Mum Problems Part 3…

…continued…

Mum Problem #9

They grow up too fast…

Seriously; they never stop.

This week has been a week of milestones: Toby started nursery, Jonas has been teething, & Noah (for the first time ever) has had his hair cut short. (Excuse me while I go sob into a pillow…waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah…OK, done.)

kids grow up

It’s not like I didn’t know children grew up, got older, developed & changed – I’m not a complete idiot – but I just didn’t realise it happened so damn fast! All those people – grandmas, parents, aunties, perfect strangers – who tell you to cherish each moment, that it passes by in the blink if an eye – I used to roll my eyes at them. But now I’m ONE OF THEM! Even Jonas, with his chubby red cheeks & expanding waistline, is defying old me, taunting old me, telling old me what a fool she was . Why didn’t I believe them? Why did I scoff at them? Where has the time GONE??

I never thought about schools when we were deciding to have children. I admit it – I never even thought about them getting older! You think “let’s have a baby” but you seem to block out the realisation (or at least put it off for a long while) that these babies don’t stay babies forever! They get teeth, they learn to walk, turn on the TV & wipe their own bums (can’t say I’m not looking forward to that one though…) Children are geniuses – absolute geniuses! They learn to recognise your boundaries & push, they figure out who the softest parent is & exploit that knowledge, they learn how to lie & laugh & make you giggle when they’ve done something wrong (GENIUS!) They are funny & passionate & unstoppable, testosterone fuelled creations who need every bit of our patience & grace & wisdom & tact. & love. I love my children. I love them so much I physically don’t know what to do with myself sometimes (I won’t say the cliché “it hurts” because I’m not so sure that’s an accurate description).

Noah is due to start school this year.

Home Education is a definite option for us & something we’re seriously considering. I’m self-employed, I work from home, the idea of sending them to school fills me with dread…

I want our boys to pursue things that truly make them passionate & excited. I want them to learn at their own speed. I want them to come out of their educational experience feeling empowered & believe they can do anything. I want them to WANT to learn. I want their own curiosity to fuel their learning. I want them to finish the things they start in their own time. I want them to learn something because they are genuinely interested in learning about it or out of necessity, not because they have to fit into a category. I want them to play out & read by the river & dance in the garden & learn about the sea by going to the seaside & travel to a farm to study animals & do nature drawings & collages & learn to follow their own intuition. I want them to act out of freedom – I want them to explore this world – their world – in a safe environment, to let them make choices & make mistakes & learn from them, learn how to make the right choices & not have them penalised for sometimes making the wrong ones. I want them to learn in an environment of love & acceptance & tolerance & discipline. I want them to learn how to control themselves.

The things Noah knows now are mostly down to what he’s learnt at home. This isn’t because we wanted to force information on him, but because he’s asked about things & let his curiosity guide him. I’m sure all children are the same! He wanted to know how the rain cycle worked, what makes things fall down, how motors run, how to count to 100 – & he’s learnt & remembered most of these things because of his natural curiosity. He can do addition & has started to wonder & learn about subtraction. He loves playing eye spy & using phonics. He wants to build things out of blocks & loves what happens when they fall down. He wants to help me cook & he wants to wrestle & know how the human body works. He loves to sing – & is nearly always pitch perfect – & learns words to the songs he likes by listening to them. This is all him – all that he wants to know!

Even so, thoughts keep running through my head that scare me into thinking I’m not capable of teaching them. What’s funny is that I always had in the back of my mind that I could perhaps be a teacher one day, so what  makes me incapable of teaching my own children?

