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Have you ever?

18 Jul
  • Gone to leave for nursery / the childminder / the grandparents and noticed rather an obvious smell coming from your littlest’s nappy, but muttered under your breath that you if you stop to change it now you’ll be horribly late, and in any case it’s probably just a very potent fart.
  • Thought to yourself that your son/daughter feels a trifle hot / is producing quite a lot of snot / generally not themselves this morning, but packed them off to school anyway, not because you have an important deadline to hit at work, but because you’ve been looking forward to this day to yourself for ages. If you don’t get this time to yourself your own mental health might be at risk, and just who on God’s earth would look after the children then?
  • Noticed a brown mark on some bedclothes where you last changed your littlest, and quickly turned over the pillow / pulled up the duvet telling yourself it was probably chocolate. You purposefully don’t check because if you did confirm it as poo you’d either have to change them (and you just don’t think you can bear to change them a-g-a-i-n, they were clean on a week ago) or if you left them, you’d be knowingly acting like an unsavoury fishwife and you just don’t think you can face having that on your conscious today.
  • Gone to heat up the leftover lasagne/mashed potato / a.n.other food stuff, noticed it smelt a bit funny (i.e. off) but told yourself you were probably mistaken, because if you have to cook another dinner from scratch the kids will certainly melt down this time, and you don’t think you can take anymore today.
  • Gone to stop yourself from flying off the hook at bedtime, and then secretly thought “Actually, if i do get angry about this now, i could use it as an excuse for no books /tv before bedtime which would mean they’d be safely tucked up in bed in under 10 minutes and i’ll be sat drinking a glass of wine within 15. “

You haven’t?


Excuse me!

2 Jun

I’ve never farted in front of my husband.

We’ve been together for 10 years. I’ve given birth in front of him. Twice.

But somehow i’ve never been able to bring myself to expel a bit of wind.

Let’s say we’ve opened up on many other fronts since having children. To be honest, there’s not an awful lot that can be kept private when little people are forever opening doors on you unexpectedly.

And i’ll burp away happily. Loud, joyous ones.

But i’d be mortified if anything ever popped out the other end. (Thankfully kids can be useful blame targets).

It’s an amusing fact. Irrational. And frequently inconvenient.

What would you never do in front of your partner?

Hello my name’s Henrietta, and I’m prejudiced

21 Apr

“an adverse judgement or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge.”

I challenge anyone to say they’re not prejudiced about something. That they never judge a book by its cover.

We all do it. Form opinions about people within 5 minutes of meeting them. What they look like, what they’re wearing, how they speak.

I remember doing an assignment on dialect prejudice at university. Everyone said to me “well of course, there isn’t really the same prejudice about accents any more”. They were wrong of course. It turns out we are just as prejudiced as we’ve always been, it’s just that we’re prejudiced against different things.

Where once RP was considered the only accent to admire, now we mock it. We assume anyone with an irish accent will be funny, those from Manchester are dishonest, and that all welsh people are, well, stupid. (The assignment said this not me).

Anyway, i digress. The point i want to make is that my ability to judge is inexcusable when it comes to a few specific things. If i find these out about somebody early doors i can’t help but mentally assign the relationship to the first base bin. Make a snap judgement that we could never be that great a friends after all.

These are:

a) They never drink
b) They are heavily committed to their church
c) They own a Nickleback or Evanescence record

I know it’s really awful of me. I am a bigot.

I have great tee-total friends. Friends who attend church every sunday. Friends that have really dodgy music taste (after all, mine can be more than a bit questionable). The difference is that they sneaked from good friend to great friend without me noticing.

I think it’s that, certainly with the first two, they just feel quite fundamental in shaping a persons life, beliefs, what they like doing, how they like to relax. I’m not saying that i worship at the altar of Rioja, but the fact that i enjoy a glass or two does say something about the kind of person i am, how i choose to spend my spare time.

I’m sorry to admit that i WILL jump to the conclusion that someone who never enjoys a drink will probably never be a truly great friend. Will i like them? Sure. Will i want to spend a lot of time socialising with them? Probably not.

Similarly, I have great respect for people who have religion and often find myself wishing i could be one of them. But i’m an atheist, at least i don’t believe in organised religion. For me, this is very defining. And of course, in my own stupid head i’m probably worried that i’ll be pressured to convert.

But maybe i’m just trying to find rationale, excuses where there are none. None good enough anyway.

As for Nickelback. i don’t really want to apologise for this one. Put simply, they suck.

Get confessing: Part two

8 Apr

As if i hadn’t divulged enough in my first month of blogging , Single Slummy Mummy (check out her site – she’s one F-O-X-Y M-A-M-A) has nominated me for for a Kreativ Blogger Award and challenged me to come clean about 7 more (intimate) things people probably don’t already know.

As if i shy away from these kinds of challenges?

