A sporting chance 

Tomorrow is my 3 year old sons’ sports day at school. I’ve asked what they will be doing but he’s not been very helpful; ‘Sack race?’ Blank stare. ‘Three legged race?’ Blank stare. And so on and so on. He also told me it had already taken place, and then we found out it was a practice. Little shit.

Anyway, this morning I gave him the parental pep talk. The one about it not mattering whether he wins, as long as he tries his best and has fun. I felt we had to have this talk as he was boasting about winning, but is the youngest in the year so I fear this is unlikely. Unless they had a Power Rangers style fighting bout, in which case he’d kick ass.

After the pep talk he gave me the blank stare. He knew I didn’t mean it. We race at everything – getting dressed, eating, going upstairs, putting toys away. I channel his competitive edge to get him to cooperate! And its something he’s inherited from me. I’ve always been incredibly competitive and a terrible loser, perhaps because I was the oldest child, or the youngest in the year myself, or because I’m a Leo. Winning feels good, doesn’t it? Succeeding and reaching your goal? So yes, I’ll keep telling my son to have fun and that winning doesn’t matter – but I’ll always encourage him to try. 

Baby brain

Apparently it’s been 50 days since my last post. There’s been lots going on to write about but I haven’t had time or the mental capacity to do so. First I finished work at the end of March to look after our three year old over Easter – he stole all my time. Then I had a second baby at the end of April. The two of them have conspired to take what was left of me, and my time. 

Let it go

My best friend has two daughters age 2 and 4. I’ve got a 3 year old boy and another due in two weeks. Despite living within 5 minutes of each other we hardly ever meet up because of kids being sick, birthday parties, family commitments, household chores, exhaustion, etc etc. Such is life when you’re a grown up, right? Today we met up for the first time in weeks. This was the preceding text exchange:
‘Come over, be great to see you. Please excuse my hair though, I didn’t dry it last night so it’s a mess. And I look knackered’

‘No worries. I also didn’t dry my hair last night after having it bleached so it’s terrible. And I haven’t got make up on. Oh, and there’s curry down my top.’

At least it’s perfectly acceptable to completely let yourself go with some long term relationships. 

Boy down 

Our son has been ill for the last couple of days. Nothing too serious, just a cold, but of course to him it has felt like the worst pain in the world and to us it has been agony watching him suffer and not being able to do much about it. Actually, this isn’t quite true. There’s been quite a few things I could have done to help him, but he just wouldn’t bloody let me. Not because he is trying to be a martyr or struggle though, but because his awkward, unreasonable, volatile state has been well and truly off the chart. He’s been baking hot, but refused to remove his long sleeve pyjama top, socks and duvet. His nose has been blocked, but he screams blue murder at the sight of Vicks and makes me take it off with a wet wipe if I try and sneak it on. Usually he will feign illness to take medicine, but this time he’s refused to take it. Plenty of fluids? Nope, doesn’t want to drink. Food for energy? Even cake hasn’t tempted him. Trying to make him feel better has been a never ending battle which only results in him screaming and feeling worse. So now I just let him watch Star Wars on repeat and cuddle him (when he allows it) because nothing else seems to be acceptable. And of course, I’ll end up catching the illness just as he recovers and will then have to battle through whilst taking care of a fully functional, rampaging three year old again. 

At what stage can you just start telling them to ‘man up’ whilst chucking over a Lemsip and some tissues?

Beachwear in Britain

We went to the beach recently. The sun was shining, Spring was in the air, my husband has a newly found fondness for the great outdoors, so off we went with toddler and dog in tow. There are a couple of beaches within an hour or so of our home in Cardiff (Barry Island doesn’t count) but we opted for Ogmore-by-the-Sea, a popular pebble and sand covered shoreline near Bridgend. It’s very pretty, but there’s nothing really there apart from the sea so you need to focus your efforts on planning around that. Beach, estuary, sea, it.

In fairness we did seem to get off to a good start, apart from needing to stop halfway there for the toilet. My 3 year old promptly demanded to pee standing up, which he’s getting pretty good at, but he ended up peeing all over his hand, my hand, and most of his clothes. I had to hold him up under the hand drier to get most of the moisture out before he’d let us leave. When we got to the beach the weather still looked beautiful, but the coastal breeze had made the temperature drop dramatically. It was freezing. Toddler was fine in his puffy coat and I was just about OK wrapping my layers around me to make up for the fact I can’t do my coat up anymore due to big baby bump. But my husband had forgotten his coat. Neither of us wanted to risk the wrath of a small child who has just got to the beach only to be told they are leaving, so my husband swallowed his anger, sucked up some courage and we headed merrily down to the shore. Via the toilet again.