I saw a quote the other day that read “Do what you won’t regret” & since then I’ve been asking myself, what won’t I regret? Will I regret trying Home Education or giving it a go? Or will I regret sending him to school & not trying? The funny thing is, you have to opt in to school, not out, meaning the default for a child is Home Education. I’ve been pondering on that a lot over the last few days…

I can’t believe I’m even writing this right now. It only seems like it was yesterday that we were deciding to have a baby & now we’re choosing schooling options…I look at Toby, school bag in hand, & my heart aches. I can already see them headed off to university. Even my sweetie Jonas. I keep reminding myself, every day, not to take anything for granted, not to get cross so quickly, not to push them to be big boys just yet – they’ve got a heck of a lot of time to be adults. For now, I just want to let them be kids & I want to be there to experience them – every step of the way…

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They grow up too fast…

Now a song to make you all weep into your evening supper…

…to be continued…

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Mum Problems Part 2…

Continued…

Mum Problem #5

Eating.

baby food

Now this covers a whole range of topics, from putting on weight because their treats just look (& inevitably taste) so damn delicious, to never being able to eat a proper meal as all you have time to do is snack, to your snacks never being healthy ones because all you crave is a sugar high to get you through the rest of the day, to picking at their leftovers because you’ve spent the day not eating properly & now you’re STARVING, to learning how to eat like a monkey with your toes when you’re breastfeeding & I have no free hands (not really…), to getting to your dinner at goodness knows what time & realising you’re not hungry anymore. *sigh* I miss food…

Mum Problem #6

Television.

tv kids

You’re TV time is restricted until after their bedtime because, despite having paid for the TV, having set up the TV, & bought everything they watch on the TV, they consider it their property. Even the old “let’s take it in turns to watch something” still somehow forgets to include you.

Mum Problem #7

Everything is a mission.

You can never just go out. You have to have a plan. All parties must stick to the plan. If one person veers away from the plan, you must forfeit the plan & formulate a new plan. Formulating a new plan can take a long time.

You must prepare a bag – sometimes two – of all the things you will need, may need & think you need for the day. You will inevitably forget something important, e.g. your mind.

Mum Problem #8

Meals are a major pain in the badoingedie.

choice foods

If you have one child, they won’t like what you’re giving them. If you have two children, one will like what you’ve made, the other will think it’s Satan’s poop. They will throw it, refuse to eat it, tell you they hate it (even though they ate it last week & declared it was the “bestest ever”). You will beg. You will plead. You will hope & pray. You will threaten them with time out. You will put them in time out. You will give them a choice. They will choose the wrong choice. You will end up eating their dinner (see Mum Problem #5 for details…)

To be continued…

Mum Problems…

I’ve decided to do a list of mummy problems (as in parental mummy, not walking, groaning corpse). These will be listed 1 to however many I can think of, but aren’t done in order of importance. Sometimes there’ll be more than one in a post, sometimes just one lonesome giant rant of a problem – enjoy! And please, feel free to add!

Mum Problem #1

When you’re baby sucks their thumb so loudly you have to wear earplugs in order to sleep.

jonas thumb

Now this only really applies if your baby/child shares a room with you. And it’s only really doable if you have someone, AKA your spouse, to nudge you if said baby (or any other child you have) starts screaming the house down in the middle of the night.

I hate doing it, but from time to time, I have to wear ear plugs. I’ve tried a pillow over the head (my head, that is) & stuffing the duvet against my ears. I’ve tried listening to music with my earpods, but I can still here the continuous sucking noise. I’m a very light & sensitive sleeper. I hate any noise when I’m trying to sleep. Frustratingly ,I normally end up worrying that my husband won’t wake if one of the children starts to cry, or that we’ll get burgled & I won’t hear the dog barking or a door opening or the tell tale smashing of a window. I stay awake pondering random stuff which sort of defeats the object of the earplugs in the first place (because sleep is still not being had). I even lay awake & wonder if I’ve just heard a suspicious noise even though I know that’s impossible!

And then there’s the morning itchy ear-athon in which you remove the earplugs & you have to rub & rub & rub & find an earbud & scratch that itch that has suddenly sprung up from nowhere! Boo you earplugs, you unnecessary yet necessary evil!! BOO YOU!!

