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…

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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!!

photo (1)

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

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!)

“Very very sneaky, Sir …”

Today I ate a sneaky scone. By that I mean, I hid in the alcove in our kitchen and scoffed it while I watched the boys through the living room window playing with their trucks.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; why are you hiding the fact that you’re eating from your children you crazy lunatic? (Delete insults where applicable.)

Well, you’ll have to let me explain.

Today, for my breakfast I had a big bowl of mixed fruit. The boys had similar smaller bowls each, fruit toast, cereal and yoghurt. I prepared my fruit while they were eating theirs. By the time I sat down to eat it however, they’d finished theirs, and we’re ready for seconds, i.e. mine. So after they’d polished off my breakfast, we resumed our normal day, myself getting significantly weaker as the day progressed and not knowing why, forgetting that I hadn’t eaten anything, let alone had a drink. Lunch time was the same. The boys opted for pie, peas, bread and butter (I rolled with it, opting for a jacket potato for myself.) Again, as you can probably guess, the same thing happened. That meant by 4pm I had hardly eaten anything. I tried snacks throughout – raisins, crackers, oranges. This ended when I took Noah to the toilet and came back to find that Babu had climbed up on the sofa and eaten my orange. Later it was my apple. Sad sad day.

(Except for that face – who can resist that face (even if he has got his grubby little hands all over my gorgeous, bright green crispy Granny Smith Apple.))

When you become a parent, at some point you have to come to the inevitable conclusion that, when your children are near, you will never eat a full meal, all to yourself, ever again; not until they’re at least moved out and have their own children. And even then you’ll have to deal with the harsh reality that your grandchildren will nick your dinner too. Ah, so goes the circle of life.

Now that’s OK. I don’t actually mind sharing with my boys. I’ve faced up to the fact that I’ll never eat in peace again (EVER!); I did that a long time ago, right around the time I was breastfeeding and either had to stab one pea at a time with my fork from a plate balanced on the opposite knee to the one my little cherub was resting on, happily suckling away, oblivious to my dilemma, or have Ash feed me mouthfuls from the seat next to me when the kiddies got too big for my plate-baby juggling act.

And so, please do not begrudge me this need for a thing that is my very own, to savour and enjoy (however sneakily) in my kitchen, in my little alcove. It was delicious, they’ll never know, and I was at the time preparing a risotto for their dinner. So no harm done. Except maybe to my waistline.

And anyway, I’m sure you’ve done the same, or at the very least thought about it. And if you haven’t, I suggest that you do. Who knows when you’ll next get to eat?

It IS a big deal!

Ash and I can’t remember what we used to do with our time before we had the boys.

Nowadays, it’s a strict routine. Up – breakfast; 12pm – lunch; 5pm – dinner; 5.45pm – bath; 6.30pm – bed.

Who would have guessed that having children didn’t actual mean that you would instantly qualify for a ‘yummy mummy’ title but instead, that your entire life would begin to revolve around meal times, and as such, your rapidly expanding waistline??

These days, the majority of our conversations go something like this;

-“What do you want for dinner?”
-“I don’t know, you decide.”

-“Toby just did a giant poo – did you see it?
-“No.”
-“Have a look.”
-“Ok.”

-“Are you ok?”
-“Yeh, just a bit tired.”

-“What do you want for lunch?”
-“I don’t know, you decide.”

-“Noah wet himself today.”
-“Oh dear. What’s for dinner?”

You get the general idea …

Food is such a big deal in our house. When we eat is a big factor. If we miss a meal time and feed the boys a little bit later, they’re hysterical. They’re also unlikely to eat their meals later in the day. To them, we are evil food holding monsters. If we’re early with a meal they’re even more hungry than normal. And that’s a lot. This means that snacks are a huge deal too.

We all have weird food habits.

Ash loves yoghurt. He would quite happily sit down to a 500g tub of Greek yoghurt with a few swirls or honey in it and eat it in one sitting. And then do the same later on that day as well.

Babu, in turn, is yoghurt obsessed.

We once went to a friends for lunch and he proceeded to eat his meal and then six – I repeat – SIX yoghurts in a row. And then he wanted more. Which we wouldn’t give him due to fear of vomitage, and, well, the other thing …

Ash will eat bread with anything. Take for example, the risotto we made the other night. A beautiful chicken and butternut squash risotto. Which he ended up eating with bread. Like a sandwich.

The boys have picked up this habit too. God forbid we give them a bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese and forget that oh so important slice of bread and butter.

I love fruit. Any fruit. I will eat and eat and eat and eat. There’s no stopping me. I can eat a punnet of grapes, a bag of Clementine’s and various other fruity goodies without batting an eyelid.

The boys have followed my lead in this area. They have blackberries as their treat. Cherries too. Raspberries, grapes, kiwi, banana; you name it, they eat it. Toby will eat an orange and a tub of blueberries before you can get a look in; Noah, the same.

