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The Shame of a Messy Car

Today, as I procrastinate on the web I find myself thinking of those little jobs that never get done. Sure, I could be working my way through them now, but cleaning the car out won’t enhance my career as a writer will it?

Of course I could do what I’m sure sensible people do and bring the rubbish in after each trip rather than letting the footwell’s fill up with wrappers, books, children’s clothing and various debris: That would be far too simple wouldn’t it? I have instead, a boot full of plastic bags, each one signifies my intention to tidy….. Before I set off on various exciting expeditions to the supermarket or the thrill of the school run, I load up the children into their car seats and add a carrier to the boot: for when I return home I shall bring in the wildlife!! On the very few occasions I have managed to achieve this, the plastic bags sit on the stairs for at least a week before my long suffering husband decides he has had enough of me walking past them and sorts them out himself….. Many a suitable child’s jumper has be worn and discarded in that car, only to be retrieved with such a lapse in time that it nolonger reaches the wrist.

But who cares right? I don’t often have car visitors. The other half has a quick jog round if the in-laws are coming for fear they will see it as another reason why I’ll never be good enough for their son….. If the MIL starts clearing it out then I know I’ve gone too far. Shame on me for allowing life to get in the way of a spotless car eh?. She does have a small point though, if passive aggressively made: It is fairly shameful isn’t it? I mean, I hate that moment just before I step out the car door, where I pray that a red bull can will not clatter out after me or heaven forbid, someone finds out we had drive-through Macdonalds a week ago… oh the shame!

Not too long ago the eldest opened her door, only for a sudden gust of wind to blow 10 sandwich bags across the playground (leftover from our half term trip, should H get travel sickness). Of course I then had a choice, do I run after them thus alerting even more people to the fact that I’m a complete Slummy Mummy, or do I leave them and risk the raised eyebrows of the few Chelsea tractor driving yummies who did see….. I opted for a third option, yes, I made it into a game…. Quick H, chase the bags, catch the bags, oh isn’t this fun….. Since that day the eldest has continued to ask me ‘when can we play the bag catch game again mummy?’….

The upside to all this however, is that as the car gets messier and messier I HAVE to get more organised in the mornings (?). I can now be found leaving the house at a reasonable time in order to avoid having to park at the school: I’m officially a walker now. The shame of being the parent who gets in THAT car is all consuming. I’ve seen more than the odd glance at the dashboard by families walking past, ‘wow mummy look at that’ the children point at the lose change, pair of sunglasses (yes, in the middle of winter) pieces of lego and wetwipes which festoon the ledge….. I can only hope that such families passing have the same walk/drive debate and can empathise…. If not, well…. Maybe they are cleaning out their cars rather than writing about not doing it..….
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Adventures on the road

You know the story, you’re setting off for a few days away, excited for a break but the prospect of 4 hours in the car fills you with dread. You think back to your childhood and the phrases used by your parents on such journeys and, with horror, you realise that you too have uttered the fateful words to your own little ones on more than one occasion.

‘Don’t make me turn this car around’ this is often accompanied by the paralysing fear that you might actually have to carry it through….. we have done this once, it wasn’t as dramatic as it could be, given that we had to drive a good four miles to find a suitable turning spot, and then driving for nearly an hour back home before we felt calm had been restored long enough to continue on our merry way.

Various forms of ‘Are we there yet?’…. ‘When will we get there’ and ‘How much longer’ run riot. I refrain from giving set times, something which infuriated me as a child. Yet how can a 7 year old comprehend the following: A misguided satnav, a misguided map reader (normally me), 3 lanes of stand still traffic on the motorway or that stopping for a toilet break adds 30 mins on to a journey while you locate the services, park 2 miles from the entrance, negotiate fellow weary travellers and have the ‘service station shops do not sell boiled sweets’ discussion. Those packets are for display purposes only, no self-respecting outlet would add a 200% mark-up bon bons… surely?

My eldest didn’t quite understand why we wanted to go the ‘pretty way’ home last week.