Mum Problem #2

Everything is a competition.

mums competing

Mum A: My child can use armbands now.
Mum B: Yeh, well mine has been out of armbands for a year.
Mum C: Really? Well mine’s never used armbands.
Mum D: My child can swim the 100metres now.
Mum E: Mine can swim 800metres.
Mum F: Mine can swim a mile.
Mum G: Mine’s going to swim the English Channel.
Mum H: Mine’s swimming the Atlantic Ocean…

And on it goes.

Ridiculous. But such an easy trap to fall into (My two boys can both use the toilet now – BOOM!)

Mum Problem #3

You become a professional worrier.

mum worries

Whats that rash? Is that seat belt tight enough? Do we have enough nappies? I think we need one more change of clothes. Are you sure that’s the right amount of Calpol? This show looks a bit scary. Are those shoes too tight? Did I give them enough vegetables? Is that a thick enough blanket? Are they warm enough? Are they too cold? Why are they crying? Do they have a fever? Should we have a schedule? Is the schedule we have working? Am I doing this right? Do they know I love them? Do they love me? Why do they keep fighting with each other? & on & on & on it goes…

Mum Problem #4

The poo.

poop

The poo, the poo, the poo, the poo, the poo. Number two. Doodoo. Jobby’s. Faeces. Caca. The shadoobie. Butt goblins. The funky monkey. Bum nuggets. Hell’s candy. Potty animals. The logs (TIIIIMMMMBER!!).

Ok, I just grossed myself out there a bit.

To be continued...

Smog Attack!

Anyone else not afraid to admit they’re a bit freaked out by this smog?

It’s like something out of a Sci-Fy movie, all this thick clouded air, folks taking it easy, not leaving their homes, faces covered with bandanas & masks. The Conspiracy Theories have already started – radioactive dust from overseas, gene mutating vapours sent by aliens to transform us all into them, mind altering gas released by the government to make us conform; I’d be surprised if someone doesn’t bring the missing MH370 plane into it at some point.

I think the problem is, that whether it’s going to kill us all or not (I keep swaying) we can see it. We’ve seen the air alter around us. We’re all watching our children breathing, fearful of coughing fits, wheezing, or the worst, an asthma attack. It might not be dangerous, but being able to see it makes any risk seem very plausible & real. It doesn’t help with the media posting pictures of people in makeshift mask contraptions & spewing scaremongering press titles (“Rise in 999 calls for breathing problems”, “The toxic truth”, “Killer smog”, “How to survive the pollution”.)

Air pollution. Level 10. A cocktail of man-made & natural pollutants. So much spiel. The medias sole initiative in the face of this is to bombard us with words evoking bad feeling & nasty connotations. Every time I turn on the TV I’m expecting to see footage akin to the Duck & Cover cartoons. They revel in the drama & the effect they can make it have on us & what’s more dramatic than an airborne death attack ?? It’s like they’re preparing us – that Deathcon Five is imminent. I admit it, as much as I think it’s ridiculous, there’s a teeny tiny, minuscule (though no less very real part of me) that’s a bit worried. Because once a niggling seed of doubt is planted, if we don’t stop it straight away it roots in & makes itself comfortable.

To be honest though, you definitely shouldn’t take my word for it; I’m weird when it comes to breathing. Maybe it’s a form of claustrophobia? If someone gets too close I fear they’ll breathe in my mouth/nose & I’ll breathe in their exerted carbon dioxide & die. Seriously. Well, slight exaggeration, but I sometimes think it. & I know it’s stupid. I know it’s not going to happen. But I still think it might. & it’s the same with this sandy air. I know it’s probably not going to hurt me – the chances are minuscule – but it doesn’t mean it couldn’t, in my mind. & even though I’m inside my home I’m still breathing in air – air that is made from outside my home. (I need to be surrounded by trees right now. Why don’t I live in a forest?? Where’s a gas mask when you need one???!)

I love the idea that once you’ve said something you can’t ever take it back – not really. Once it’s been said, it’s out in the universe for all to ponder on.

