Tag Archives: Kids

Middle Of The Road Mum

I spent two glorious child-free hours sipping over-priced coffee and people watching in the city centre this morning as I waited for inspiration for this blog post to pull up a chair opposite me.

I watched 10 or 15 mums and dads with babies in buggies strolling around the shops and I noticed how we as mums fall (roughly) into three distinct groups. The first group is the shiny mums. The shiny mums have beautiful hair, usually long flowing locks that are glossy and lightly curled. They stay cosy in the winter sun wrapped in fur hooded parkas accessorised with aviator sunglasses. The shiny mums have the most flawless make-up I’ve seen outside Met Quarter MAC, and their nails are on trend nude and slightly pointed. The shiny children baffle me, they rock all white ensembles with non-scuffed patent leather shoes all year round and some how remain pristine for the ENTIRE DAY! How do the shiny people do it? Did I miss an anti-natal class on grooming? How I’d love to be a shiny mum. More chance of winning the euro millions jackpot.
I fall firmly into the second group which is the Middle Of The Road Mums. My kids go to school and nursery in clean, ironed uniforms with freshly washed and plaited hair, thoroughly brushed teeth, armed with packed lunches containing at least one piece of fruit (rarely eaten though) yet I still look like I fell into my wardrobe….in the dark. On weekdays I get up at 5 to ensure we’re all out the door by 8:15 yet with three hours to play with I still only manage a pair of Nikes, leggings, random tee and my parka. Yes my hair is clean, my teeth brushed and I manage a sweep of mascara….but I am not by any means shiny.
My hair is shoulder length and generally tied up, my parka is non-fur trimmed, but stain resistant Helly Hansen (I know, so 1996) and my handbag is a Cath Kidston soldier changing bag complete with a few half eaten baby biscotti and 4 open packets of Huggies baby wipes. I’ve even tried getting up earlier so I have more time to plan and look a bit more ‘together’ but my kids always sabotage my efforts by spilling Weetabix all over themselves or me, then there’s nose bleeds, baby sick and toothpaste stains to contend with. Shiny mums I applaud you, I’m about three years off getting my shit together!
I may not be a shiny mum, but its good to have something to aspire to. Plus it could be worse. The third category of mums are the ones who don’t seem to care enough or who have different priorities. Kids in disgustingly dirty buggies, not wearing a coat when its freezing cold, nappies bulging from not being changed. I don’t use the blog to bitch, everyone is fighting a battle of some description I know, but seeing these innocent little mucky faces being screamed at for getting Greggs sausage roll all over themselves by mums with the latest MK handbags and their lashes/nails done, just breaks my heart.
Kids come first right? Shiny or covered in Weetabix!
GG
x
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Woman Vs Machine

Okay deep breath……My name is GG and I am scared of heavy machinery, in particular JCB’s and wrecking balls. (Not an euphemism) I can’t even go to Alton Towers without getting a bit jittery driving past the humongous JCB plant en route. You’d think I’d be more frightened of rollercoasters?!

I’m going to treat today’s blog as a sort of scaredy cats anonymous session and get it all off my chest while the nightmare I had last night is still annoyingly fresh in my mind.

I wondered into a dream where I was happily playing with my kids and nieces and nephew in some left-over builders sand, you know the type just left on the road side when someone has had a drive block paved? Anyway, we were knee-deep in builders sand when my youngest niece shouts ‘Look a BIG DIGGER’ at this point they all run off and start climbing all over the big bright yellow machine and I immediately start backing away shouting at them all to get down. Now conveniently at this point one of the kids remind me that the other adults are at a party so if I want them to get down I’d have to go and get them. Nice subconscious….nice!

