Father’s Day Fun Times

I always try to make a bit of an effort for Father’s Day but after we argued and nearly ruined Mother’s Day this year it really wouldn’t have taken much to beat my day! 

This Father’s Day has been different because it’s been more of a weekend. A lot of it last minute and impromptu but amazing!

Saturday evening we packed Master J off to Nanny’s for a sleepover (which he loves) so we could go to a Comedy and Curry night at a little community centre locally. It was a fundraising event for Ruff and Ruby. It’s an amazing small charity which has a range of programmes to help young people aged 13 and over boost their confidence, deal with anxiety, mentor them into work or anything else they need. They also have the Ruff and Ruby Rooms inside the intu Potteries (or as everyone local still calls it “the potteries shopping centre”). Which is an amazing space. They serve tea and cake, have a soft play set up, kids books, amazing second hand clothes. You should check out their facebook page for more information.

The main reason we went was because we know the headline act Andy Kind. He’s the brother of our best friends. I’ve been with Mr D for 9.5 years and even though we see Andy (and usually his lovely wife and kids too) every 18 months or so, I’d never been to one of his gigs. It’s weird seeing someone you know do a comedy set because even though you know if their job you do see them in a different light. Andy won’t mind me saying (because I told him to his face afterwards) that I wasn’t sure what to expect because comedy is so subjective. But I had a really good time and laughed, genuinely laughed, alot. Andy’s style of comedy isn’t well rehearsed one liners or far fetched stories. His funny stories are relatable and I know there’s so much truth in them. But what really sets him apart for me is his ability to banter with the audience. To me, it takes a great skill to have a chat with people, find something funny to say totally off the cuff and keep coming back to them throughout the show. I know he’s been doing comedy for a long time but he really is genuinely funny so go check him out. He’s also written two books: Stand Up and Deliver and The Gig Delusional which you can buy from his website.

So the curry was good, comedy was goos and a great night was had by all!

Andy then asked us if he couls have a lift back to said best friends house. Mr and Mrs H (best friends) then text asking for “4 cans of stella and a bottle of Chianti”. Bargain Booze doesn’t do Chianti funnily enough so we had to settle for stella, a bottle of rioja, a bottle of strawberry lambrini (I’m so classy) and a 4 pack of apple shots (because it was Mrs H’s birthday weekend so why the hell not).

We ended up trading the booze for a spare bed and stayed over even though they live approximately 12 minutes drive away. And we had the best time. It was just like the good old days where we had nowhere to be, nobody else to think about and if we got a text at 7pm asking if we wanted to nip round it wasn’t a failed military operation.

The only thing that I definitely will never be doing again is taking a shot of grappa. I’m sure it was paint thinner / anti freeze / a mix of both. I know the Italians love the stuff but no, just no!

Because Mr D had knocked back a few beera he was snoring…loudly. Even though he was conked out on the air bed on the floor and I was on the sofa! So I started the day shattered.

It was then a bit of a mad rush. We left the H’s at 8:30am, went home, picked J up at 9:20am and got the cinema for 9:50am.

I’d made Mr D wear his Father’s Day t shirt and as he hadn’t asked I’d assumed he had no odea about the rest of the surprise…turns out I was wrong. 1 minute away from Nanny’s house he pipes up and says

 Has J got a matching t shirt? I’ve just realised I look like a big version of him!

No shit sherlock. I was gutted! We walked in and J was stood on the sofa, proud as punch and shouted

Surprise. We match daddy

And match they did!

I’m really pleased with how they came out as I bought them weeks ago from eBay!

So from Nanny’s we went to the cinema to take advantage of the Odeon Kids mornings. 

Here we discovered J’s new “say cheese” face.

We watched Lego Batman this time and N was really good…apart from when there was a bit of mild peril. Then he couldn’t cope and cried! He still said he enjoyed it when it had finished though.

Considering there were 3 of us and a dad and his 2 kids in the whole screening, J made enough mess for every seat. Unbeknownst to me he’d been missing his mouth alot with the popcorn and they was a circle of it on the floor directlt in from of his seat. #sorryOdeonstaff

From the cinema we went to Frankie and Bennys. Where I had an italiano starter platter all to myself for my main, whilst Daddy and J had burgers.

It was at this point that I knew something wasn’t quite right with J as he hardly touched it.

Not that you can tell from this photo though!

