Sunday, 27 February 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

The Husband often talks about how the kids have inherited both the very best of us and the very worst of us. Obviously the worst being mainly from him, but I like to play along by suggesting that The Tweenager gets his stubbornness from me and, erm, perhaps The Toddler's self-centredness might be a teenie bit me too.

But I have to admit that The Tomboy's not so favourable characteristic seems to be definitely me, without a doubt. You see when I was little I had a short stint in hospital because I kept wetting myself. I was five. This was much to the horror of my mother (whose pride probably ended there) although still to this day she reckons I was potty trained at six months.
Anyway, The Tomboy will not ever never go for a wee. In the way that a camel can store water, The Tomboy can store wee for days and days. Just in case she is stranded in a desert and needs an emergency drink perhaps. Apparently the kidneys of the camel are very efficient at retaining water too and urine comes out gloopy. Which is interesting because when The Tomboy does eventually do a wee, it resembles a thick syrup.

In the morning when everybody in the world heads immediately for the toilet, The Tomboy insists that she does not need a wee. This enrages The Husband, not because she doesn't do anything, but because I ask and ask and ask "Has she done a wee yet? Has she done a wee?"
Normal practice is for me to drop her at school without so much as a tiny tinkle.
When I pick her up at 3.15pm, The Tomboy is always looking rather peaky but strangely seems to be quite vigorous in her movements. I say "Did you do a wee today? Do you need a wee?" and she always shakes her head.
At home, the dancing continues and she often sits funny on a chair. Anyone can tell that she is just bursting for a wee and yet she makes no move towards the bathroom.
At about 4.30pm, usually when I want her to switch off the telly and do a bit of homework, she will shriek "I need a wee!!! I need a wee!!!" at which point she dashes to the loo as if her life depends on it. And it probably does.

I have talked and questioned and even threatened The Tomboy. I have told her that if she doesn't do a wee then she will have to go to hospital like mummy did. I have explained that if she holds it in then her tummy will likely explode. None of this is making any difference.

I don't think she is ill. I think it is pretty much the same reason why I ended up in hospital for bladder checks at age five. The hospital were very quick to discover that my wetting was down to the fact that I just couldn't be bothered to go for a wee. The Husband reckons my laziness obviously started then from childhood and unfortunately The Tomboy is heading the same way. And that's certainly not in the direction of the toilet.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Talk

The Husband has introduced something more scarier than the special love. It is worthy of a Stephen King type title so I have called it The Talk. It is when he catches me unawares and starts quizzing me about what I am doing in life, when am I getting a job and what the hell am I spending his money on.

The Husband is not interested in excuses. He says he deals in fact not fiction. He does not see that it is hard enough just being me. He cares not for my blog. The Husband can sometimes be a w**ker.

The Talk always comes when I least expect it. Like when I am just about to dry my hair or put a coffee on. And most often when I am sending a text. The Talk always starts the same way. The Husband's tone is softly softly as he says "So have you been thinking about getting a job?". At which point I feel a shiver pass over me and realise there is no way to escape, and believe me, I have tried. Even the special love does not trump The Talk.

Oh The Husband is good, he is very good. He should have been a lawyer in the OJ Simpson case. He can find faults and loopholes in every sentence I say. So much so that the kids are even thinking that I should go back to work. And damn that survey in America that said your children are not effected by a mother who works.

The Talk almost always ends in tears as I have been questioned and argued with and cross-examined within an inch of my life. My tears are tears of gratitude that it is over. I am a victim of The Talk Syndrome, which resembles Stockholm Syndrome in that I am in love with my Captor and express positive feelings towards him that are so crazy in light of the trauma he has put me through. When he is not giving me The Talk, I mistake his lack of pressure as an act of kindness.

Unfortunately The Talk is here to stay. Until I sort my life out or get divorced. In the meantime, does anyone know of a support group for victims of The Talk?

Sunday, 20 February 2011

When Parental Controls Are Needed

I have been loving The Tweenager lately. For about a week he has been my favourite. Which doesn't happen very often. No I haven't had a lobotomy, we have just been bonding for once. It's totally to do with the fact that his gangsta attitude is laying dormant and he has been sweet & funny & cuddly. He has let me kiss him, count his freckles and hold his hand. And I've been loving it and savouring it because he is nearly 8 so it's probably the last time that I will ever have this time with him.