La Princesse (Credit)

La Princesse (Credit)

I’m a bit hazy about the next bit but sure enough I end up sweating profusely while climbing up the impossibly big JCB (more like the assault course from The Krypton Factor) as my eldest daughter begins to pull levers to move the gigantic claw, laughing maniacally (I wonder if Stephen King might be interested in a synopsis?) . I’m wildly chucking kids down to the ground as the claw swings frighteningly close to my head (I’m getting a bit shaky reliving this) and shouting like a docker at my daughter to get ‘the hell’ down when she leans on the control panel and the claw doubles back to wrap closely around me, pinning me into the machine. This is where I really start panicking, trying to control my breathing because the thought of being trapped in a giant piece of machinery and unable to move, is to me, terrifying.

La Princesse (Credit)

La Princesse (Credit)

I woke up at this point yanking the bed covers away and taking in huge gulping breaths. It’s the type of scenario only a nightmare can manifest and luckily for me I have a mum voice that strikes the fear of God into my kids, so the likely hood of this actually happening is slim to none. I’m also scared of spiders and unfortunately they don’t give a rats ass about me shouting at them in my scary voice. It appears that shouting ‘Don’t you disobey me’ at them is pointless and they crawl lazily into the corner of the room when they feel like. Only my Vogue back catalogue can deal with such insubordination. Eat high fashion suckers.

This irrational fear may well have sprung from my old home town of Liverpool hosting Capital of Culture a couple of years ago. The city was visited by a gigantic robotic spider (see photo…… it had to be yellow didn’t it?) La Princesse was lowered sneakily in the night into position on an old tower block and proceeded to spend a couple of days wandering around the city streets terrifying the masses. It was actually pretty awesome at the time but spiders and JCB’s……oh my!

Wonder what damage a rolled up magazine would do to a rogue JCB?

I’m not hopeful.

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Down With The Kids

Last night I spent an hour watching auditions…no not catching up on X Factor but watching a bunch of 8-12 year olds larking about pretending to be minions, evil queens and dainty princesses. It was the best fun I’ve had in ages!

I’m so pleased to be involved in the camp Christmas Panto this year and my role as Costume Head Honcho (just made that up, sounds awesome doesn’t it….might make a badge too) is going to keep me very busy between now and December. So far on my list of ‘Wants’ I have; two-piece cow costume, goggles, floaty princessy-type dresses, long gloves, clown wigs, evil queen crowns, water-squirting flowers and lots and lots of yellow t-shirts. I knew that working with kids would make for a varied workload but this is by far my most interesting challenge yet.

stagedoor

I nervously crept into the session last night amid lots of questions ‘Who are you?’ ‘why are you here?’ ‘Are you the cleaner?’ and after my initiation of shouting my name very loudly into the middle of the room I was accepted as the costume lady and quickly got involved in discussions about character and plot ideas. The weird and wonderful suggestions that poured out were nothing short of Burton meets Tarantino with a bit of sparkle and pop music thrown in……I know it’s going to be unmissable!

After the brainstorming session the auditions themselves took place, each child given just 60 seconds to perform their best acting/singing/dancing and state their case for which part they’d like…tough crowd. The best by far had to be the girl who stood and very proudly declared she would like to be ‘anything that burps’ and proceeded to let out the most humongous burp I’d ever heard…..well on demand anyway! Priceless.

After a super loud dance around to Gangnam Style, the session ended and it was left to the Youth Club leaders to deliberate over who shone and who was destined to be a tree…(Evil tree who throws apples of course) I’m not sure who is more nervous now, me or the kids? I’m counting the hours until the cast list goes up next week…..

There’s no business like show business!

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R.P.P (Rocket Propelled Pig)

I slept in my daughters bunk beds last night because I couldn’t be bothered to move the humongous pile of laundry covering my unmade bed…..it’s official, I am super lazy. To balance out this house-wife misdemeanour I’ve been out for a power walk this morning with toddler and dog, done all the dishes, two loads of washing (yes more) and I’m now writing a blog post. Unfortunately the laundry pile hasn’t magically ironed itself and is still there on my bed. My efforts this morning have basically made the pile bigger, not the greatest start to the day but following on from yesterday’s happy-a-thon I am going to rectify the situation and tackle it head on….after I’ve written this post and made a coffee.

