Monday, 9 November 2015

The Daily Grind

Anytime from 4:30-6:00 - gently wake up to bloodcurdling screaming from toddler. Put toddler in bed next to me, close eyes and pretend my life isn't happening.

After 20 minutes - toddler is bored and screaming/putting her finger up my nose. Time to relocate.

6:00 - Downstairs. Cbeebies.

6:30 - Twins appear and lie on sofas like they're hungover.

6:45 - Make cup of tea. Forget about it.

7:00 - Tempt them away from the television with breakfast. Have 10 minute argument about various breakfast options.

7:30 - Everybody upstairs. Lay out uniforms, say "get dressed" 56 times. Dress toddler in 3 different locations at a slight trot.

7:45 - Remember cup of tea, place in microwave, forget about it. Have shower, get dressed, wonder why I'm bothering.

8:00-8:30 - Unknown lost minutes.

8:35 - Run around the house shouting "teeth!", "shoes!"

8:40 - School run.

9:10 - Home. Cbeebies. Clear away breakfast things, tidy living room, answer texts, panic about dinner.

10:00 - Playgroup. Drink tea, chat, compare vile toddler behaviours, all the while feeling guilty that I'm not at home ironing/sorting out the crap drawer.

12:00 - Home. Make lunch, toddler throws lunch around, put lunch in bin. Give toddler crisps for lunch. Cbeebies. Guilt.

12:30 - Put toddler in bed. Creep downstairs. Pray. At light speed have lunch, empty dishwasher, panic about dinner, clean sink, treat myself to a solo wee, blog, crochet, feel guilty about crocheting and blogging.

13:30 - Toddler decides she misses me and screams her face off.

13:40 - Still screaming.

13:50 - Toddler is quiet with a dummy, muslin, biscuit and cuddly toy, on my lap watching Keeping up with the Kardashians #parentinggoals.

14:30 - Wrestle toddler into pushchair.

14:40 - School run.

15:00 - Attempt to settle 174 arguments on the way home as both twins tell me about their day at exactly the same time.

15:10 - Television goes on. Guilt. Unload washing machine, discover 2-day-old dryer full of clothes, transfer dry clothes to ironing basket, forget about them for 2 weeks.

16:30 - Make dinner.

17:00 - Present dinner to children. Have the following exchange:

Child: I hate this dinner!
Me: Don't eat it then
Child: But I want pudding!
Me: Eat your dinner then
Child: I hate this dinner!


17:30 - Vow to do something creative and stimulating before bedtime. Consult Pinterest, prepare resources, gather children, begin.

17:35 - Television goes on. Guilt.

18:00 - Put toddler in bath. Shout "bathtime" downstairs 246 times.

18:10 - Run downstairs to get twins, all the time imagining the toddler drowning in the bath.

18:15 - Everybody is in the bath. Settle various disputes about soap, shampoo, splashing, bath toys, saying "bum" and the amount of bath space available. Sing bathtime song until children request that I stop.

18:25 - Bath comes to a natural conclusion when toddler does a poo. Get everyone out, into pyjamas and back downstairs.
In The Night Garden. Relative peace.

18:50 - Toddler starts losing her shit. Girl twin is performing enthusiastic gymnastics in the living room, boy twin is screaming that he can't see the television.

19:00 - Put toddler to bed.

19:15-19:45 - Put twins to bed (I know that this shouldn't take half an hour. I know).

19:45 - Wash 2 saucepans while cooking dinner (again) and run a cloth around the sink so that it looks like I've achieved something today.

20:00 - Husband returns home. Give 3-minute synopsis of day. Open wine.

20:30 - Find cup of tea in microwave.

21:30 - Remember the bath is still full of poo.

22:00 - Collapse into bed. Try to convince myself that tomorrow might be different (spoiler alert: it isn't!)

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

With a Little Help From My Friends

We've recently returned from a family holiday and although we had a lovely time it was also pretty hard work at times and I was reminded of a comment from another mum who described her holiday as "all the same sh*t I normally do, but with none of my stuff and none of my friends".

Friends are a key tool in the parenting arsenal. I rely on mine for all sorts of things and I probably spend more time with them than my husband. Becoming a mum has meant that I've had to make friends with a completely new group of people for the first time since going to university. Many daunting, cringeworthy and awkward moments have lead me to this list of friends you need when you become a mum:

The "all-weather" friend

This mum gets top billing as she is easily the most important person in your day-to-day life. She's the friend you call at 11pm with a screaming baby in the background having run out of Calpol. The friend who you can count on to babysit when you just want to go to the hairdressers. You often don't have to vocalise your needs; she just gets it.

The "slightly ahead" friend

When I had my twins it was really useful to have a fellow twin-mum-friend whose babies were a couple of months older than mine. It give me an insight into what was coming up next and she was brilliant at passing on her newly discovered wisdom. 

The "seen it all before" friend

You'll probably see this mum at a playgroup having an in-depth conversation about the state of the economy whilst changing her toddler's nappy and simultaneously breastfeeding her baby. She'll have at least 3 children, not that you'd know it because she breezes through  each challenge and obstacle without breaking a sweat. She's capable of anything and nothing phases her. A GREAT friend for occasional emergency childcare. Her attitude is "what's one more?"  

The "first-time" friend

It is possible to get a slightly cynical as you have your third (fourth...fifth...) child, so having a friend who is experiencing it all for the first time is just lovely. When you're feeling a bit jaded, and you're casually working out the number of days until your children turn 18 on the back of an enormous childcare invoice with baked bean stains on, she reminds you of the sheer wonder and excitement of the first smile, first tooth, first steps. 

The "neurotic" friend

A bit cruel, I know, but this friend is seriously good value. She'll disinfect everything her child touches (and definitely everything of his that your child touches), get daily development alerts to her phone, visit the doctor for every sniffle, and follow every parenting forum and blog. She'll do baby yoga, signing, swimming, crafting, gardening, music, dancing, cooking and massage. She'll give you the odd giggle, the occasional top tip and the reassurance that there is always someone more uptight than you.