I haven’t read any conspiracy theories about aliens being in control of the smog. But I wrote it just a few paragraphs up. So now I’ve said it. & the majority of folks who read this won’t think anything of it – they’ll laugh it off as what it is, a joke. But I guarantee you, someone out there, in the back of their mind maybe or perhaps at the very forefront is thinking that it’s a possibility – that I haven’t just made it up, that I have a viable source where I got this information from. & they will search for it. & they will talk about it. & they will post it on Facebook & Twitter. & other people will see it, & voila – it’s everywhere! The media knows this. The media uses this tactic to get people talking about their stories. Everyone does it; films, TV shows, novels. No matter how ridiculous the idea, once it is said or written or shown, it’s out there (just think about Animal Planet’s Mermaid Mockumentary; they even outright stated it wasn’t real & yet people still believe it, even now.)

Someone said it so it must be true, somewhere. Someone thought it so it must have some grounding. It’s all ludicrous. After all, if I told Noah that the sea used to be pink, & that was in his thoughts & he told other people, it doesn’t make it any more true, does it? So by this theory, the smog will pass in a few days, blown away, and we’ll be left with clean(ish) tidy air again. No worries.

But then, just because the pink sea isn’t true to you or I, it doesn’t mean it’s not true to Noah. And so it is true. At least to one little boy.

Maybe the aliens really are up to something…

The future that believes… (p.s. I’m baaaaaack!)

A lot has happened since I last wrote a post.

Noah is now 4, entirely toilet trained & attending nursery.

Babu is now (almost always) referred to as Toby, has just started being potty trained, & is 3 in a few weeks time.

We have a new baby –  Jonas – who is nearly 3 months old. (I know – crazy, huh?)

I started my own business – upcycling, re-purposing & re-loving old furniture =O (Though I’m currently on Maternity Leave.)

So that’s sort of caught you up on all the major things that have been happening…

I don’t know why, today of all days, I’ve decided to come back on here. I seemed to take a long break from writing. I didn’t tell anyone – I didn’t tell myself. I didn’t even think about it; it’s wasn’t a conscious choice – I just did it. I finished my NaNoWriMo Novel (the first/second draft anyway) & just stopped writing. Maybe I needed a break. Maybe I needed new inspiration, a muse. Maybe I needed to get my head around 3 children (duh??)? Either way, I’ve just begun editing the novel again and, at the end of Chapter Two, I’ve found myself on here.

It’s odd, this need to write, this burn that comes in waves, never fully leaving but always simmering under the surface, ready at any moment to show itself & consume me, set me on fire.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like myself when I’m not writing. Maybe it’s not writing for you; maybe it’s painting, or dancing, or singing, or cycling, or building, or running, or designing, or math (though hopefully not math – please don’t say it’s math – I hate math (or should that be, math hates me??) I don’t think we can be friends if you say math…okay maybe we could, but no equations – please?) Anyway, I’m talking about the thing that you can’t forget or put aside – the thing that’s always there, even when it’s not.

I found myself coming back to it in the way I always do – in reading.

I went through one of my crazy reading periods recently, consuming every work of fiction I could get my hands on, reading one book after another, like a chain smoker only with books (Chain booker? Chain reader? Doesn’t have quite the same ring…) In the end, Ash accepted the inevitable & came home with a new book for me after every trip out to the shop – he knows me so well 😉

I think to be a writer, you have to first & foremost be a reader.

Reading: it is food; fuel; ammunition. It ignites passion in a writer. It inspires & challenges & scares us into thinking we’re running out of time – we have to write now or the moment will pass us by & we’ll never have our voice heard & we’ll end up living in regret of never pursuing our dream. I don’t want to be that person; I don’t want to be a person of regret. I don’t want my children to see their mother as someone who never chased after her dream – how will they ever run after theirs if I don’t show them the way?

As parents it’s our duty to pursue our dreams so that our children can do the same. We have to be persons of influence so that our children can do the same. We have to fight the fear & turn it around, use it to fan the flames of inspiration. We can’t give in to fear; we can’t let our children. I’m raising creative, talented, well-rounded, hilarious, passionate, hopeful, intelligent, wonderful, “we believe anything is possible”, faith-filled boys – I have to believe in myself so that they can believe in themselves. I’m doing it for me, yes. But ultimately, looking at the bigger picture & gazing at the (not so) far off horizon, I’m doing it for them.

