Thursday 25 November 2010


I asked The Husband this morning if he thinks The Tweenager has a mild case of Obsessive-compulsive disorder. "Yes" replied The Husband, before switching the light on and off three times. Only joking.
Okay so I've always known that The Tweenager is a super high maintenance kid who needs to have a plan set in place, from what time he is getting lunch to the order in which he cleans his teeth. Although recently it seems to be getting worse, to the point where I'm wondering if he has a touch of OCD.
The Tomboy went to say goodnight to him yesterday in a rare display of siblingship and she moved his bedcover by a quarter of an inch and he freaked. He had to get out of bed then back into it and start from the lower left corner across and up until his duvet was exactly right. That's a bit weird, right? And this morning I suggested that he got dressed before having his second breakfast and it panicked him so much that it gave me palpitations.
I'm comforted in the fact that his OCD is only mild, proven by the fact that his bedroom is always a mess and he doesn't seem to mind that. But I have been thinking about how his OCD might grow, even into adulthood and I guess he'll only have his parents to blame.
Take his father, for example. The Husband may not repeatedly wash his hands or have an aversion to odd numbers, but he cannot live ten minutes without speaking to someone from work or tap tapping on his laptop. He thinks if he doesn't have any contact with the workplace then bad things will happen. Life cannot proceed while the imbalance of him not working remains.
The Tweenager's mother (ie me) often has intrusive thoughts that produce fear or apprehension - if I consider washing up or hoovering then severe anxiety takes over. These thoughts cause emotional distress and panic that I may be turning into a good housewife. I find by avoiding housework at all costs and having a coffee stops a dreaded event from occurring such as the hoovering turning into a full house clean.
With parents like these, what chance does The Tweenager have of making a recovery? Better ditch the swear box and start saving for his therapy instead.

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Ministry Of Mum's Top Ten Survival Tips

1. Don't change another child's nappy - guaranteed to make you heave.

2. Always play at another person's house so you don't have to clear up the mess.

3. Avoid Toddler groups at all costs and all child-related conversations.

4. Always blame the other child even though you saw your kid pinching and biting.

5. Do not get involved with competitive parents, especially the type that say their three year old is into the pre-raphaelites.

6. Chose your friends carefully. The mums in the playground are just there to play on your paranoia.

7. Figure out which of your children is easiest to ignore especially if you have three or more.

8. Have a dad in the playground that you fancy, brightens up a dull day.

9. McDonald's is GOOD. Ronald McDonald is your FRIEND.

10. Do not help out another family. If you don't like your own kids, you'll be tempted to steal one of theirs.

Sunday 21 November 2010

Ground Control To Major Mum

Parenting, apparently, has got something to do with control. This came up in conversation with The Husband last night after he witnessed me attempting to put all three children in the car. He was in the garden picking up dog poo, which is the one thing I promised him I would do, and he was feeling a bit tetchy because he had found 13 poos. I was so busted. I was like "oh the dog must have a funny tummy today" but he assured me that he had been monitoring the situation for several days and could I please take control over getting the kids in the car.
The Husband has recently noticed how little control I have over the kids. I don't know why it's taken him so long to realise this. I've known it for about seven years. What he doesn't understand is that I could so have control if I wanted it, it's just most of the time I can't be bothered. Especially when trying to get three children into a car without his help.
Curiously he thinks he has total control but I know that the children allow him to think that because then it's easier to get sweeties.
Dad + Control = Total Manipulation
Actually if I'm honest, in situations where it matters, I have control. If, for example, The Toddler was trying to stab me with a knife I would take control of that knife. If The Tomboy decided to have a hissy fit over wearing a skirt for maypole dancing, I would pass my control over to her teacher. And I always control The Tweenager's mood swings with jaffa cakes.
Mum - Control = Total Mania
Sometimes I think situations work best when I don't exercise my control. Anyone who attended The Toddler's birthday tea with 14 kids packed in my house will tell you that there was absolutely no control but didn't they all have a lovely time.
So I've been thinking about control in our household. The kids are quite often in control except when it comes to important stuff. The Dog absolutely controls me. And when it comes to The Husband, I am definitely controlling the (purse) strings there.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Sympathy For The (mother of the) Devil

Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name, oh yeah.
Just call me lucifer, cause I'm in need of some restraint, oh yeah.
Mick Jagger has clearly never met The Toddler otherwise he would be changing the lyrics to his song, oh yeah.
Anyway, The Toddler turned two last week and it's made me realise:
a) I've done f-all for two years except hang out with him.
b) Terrible Twos is a myth when it comes to The Toddler, he has been bad since birth.
So I have decided to get him christened. I'm hoping by baptising him, it will rid him of the demon within. The Tweenager and The Tomboy were baptised and it's made sod all difference to their behaviour, but I'm thinking THIRD TIME LUCKY, right?
The date is set, church is booked and the godparents sorted. What the godparents don't realise is that they are making a deal with the devil. But instead of youth, power, knowledge or wealth they are going to be contracted to The Toddler. Forever. The Toddler will become their master. They will think they are signing the church register but really in invisible ink I will write a pact forcing them to give up every Saturday night/Sunday morning, every bit of their money and any cool clothes (for me).
It will be eternal damnation and there will be no outwitting The Toddler on a technical point.
The bargain is a dangerous one, but hey, it's better than losing your soul.

