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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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Mum Flu

I’ve been a bit MIA of late, I call it mum flu, not to be confused with the male variety of this illness, mum flu is very different. For a start Mum flu is real, it’s the weight of the world feeling which creeps up on you after a week of insomnia, that run down ache which means that you crawl into bed at 8pm leaving the previous night’s washing up on the side and setting you out of whack for a good few days to come. umbra-casa-tissue-box-cover-3Having recovered enough to be up at 5am with a cupa tea I’m able to reflect on how colds and flu affect our household, because you can be sure, we all act very differently.

The man of the house: now I’m very lucky that the man of this household doesn’t suffer from man flu. Instead, his bunged up snoring could keep even the most run down of partners awake, a little shove in the side serves only to irregulate the rhythm….

When the OH has a cold you can be sure it’s a gamble at night, do you leave him to his earth trembling wheezes? or risk awakening the snot ball with a jab in the ribs? My husband is far too polite, which increases my annoyance, a quick poke and request to stop is very often followed by a heartfelt apology, a few blissful seconds of peace then a volcano like explosion of the snores withheld during the altercation…..ill just leave him to it, maybe leave a passive aggressive note on the notice board in the morning…… I can’t possibly send him to the sofa if he is ill…. Can i???? Might have to get a sofa bed for his man room/office, I’ll put that on the to-do-list!Lemsip-Logo

In the day he’s fairly good at getting on with things, now, this may seem ideal to you mummies who’s other halves lay about on the couch demanding Lemsip and sympathy, however, to me, when the hubby is ill and trooping on, that means the cold can’t be that bad.

Inevitably he starts the cycle off meaning not only does he get the blame for giving me the lurgy, he is more than likely two days ahead of me in its development. No matter how I feel, he has been there and done that 48 hours before…. No lolling about for me.

The only thing I can possibly find to fault this annoying man with is, that rather than use one tissue until it disintegrates, which I’m charged with doing, he manages to: a, sneeze once into every tissue in the house leaving me with kitchen roll and b, leave a loo roll on the dash board of both cars, not great if you’re trying to play yummy mummy on the school run that day! This annoying bugger always remembers to put his tissues in the bin though… far too perfect if you ask me!!

Baby Roo: Now this little monster is always bloomin ill, a mouse could sneeze 10 miles away and you can be sure ‘little boy’ will turn into a giant ball of snot by the end of the day. Does he suffer in silence like his daddy?? Oh no! he likes to mix it up a bit, see what other ailment he can add to it, just to get maximum attention. So far this week (and remember its only Tuesday) he has had the cold, appears to have an 8th tooth on the way (ridiculous as he is only 9 months old) DSCF3178and has decided to try his hand at letting go of the sofa when cruising about, that’s not an ailment you say? Nope but tripping on your own feet or head-butting the stair gate is….. therefore my day is spent (remember I’m ill too) changing snotty clothes locating the loo roll from the cars, and allowing the baby to latch on for most of the day. Does this send him into one of those ill, but cute 2 hours naps? Nope he sits on boob, trying to breathe through blocks nostrils, playing with his toes…. The rest of the time is spent feeling very sorry for himself and rubbing is little eyes, demanding to be carried and refusing his cot…. Sensitive, serious little boy!!

Big girl H: What a miracle child, she’s like Bruce Wills in that underrated superhero film, Unbreakable, this little girl never gets ill, she sneezed once but I think she just had a tickle under her nose…. She’s fantastic at playing the big sister/caring nurse maid, inevitably it is her who: retrieves the loo roll, tuts about the disintegrated tissues left in various locations, and sneaks the occasional soother from the packet (she thinks I don’t know). DSCF2757Harriet is a smart girl, far too wise for her own good, she had learnt from who knows where, various phrases to use when the rest of us are ill. These include….. ‘the best thing you can do is let the air get to it’ (we’re talking about a sore throat here) ‘an apple a day, mummy, you don’t eat enough fruit….’, and ‘pull yourself together, it’s not the end of the world’. All these sayings while v v funny, neglect the real issue…. That is to say, you can be 99.9% sure SHE was the one who carried the beastly virus into the house to begin with.