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Food choices

So, Babu’s added eggs onto the long list of foods he won’t eat.

So that’s now …

  • Eggs
  • Fish (of any kind)
  • Mince
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Pastry
  • Butternut squash
  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Kiwi
  • Lasagne
  • Pies
  • Pizza
  • Sausage
  • Bacon

It just goes on … and on …

He will forever be living off of pasta and cheese.

I don’t know. I don’t know how you convince a two year old to eat the things that are good for him.

babies eating

Threats? (“Eat that food or Buzz Lightyear gets it!” (Note: This has never happened.)) Bribery? (“I’ll buy you a new toy!” (Note: This has also never happened.)) Choices?

Choices are what we decided to go with – got to give the little fellas some kind of control haven’t we? Otherwise they’d run mad!

A family member recently told me that as long as they’re eating something, they’re fine. Her specific words were “If he only wants to eat crisps, let him eat crisps. If he wants to only eat ice cream, let him eat ice cream.”

I don’t think I agree …

I think if Toby wants to eat some ice cream, that’s fine, but he has to eat at least some kind of vegetable first. Or at least some of his meal. Surely sweets, and treats and sweet things are a privilege and, well, a treat(!) and should be treated as such? Noah’s fine with this. Noah’s three year old mind can deal with this and has learnt to compromise – he knows he has to eat his broccoli before he gets any kind of (dare I say it?) reward.

They both have a choice – either eat your dinner and get a treat, or don’t eat your dinner and get no treat. Noah always goes for the first (give the boy a clap!) but Babu … well, he does not. He will quite happily eat nothing and scream for an hour because of the one sweet he wants but he knows he can’t have until after he’s eaten.

Still, I think we’re making progress – he ate a full plate of food last night! YEY! Lets see if there’s a repeat tonight – COME ON BABU!!

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(On the whole choices thing, I’d recommend reading “Loving Your Kids on Purpose” by Danny Silk. AWESOME!)

“Half of the people lie with their lips; the other half with their tears.”

When a child falls over, bumps his head, scratches his knee, cuts his finger, or anything along those lines, they take a moment to pause and reflect and gage the seriousness of the situation. In this moment, they turn their attention to their parent (or the closest possible guardian) and wait to see what their reaction is. Our friends children do it. I’ve seen stranger’s children do it. My kids do it. There’s that split second of “Mummy is this OK or should I be screaming right now?” Generally, their reaction will be based on ours. This is as long as it’s not a serious injury like a broken bone or a foreign object, i.e. sweetcorn, stuffed up a nose. Panic is then acceptable and somewhat welcomed.

Our boys know that I’m worse than daddy when it comes to this type of stuff. If they fall that  initial *gasp* that I illicit (quite involuntarily I might add) tells them all they need to know – “I’m about to get a bucket load of attention right now.” Or to put it more candidly, “I’m going to milk this!”

The thing is, I can’t blame them or any other child who does it; (I know it’s naughty to admit this) but it isn’t quite limited to just children is it? If we’re honest, isn’t there the teeniest part of us that, when we stub our toe, burn our hand, fall, slip, cut ourselves, or bang our head, milks it a little bit too? We make out that it’s a bit worse than it actually is? Just a little? You know, to get that cup of coffee you thought you were going to have to get yourself? To put your feet up? To gain control of the remote? Come on, you must know what I’m talking about? That over-exaggerated, “Oh I’m dying, I’m dying!”, “It’s Man Flu!” type thing we sometimes do? Men do it – where do you think the term ‘Man Flu’ came from in the first place? Women do it – time of the month, perhaps? It’s that inner spoilt, Veruca Salt, whiny, “Give it to me – I want it now” voice that screams inside us whenever we have an opportunity to ‘invest’ in something that’s happened to us. As humans, we grasp onto every situation offered to us in order for some selfish gain; right?