His change in behaviour is all down to a game on my laptop called Bin Weevils. Bin Weevils is a kids online virtual game where you can create your own virtual pet, play games and chat to friends. Now I know I am pretty much anti computer games but this is, at least, semi educational and it gives me two hours a day peace. Plus if The Tweenager gets his daily fix, he rewards me with love. I even earned extra Tweenager points by buying him a card in Sainsburys which lets him get into extra rooms. It was a fiver but it's cheaper than the thousands it will cost me in future therapy otherwise.

So it's all been going swimmingly - that is, until today. The Tweenager counts the seconds until 9.30am when he is allowed on Bin Weevils for an hour. However this morning he was unable to log on. His account, we've been informed, has been permanently blocked due to bad behaviour. Neither of us could understand this. It's not like he's been playing Call Of Duty. I said to him what could this mean to which he shrugged his shoulders. There then unravelled a series of revelations that's worthy of a Miss Marple episode.
9.30am: The Tweenager denies all knowledge
9.37am: The Tweenager tells me that he can type in words so the Bin Weevil grows a speech bubble and appears to speak these words
9.46am: The Tweenager mentions that his friend may have suggested they type in something not appropriate
9.53am: The Tweenager admits that his friend told him a few naughty words
10.01am: The Tweenager reveals that his friend told him some swear words and The Tweenager typed these words in for his Bin Weevil to speak.

I'm unsure what to do as I've already written a cross email to Mr Bin Weevil complaining that my son's account has been blocked and I look like an idiot now. Plus I'm going to have to exercise some kind of punishment by banning all computer access for the next 24hours. Which means I don't get to watch crap telly while he plays games. And I can't get hold of The Husband to transfer the role of Disciplining Parent onto him.

It appears The Tweenager's gangsta attitude hasn't been dormant after all.
It maybe hasn't been directed at me, but it's certainly been appearing online.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Good Friends/Bad Friends

So I've been wanting to write about friendship for a while now. My aunty said to me that the friends you meet through your children are the very best you will ever make. To a point she is right and there is nothing like meeting a fellow Mum who shares your views on parenting, afternoon drinking and the importance of ignoring. However the draw of having babies at the same time or children in the same class is very dangerous. We take ages to choose a house, buy a car, even decide to have children but we jump into friendships so quickly just because our kids get along.

I am lucky that I haven't made too many mistakes but I've heard the stories. I have experienced a friend who made me feel crap about my children by being ultra competitive. I know my kids are a bit rubbish but I don't need reminding of it on a daily basis. I've also been sucked into a relationship where I had nothing in common with the mum but our kids wanted to be with each other all the time, despite their parents having nothing to talk about. There was even a friend who was so bitchy about everyone including their children that I had to wonder what she was saying about me. The only person allowed to slag off my kids is me after all.

The up side is that in ante-natal and the playground, you are bound to meet lifelong friends who are at the exact same point in their lives and who understand you, especially on the bad days. And if your kids get along it's bonus. We all had a life before we had children and the friends that are more than just mothers are great. The best times I have had is when our kids are in bed and the adult time is fun fun fun. It recharges my batteries and reminds me that I too can flirt, be hilarious and have my own identity. Albeit with a corker of a hangover.

My old friendships have definitely changed since I had kids. Some of my best buddies live in London and most of them don't have children. I'm sure they have observed the toll having children has had on me. I don't go to gigs anymore, don't go clubbing and if they suggest I visit them I'm like "Yeah let's stay in and watch a movie and chill". I'm not surprised they're in no hurry to hang out with me, especially when the alternative is VIP passes to The Black Eyed Peas with promise of the aftershow party packed with celebs. They love me still I'm sure, but they think I'm boring.
So I tend to see my local mates who have children and understand that I have to get up at 7am the next morning to switch on Thomas The Tank for The Toddler.

Please let me have your comments and stories of good mates gone bad that you have met through your children. People who you have befriended who have turned out to be scary. Especially if I was that nightmare friend.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Me, Myself and I

I've been blogging for nearly a year now and I'm almost at my 100th blog. So it's time to share a few things you don't know about me. Or rather, five facts that you might be better off not knowing:

1) I would rather give birth than do arts and craft.
2) Bad habits include ignoring The Toddler screaming so I can update my Facebook status.
3) I am the second funniest person The Husband has ever met even though every time I do an accent it sounds like American.
4) After moaning that I want a dog for two years, I now have one but it's really starting to get on my nerves. Same applies to my children.
5) I am considering abandoning my family to go on a major bender.