Today I am going to write about the pensioner assault incident that I alluded to in yesterday’s post (which you can read here if you missed it) I’d like to start by saying that acts of violence against anyone should not be tolerated and even though my toddler is just 20 months old and what happened was really an accident, I still put her in the naughty corner to teach her a lesson. I was also desperately trying to not laugh probably giving myself a hernia in the process. The story goes a little something like this…

Rocket Propelled Pig

Rocket Propelled Pig

Toddler and I were in the waiting room at the train station last week, obviously waiting for our train! Toddler had been given a little Peppa Pig figurine from a friend and had spent the entire morning chewing it, chucking it about and generally having fun. I allowed her to take it on the journey with us as it was doing a sterling job of keeping her occupied while I tried to catch up on some reading while carefully keeping an eye on  her antics. The waiting room at the station is quite small, just three metal wire benches fill the space, so it’s not an ideal space for a game of throw the pig. We were soon joined by an elderly couple who sat at the far (5 feet away) end of the room and after the usual ‘Good Mornings’ ‘Nice weather’ pleasantries they sat down with an audible ‘oooff’ and smiled politely as toddler larked about blowing raspberries on the window. It was at this exact moment that toddler decided to play catch with the elderly woman, without actually telling her and with an effort Jessica Ennis would be proud of, she launched Peppa Pig at the woman, laughing hysterically as it ricocheted off her leg and landed under the bench.  I was horrified and yet quite impressed with her throwing arm! I apologised to the woman who didn’t even flinch (thank God) and as I turned to admonish toddler, trying to stop her from clapping excitedly and demanding another shot, she shouted ‘CATCH’ at the top of her voice. It took all I had not to laugh and firmly put her in the corner to think about her actions (consider her next victim more like).

My brother called me as this drama was unfolding and asked ‘Why is she doing that evil laugh again?’…….. Says it all really.

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The Importance of Being Kind

When was the last time you were kind to someone? You know, did something nice or complimented somebody because you knew it would make them smile? I think kindness is a quality to be treasured, especially in times when it’s far too easy to criticise, judge and even bully just by clicking a mouse. I teach my children to be kind, to play nicely with other kids (which they do for an hour or so) and share their things willingly. It’s when I see them having fun like this, so innocently that I worry the most about them becoming teenagers and forgetting to be kind to one another, so wrapped up in the daily pressures of school and Facebook!

Random acts of kindness make the headlines now which is a lovely way to end the national news bulletin after a week of bombings, funerals, murders and the fatal Texas explosion just this morning. It’s a huge annoyance that social networking sites like Facebook are becoming constant streams of like-this-image-if-you-care updates, especially the ‘My Dad said he’ll buy me a car if I get a million likes’ Oh bog off and finish your coursework will you? My Twitter feed regularly features celebrity RT requests for the most ridiculous of causes……hence only really following one celebrity (does that make me a stalker?).

I really think it’s about time we all started being a bit nicer to each other. We’re always telling our kids to do it, so instead of  a bitchy comment or turning a blind eye how about offering a helping hand, a kind word or a compliment once in a while? I’ll tell you what….I’ll get the ball rolling….

I don’t know what you’ve done with your hair…but you are looking fabulous!

Okay…..your turn.

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The Small Hands of Destruction

I have lost my temper more times than I care to remember this weekend and it’s all thanks to the little people in my life.