The staff were lovely and friendly and offered to take this photo for me which is really sweet. There are so few photos of the 3 of us together.

From the cinema we went to Morrisons to get some greenery for tea as we hadn’t seen anything healthy for a few days.

We timed it just right as just as we were walking to Argos there was an evacuation!

We couldn’t find what we wanted in Argos so went to Toys R Us instead and came home with this bad boy!

But before we got it home we stopped off to see Mr D’d grandpa and J’s Great Grandpa.

This photo sums up our visit perfectly.

3 generations and 89 years between them but all so very happy!

We then went home to put the pool up.

It took 20 minutes to inflate and over an hour to fill. But we’d decided to jump in when there was enough to get your feet wet. 

J eventually had a fab time. But he’s very much like me in that he hates getting water in his face. But as you can see he has no problem riding around on Daddy!

After a few hours in the pool it was time for J to have a bath and us all to eat.

It was only after we ate and J asked to go to bed that Mr D pointed out that he’d still not had his other father’s day gifts or cards. Oops! So we had to quick sort that before putting J to bed.

Just as we were collapsing due to the heat…J fell out of bed. He was a sorry sight when I walked in. Totally perplexed sat in the middle of his bedroom floor.

And that was the end of our Father’s Day weekend!

What did everyone else get up to?


“No mummy not you”

May was tough for all of us with J being ill and a living nightmare but he’s turned a corner the last few weeks.

His behaviour is better, his manners are better, he’s eating better and is generally a pleasure to spend time with. He’s got this annoying habit of completely ignoring you when you say his name then getting titsed off at you for repeating yourself but nobody is perfect I guess!

But he’s also decided it’s all about daddy.

I’m thirsty, can I have a drink? NO MUMMY NOT YOU DADDY DO IT.

I’m hungry can I have a snack? NO MUMMY NOT YOU, DADDY DO IT

I DON’T WANT TO SIT WITH YOU MUMMY, I WANT TO SIT WITH DADDY

All direct quotes from Master J in 2 hours alone last week.

It’s the first time that he’s been so vocal about preferring daddy to mummy. I don’t know where it’s come from as we’ve been doing loads of cool things together (with and without daddy).

We’ve been to the funfair

Been to the park and canal for breakfast oatcakes

Been to the Canal Festival (you can read the full blog about that here)

Explored another park and had a ride on the mini railway

Maybe he’s just got bored of me? Who knows. So I’ll do what everyone else does when they don’t have a bloody clue why kids are doing something and put it down to being a phase.

Saying that, he still loves a good photo op with me!

But if this penchant for daddy had happened in the first 18 months he was born I know I’d have reacted so much differently. I was struggling with my mental health and being a good mum was one of the things that got me through. I needed to be a good mum, so that I had at least one thing I was good at whilst everything else felt like it was going tits up. If J didn’t want me then the way he doesn’t now I’d have been absolutely crushed.

Now, however, I couldn’t give a rats ass. In fact, it’s brilliant. I get to sit on my fat arse a lot more whilst daddy does all the running round.

And Daddy can’t make his mind up. He’s been moaning that J just wanted me and would only hit him. Now he’s all over him he doesn’t like that either. 

It’s an all or nothing approach with J at the moment. It’s either mummy or daddy but it can’t be both.

No mummy I’m playing football with daddy, you sit down

Ok buddy!

No mummy that’s my daddy don’t you hug him, I want to hug him

Ok buddy!

No mummy I love daddy

Ok buddy!

And it is OK because I’ve got to get used to this. He’s not always going to either need or want me. That much is evident when I drop him off to nursery and I have to drag him back for a quick hug to say goodbye. I’m torn between wanting him to want me and wanting him to be independent. It’s great that he goes off no problem but I still can’t help but feeling a bit sad when he waves me off without even looking at me!

I’m not alone, although Mr D hasn’t always dealt with in the same way as me. There have been lots of occassions where he’s taken it so personally and at various points convinced himself that J just didn’t like him. It’s taken a lot of reassurance from me that he didn’t hate him he was just being a typical baby / toddler / little boy.

I say all this but then tonight has hit me right in the guts because I’m not feeling very good and everything is worse when you’re feeling rather shitty.

