HOW NOT TO HAVE A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

The general word on the street is that this here Christmas is causing an elf* of a lot of stress (*no apology for rubbish pun). Well, fear not! Like nits, Christmas has already happened in our house this year and if you DON`T do anything I did, you will have the Christmas that Hallmark movies are made of.

¨Christmas Eve¨

  1. 4:07pm: Think ¨What Would Santa Do? ¨and get overly friendly with a passing bottle of Port.IMG_4368

2.    7:26pm: Try to convince Boy 1 that due to an unexplained illness, Father Christmas` dietary requirements have now changed and only Prosecco and a chocolate version of himself will do and that Reindeer do in fact eat left over Chow Mein and Prawn Crackers.

3.    9:27pm: Send an emergency message to your Mum, as apparently Reindeer do not and will not ever eat Prawn Crackers, only carrots will do. Not Wotsits.

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4.    9:46pm: Boy 1 is finally appeased and agrees to go to bed. With you. Holding him tight. All night long. Mild panic sets in as does the Port. Try really hard to keep eyes open, this does not please and causes wails of  “He can seeeeeeeeeee, he can seeeee” Spotting the confusion in my hazy face, he elaborates “Father Christmas can see that YOU are still awake and he won’t come! Sleep Mummy, Sleeeeeeeeep. Don’t break Christmas, pleaaseeeeeee”

This delightful exchange goes on for about 37 minutes and a half.

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5.     10:31 and a half pm: Twas`the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature is stirring not even Boy 1, so you unravel yourself and promptly fall down the stairs. Which saves a whole 2o seconds, so all good.

6.      10:32pm:  Grapple around in the dark to find a pen for FC to leave a note. Only thing you can find is a rainbow crayon.

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7.      10:46PM: (Never underestimate how hard it is to write with a rainbow crayon) You bust out your ninja skills and start stealthily leaving presents under the tree

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8.    10.46pm: (Yes, really) “Mummmmmmmyyyyyyyy! YOU ARE SOOOO NOISYYYYYYYY” in-between sobs of “I can’t remember how to go to sleep, but YOU ARE SOOO NOISY, HE WILL NEVER COME! Stop throwing paper snowballs!” Note to self , to get an actual life in 2017, one which at least means your child will think you are doing something a bit off the cuff, rather than having a pretend paper snowball fight with yourself.

9.      10:47pm: Skulk upstairs and try and become friends with the angriest six year old on planet Earth. Fingers are waggled and stern reminders that if there are no presents in the morning, all 20 child fingers will be pointed at you.

¨Christmas Day¨

10.     Some time after midnight: Boy 1 is snoring, murmuring “Her, it was her..”, You peg it downstairs, wolf down a choc Santa and some carrots with a gulp of Prosecco and slouch wearily back up to your bed, not forgetting to set off the really loud singing christmas dog on your way.

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11.     12:37am: Boy 2 wakes up screaming with a very high temperature and a lot of snot. Spend quite a few hours with a wet flannel and very hot boy on your chest.

12.    04:06am: Boy 2 is asleep. As you put him into bed, you remember the freaking stockings. More stealth like stumbling ensues and you go back to bed feeling like you are bossing it.  All stations go for the big day in um.. not very long at all. Even so, you give yourself a huge smug pat on the back.

13.    04:32am: YES. Half past blinking four. In comes Boy 1 and he is smiling and excited and positively high on chocolate coins. Try to negotiate a reasonable time to open stockings and presents. Manage to get into some awful just popped out of the womb cycle of him sleeping for 3 minutes then waking howling about the injustice that is waiting, then sleeps again.

14.    05:16am: Tensions are high. You compromise and pull open a cracker with Boy 1. He turns on all the lights and reads the ¨joke¨. Laughter ensues, followed by more laughter and uncontrollable giggles. ¨Oh, Mummy. That’s soooo funny. The funniest ever! Listen!”

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You listen 9 times and then fall asleep laughing at the sweet, bright lighted irony.

15. 9:30am:  There was sleep!!! Everybody wakes up. Boy 2 has no recollection of being ill and seems to have had Duracell bunny fairy dust sprinkled over him. Paper is strewn, there’s genuine excitement at plastic tat, everyone bounds downstairs, you grab a coffee (bypassing the water and milk) and watch as there is destruction, delight and sheer unadulterated joy.  Theirs at the prezzies and yours that it is over for another year and then some!

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AN APOLOGY

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Dear Boy 1 & 2,

I just wanted to write to you both to apologise for not being “That Mum”. You know the one, the one I see  all three of us gazing at longingly, the one I’m not.

“That Mum” looks like she has just stepped out of a salon as she sashays past us with her two impeccably dressed children, speaking in a sing songy voice followed by bluebirds and sparkles. I however, am rocking the recently evicted from the jungle look. She´s nailing this, I´m not.

Space theme for Show and Tell? She’s been in touch with Tim Peake, he will land at approx 2pm to take the whole class for a quick whizz to the moon before home time, whilst you proudly present a soggy loo roll covered in glittery cling film cos´we ran out of foil, inspiration and wine.

Her house? Straight out of a shiny, coffee stain free magazine not like ours which is the stuff Channel 5 documentaries are made of.