When my eldest was born I fully accepted the fact that it would be totally impractical to have nice-things in our home as at some stage of her development the nice-things would be ruined, broken or at the very least snotted on. For seven and a half years I have gone without designer cushions on my DFS easily cleaned sofa, I’ve longed for a rug that doesn’t have a jigsaw of stains all over it and sometimes I can’t contain my bitter disappointment at losing my favourite floor standing lamp thanks to an over excited game of pull the dog by his tail. I know, I had a favourite floor lamp…..maybe I need help?

drawing-on-walls

This weekend my youngest monster, who has now firmly taken over the reins as master of destruction, has poured beakers of juice on the sofa, mashed her lunch into the dining table, pee’d on my duvet and laughed hysterically as she drew a multitude of murals on the walls around our home. She watched me wash the sofa cushions after the last soaking episode, I scrubbed the hall walls clean of pencil marks just last week and I’ve given up on the dining table!  Don’t get me wrong, I know most families go through this stage and it’s not like I didn’t expect it, I’m just growing weary of child-friendly furnishings and spending my mornings ensuring all the crayons are safely locked away.

design heaven

My dream house would be predominantly white, purely because I can’t have anything white for at least another 5 years. We’ve not had a coffee table since 2006 after eldest daughter decided to head-butt the corner of our solid oak rectangular table resulting in a small but lasting scar on her forehead. Whenever I see a coffee table I’d like to purchase I look at her Harry Potter style scar and put my Visa card back into my purse. Maybe I could buy a round coffee table?

It’s not like I’m counting down the days (1826) until my kids are responsible enough to not jump from one sofa to the other or use the curtain tie-backs as snakes/pony reins/skipping ropes but I am really looking forward to decorating just one room for me. I’d love to line an entire wall with bookcases, buy fragile decorative items and fill the room with rectangular tables, white cushions and diamond chandelier floor lamps….. maybe one day.

 

 

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The Bandwagon

I wanted to blog about something light-hearted today as my big career plan essay yesterday was a little war and peace wasn’t it? Well in the absence of a hilarious anecdote to share with you…I give you my youngest daughter doing her best Gangnam Style dance at our friend’s Christening party on Saturday. Apologies for jumping on the bandwagon, but she’s only 17 months old…..and it is quite funny!

 

 

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Thursday’s Child

I was born on a Thursday and according to the traditional rhyme that makes me one of the cool kids, not the whiny, or overly polite or hard-working ones, a cool one! The story goes that it was 104 degrees that particular November day and my Mum was stuffing her face with melon when I decided I would make my journey into the big wide world. No no, she’d not had too much gas and air, I was born abroad and as luck would have it, being mahoosively pregnant during Winter south of the equator means kaftans, Birkenstocks and a shed load of ice!

Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay

It could have been a lot worse, I could have been born early and risked being the sulky Wednesday kid, or just over the cusp of Midnight resulting in Friday’s loving and giving (code for clingy and dependant). So a big thumbs up to mother nature for getting the timing spot on. I wouldn’t have minded being a Sunday’s child, bonny, blithe, good and gay sounds like the kind who just walks into success doesn’t it? Good-looking, but doesn’t know it, fair and honest and the happiest kid around. I like you Sunday’s child, you’re cool too!

Thursday’s child has far to go. I have moved home 24 times, I have lived on two continents (okay not that impressive but I know what Dover port and Heathrow airport look like) I’ve lived in three countries and travelled to a hell of a lot more, I think that living up to the Thursday’s child expectations is going well, but there is still father to go! I have such aspirations about travelling and seeing the world, there is just so much out there that has to be seen to be believed. I wrote an entire blog about my bucket list (you can read it here) and the majority of it involves travel, I simply have to get to Niagara Falls before I cark it. So what about Thursday’s adult, maybe time to make up a new rhyme?

Okay look, I’m just joking around and don’t really believe that anyone can be defined by a daft nursery rhyme, I mean, I grew up thinking Humpty Dumpty was an egg, but where in the rhyme does it say that? Poor misunderstood Humpty, maybe he was just big-boned?

PS, Sorry Wednesday sulky kids x

 

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100 Not Out

Here’s to my first celebration, Geordie‘s Girl (not me, the blog) is 100. Since early March I have written 100 blog posts with November being my busiest month thanks to the NaBloPoMo writing challenge. Not bad for an old bird eh? I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I can focus on for this special occasion the most important of which was getting Sky to give me a decent bloody broadband connection, god they are truly crap aren’t they?