No? Just me then. Well, this is awkward.

But it’s like that inner child POPS it’s little head up, waves cheekily, I give in for a second (“Honey, can you make me a coffee?” *Bats eyelids*), and it disappears again until the next ‘incident’, as though nothing ever happened. That Devil on my shoulder. That ghost in my closet.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not a huge deal; I don’t do it every time I hurt myself/am hurt (because 1. that would pretty much be all the time, and 2. ultimately, that would be outright lying and overtly manipulative. Because it’s not intended; not really. But it always, somehow, turns out that way.). It’s just sometimes, little Nina wants to get a word in. Don’t worry – I’m not a socio-path or anything. I don’t spend my days waiting for the next opportunity to come knocking; it’s just a normal thing every person faces at some point or another. If I were a socio-path I’m pretty sure everyone on the planet would be too. Including my boys.

“Mummy, me hurt.” *puppy dog eyes*

“Oh no!” *gives big cuddle*

“Me want sweetie now.” (Even though I’ve already said no fifty times that day. But now I have to make him feel better.)

“OK.”

We’re so naive. We’re all so conniving.

Still, as H.G. Wells said, “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” And so I will endeavour to stand, and not give in to my baser urges. And teach my children not to as well. It’s just so hard not to shout a little louder than necessary when I stub my toe … but I’ll try; I’ll try.

Sprained

Last week I sprained my ankle. It hurt; a lot.

That was the first day in eighteen days that I hadn’t done any ‘real’ exercise. I’m currently doing two hours of exercise a day and have cut out all sweets, cake, crisps, ice cream, chocolate, bread (though for health reasons more than anything else as it makes me poorly) and sugary drinks. So pretty much all sugar. I’m now on day twenty-five. You may wonder what this has to do with a sprained ankle. Well, let me tell you, when you’re in pain and there’s no chocolate on offer, it’s a hard slog.

I spent all week trying to hobble around my home, vacuuming and tidying, almost crying with pain. Why, you ask? Why when you were in so much pain, didn’t you just leave all the house work and take a break? The answer? I have no clue.

Initially I’d say it”s an instinct to fight back; if my body says it can’t do something , I’ll test those limits.

But overall, I’d say it’s something about being a woman – a mother – I think. The inordinate desire to get things done even when we know we should be sat down with our feet up, resting. The problem is, if I stop, the rest of the world doesn’t. Or rather, my boys don’t.

Babu will still throw his blueberry porridge across the living room; Noah will still open every toy box and tip them out and Babu will push said emptied toys under the sofas; Babu will still pour juice on himself and pretend he’s a waterfall. They will still produce mounds of washing up, dirty clothes and pooey nappies. They will still want throwing in the air, they will still want chasing, they will still want to go to the park. They don’t stop just because I need to every once and a while. Parenthood doesn’t work that way.

There’s something about not being well – maybe the requirement of sitting still for a few moments a day – that makes you take notice of the things around you; all the dust and crumbs and areas you haven’t been able to reach with the vacuum cleaner. When was the last time I dusted? you ask yourself. I wonder if we’ve got any window cleaner solution? The T.V. set has sticky hand prints all over it – it won’t hurt to give it a wipe. And before you know it, you’ve scrubbed your toilet and have the rug hung up on the washing line out back whilst you beat it clean with a broom. And the ankle’s worse than ever.

When will we learn, parents, that rest is a good thing? Maybe when our children are grown up and have their own families. But then there’s the grandchildren. And the great grandchildren. I’m getting tired just thinking about it.

(On a (pretty awesome) side note, my ankle got prayed for at a church meeting and was completely healed; so much so that I even did Zumba the day after! Yey!)

Hide and Seek

It’s an unsettling thought when you realise you have no control over your children. It’s even more unsettling when you realise you NEVER did.

