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Our first family holiday – Butlins Bognor Regis

So our first family holiday has now happened! We’ve taken George on several holidays since his birth, but these have all included other members of mine or hubbies family. Mums, dads, nans, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles. Whilst group holidays are a nice way to spend some quality time together, I have found since having George that these type of holidays are hard work. You would expect that they would be easier and more relaxed as the baby sitting duties can be shared. This hasn’t ever happened though and to be perfectly honest I’ve never wanted it to. I’ve just spent nigh on 30 years holidaying by myself and 16 of those with hubby and I as a couple. I love the notion of having child friendly holidays now that we are parents. Doing all the silly activities we haven’t done since we ourself were children. This is something I find is near on impossible when you have a string of family tags on with you. All with their own needs, wishes and desires. Some can’t eat past midday, some can’t walk too far or detest kids play places, others have their own small children with their own nap times, likes and dislikes, then there are the fellas who would rather just slowly navigate from pub to pub. Overall, since I became a mum I find myself becoming exasperated with trying to fit in with everyone else’s requirements.

So imagine my extreme excitement when myself and hubby booked a tots week to Butlins, Bognor Regis for our first holiday as just the three of us, just a few weeks shy of George’s second birthday. It also included Thomas and Friends as the live show, which I knew he would love. (One of the reasons I booked this specific week.)

We arrived on a Monday and was greeted with a friendly reception team and directed towards our children’s themed hotel room. The corridor leading to the room was carpeted with fish pools and life saving rings printed onto the carpet. Your entrance and exit to the elevator was via a ‘walk the plank’ effect vinyl flooring. Each room had a pirate ship steering wheel and navigation board as well as a large octopus cushion and octopus feet sofa. George’s bedroom was a double bunk room complete with porthole effect lights as well as a soothing soft coloured night light built into the shelf above the wardrobe. The room also had a small flat screen TV. The ship/sea theme continued throughout the room with smart captions on the drawers and a fishy poem with pictures printed on the the bath area wall. We were impressed. It was clean, comfortable for us and exciting and novel for George. 

After unpacking our luggage we decided to go on a quick walk around the Butlins site to check out the facilities. We had been previously but not for three years and hadn’t stayed during a tots week before. As we walked around we made a note of all the shows and activity timings that we would be interested in throughout the week. George was running around at high speed in complete awe of everything on offer, including the huge expanse of amusement arcades. We did note however that there were quite a few older people without children, as well as a very large group of adults with carers. Many had a mental disability or cognitive disorder or down syndrome and it was apparent they needed an intense level of care. Their family didn’t appear to be with them, they all had a minimum of one to one care. I thought it strange they was on a tots week but mentally and emotionally many of them were behaving as children do so thought this may be why. We also couldn’t find anywhere advertising the live Thomas show. 


Arriving back at our hotel reception we were informed that it wasn’t Just For Tots week and it wasn’t the Thomas live show week. Feeling deflated, we got the reception staff to check for us. One call to the manager later and we were informed that it wasn’t our mistake. The website clearly had sold us a Just for Tots weeks but it wasn’t in fact on until the end of the month. The manager gave us complimentary tickets to a 3D Dino babies cinema experience to the value of £10 but given we had spent £262 on a break that was meant to be specifically aimed at toddlers we were less than impressed but felt helpless as really there was nothing anyone could do. Seeing George’s excitement continuing to build and the amazing  smile he had on his face helped us to realise that in the grand scheme of things it didn’t matter. He was completely oblivious to what could have been. We chose to plough head on into our week of fun, despite the fact I couldn’t shake the feeling of disappointment. Having informed all our friends and family of our plans to commemorate George turning two, I felt a bit foolish realising it wasn’t going to fully be the experience we had hoped. A quick Facebook update to friends and family helped alleviate this. I also sent a tweet to Butlins to vent my disappointment, along with a screen shot of the misleading website booking. I’m yet to receive a response from them. 

Hubby, aware of how easily my mood shifts (we suspect I’m suffering a mild bout of depression) tried to boost my spirits by pointing out continually how happy and unaware George was. We threw ourselves into making it as memorable week as possible for us all. Clapping, singing, dancing and just generally being as silly and enthusiastic as the entertainment team on site as we went. George fell absolutely head over heels with the two star characters featured at Butlins, Billy Bear and his girlfriend Bonnie Bear. We watched and got involved in so many shows, we really did have a blast and the shows are really high quality. Unlike other holiday camps there are regular children’s shows and activities from 10am through to late at night including puppet shows, putting Billy Bear to bed, and live shows of their favourite TV characters. This week features angelina ballerina, bob the builder and fireman sam. 