I decided to look for others who are celebrating today. It made the national news that Prince Charles is 64 today, not exactly my favourite royal! Josh Duhamel  (Transformers) is waving the flag for sexy at 40 today and my favourite actor in the whole world Patrick Warburton (Family Guy, Rules of Engagement) is 48 years young. According to yet another super-accurate Google search I found out that there will be an estimated 361,481 babies born worldwide today, aw happy birthday you little guys, welcome to the human race, approximately 82 couples got married in the UK today, congrats (don’t forget the first year of marriage is the hardest okay?). Last but by no means least Happy Diwali to everyone celebrating the festival of light! (Which I know technically started yesterday).

When I think about 100 the FHM‘s sexiest list springs to mind, as does 100 best kids toys for Christmas and mad lists you find on-line about 100 things to do before you die (of which about 35 are do-able on an average wage with a family to consider) Not exactly stuff to get massively excited about and who on earth voted for Tulisa? Don’t get me wrong, I like her but when stunner’s such as Emma Stone and Miranda Kerr are alive and well how did she top the poll…..(I’ve just been reliably informed it was because of her ‘tape’).

The blog has been a great outlet for me to practise my writing and to test myself at sticking at something for longer than five minutes. The only other thing I have applied myself to are pregnancy (standard 9 months) and marriage to Geordie (10 months and counting) so sticking to the blog for this long has given me a real confidence boost. My tag line is ‘Procrastination is for Loser’s’ and up until I started the blog I was the biggest loser I knew. I always got so carried away with random ideas that I would quickly tire of and then move onto the next hair-brained idea without success. I would never finish anything and get frustrated with never accomplishing anything. There are even blog posts about such ideas such as the wedding dress, and the weight loss you can read them here and here, the outcomes are predictable; the wedding dress is at the local Age UK charity shop and I’m still 11 stone 4lbs…bugger. Procrastination is a work in progress, but I am most definitely making progress, whatever you have achieved today or if you are celebrating, have a huge congratulations from me. xx

Cake anyone?

Photo credit here

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I Have A Dream

I was talking to my Dad yesterday, he was telling me that he’d had a rubbish night’s sleep as he had dreamed about my Nan who passed away 8 years ago. It would have been her 97th birthday last week had she battled through a broken hip as she had countless heart attacks and strokes. The last few nights I’ve had some random dreams too, random but very vivid. The most interesting one was EastEnders character Jack (Actor Scott Malsen) pursuing me through Venice desperate for a date?! I watch EastEnders around twice a month and rely on my Mum to fill me in on the story lines that I’ve missed so as I’m not an avid viewer I though my subconscious choice of love interested was indeed random?! PS I knew it was Venice because of the gondolas!

When I was about 6 I watched an episode of Casualty (yes it’s been going that long) that featured a patient who looked a bit like Frankenstein after sustaining a nasty head injury. For about two weeks afterwards I had nightmares that he was in the cupboard under the stairs and was trying to break free to get me! See vivid, it’s 24 years later and I still remember it well. Also around this time I received a What’s New Scooby Doo? annual for my birthday, one of the cartoon strip stories involved a rope bridge and the villain of choice this time was a very angry giant gorilla. Once again my over active imagination decided we’d be trying to escape the giant gorilla who was shaking the nuts out of the rope bridge as I held on for dear life. Stupid Scooby Doo.

Don’t you just love those dreams where you fall off a cliff or bridge and wake up a split second before you hit the ground? No me neither. Geordie certainly doesn’t care for being kicked/kneed/slapped in various body parts in the middle of the night as I simulate ninja like moves to combat the rapidly approaching ground. As a Mum it breaks my heart when my girls wake in the night in floods of tears because they’re had a nightmare. My youngest stays asleep most of the time and just whimpers which is particularly heart wrenching to hear. My eldest comes tearing into the room as if whatever horrific monster disturbed her sleep really was under her bed. Although by the state of her bedroom most days the monster would do himself more damage standing on Lego or Lalaloopsy dolls before he reached the door, good get away plan for a 6-year-old.