Noah wasn’t an adventurous baby. Sure, he ‘d climb on the sofa and fall head first off of it sometimes, but what little boy hasn’t done that?? Babu is the complete opposite. He climbs on EVERYTHING. The table, chairs, sofas, stairs, window sills – you name it, he’s been on it.

They say older siblings influence the younger. I’m not so sure. Noah’s recently started to do some very unsettling things. Like standing on the arm of the sofa and attempting to jump off. Or jumping up and down on top of his piano. Or running off when we take him out. I’ve found him stood on top of the toilet seat; he’s learnt how to climb into the bath by himself. Most of these things, his baby brother does.

Babu kicks, slaps, tantrums. Noah never did. Until now. Now it’s like they’re a relay team – when one has reached his limit, he passes the torch on and his brother picks up the challenge.

It’s hard not to lose it sometimes. And by ‘it’ I mean my mind. And by ‘it’ I mean anything the boys choose to hide. Because, lets face it, they now hide everything. The remote, food (I found a huge pile of sweetcorn stuffed down the side of the sofa cushion), clothes (mainly when I’m trying to dress Tobias) and today, for Noah, it was my house key.

Ash is currently away on a works trip, and so I only have my key. I’ve taken to keeping it off of my keyring so I can store it in my purse and save room in my bag. The trouble is, we leave it lying around sometimes, generally on the bottom step of the staircase so we can make a quick getaway if necessary. And Noah loves playing with it.

Up until now, I’ve never minded.

He puts it in the lock, unlocks the door and then locks it again. He takes the key out and then repeats the process. He’s never touched it unless one of us is with him. He always asked permission to play with it – generally when we’re on our way out.

Until today.

Today I couldn’t find my key – anywhere. And so I asked my handy little helper where it was (as he always knows.) He led me to the bottom of the staircase, which confused me as I knew it wasn’t there. And then, to my horror, he opened the letterbox and pointed outside at which point I heard a clatter of metal as my key fell out of the letterbox and on to the steps outside. *gasp, horror* Please let me have my back door key – PLEASE! Luckily, I did. *phew*

I raced around the back of the house, thanking God that I’d noticed then and not after the postman had been and retrieved the key. I was suitably angry with Noah but mainly with myself, for leaving the key in the possession of an almost three year old, in the first place.

This is a learning curve.

I think it’s time the key goes back on the keyring and hung up with the others, don’t you? Next time, who knows?? It could be him flying out the front door instead of the key! Scary thought …

See, even after almost three years, I’m still learning.

“I am not an angel [..] and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself.” Jane Eyre

It seems as though Noah has spent the last half hour building a tower in the middle of the living room floor using the cushions from the sofa. All of them.

I wonder whether, if I crawled under it, I could pass off as being ‘playful mummy’ and not simply ‘nearly unconscious mummy’?

I wonder whether, if I go to sleep on the sofa, he’ll play nicely and watch Little Einstein’s or in fact power bomb on top of me and scream about unwanted episodes in my ear? Or just plain wreck my house?

I wonder if Babu will wake up from his nap as soon as I close my eyes?

I wonder if thinking all of these things makes me a bad mother, or whether in fact every mother fights these thoughts, and gets to the dreaded 3pm slot and wonders whether she’s going to make it til bed time?

So far today, I’ve washed and dried up – twice. The first time being the stuff I couldn’t be bothered doing last night. The second lot from breakfast and lunch. As soon as I woke, I came downstairs, put Babu up for his first nap and did an hour of Zumba on the Wii followed by 15 minutes of my usual half hour of morning sit ups (I’ll do the rest later.) I’ve done two loads of washing and drying. I’ve tidied the living room numerous times. I’ve read a little, drawn a little, painted a little, wrestled a lot. Done some dancing, singing; played hide and seek. I’ve de-wedgied Noah and wiped Babu’s pooey butt. I’ve broken up fights, dealt with timeouts, cooked, scrubbed, tickled, vacuumed, eaten a banana and, later, a ham salad.

I am very satisfied.

I am very flawed.

I am very tired.

I wonder if Noah fancies a nap?