I’m so glad my fridge isn’t down on the ground.

Their food habits got me thinking about my own.

I can only use certain spoons and forks to eat with. (In our house that is. I’m not some crazy weirdo who carries a set around inside her purse.) Knives, I’m not too fussed about. Unless they don’t match. My knives and forks always have to match – always. Who knows what will happen if they don’t? The food might not taste as good, I could get poisoned – the world may collapse. You don’t know.

This is my dads fault. He’s particular too. Very much so. He’s the guy’s who won’t let you share his bottle of pop (or if he does, wipes it very carefully before he takes another swig) and opens the car windows when it’s below freezing outside because someone sneezed.

Now I’m not saying it’s a bad thing; I happen to like my little peculiarities; if I didn’t, I wouldn’t do them. But I have to be careful. Because today the boys are copying my fruit addiction and Ash’s love for bread. Tomorrow it could be chocolate. The day after that, my (not so) secret love of country music and Ash’s ‘Billy Joel taste’. The day after that, my arachnophobia and Ash’s fear of rodents.

As good old Barbara Streisand sings it, ‘Children will listen’. And watch. And copy. And learn.

“The boss don’t mind sometimes if ya act like a fool …”

So, last night I got one of those strange women urges to start cleaning everything. You know the one, where you tidy a shelf and end up bleaching the entire street.

Last night, it happened in the car.

Every time it comes to cleaning out the car, we same the same thing – “The boys will never eat in here again!” We find mouldy nectarine stones shoved under their car seats, fuzzy lollipop sticks (how is that even possible?) and you don’t want to know what else.

We arrived home from having dinner out at the boys bed time which meant everything had to be done with a certain amount of caution in case we set one of them off crying – when you have children, you get a rude awakening into how fragile a child can be when it comes to them being tired. Tobias sat, bloodshot eyes, staring into space, clutching a book and an empty diet coke bottle I’d given him to entertain him during the journey. Noah was hugging his blanket and had my scarf across his lap in order (according to him) to keep him warm, despite the scorching temperature in our car. He was also staring into space.

We started unpacking the pushchair, baby bag, etc. when I came across the diet coke bottle on the front seat which Babu had obviously launched  in a rage at being left second to the pushchair. I took it to our bin, and returned to the car. I glanced into the little side pocket of my door and noticed a couple of receipts, so decided to get rid of them while Ash started unstrapping the boys. I went back again and noticed something sticking out from under Noah’s seat. I reached in and pulled it out; my hand smushed into a sticky, furry lollipop stick. Urgh. It was then that the switch turned on in my head, and I began my woman hunt for more rubbish.

Ash always says that, when it comes to the car, I’m messier than him. Yesterday, I proved that this was not true.

My side pocket, like I said earlier, had a few receipts in it. Ash’s had receipts, chocolate wrappers, orange peal and a light bulb. Yes, that’s right folks; a light bulb. There are no words.

The cup holder section in between our seats was disgusting. The boys had clearly eaten various things over the last week of so, and whatever was left over we’d just popped in there, clicked the lid shut thinking we’d dispose of it later and forgotten all about it. Yesterday, I got a very cruel reminder. I believe I physically gipped. Yack.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I constantly lose my coats. I found three in the car yesterday. One next the boys on the middle back seat, one in the boot, and one stuffed under the drivers seat. I found Tobias’s missing hat. I found Noah’s missing tie. I found empty wrappers, sticky sweets, a squashed orange … I found, I found, I found; I binned, I binned, I binned.

I wouldn’t mind, but it’s not long since I last did it!

Next task is to vacuum it. That is, when we buy a new hoover. Henry has died, gone from this world to rest in (an extremely clean (carpeted)) heavenly dust-free realm. The funeral was beautiful. My floor is not.

Things you might like to know …

Ok, so I’ve missed a few days of blogging due to an inability to access my site (?) and various ailments like migraines and the need to shower, so I figured I’d share a few interesting facts about myself (and a few about our little family) that you may like to know.

1. I’m currently on the Slimming World diet. I’ve lost around 1st 7lb’s at the moment. Or I should say HAD. I’ve put on around half of that in the last few weeks. I’m at a total loss as to why – all I’ve done is eat Ben and Jerry’s every other night for the past month and not stuck to the diet whatsoever. Will this mystery ever be solved?

2. If eating Skittles (which is a rare occurrence these days (as I’m not thirteen anymore)) I eat them in a certain colour formation (forget the earlier parenthesis as this DOES make me look thirteen). Ok, here goes: yellow (least favourite), orange (boring), green (getting tastier), and then either red or purple, depending on how daring I’m feeling on that particular day. Red is a daring day.

3. I’m afraid of fish skin. And scales. (Not of the weighing variety, but those that form the outer shell of a fish. Urgh.)