Play dates? Minion shaped apple slices and a planned activity, none of this fighting over the Xbox and sharing a bonus fish finger that you found down the back of the sofa malarkey. I´m also pretty sure she doesn’t have to spend half of it consoling you because she invited the wrong “Max”.

Parties? She effortlessly throws together a Disney on Ice party in her bathroom and the cake is a life size Mickey Mouse rather than a poo-shaped sponge, made at 3:46am the day of the party and a peg basket instead of a piñata.

” That Mum” is the mum I thought I would be, the one I want to be when I’m growling at you both in a voice reminiscent of Chewbacca before his voice broke because we`ve lost something in the abyss that is our sticky lego filled  house, when we should have left the house 13 minutes ago.

I will never be “That Mum” but I will always be “This Mum” in my oversized knickers and three day old dry shampoo, ready to fight off dragons, ogres and sad days like a ninja, powered by the ridiculous immeasurable and unconditional wonky love I have for you two.

Thanks for your patience and for not trading me in for Match Attax cards,

love

“This Mum” x

 

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HOW TO UNLEASH YOUR INNER TEENAGER by a 36 year old

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This is a recent photo of me at my happiest.

I know, I know, you are all clamouring to know what my secret is. Well, you too can achieve the teenage angst look, complete with cap in one simple step; Move back in with your Mum! Simples.

Since September last year, I have been living at my Mum’s and it has been a learning curve (for both of us) and any surplus teenage angst I had from when I was um, actually a teenager is most definitely being used up.

So, how can you be as delightful as me?

Here are some essential changes I have made to my attitude;

1. CLOTHES – Yes, I know there’s a huge empty cupboard with clanking coat hangers, but my clothes are much happier on the floor. Preferably scrumpled and easy to reach. Don’t underestimate the ease of outfit planning when it’s all there in front of your eyes and a palm away.

2. DOORS –  I wasn’t born in a barn, but I have to leave all the doors open, at all times. Oh, unless somebody has dared express an opinion and I need to have a bit of a Slam. SLAM, SLAM, SLAM. It feels sooo good, so I’m going to do it a bit more, with a bit of a stomp mixed in too. SLAM, STOMP, SLAM, STOMP!  Feel much better now, thanks door.

3. ADVICE – Any advice given, especially if it’s extra logical and practical and really what I should probably do, will be promptly ignored, humphed at (see point 2) or argued with, It has to be MY idea, from MY head, when it suits ME. Even if that’s about 27 years later.

4. FOOD – I helped myself to some cheese, a few biscuits, a coffee,  two and a half crumpets and a yoghurt. Your point is?  To put it back after? Are you bonkers? How do I know if I’ve finished or not? I shall wait until everything  changes colour a bit and the ants come out, then I shall decide. Don’t dare intercept this process.

5. SPEAKING – I can hear you calling my name. But if I open my mouth to answer, I might be at risk of exhaustion and I need to preserve all my energy for whatsapping and looking at photos of people I don’t know on Facebook.

6. EFFORT – I made you a cup of tea. Isn’t that enough? You wanted me to take the teabag out? WHAT?!!! Some people are SOOOOOO unreasonable. (Cue, SLAM, STOMP, SLAM, STOMP.. SLAM)

7. WEATHER – I know it’s cold and raining and stormy ! Everybody was talking about it on their walls. A coat? Wellies? Umbrella? What? I shall go out in my thinnest thin clothes and call you by reversing the charges at 2.37 am when I get absolutely sodden and need a lift. OK?

 

 

 

 

p.s – A ginormous THANK YOU to my Mum for putting up with me and putting me up xxxx

 

 

 

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MOVING ON TO 2016

If I were some sort of boffin and had to produce a diagram representing 2015, it would look a bit like this;

 

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It’s a pie chart, not a bejazzled acorn…

 

But as moving on seems to have been a bit of a theme this year, I am going to wave off 2015 and gallop (possibly stumble) into 2016 with gusto. I´m not making any resolutions as I will lose the piece of paper I wrote them on, or it will be used for snot or other child sized bodily fluids. However, I think if the boys had to make my resolutions for me, they would probably go a bit like this;

  1. Chill out about punctuality; It’s so last year. It’s really ok if we turn up late for school, there’s no rush as long as we show our faces before 3pm, it’s cool.
  1. Stop pretending you’re trying to find a screwdriver in the cupboard under the stairs, we know you’re downing tubes of Smarties and scoffing Pom Bear Crisps. Come out of the cupboard and share the love.
  1. Bedtime? Playing on the Wii time limits? Forget about them; there is no need. Your world (ours) will be a better place without them.
  1. Save money by ditching the green stuff on the weekly food shop. Replace it with Kinder Surprises. (Toy and food – nutrition and pleasure -bargain!) it’s much better for our souls than veg.
  1. Stop saying No. Replace with “Yes of course!“ at all times.
  1. Embrace the small triumphs. We see how hard you try to overcome hurdles like getting into your most definitely last year´s size Your routine needs a bit of tweaking, but even if you need a bit of a rest afterwards your perseverance is admirable.
  1. Don’t beat yourself up about the effect you and Daddy separating is having on us. We are excited about having two places to live and all the (guilt presents) stress-free fun times we’re going to have with two much happier parents.
  1. Enjoy 2016 and take (add to our collection of plastic crap) each day at a time.

 

 

 

*A huge hearty thanks to everybody who contributed to the green sparkliness..

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