Having confessed to a few parental naughties in Get Confessing! i thought i would switch the focus to the person outside the parent. Even if that person can be a little bit strange at times.
So here goes a few random morsels:

1) I can’t grate cheese without counting. I suppose what i’m saying is that i think i might have a mild form of OCD, which gets worse when i’m anxious. But numerical grating is pretty much a constant. (and if you’re interested, the magic number is 20).
2) I believe i may also have a form of “mental tourettes”. Ok, so i’ve diagnosed and labelled this myself and am probably doing real sufferers of the tourettes a disservice. In any case, the voice inside my head often says unspeakable things.
3) I have a severe phobia of apple cores. I would rather sit in a bath full of maggots than a bath with one, single apple core. Strangely, my sister has the same one.
4) I have never eaten a banana. Or custard. That’s not that strange, i met a 19 yr-old girl once who’d never tried chicken.
5) I have to wear a protective mouth guard at night because i grind my teeth. It makes me lisp and feel very old. However, if i don’t wear it i will lose my teeth, so feeling 90 is better than looking 90.
6) I have an odd yet persistent jinx with regards hospitals and thongs. If i’m ever called to an outpatient’s department i invariably miscalculate the level of attire i will (justifiably, nothing suspect here) be required to remove in order to be examined. The worst case so far saw me running on a treadmill, being filmed, while wearing a rather ill-fitting g-string.
7) I proposed to my husband. I’d been telling him for years i was never getting married, so when i had a change of heart, i realised as i’d scared him off good and proper i’d have to get down on bended knee myself. The rest is history…..

At this point i believe the protocol is to pass on the challenge to some more lovely mother (or father) types, so to some of my favourite bloggers Jo Bart, Deer Baby, Thinly spread and Peta Jo, TRUTH OR DARE??

craft and baking

31 Mar

This is a subject that bugs me a lot.

Just how much craft, baking or other happy family activities are most mothers doing with their children?

The thing is, I don’t. Well i do, sometimes. But it’s usually in short, guilty bursts.

I’m not saying i leave my kids 24/7 to roam the house while i put my feet up and eat muffins. I take them out somewhere every day – indoor play, children’s centre, playground, pub (oops, did i say that?), but when i’m in the house they’re usually either a) watching television or b) playing on their own.

I have visions in my head of all the other mums replete with “kids and hers” aprons, baking cakes, brownies, quiche as the children whoop whoop with delight and lick the leftovers from wooden spoons. That, or finger painting, play dough competitions and vegetable growing demonstrations all before lunch. (which obviously consists of said home grown and home baked food).

The thing is, I’m utterly convinced that this is what all other mothers are up to. While i’m there saying for the 50th time, and oh so innocently “You must be tired darling? How about some quiet time while mummy clears up the lunch things?” As if a) quiet time in front of the tv is a novel treat and b) he hasn’t realised yet that “clearing up” takes mummy at least an hour, and usually involves a lot of time typing on the computer.

Rationally i suspect this is probably another example of me measuring myself up against the “better mums” that i fear i’m losing out to on a daily basis, but that don’t actually exist.

The problem is that when i visit other people’s houses, there is mabel’s artwork on the kitchen wall, out comes the biscuit tin “would you like an apple scone, archie baked them with me this morning”, or there sits impressively a toddler-size car made out of boxes (believe me that has happened to me).

As i mentioned in Get Confessing, I have a sneaking suspicion that some other mums might not be being entirely honest (the biscuits are Annabel Karmel’s and the car was made by dad under duress last night).

Problem is that the rational side of my brain gets overriden by the irrational wonderings of a guilt-ridden mother.

That, and obviously having too much time on my hands to think while i put my feet up and eat muffins.

I’m letting myself go

21 Mar

Ok, so let’s consider the evidence:

  • The days i wake up and remember it’s gym morning, i think “excellent, i’ve got an excuse to wear tracksuit bottoms all day”
  • I happily wear clothes for 3 days running, regardless of the snot trails
  • I no longer differentiate bodily hair by the type of depilatory aid i use. One razor fits all
  • I buy clothing based on looseness and washability
  • I base my need to wash my hair on how much it itches
  • I’m surprised if i catch my rear view in the mirror and don’t see a VPL
  • Usually when my hands are dirty i wipe them on my clothes
  • I don’t even notice i have a tash anymore

Of course, i sense it’s more about not having the time than willingness to stop paying attention. Problem is, i’m not sure anyone else distinguishes the difference.

Get confessing!

15 Mar

The first time it happened to me was during postnatal classes with my first son. I can’t remember the exact context but i recall offering up the following piece of personal experience. “I mean, I know I’ve really lost my temper with mine” I piped up “twice I’ve even shouted at the top of my lungs for him to “just shut up”! But, haven’t we all”? Rather than the chorus of agreement I was expecting, I can still remember the deadly silence. The blank looks.

This seems to have become a bit of a theme for me. Apparently noone has left their baby on the changing table unattended while they reached to get something, I am the only person that sometimes leaves the stairgate open knowingly, and I am most certainly on my own when it comes to frequently forgetting to brush my sons’ teeth . Now either I am the worst parent on the planet, or I am the only one being honest.

When I say honest, i do mean most of the time. Even I’m guilty of sometimes trying to be the parent I wish i could be rather than the flawed one that I am. I do believe that if we were all just a little bit more honest about our flaws and stopped thinking “should” all the time, how much less guilty would we feel?

So, in the spirit of being honest, here are 5 confessions (believe me there are many more!):

1) I almost never remember to wash my sons’ hands before mealtime.

2) My children have biscuits every day, usually as a bribe to keep them quiet.

3) I have called my eldest “stupid” to his face in frustration. Twice. (For which i am thoroughly ashamed).

4) I regularly use the tv to babysit my children.

5) I’ve never looked at the salt or sugar content on food packets.

In the end, don’t we all just do what we have to to get by?

Come on, don’t leave me out in the cold, add your own confessions below. Two fingers up to Supernanny!