If you're still reading, then thanks for your support x

Monday, 14 February 2011

When I'm Not There But You Can Hear Me Speak

Every now and again something happens which makes me realise that my kids do actually listen occasionally. My efforts are not, as I thought, in vain.
On Saturday mornings, The Husband takes the three of them to swimming and I walk The Dog. I definitely have the best deal by the way, because now I have my iPhone, I can facebook and text and have peace&quiet whilst enjoying my doggy. The Husband, unfortunately, has so pulled the Saturday short straw, but I still spend a great amount of time convincing him that it is he, in fact, who has the best deal. There is no fox poo at swimming, is there?
Anyway, I always get The Husband to take a snack for the kids to eat after swimming because they are always starving even though they have had two pain au chocolats, a brioche and bacon sandwich before leaving the house. It was one of those weeks where I had done naff all apart from piss around with my mates so the cupboards were pretty bear. All I had were some six month old Ritz crackers which I shoved in the swim bag.
On arriving back, The Husband, looking a bit worse for wear, relayed what had just happened.
The kids had got into the car after swimming and screamed "Daddeeeeee we're hung-reyyy" at which point The Husband produced the crappy snack. The Tweenager, obviously on the brink of starvation, mistook his snack for an Oreo and shoved it in his mouth, throwing the foil wrapper to join the toxic waste on the car floor.
"YUCK!!!" he exclaimed in disgust. "What is this! I don't like it!!!"
"Oh give it here then" said The Husband, expecting The Tweenager to hand back half a cracker.
As he reached his hand round the back of the seat, The Tweenager promptly spat the contents of his mouth into The Husband's palm.
Now The Husband doesn't deal very well with kid gloop. He more-than-likely swore under his breath. His reaction was to throw the saliva/cracker mixture out of the window immediately.
"Oh no!" said The Tomboy, "You mustn't litter."
"It's bad for the planet" said The Tweenager, "You are not setting a good example."
"Birds can die" said The Tomboy.

Ah and that is the magic of motherhood. I was talking and I wasn't even there.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Cause & Effect

So I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks because I've actually been dealing with my life i.e. living in reality instead of hiding behind my computer screen. Can you believe it, even though it's pretty surreal, but I have been being a Good Mum. My children have needed some attention and that's what I have been doing with my time. I think it's like a Leap Year - doesn't happen very often but when it does it's quite nice to have something different occur.

This good behaviour on my part though, has been tainted with the usual haphazards of my daily life. Good Mum Behaviour comes at a cost - when something good happens, something bad has to happen to balance out the Parenting Cosmic Universe or something like that. Parenting Karma, that's it. It's as simple as cause and effect. Everytime I put out some Good Parenting vibes, my universe has to balance itself out by dealing me some crap.

For example, whilst I have been giving my children love and attention, the following has happened:

1) I have been playing nicely with The Toddler and not moaning about being bored.
The Toddler was left on his own in the shower for about ten seconds in which time he managed to get out with the sprayer still in his hand which caused the bathroom to flood which caused a major waterfall to come through the kitchen ceiling.

2) I have been washing up, keeping the house tidy and preparing dinner for The Husband. Being a Good Wife as well as a Good Mother.
The Husband and I had a full on row which peaked when I kicked him out of the house for an hour. My brain was obviously scrabbled for that split second otherwise I would have stormed out. You see by kicking him out left me with three cabin fevered children and a woundup dog to deal with.

3) The Tomboy has been allowed to wear what the hell she wants even though it makes me look like I abuse her.
I did not foresee that if she wears an all-in-one swimsuit under her school uniform that she is likely to piss herself in the playground.

4) To cut down on The Tweenager's moodiness, I let him use my computer.
COUNTERBALANCE: The Tweenager has become so addicted to Bin Weevils that it's all he can talk about and do, so that his mood swings are even worse when he is not sat in front of the screen.

You see? It's a lose-lose situation. Through trying to improve myself and make my family happy, I end up miserable because of the bad I have to deal with in return. So my theory is this - you are much better being a Crap Parent avoiding situations and not dealing with your children because the effect will all be good.