4. I used to drink incredibly strong, sweet caffeinated black coffee. Since having the boys though, the thought of this turns my stomach and so I now only drink weak, unsweetened, decaffeinated milky coffee. I am a puzzle unto myself.

5. We go to church. We’re not weird. But we go to church. And we love it.

6. My favourite days of the week are Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, because Ash is home on those days.

7. I’ve seen the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice well over one hundred times and I’m still not bored of it.

8. Ash’s middle names are Joseph Iain. When said fast they sounds like Josephine. *giggles ensue*

9. If I eat crumpets, I have to butter both sides.

10. I hate talking on the phone. If you call me and I don’t answer, nine times out of ten I’m watching it ring next to my hand, waiting for a voicemail. I’ll then text you back later. This isn’t because I hate you. This is because I hate talking on the phone.

11. Babu currently has no spacial awareness. He’s smacked his head on the breakfast bar in the kitchen at least three times today. If he’s walking towards you and you walk towards him he falls backwards because he think you’re closer than you are.

12. When it comes to geography I’m totally clueless. If it came to it, I couldn’t point Spain out on a map. If it came to it, I’d probably struggle to point Britain out on a map.

13. Ash is a wiz at Geography.

14. If Google wasn’t around I think I’d die; I think a lot of people would.

15. I’m writing a novel.

16. If anyone asks me what my favourite movie is, I want to slap them. (This also applies to books and food.) I don’t know what my favourite movie is; there are too many. Stop asking me. You’re causing me hours, if not days of agonising trying to work it out. And I still haven’t. I’m twenty-four years old and I don’t have a favourite movie. It stresses me out and makes me feel sub-human. Does anybody know what their favourite film is? Or do they just say they do in order to appear superior? I don’t know. Because I don’t have one. This makes me sad.

17. I think that reading old books is like greeting old friends. Reading new books is like making new ones. I would read constantly if I could.

18. My nickname in school was Parsnip-Persnip-Personage-DWB (Deadly Wicked Bananas) – I forget why.

19. I’m addicted to chocolate. I’m currently trying to detox my body so it doesn’t crave it anymore. It would probably help if I hadn’t eaten a piece of Toblerone at 10am this morning. Whoops.

20. We’ve just found out we’ve got a mouse infestation in our kitchen. I had to go buy a trap today. I like mice; I don’t however like them in my kitchen.

21. Ash times how long his tea brews for. He hovers over anyone who is making him a cup of tea. He pulls faces if his tea’s not perfect.

22. I’ve recently discovered I’m pretty good at painting. ‘Old dog, new tricks’ and all that …

(By the way, some of these images aren’t mine … just in case you think I’m stealing or anything … =P)

Who’s been eating my porridge?!

When I eat (any food, whether the boys like it or not) this is what I see;

Tobias’s word for food is ‘Ma’. He will literally scream it until you put something in his mouth. He will scream, he will whine, he will shove his hands into your bowl/onto your plate; “Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma!”.

Noah’s more diplomatic; he punctuates Toby’s cries with manipulative cajoles – “Just one mummy”, “Just one more mummy”, “Just a tiny bit”, “Just a little bit”, “Last one,” “Last time”, “Pleeeeeaaaaaaase mummy *sad eyes*”.

Needless to say, since having the boys there’s generally always a ‘rumbly in my tumbly’ (said in the voice of Winnie the Pooh *sings* “A Pooh bear takes care of his tummy …!”)

There is no rumbly in my boys tumbly’s … it’s full of my breakfast. And lunch. And dinner.

Food, glorious food!

So, out of all the utensils Tobias can use, his favourite is his spoon. I don’t know whether this is because he associates it with sweet things like yoghurt, or just because he likes the feel of it in his mouth, but either way he loves it. He’s not too happy when it won’t stab in to his broccoli though. Or when the yoghurt runs out. So yeah, I think it’s the sweet stuff he loves.

I have seriously never seen a baby eat as much as he does. He will eat his dinner, and then have seconds. And then eat Noah’s leftovers. And then have dessert. And then an hour later want a snack.

This boy likes his food …

 

Egg and Soldiers

Never do I feel more mummy-like than when I’m making jam sandwiches. I don’t even remember having jam sandwiches as a kid, but for some reason they’re intrinsically linked to childhood; something about the cut off crusts, soft white bread and sticky fingers. Our boys love them.

There’s something about food that resonates certain memories within us as we grow up. My mum gave Noah a boiled egg and soldiers the other day in the same egg cup I used as a little girl. But it wasn’t the egg cup that took me back to my youth, rather the food itself; something in the name – egg and soldiers. It just makes me feel all sentimental. The same with Fish Fingers (I never liked them much; my parents persisted in giving them to me though. Another childhood thing, being pressured into eating meals you didn’t really want or like, but that you forced yourself to eat due to the promise of pudding afterwards.)

Mmm, pudding. *cracks open a tub of Ben and Jerry’s* Now that I like. And I didn’t need to eat any manky breaded fish to get it!