Sweet Dreams!

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Mum Knows Best?

The Pink Panther cartoon character

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please help me! My daughter has been asleep for the last twenty minutes and yet I am still sat here watching Raa Raa the Lion on CITV and I can’t bring myself to get up and turn it over. I’m fast becoming a champion of theme tunes, celebrity voice overs and episode names for the majority of Cbeebies and CITV cartoons and it’s not really what Geordie wants to hear about when he gets back in from the adult world of work. He moans about the monotony of his daily routine and not getting to the gym, I moan that the episode of Horrid Henry when Henry makes his Mum some nasty perfume was on AGAIN! It’s hardly a match made in heaven.

I am pleasantly surprised that with all the cartoons on the TV 24/7 that my youngest has taken a shine to some real classics, Sooty and The Pink Panther raising the highest squeal as soon as the theme tune kicks in. Are you humming The Pink Panther now? I do…in my sleep. There have been many heated debates over the dining table about which Atomic Betty theme tune is the best, I’m so old school but my girls are rolling with the times. Pah! what do they know, they’ve never even heard of ThunderCats, Trap Door or Willow The Wisp!

My Mum has offered to buy my eldest daughter a TV for Christmas for the last couple of years but I’ve always declined because I’m positive it will become impossible to get her out of her bedroom and into the fresh air without resorting to blackmail. Not a situation I want to tackle until she’s at least at high school, and while she still believes that you get square eyes from watching too much TV I’m going to usher her in the garden in her wellie’s to play as much as possible, especially when my cartoons are on.

What’s your favourite cartoon?

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A Few Words

Everyone reads something everyday whether it’s intentional or not, we see the words on the shampoo bottles in the shower, the brand name on the tea bags at breakfast or the number and destination of the bus as it arrives, usually late at the bus stop. I love to read, and now that my eldest daughter is a confident reader it’s made the printed word much more interesting. It’s impossible to have certain conversations in her presence now as she can spell the words we don’t want her to hear, and at the train station she will quite happily ask about bowel cancer and Tampax, thanks to the large advertisements on the wall. I consider myself lucky that when it comes to pocket money day my not-so-little-one will always chose a book, magazine or Top Trumps before the usual carrier bag full of sweets and it’s never a surprise to find her curled up on the sofa reading Horrid Henry with the TV on full blast in the background, kids eh?

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Geordie doesn’t read and I can’t help but think this has a direct effect on his opinions and attitudes towards certain subjects. He has spent 10 years in his job reading manuals on circuitry and such things and can tinker away fixing things with the best of them, which leads me to believe that if you take the time to read you can master almost any subject.

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As a teenager reading bored me to tears. I had a real problem with being forced to read Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet at school as well as anthology of poetry, I was marched into the head of of English the day before deadline and asked why I was yet to produce three essays on the text. Looking back now I wish I had told the truth and said because you are forcing me to read something I don’t enjoy and find incredibly boring instead of saying something pathetic and along the lines of ‘Oh I forgot’. I went home that night and wrote three essays which helped to secure me an A grade in GCSE English. Who knew cramming actually worked?

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I started my love affair with reading pouring over Danielle Steele novels believing that if I lived in America one of those fanciful story lines would totally happen to me. Luckily I moved on to Stephen King quite quickly and got the biggest reality check that literature can throw at you, I never want to experience anything he has written that’s for sure. I think my parents and step sister Beth are responsible for my change of heart, I read the same crime thiller books as my Mum and Dad so we have a sort of family lending library going on. I dread teaching them how to use a Kindle so they’re both getting books for Christmas again!

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Do you like to read? What’s your favourite book?

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