He did the usual “daddy put me to bed” routine but when I said I loved him he said

But I love daddy

Daddy tried in vain to tell him you can love more than one person but J was having none of that. So he’s gone to bed and I’m sulking on the sofa wondering if 8:36pm is too early for a 30 year old to go to bed on a Friday night?

Etruria Canal Festival 2017

I only found out about the Etruria Canal Festival yesterday and so glad we went. It’s run by The Canal and River Trust.

Daddy has to work 1 in 3 Saturday mornings so it was a Master J and Mummy adventure.

First I needed to find out where the Canal Festival was. Luckily there’s a Facebook event with the postcode on. Really easy to find and there’s ample parking across the road.

It’s on for 2 days (Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June) 10am – 5pm and there’s a whole host of activities to take part in.

We got there just after 10am and left as 12pm.

First we walked over the bridge to get to the canal which J declared was “hard work”.

Then our first pit stop was the old working canal boat which J LOVED! 

It’s amazing how a family of up to 8 would be living on these boats. J laughed his socks on when the lovely lady showed him the draw where the baby would have slept!

We then took a walk to the big grassed area where there were lots of stall and information tents set up. 

We stopped at the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust stand and the lovely lady there gave J a sticker and explained all about their 30 wild days challenge. You can find out more about that here. It’s not too late to sign up and get your pack she was saying.

Then we went to the craft and activity tent which was being run by KT Lala

J had a great time in the little ball pit. The ladies running it were fab. When J and another boy decidedto throw all the balls out of the pit one of them made a game of putting them all back in which worked a treat!

He also started making a rainbow shaker but as usual I finished it off. The cat enjoyed it immensely when we got home.

After I eventually coaxed him out of there we carried on round the loop of stalls and found ourselves in another kids play area!

This time J had great fun walking on a rope surrounded by piranhas and explained that he was soaking wet when he fell on the tarpaulin!

We also tried some giant bubbles using long sticks and rope and J cheated when using little bean bags to knock down tin cans by getting as close as physically possible!

Then we saw these and couldn’t resist a photo op. He looks miserable as sin but he was really excited when I showed him the pictures afterwards!

Then we went for a walk along the canal as there were a lot more boats selling a variety of crafty bits and food.

That’s where we found the oatcake boat.

If you’re not local then oatcakes might be a bit lost on you (think savoury pancake with sausage, cheese, bacon etc. rolled up inside) but there are good and bad oatcakes. These oatcakes were yummy!

J can’t have cheese due to his intolerances so he just had a plain sausage one and demolished it!

The Oatcake Boat is regularly at Westport Lake and I totally recommend it. You can find more info here.

After scoffing his oatcake we needed to head back as we needed to nip to the shops to get some lunch. We had a lovely walk back and because I’d explained beforehand that he needed to hold my hand close to the water, J was super good all the way there and back. 

We could have stayed a lot longer and if anyone wants a nice few hours out with the kids then I’d recommend it. If it can keep Mr Short Attention Span busy it’s a winner!

I asked J for a nice smile on the bridge on the way out and this is what I got lol!

Will definitely keep an eye out for future events as this was a well organised, lovely family event and I’m gutted Daddy missed out. Mainly because J has always been so difficult to handle at these kinds of events so we’ve avoided then. But he’s definitely grown up a lot over the last few months so I’m hoping we can start to enjoy more things like this now. Although maybe next year Daddy can join in the fun too!

PS. J’s t shirt is from Mammy Made Me go check her out as she does all sorts of fab personalised stuff x

The much needed awesome weekend

The month of May sucked. It sucked big time!

Our much awaited long weekend to Barmouth was ruined (see that blog here). 

Master J was in and out of the doctors and out of hours doctors with a nasty chest infection (see blog here).

House hunting was taking its toll (blog to follow).

So with the final May bank holiday we desperately needed it to be a good one so that May wasn’t a complete write off.

And good it was!

Want to know why?

1. Master J seems to have turned a corner behaviorally. He may have green snot dripping down his nose constantly but he’s been absolutely lovely. 

He was super good for his first ever visit to the cinema (I wrote a blog about that here). 

When just me and him went to Tunstall Park he was brilliant. I let him lead the way and first we went up and down the waterfall, then we went into the play area before having a walk back to the car via the lake. 