On deciding he was fed up of miles of concrete and bored of the licence plate game….. (also needing fresh material for eye spy having exhausted: car, road, sky and tree for the last 2 hours), my husband, and our out of date satnav, took to the country lanes for an adventure. No sooner had we found ourselves on a beautiful (but winding) B road then we heard the ill-fated words… ‘Mummy, I need the bathroom’, Cue a race against time…. After 20 mins (and some close shaves, involving 3 sneezes and a quaint waterfall), we arrived at a picturesque village on the edge of the Devonshire moors.

This was the kind of village where each house had a beautiful array of hanging baskets and the local shop was decorated with bunting. Tiny cobbled side streets led to a traditional church yard with a noticeboard to local events and newsletters detailing bingo, craft fayres and choir practice….. It also had some public loos….. With sigh of relief the eldest made it to the cubical in time…. Scott and baby Roo explored the area while H took a longer than average amount of time in the stall. The boys returned concluding it really was an award winning location.

I can only guess, that in such a perfect village no one thought to check the plumbing system of the public toilet……… I can just see the hurt, bewilderment and confusion at the next village meeting when someone asked… ‘Just who WAS that slummy family who came to our village last week? Did you know, they came, they pooed and then they left…..’ Yes the flush was broken…. Sorry elders of Looville! We promise we’ll stick to motorway services in future……

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Half-term song

Hello all, So after a few days off I thought I’d share with you all what we have been up to over the half term, some I may even make into blog posts….. Extra stress on the MAY as I’m sure you’re still awaiting the rest of my experiment… cough…. cough, never set goals, you’ll only feel like a failure when you don’t succeed.
Anywho, given that there’s less 8 weeks till Christmas I thought I’d break into song…

For the half-term holiday the Macdonald family (had)

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11 cups of coffee
10 dirty nappies
9 home-made cupcakes
8 loads of washing
7 hours Ikea-ing
5 days off work
4 calved pumpkins
3 lie ins
2 days in Bristol
And a fast trip to A and E

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Slummy Chic

Half term is rapidly approaching and I can’t wait, here’s why

  • I can spend some quality time with the eldest
  • I can spend some quality time with the hubby (who doesn’t work school holidays)
  • I also have the week off of work
  • I can (fingers crossed) have a lay in at some point next week, bliss
  • I won’t have to do the school run: Yay extra jammie time
  • Halloween is just around the corner
  • Hubby has offered to decorate one room of my choosing..

It’s this last one which has got me in a spin, one room, any room (bar the family room, which is open plan living/dining room/kitchen and will no doubt be in use) I can chose either mine or Scott’s office, one of the toilets, our bedroom or one of the children’s. So here’s the dilemma, which do I chose? Being a ‘Slummy Mummy’ means I have my own unique way of decorating, this usually involves the following:

  • Buying candles (lots of candles, purely ornamental mind you)
  • Buying picture frames (lots of picture frames)
  • Purchasing those mini paint tester pots (You know the ones, where you paint a stripe on each wall and it they sits there for 3 years while you decide which colour you prefer)
  • Buying cushions (lots of cushions)
  • Collecting paint supplies (we have a range of different tapes, overalls, dust sheets, brushes and rollers)
  • Hours of internet research with Google images
  • Hours of internet research with Pinterest
  • Hours of internet research with DIY stores
  • Hours of wandering around show homes, department stores and the home sections of supermarkets for inspirationhome final

So with all this, how many rooms have I decorated in the last ten years? Let’s think, 5 homes, er 0 complete rooms:

Home 1, a flat, no point decorating, this is a pit stop

Home 2, all neutral anyway, I painted a wall of the kitchen bright pink, only to have it all crumble and fall off during the winter, that was a coooold house, I did put up some stickers in the hallway and begin my candle collection though.

Home 3, painted a previously hideous brown wall: green, got cushions, used testers, added to the candle collection…. Painted H’s room and put up a border…. (I lie, I met my husband that year, and he did that for me)

Home 4….. Paid a decorator to do our downstairs and My husband painted our larder door, I then stripped the wall paper in our bedroom, got bored, fell pregnant (not cos I was bored) and stared at a half done wall for a year.

So here we are home number 5!!!! I’m pleased to say, this is our 10 year house…. So when you think about it, there’s no rush to decorate really….. maybe I’ll get some new cushions