Ten minutes later we were actually on the beach! For the first time in over a year! The dog celebrated this joyous moment by doing a poo on the sand. So I spent another ten minutes retracing our steps to find a bin for it, and then another ten going back down the rocks again to find my family. There they were, the two of them happily chasing each other in the waves, laughing as they ran back into the sea and then out again. This joy was also short lived. It quickly turned out that my wellies, and my husband’s, have holes in them. Then a wave came in, our son ran onto the beach to escape it, and then kept going until he reached a rock pool where he kept going until he was suddenly waist deep in ice cold water and screaming with fear and discomfort. Cue much amusement from other parents (and us to be honest) whilst we fished him out, retracted the dog from galloping through the waves and headed back to the car for his spare clothes, which I’d luckily had the foresight to pack. Warmed up and dried off, he was in a much happier mood, but flatly refused to return to the beach, ‘I want to go home!’ We’d driven for over an hour for a fifteen minute beach visit, and now had to drive the hour back with a stinking, wet, sandy hound and petulant child in the car.

So we decided to go for greasy fish and chips in the next town along, just so the outing wasn’t a total waste of time. It turned out there was a Celtic festival in Porthcawl when we got there, which seemed to consist of some Irish dancing outside a hotel and men in kilts playing bagpipes along the promenade. Obviously they decided to come and do this right by our car, just as our son fell asleep whilst my husband collected the food – which turned out to be the best fish and chips we’d ever had. I’d had the window open to alleviate the stench of damp dog, but quickly had to shut it so the caterwauling didn’t wake our tempestuous toddler too soon. It didn’t and we were safe to quickly enjoy our food on a bench overlooking the sea by ourselves before a traffic warden waved us along, and our son came to from his sleep and inhaled his sausage and chips.

Obviously he refused to go to the toilet before we left Porthcawl, and then started to announce that he needed a poo as soon as we were on the open road and away from the town. We found a petrol station with the most cramped and filthy staff toilet I’ve ever seen (and I’ve traveled through Australasia) where he squeezed out a wee but nothing more, before once again declaring that he needed a poo when we got going again. It was a relief for all of us, in more ways than one, when we got home.

My son has refused to try going back to the beach since. If he ever changes his mind I will be packing the following:

 

  • Coats for everyone
  • A spare change of clothes for adults
  • Four spare sets of clothes for child
  • Towels
  • Wellies that don’t leak
  • A blanket
  • An anti-hypothermia blanket
  • Lots of food and drink

I will not be packing the dog.

Mother’s Day

For Mother’s Day my son made me two lovely cards, and a plaster necklace. One card said he loves me because I ‘make him sausages’ so it’s good to know that the millions of other things go completely unnoticed. I’ll just focus on ‘sausages’ from now on.

We went to a 2 year old’s party in the morning and then out for lunch with my in laws, and I wore my necklace for the duration. Not because I’m one of those mothers who wants everyone to see how talented and special their kid is, but because he tells me ‘I no love you’ on a daily basis, so anything I can do to readdress that is a winner. Now I understand how my own mother became so needy and neurotic. My brother and I were obviously very mean toddlers as well.

Back to basics

I read a lot of blogs these days – not for my own pleasure though, it’s for work. As a PR manager my role involves working with high profile bloggers to secure coverage, product placement and get links to our website. It’s been amazing to see over the last year just how many people have blogs these days and how many people read them! Quite frankly it blows my mind, especially when you find out that the really big ones charge £40,000 now just for one Tweet. If only I’d started blogging properly a few years ago…. Oh, and had something to say…. And proved to be popular with it….

Anyway, reading all these blogs reminded me that I actually have several (unattended, left to grow over and rot) of my own which I’ve pretty much forgotten about. To the point that I couldn’t even remember what they were called. I stopped writing for two reasons really – firstly, that I didn’t feel that I had much to say. And second – I had a baby, and then he grew into a toddler, and I went back to work full time, and suddenly I had no time to myself. Ever. But that toddler does some hilarious things which I’d like to relay and record somehow, without boring the shit out of my colleagues, so here we are again. I’ll also be on maternity leave again soon and have a whimsical fantasy about ‘spare time’ and opportunities for writing, albeit in the early hours of the morning, so I dug out my blogs in preparation for the exciting times ahead and decided to start from scratch with this one. This does not make me a blogger though. There’s enough of them already.