Master J is going to be one of those kids who forces other kids to be friends with him through sheer persistance. He’s got a habit of not saying hello to kids so I said to him “go and introduce yourself, tell him your name” when he spotted another boy come into the park. Bold as brass he walked up to him and said “MY NAME’S JOSH”. I’ve used capitals because he did shout. The other boy went shy and ran off. J ran after him and within minutes they were running round laughing. 

He was super good when all 3 of us went to Brampton Park. When he wanted to go on both the bouncy castle and the train he didn’t kick up a fuss when we told him he could only go on one (he picked the train by the way).

We all ate our tea together tonight and despite him saying he didn’t want it, the second we started eating funnily enough so did he! So as well as eating burgers, he also ate some yummy boiled jersey royal potatoes, carrots and peas.

He was still a pain at bedtime but because he’d been lovely at the weekend I let it go over my head. Yes he was still awake at 9:10pm and yes he’ll be a ball ache in the morning but meh!

2.
We spent 24 hours just as a couple and not mum and dad. Master D went to Nanny’s for a sleepover so we could have a proper date night / day (I wrote about those here).

I know how lucky we are to have both Nanny and Grandma who will have J overnight for us. But we really need time away from him to remember that we’re partners and not just parents.

We love the bones off of our boy but parenting is hard work. We both work full time so when J is playing up everything feels so much harder. I feel terribly guilty for needing to work, not just because we need the money, but for my own mental health I couldn’t be a stay at home mum. I have so much respect for people who do stay at home with their kids and those who look after a gaggle of kids 5 days a week. I just couldn’t do it myself.

The problem is that because we both work, when we have a bad weekend it feels like an awfully long time to the next one. And that tends to set the tone for the week ahead.

But this weekend was different and we utilised our child free 24 hours wisely!

First we went to Bon Pan Asian. For anyone not in Stoke On Trent it’s an amazing buffet place in Hanley. It does over 150 dishes of starters, mains and desserts. My favourite part is the teppanyaki; you choose all your ingredients and the chefs cook them in front of you. What I like is that despite it’s size and the number of dishes, the food is always really good. We’ve been a few times and for a set price of I think £13 it’s a good deal too. You can find out more info here on their website.

We were too full to do anything else after that so headed home. We were just pulling on to the estate when I spotted a new pokemon 2 minutes down the road. So we turned around and went to find it. Mr D saw it straight away…my pokemon go decided to play up though so I ended up having to get out of the car and walk up and down the road to get it. But it was worth it in the end as I came home with this!

We then watched cack on youtube before going to bed 😉

Mr D woke up at 8:30am but I was having none of that so I rolled over and went back to sleep until 10am! Heaven!

Got up, had a brew, washed my hair and we were back out again. This time to Oatcakes and Milkshakes. There’s one in Stone and one in Stafford but we went to the Stone one as we needed to nip in Morrisons as well. I LOVE this place. The queue was massive but totally worth it. I don’t need to explain why I’ll just who you this instead:

After we stuffed our faces and picked up a few bits from Morrisons we went to collect Master J from Nanny’s and decided to go to the Brampton to round off our weekend together. As I said above he was good as gold. Didn’t kick up a fuss about leaving and was super brave and tackled the big slide for the first time!

It might not seem like a big deal to some but J doesn’t do very well with heights but he bolted up the steps several times without thinking about it.

Just to prove my point, he was fine doing this on the cannon:

But had a panic when daddy tried to sit him on top!

It’s now almost time for me to go to bed ready to get back into the usual routines od the working week. But for first time in ages I’ll be going to bed with a smile on my facw and a full heart.

I love my funny family because

Like father

Like son

They do know how to put a smile on my face as well as driving me to the edge of sanity!

Master J goes to the cinema

I’ve been putting off taking Master J to the cinema. He doesn’t sit still or pay attention for more than 10 minutes usually. And the cinema isn’t exactly cheap so I could never justify paying £15+ to have to walk out after 10 minutes.

That changed this weekend!

Unbeknownst to me, all 3 of our local cinemas (Odeon, Vue and Cineworld) do kids mornings. So tickets are £2 – £3.50 for both kids and adults to see 3/4 different kids films. They’re not brand new films but they’re not exactly old either. 

I decided to go to our local Odeon because parking is free. Both Vue and Cineworld are in town centres so parking bumps up the price of a cheap morning out.

More information abour your local kids screenings can be found here:

Odeon kids mornings

Vue mini mornings

Cineworld movies for juniors

Looks like they’re every weekend morning and during kids holidays so plenty of opportunities to utilise the bargain prices! 