Tuesday 9 November 2010

The Fake Bake

Today I pretended that I was a good mother and set about making cookies with The Toddler. It was a Fake Bake. Fake because I really didn't want to do it and fake because I can't cook. I can't even do salad cream on celery.
The Toddler was very excited because the cookies were themed with In The Night Garden and everything ninky nonky iggle piggle just drives him crazy. So I sat him on the work top and we got a bowl, emptied the cookie mix, added a teaspoon of water and an egg. It was all going swimmingly and exactly like Nigella until I happened to turn around for what was exactly one hundredth of a second and The Toddler, seizing the opportunity, grabbed the kettle and poured its entire contents into the batter. When I looked back the bowl was full of gooey lukewarm slime.
Instead of my usual reaction of losing it and chucking The Toddler on the naughty step, I decided to resolve the situation by adding some flour to the cookie swamp. Our flour being two years out of date of course. So when the mixture was put on the baking tray ready to pop in the oven, this is what it looked like:

Whilst the alien cookies were baking, The Toddler and I went upstairs to play. Forty minutes later, upon smelling some burning, I remembered there was something in the oven.
Here is the end result:

Upsy Daisy, bless her, got it the worst:

but she was the one The Toddler chose to eat. He loved it. And he wasn't even faking.

Monday 8 November 2010

Sharing Causes Swearing

I am not very good at sharing. In fact I do not share food - ever. Don't go to a restaurant with me and say "Oh can I try a bit of yours?" because the answer will not be a polite one.
Needless to say, my children are not great at sharing either. I would love to take the middle-class approach and pay someone to teach them this skill, but I have yet to find an appropriate tutor.
The Toddler is the worst culprit as being almost two qualifies him for a Guinness Book Of Records entry as World's Worst Sharer. If you even look at anything that belongs to him he will scream "Mine!" so loudly that you can even hear it in space.
And we all know that he will not share his Mummy. If you ask him where his siblings' mother is, he will respond with a clear "Gone". The Tomboy made the grave mistake of sitting on my lap yesterday in full view of The Toddler and he almost exploded.
Now even though The Tweenager and The Tomboy are older and could explain what sharing is, they refuse to share with each other. If we have a toy that has remained untouched for centuries and one of them decides to pick it up, the other will yell "But I was about to play with that!". Unfortunately this means that we have to buy two of everything. Yes it's indulgent and lazy but I'd rather be an idiot parent than deal with the fighting.
The Husband, in his innocence, expects everyone to share. If we are eating out, he often has the audacity to suggest that we share a side dish and, more shockingly, CHIPS. I say "Don't you know who you are married to?" (with a few expletives in between) and he replies "Lovely example to set the children, darling".
Oh but I think it is a wonderful example. If my children never have to share McDonalds fries or chocolate or crisp sandwiches then what a happy fulfilled life they will lead.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Night Night Don't Let The Children Bite

Take three children. Yes please, take them. Take them between the hours of 8pm and 8am - any other time I can just about handle them. What I can't handle is interrupted sleep and my children were born without snooze buttons.
We are mainly having problems with The Toddler and, apparently, it's all my doing. I have created a monster. The sucky la la baby who loved his mummy is swiftly turning into a terrible two. I should have seen it coming, I have had two other children previous to him after all. But no, I relished the fact that at least I had one child that was super attached to mummy and would give me love not based on the contents of the sweet jar or what was planned for the day.
The Toddler is turning into a real life horror movie. He is worthy of a starring part in the next Wes Craven franchise. Not only is he into whacking everything in sight (usually me) but his night time shenanigans are becoming the stuff of nightmares. Or maybe he is a terrorist and using sleep deprivation as a means to break me.
It goes like this:
The Toddler shares a room with The Tweenager and since The Tweenager has to be bright & breezy for school and on form for being rude to his mother, his sleep takes priority. So currently The Toddler is being put to sleep in our bed. When he eventually falls asleep after four pints of milk and umpteen versions of "Yes my name is Iggle Piggle", we move him into his cot. Where he stays until right in the middle of a tense part of Ugly Betty when he awakens shrieking "Mummmmyyyy!!!!". He will not allow The Husband to go near him so I have to forsake my tv watching to settle him back down. This normally lasts well into the programme so I usually opt to stick him back into our bed for a quicky night-night result.
The Husband will then move him back into his cot when we go to bed.
At some point in the very early hours, The Toddler will wake up again and because it's cold or maybe because we now do this in our sleep, he ends up back in bed with us until the morning.
And it's not then all cozy cuddle time as The Toddler can fidget and squirm and wiggle for hours on end. His legs take on a life of their own and he can kick with the force of a stallion. He is also a master at positioning his body so that The Husband is at the foot of the bed and I am left with about half an inch of space at the edge.
I do not think I have had an uninterrupted night for about seven and a half years. Apparently sleep deprivation can cause all kinds of strange behaviour. So there is surely no hope for a mother who wakes up to the sound of her children throughout the night.