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The mother of all insomniacs

DSCF3302I don’t know what it is about us mums, but according to my extensive research (Googleing for 5 mins) insomnia is fairly common for us.

WHY? You scream, surly the never ending merry-go-round of childcare, washing, cooking, cleaning, work, blogging and the wiping of little noses, is enough to send us into a coma as soon as our tired little heads hit the pillow of our unmade beds… I wonder if the constant night feeds, puts us out of sync? If grabbing those 30 mins to yourself each night to watch re-runs of Dawson’s Creek (just me?!) mean that, like our offspring, we miss that tired window sometimes….. Unfortunately, unlike baby Roo this issue can’t be cured with a bit of boob and a snuggle with my blanky (v v v odd and disturbing if it could). So what to do??DSCF3309

Well I’m heading downstairs to grab a Horlicks…. I vaguely remember seeing it in the cupboard recently, which given that I must have been the one to unpack it after the ‘big move’ a month ago, shows just how sleep deprived I must be. I don’t even know if I like the stuff……. Here are my tips to motherhood insomnia

  1. Grab a Horlicks  oh for the love of…. Don’t, don’t grab a Horlicks, it tastes like feet!
  2. Remember, those self-aware angsty teens with a vocabulary far beyond their years can wait…. Yes even Pacey!
  3. Don’t check on the children, yes I know they look beautiful when asleep but don’t let that cloud your memory of the other 12 hours a day
  4. Don’t start fretting that there is no way your children sleep for 12 hours (neither do mine, It just sounded good)
  5. Do, make a to-do-list
  6. Don’t write to-do-list then sing ‘Hang me on the wall’ to the tune of ‘Fly me to the moon’, (you’ll never get to sleep if you’re being a silly billy)
  7. Don’t do some cleaning…. (If I’d have said DO some cleaning you’d feel guilty for not, so better me take the option away from you)
  8. Do make a delicious Options wicked white chocolate
  9. Don’t let it go cold while you write a blog
  10. Noooo, don’t make another one; you’ll never get to sleep!!!
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The to-do-list

The best thing about a to-do-list is that writing a job down is productive in itself. I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when a chore is out of my head and in black and white, so much so that I can then forget about it for a few days…. weeks…. months.

The problem with such lists however, is that most household jobs don’t stand alone do they? Everything is connected. For example, I need to hang the washing out, this cannot be done until the baby is either A. asleep (pfft) or B safely occupied: In order for said baby to be safely occupied I need to sort out the wires from the Television. We recently had it put on the wall and there is now a copious amount of leads within the reach of small arms…. In order to sort these leads, a shelf needs to be put on the wall for the digital box and the DVD player…. Do you see where I’m going?? The list is pretty darn long… having said that, it’s very satisfying when you can scrub off 6 items on the to-do-list in one go.

In our previous house I had a pretty awesome board in our kitchen for all those little things that I needed to remember. We (meaning my husband) painted the larder door with blackboard paint.

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This was also a fantastic way of reducing (outward) family conflict, not only do you ensure you never run out of loo paper (shopping list section)…. You can leave passive aggressive notes for your loved ones… ‘Tidy your bedroom’, ‘put up shelves’ etc

Unfortunately no such board exists in our new house and we don’t have a larder…. We have taken to writing sticky notes and leaving them around the kitchen.

These notes waft around every time someone enters the room, I’m pretty sure the shopping list is down the side of the dishwasher at the moment. I have however, purchased some funky pink chalk paint for my office wall….

Just need to write a post it…

post-it-pink1 - CopyOh, and while I have the pad….

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(I got hungry at 10pm last night and ate six petit filous)

Not on the high street is my favourite on-line shop at the mo…. not least because they have a solution to the odd sock problem…… normal_1779_the_sock_exchange

………but they also have some great notice boards for those all-important lists……. (Just don’t forget to write a passive aggressive post it for the other half, telling them to ‘put notice board on wall’ – of course, if you’re sensible, you’ll just add it to your own to-do-list….. I however, cant put up the notice board until I have hung out the washing………… humph…..

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