This weekend Odeon are showing:

  • Sing
  • Batman Lego Movie
  • Smurfs
  • Peppa Pig Cinema Experience
  • Molly Monster

I decided to tell Master J that we were going to the cinema as I wanted him to choose what we were going to see.

He loves singing and dancing, he loves lego but the power of the bloody pig won on this occassion. I asked him several times over several time periods but every time he said peppa!

I didn’t know much about it other than it was only an hour long so I figured it was a safe bet.

Daddy had to nip into work so it was just me and Master J for his first cinema visit.

I thought J would be more excited than he was. He decided he wanted to be quiet in the car. It’s a shame he never wants to be quiet anywhere else really! But once we walked into the Odeon building out came the “wow”. 

When we arrived the doors were locked but we were only waiting a few minutes before J rushed inside.

As I’d prebooked our tickets I went to a ticket machine. Went to find the piece of paper with the booking number on only to realise it was still on the sofa at home. Doh! So after checking my email I finally found the number. I was a bit annoyed when the machine said to enjoy the film but it hadn’t actually printed the bloody tickets. I’d made a big deal about telling J all about how the tickets work. But nevermind!

After a steward opened up the machine and the tickets were still nowhere in sight she said it was fine and to make our way to screen when we were ready. 

First we went for snacks. Daddy had said no popcorn but you can’t go the cinema and not have popcorn so we had a kids popcorn to share and a small coke for me.

The coke machine went a bit crazy and squirted coke everywhere then the till wouldn’t work. Luckily it all got sorted before J got arsey. Although, to his credit, he was really well behaved.

So off we trotted to the screen.

It’s really dark mummy

I reassured him it was ok

This is cool

Success!

We chose our seats, rather Master J chose our seats and in the end we were one of 4 other kid / parent combos.

He got himself comfy

And immediately tucked into his popcorn

I’d tried to prepare him for it being loud but he didn’t seem to mind and loved watching the trailers interspersed with the occassional

Is it peppa now?

And just like this, it was time for Peppa.

We were greeted by Daisy, a very enthusiastic friend of Peppa and George, who then took us to meet the puppet versions of Peppa and George.

At this point, Master J looked perplexed but they did a rendition of wheels on the bus so he soon forgot about ny weirdness.

Then the Peppa he knows and loves popped up on an open top double decker bus droven by the queen…obvs!

Master J laughed, copied the actions and laughed some more. But he was really good and stayed in his seat to watch various peppa pig episodes, renditions of row row row your boat and some odd pirate song.

It was only towards the end that he got a bit niggly. Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig had taken Peppa and George on holiday to Austrialia without telling their friends they were staying with them until they knocked on their front door. Arseholes!

Anyways, even though J was bored of their shenanigans he still behaved himself. He did get up and ask to move seats but when I said no he listened. 

And then it was time for one last sing song before it finished. Off we trotted back to the car.

Bye bye cinema. That was a fun time mummy.

And he was right.

For anyone looking for a cheap way to entertain the kids this is a great idea. It cost £10 for the tickets, popcorn and drink for the 2 of us but you could skip the snacks if you were a bit more organised.

Thanks Odeon we’ll definitely be back, particularly for these kinds of funny photo ops!

The world we now live in

As I sit in the sunshine with Master J my thoughts can’t help but drift to all of those affected by the senseless terror attack in Manchester late yesterday evening.

Whilst I confirm that Master J is indeed good at playing football, watch him run around with 1 shoe on and 1 shoe off, answering a whole manner of weird and wonderful questions, there are parents amd partners, mums and dads who are going out of their minds with worry because their children are missing. I can’t even fathom how that would feel I just know that my breaks for them. Because whilst some will be reunited, at least 22 families will never see their loved ones again and that can only hurt beyond measure.

This wasn’t an accident, this was a senseless and barbaric act by one individual. Not a whole race, gender or religion just one man. And that’s what scares me.

These kind of attacks don’t take a lot of planning or resources just a little bit of knowledge and that’s terrifying.

“Terrorist” isn’t a word I was familiar with growing up, Master J will be and it makes me angry. Angry that this is the world that we live in. Angry that this is the world our children live in. But whilst there is a lot ot be fearful of, there is also still hope.

