Opened the door full swing...
Put one and on my hip, the other outstretched to the ceiling...
And shouted "Ta-Da!"

There, on this dark frosty night, struggling to keep straight faced, stood the window cleaner, who said only this..."Very nice. Still £4.50 though love."

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The blogging drought.

So, halfway through the time scale and not even a quarter way through the marking pile! Somethings not quite going to plan here.

I did think I may have some wonderful snippets of teenage humour to enlighten you with, hoping bored pens scrawling about books they've been forced to read, decide to include how they think Steinbeck was into bestiality and Duffy a raving dyke who needs a good seeing to. But, unfortunately, they stuck me on higher, so they're all a bit too serious, or too focused on the Ferrari or villa they are going to receive for passing their GCSEs. I got 20 quid, you over indulged parasites!

 The bits I have enjoyed reading are far too boring to share and fill me with that suffocating weight of envy for the talent they hold in their unfledged brains.

Otherwise life continues around me... I dip in and out of reality, as I'm haunted by scripts when I step away from the desk. I dream about taking my own exams, again, naked again... except for a school tie. Let's not get excited though, the teenage body is replaced by a post-childbirth one!

Right now the children are fighting over a pack of bubbles. Why I didn't buy 2 I have no idea - there were 49p - purse must have been sparse that day. The eldest is about to hyperventilate from aggressive bubble blowing and the youngest is soon to tire of reaching for the wand that will always be out of reach and kick him in the shin!

Cue: tears. Cue: Blog time over!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Housework is a skill you are born with. Or not born with.

If you a pregnant, generally lazy by nature, avoid housework at all costs and don't own a duster, then you might be the type of pregnant woman sat amongst her own sloth  thinking "It doesn't matter, I'll sort it when I get that nesting thing." I wouldn't count on it.

I have a theory with nesting - there are two types of women: the women who nest and the women who don't. Women who nest have been doing their whole lives. As little girls they were sorting their bookshelves into alphabetical order while the women who don't, would attempt to tidy a bookshelf, and spend the time pulling off all the books, flicking through them, finding their favourite pages and re-reading them - probably out loud to an imaginary audience, or worse, they wouldn't even have attempted it and would be stuck up a tree somewhere trying to impress the lad from down the road.

I am a woman who doesn't nest. Housework for me, takes the mental journey that others face running a marathon; I need to go into training, find the mental stamina, have deadlines and consequences...  and I find the whole thing just as exhausting. Therefore, when I was pregnant with my first child, I  was quite looking forward to nesting - "my house will finally be clean" I thought. But ,unfortunately, I didn't get the desire to clean I just wanted a new house - or a least a newly decorated one. I was miserable, irrational and took a new found dislike to our house, its decor and contents. So much so, that I threatened to cancel my baby shower, unless changes were made. Which, bless The Future Husband, they were.

Consequently, when I was pregnant with my second child I turned to The FH and said "This time can you be in charge of nesting. I'm not very good it." We ended up getting 10 thousand pounds of building work done, including an unexpected rewire, and living at my parents for 8 weeks with a part-toilet trained toddler and a new born baby!

Correction to the opening paragraph: there are women who nest, women who don't and Men who... obliterate!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Fluent in Baby!

My eldest child was an early talker; child minders, other mums and strangers would tell me how advanced he was. I knew no different. I would smile sweetly and nod. Secretly smug. It did have its disadvantages though, we presumed he understood what he was saying, but he didn't always - he was just a very good at copying. At the time I was easily led, believing what others told me to be fact - "ooh you've got a bright one there" and would lie in bed at night wondering at what point do we contact Mensa.

My second child is completely different. He has his own language. This is novel to me as my first went straight into English. This one, however, is fluent in Baby. He not only talks Baby in full sentences, but now full paragraphs as well. This is how it goes: "Bah - do- bah dee-day-dare- iya-iya-dee-pbah-do-dare?" And he looks at us, one eyebrow raised, waiting for an answer. we used to play along. And reply with a "Is that right?" and "Really?" but now, after nearly a year we say " I don't understand. You need to use words now."

We were at a woodland cafe the other morning  and he took his cake to two older ladies at the next table and said "Hiya - a deare- o bayer-bee-tah-di-bo-da-eyah?" He spoke with such conviction, the old dear turned to me and said "HE LOV-E-LY". Obviously,  thought we were foreign, or deaf.