In the face of these tragedies, hope shines through. And it shines through people. People who helped children to safety. People who held people as they died. People who rushed to hospitals to help. People who have since rushed to hospitals to donate much needed blood. People who offered complete strangers their homes.

Those are the people who deserve our focus, attention and thanks because we need those kinds of people.

If I can teach Master J anything it will to be a helper. Because this little face shouldn’t have to worry about terrorists

Instead he should concentrate on being a good, kind person who helps those who need it.

I hope he never needs this kind of help but I know that if he’s ever unfortunate enough to be caught up in anything this horrific, I know that there will be people besides me and his daddy prepared to help him.

The stress of house hunting!

After 9 years, a cat and a baby we’re finally ready to purchase the single most expensive thing we’ll ever buy…a house!

Now I know people say it’s also the single most stressful thing you’ll ever do but surely having a challenging spirited kid was harder so we had this house hunting stuff nailed right?

WRONG WRONG WRONG

First there were the arguments over getting mortgage advice. Mr D said we didn’t need to bother until we found a house we liked. I repeatedly kept pointing out that until we got some mortgage advice we wouldn’t know what we could afford so we had no point of reference for looking for a house in the first place. He conceded and off we trekked to Natwest.

Then there was the argument over the help to buy ISA’s which I’d been saying we needed to open since last August. When the mortgage advisor suggested opening them and Mr D said “oh yeah that’s a good idea” I could have launched him through the window.

Then when we finally knew what we could afford, came the discussions over where to start looking. Mr D has always said location is really important, which is fine, but he’s insisting on looking at one of the most expensive areas in the city. As well as location, it needs to have a garage and we need more space downstairs so I’m insisting it either has a massive living room that we can use a sofa to separate the adult space from Master J’s aka the bomb site or 3 separate rooms downstairs for us to lounge, for Master J to lounge and us all to eat in.

Properties in our price range don’t come up very often so I have alerts set up so I don’t miss any. It doesn’t stop me from checking them at least twice a day but still!

So when I got notified of a house within budget and in the right area on a Monday night I called the estate agent Tuesday morning to book a viewing for Friday. I got a phone call on Wednesday to say someone had seen it on Tuesday and put an offer in that was accepted! I was gutted. Mr D not so much:

I didn’t like the front aspect

So then when another cropped up I arranged a viewing. We went to see it, met a lovely bloke and his dog (evil bastard cat though bit both me and Mr D) but it wasn’t for us.

Another one came up on the same road which was perfect…but it was an auction property so that was a no go.

Again, we sat and waited. I got bored of waiting and emailed every estate agent in the vicinity to ask to be put on their mailing lists. Some emailed me back, some totally ignored me. Cheers!

Then another house popped up. This one backed onto our best friends house and from the photos it just looked like it needed some redecorating.

WRONG WRONG WRONG. Again.

Pretty sure when you take that wallpaper off the plaster underneath would come with it. There was damp all the way through. We neither have the funds or the inclination for a full renovation so that one was crossed off too.

After that we were both feeling a bit deflated.

One good thing about it though is that because we both liked it from the photos we started getting other stuff in place. I spoke to my boss about it (I’m a legal secretary so that’s a bonus!). Mr D worked out the deposit figures. We called our friend’s mortgage advisor. All this means that we know when we do find the right place we can move quickly.

We’ve now had the mortgage advice from the very nice mortgage broker and can look at houses a bit more expensive than we were before so we’ve just got to be patient. Anyone that knows me will tell you patience isn’t really my “thing”. The right house will find us I’m sure . It bloody better anyway!

Despite all of this, I am looking forward to actually finding our forever home. But the one thing I have discovered throughout this whole process is how important floor plans are to me.

I have absolutely no concept of layout from a dozen photos and it really does wind me up when there isn’t one. Not as a normal irritation but a proper diva strop!

I’m not talking this kind of detail:

This will do:

That’s all, really basic.

Now to check all my search criteria for the millionth time just to make sure I’m not missing some hidden gem!

 

The tale of the neurotic mum

I was going to be the cool mum before I had Master J. Then I actually had him and very quickly realised I’m not cool at all! I’m not easy going. I don’t like mess. I can handle poo explosions but definitely not sick. And the only thing worse than parenting a sick child is parenting when you’re a sick parent!
Mental health issues aside, I go to bits when Master J is ill. Mainly because when he was small I never knew what was just a developmental leap, what was a whinge, what was ill and if he was ill how to cope with it. I’m not too proud to admit that I have very little patience and that hasn’t really improved. I can go from annoyed to bat shit crazy in approximately 3 seconds. Being ill doesn’t increase my patience any, just makes me feel like shit for not being able to cope better.

Anyways, I’m a neurotic mum for a reason. When Master J had croup the first time I had no idea for 4 days and left him to it, by which point he was quite poorly with it and the antibiotics took a while to kick in. I felt awful. I’d left my baby in pain thinking it was just a bad cold when he was suffering. From then on I became neurotic mum. Every sniffle or cough and I was paranoid it was going to turn into something bigger. Every time Mr D told me not to worry so much and every time I ignored him and did anyway. I wasn’t going to fail Master J again so if that meant wasting some time at the doctors so be it. Although Master J has so far managed to save getting ill for either the weekends or bank holidays. This latest bank holiday was no exception.

It started on the Saturday night. He went to bed as normal but woke up every 30-45 minutes overnight, all night until he decided he was going to start the day at 6am. I’m even less patient when I’m also tired but this wasn’t tired this was exhausted. I fell asleep on the sofa sitting up only to be told

Wake up mummy its NOT sleepy time.

We figured it was just a bad night and he was coming down with something but he’d be so exhausted he’d have to sleep through on Sunday night. He didn’t. He woke up every hour. Not only was he not sleeping, he wasn’t eating and getting him to drink was difficult. Coming from the kid who necks his juice to the point we were concerned he had diabetes, I knew something wasn’t right. So Monday morning I called 111 who said he needed to be seen. I’d get a call within 6 hours. 7 hours later we got an appointment. I nearly laughed when the receptionist asked if we knew where it was. This was not a new experience for us. So we got there at our allocated appointment abd waited…and waited…and waited. Master J got bored and kep asking to go in the play room. The play room that they didn’t have. He was thinking of A&E which we’ve also frequented! We finally got to see the doctor who was brilliant, diagnosed him with a chest infection and asked whether he wanted strawberry or orange flavoured medicine.

Ooh strawberry

Came the reply. So after trekking to Sainsburies to find it was closed, we found another chemist open at 7:30pm on a Bank Holiday Monday. 

The first lot of antibiotics didn’t quite get rid of it so after another trip to the out of hours doctors for sunburn (yup seriously!) we were given more antibiotics. This visit was different from all the others though. For anyone whose used out of hours for their kids, the drill is you’re seen by a nurse first who take their stats before you get seen by the doctor. I knew something wasn’t quite right when she kept the finger monitor on. Turns out Master J’s heart rate was high abd his oxygen levels were lower than they like. I genuinely believe that if he hadn’t been running riot in the doctor’s office that they would have admitted him. They’re concerned about his lungs due to the number of infections he’s had in his 3 years so far. They’ve said to “keep an eye on them”. Not sure how I’m meant to do that in all honesty BUT it does reinforce that I’m right to get him checked out all the time, every time!

Being a parent is tough at the best of times but having a sick kid means going from this:

To this:

In just 24 hours!

But I don’t mind being a bit neurotic with Master J’s health because I’m his advocate and his voice. And I would 100% rather get him checked out and be told he’s fine than feel as crappy as I did when he was diagnosed with croup!

I’m not totally neurotic though; if he hurts himself, we kiss it better and brush it off. When he fell off his balance bike we encouraged him to get back on it and through tears he did.

I don’t feel the need to justify how we parent Master J but this is what works for us.

Do you parent differently than you thought you would when it comes to your child / children’s health because I sure do?

Birthday parties…say no more

Organising a kids birthday party is the WORST! I thought I’d relish it…I was wrong!

Every year Master J gets a year older and every year I want a party. And every year Mr D says he doesn’t need a party. And every year so far Master J has got one!

I know he probably won’t remember them or appreciate how much time, effort and money went into them but I didn’t have proper birthday parties when I waa younger so it’s another example of something I want Master J to have that I didn’t.

Year One

For his first birthday we went for a meal at Frankie and Bennys and then went to softplay. On a weekend. Aka Hell On Earth.

It went surprisingly well even if he fell asleep on me for 20 minutes and we made a hurried exit when a kid broke his arm and his dad was going batshit crazy swearing very VERY loudly.

Year Two

For his second birthday I booked a community room for a Disney Cars themed party. I spent days sorting out various games. Cutting out cars and putting them on paperclips, making race tracks out of cardboard, buying and cutting up a pool noodle to make towers out of, baking cakes but making terrible icing to put the cars edible wafers on. One thing I did forget however was tablecloths! I ordered enough food to feed the 5000 so there were some very happy volunteers that day!

The icing on the cake though was having his birthday card shown on cbeebies! It took me ages to do despite it being mainly bloody stickers but I was still proper excited when it came on the tv. Or should I say when I scoured all of the tv recordings for it as we were out most of the day!

Year Three

This year I booked a room with a bouncy castle. Best.Idea.Ever.

I’d set a budget of £150. I spent £250. But this time I did remember the tableclothes. I specifically asked the venue how many tables they had, what size and shape and everything. I was not short this year.

The night before we set up the usual display as below.

And with the logic of nothing ventured nothing gained I messaged Staffordshire Fire and Rescue to see if they wanted to do a drive by. I mean…as you do!

I got this lovely message from them though despite them thinking I was mad to send this the night before the party!

The day of the party and it was an absolute disaster!

I’d had the day before off to get everything sorted. The living room was a bomb site, I pissed about for ages with bloody edible wafers again and I was knackered before it even started.

On the morning of the party which was also his birthday I sorted the last bits of food and loaded up Mr D’s car. As always, we were running late but it was important we got moving as I only had 30 minutes to set up before guests would be arriving.

I get to the venue with Master J thinking Mr D was behind me. He wasn’t. He’d gone to the wrong place. So he finally arrived 20 minutes later and I had 10 minutes to scrabble about. I was FURIOUS. We decided never to speak of it again.

Not that Master J noticed. He spent 20 minutes crying because he was hungry then 1 hour and 40 minutes either bouncing or running up and down the hall. So it wasn’t a complete disaster. And it won’t stop me from doing it all again!

Year Four.

Although next year we’re actually away for his birthday as it falls in the same week as our 10 year anniversary so we’re all off to Gran Canaria for the week.

The idea being that there won’t be a party…but there will have to be some kind of gathering of some sort. Best not to discuss that with Mr D until absolutely necessary though!

General Election : Make your vote count

Let me start by saying I don’t proclaim to know anything about politics past, present or future. I don’t understand, or even want to understand, the ins and outs of past governments and where they cocked it up. Mainly because they all seem to cock up in varying degrees for different reasons.

I’d never used my vote before it came to Brexit. I did my research and voted from a personal perspective. Me and Mr D actually voted differently. We love and respect each other enough that when the vote was announced we reassured each other rather than saying “I told you so”. If we can vote differently and still maintain our relationship then strangers from the internet can have differing opinions without being complete arseholes towards each other too!

We could, however, both agree that both Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson were dicks for getting what they wanted then pissing off for some bugger else to actually sort it all out!

When David Cameron then quit and Theresa May took over, I’ll be honest, I didn’t pay much attention. It’s only when she went back on her word and announced we were in fact having a general election in June I stood up and took notice. 

The main reason I’ve never been interested in politics is because none of them seem to be able to deliver what they promise and go back on what they do promise anyway. See above!

Anyways…what I’ve found is that people fit into 1 of 3 categories:

1. People who feel very strongly about their preferred political party

2. People who don’t know who to vote for (me)

3. People who don’t care / don’t think their vote makes a difference so don’t bother

I’ve seen this graph before:

Isn’t that a worry? 

I’m hoping that following Brexit more people will become more interested in this general election and more people will vote. 

I see the NHS in crisis, I see our schools at breaking point, I see more people than ever using food banks, I see non existent mental health funding. Something has to change.

As for who can make that change work is anyone’s guess but I’d implore everyone to do their research and find out whose making the promises that are important to them individually.

Just don’t use the media as your source of research because no matter what they say, they are all bias one way or another.
As Puzzled Mummy of Confusing diary of a puzzled mummy pointed out to me; don’t think about how they’ll realise their promises, it’s more important that they’re promising the things that are important to you.

That’s where this useful quiz comes in handy as it can highlight which party matches your strongest beliefs. If you do nothing else do this https://uk.isidewith.com/political-quiz

I love that we live in a country that values democracy but we need to get off our asses and make sure we all have our say. Whatever that may be, just be respectful about it!