The biggest negative of the week was the attitude and terrible customer service we experienced at some of the onsite food establishments and bowling alley. In the first day alone we walked out from the Papa Johns after being seated but no service. Three places couldn’t make the cocktails I requested from the menu due to lack of ingredients or “technical difficulties” as I was told. One restaurant charged us £22 per adult for an all you can eat buffet, failing to tell us they were stopping it no more than 10 minutes after we arrived. Realising they were clearing the food away whilst we were eating our dinner, we had jump up and grab deserts mid way through our dinner. The waitresses also didn’t ask if you were finished before they cleared your plate and had already made George cry when we visited for breakfast as they removed his food before he had finished. After complaining to management they couldn’t offer any compensation or refund. We also visited the bike hire to enquire if we George was suitable to sit on the front of a family bike, which he was. Leaving saying we would return the following say as we had a show scheduled, we returned the following day to find they only had two bikes and they have to be booked in advance so none were available. Probably things that are common sense to some but we didn’t realise and wasn’t informed. The bowling alley didn’t appear to be manned when we visited and it was a huge effort just to try to track someone down to enable us to book a game. Overall though we had a fabulous week and George fell in love with the place and we are crazily considering returning next year. 

I would recommend it as a concept but I’m eager to try one of their other resorts.  And I can’t reiterate enough that the shoreline hotel staff and all the entertainment crew were incredibly friendly and always gave us a warm welcome. And I will say that if you went self catering and didn’t visit any of the restaurants then you would probably write a rave review. 

Having now tried a bog standard mid week break, as well as an adults only themed weekend, I am eager to try a just for tots week (although obviously this would be ticked off my list by now had the booking website not been inaccurate!) I would recommend booking over the telephone as the website is quite evidently poor. 

 
Just to top the week off nicely we were surprised with a massive load of vomit from George on the car journey home. Something I wasn’t expecting as it’s only the third time in his life he’s ever been sick and I hadn’t experienced the previous two times as they happened at nursery. Thankfully we had a car full of spare clothes and towels but I have a car seat to deep clean now. Oh the joys of going on holiday! (She’s says gleefully)

Until next time……..

Common as sense

If becoming a mum has done anything for me it’s certainly improved my common sense. This may be because before I make any mumsy decisions I tend to “research the crap” out of them first. And as for any non mumsy decisions, well they are few and far between these past 18 months. So maybe it would be fun for me to enlighten you to my ditsy past. I’m not one of those girls that acts stupid because she thinks it makes her look cute. I’ll be the first to tell you how intelligent I actually am. Alls that I’m lacking is some common sense. “Don’t be silly!” people say, “you have lots of common sense”. Oh really! Let’s see what you think in a few minutes then shall we. 


Now I was easily 25 and over and had been driving around 4 years when I discovered rather amazingly that miles per hour (or mph) actually means how many miles you will do in an hour at that speed! I mean I still can’t comprehend it now. It actually means something. It’s not just a measurement for measurements sake. It can be used to calculate how long it will take to get somewhere depending on what speed you drive! Now having discovered this marvellous piece of knowledge, I rushed to share it will those around me, and you won’t be surprised to know that this wasn’t only a revelation to myself. So perhaps I am forgiven in the common sense stakes here. 


Before I had George I used to work in pharmacy. During our training years and college days, myself and my two, now very good friends for life, were released from college early one day. Realising this meant returning to work, we quickly talked ourselves out of it. By the time we travelled the hour home to change into suitable work attire, had lunch, travelled to work? It would be home time. No, let’s come up with a full proof story on what we want work to think happened. So we were released from college a few hours later than the truth and decided we needed to have a lunch break by which point the rest of the real story meant that we actually wouldn’t make it to work until after closing. So we all agreed that we would tell everyone we got released at said time and went to have lunch. My friend suggested we say we went to “Greggs” for a sandwich and then headed for home. “But I had a sausage roll” I piped up.  “What?!” My friends replied, still in the early days of us all get acquainted with each other. “Yeah”, I continued “I’ll say I had a sausage roll, coz there’s no way I would go to Greggs and not have a sausage roll, it’s got to be believable!”. Chuckling as I type this. I honestly can’t lie so to me I had to imagine it as if it were the truth. Absolutely bewildered, my friends could not get their heads around my declaration and to this day they have referred to me as “Trig”. This got round at work and I was soon being pranked with requests to remove labels from boxes, as I attempted to I eventually learned they were printed on. It was good fun though and as soon as I realised my own lack of common sense, I often found it as funny as everyone else. My husband also takes great pleasure when we are out in saying to me “drink up Trig, we’re leaving!” 


Now the piece de resistance as I like to think, although the tales are a plenty, happened in my early twenties when I was living at home with mum and my number two dad. I had a landline phone in my bedroom at the time. It hung nicely on a nail in the wall, until one day it didn’t. I hated to leave things looking unfinished. It just added to the mental to do list that I carried around in my head. Master of improvising that I am, and lacking the motivation to go downstairs and get the hammer, I grabbed the most solid and sturdy thing to hand, my deodarent can. Yes that’s right, for the more savvy readers amongst you, I had just picked up a pressurised aerosol can with the intention of using it to hammer a nail into the wall! A few seconds later and there was a strange hissing sound. It took me a few moments but I soon realised that the hissing was coming from the, now pierced, aerosol can. In a complete panic with the impression that this was now going to explode in my hand, I ran down the stairs screaming at my mum. Her response to my hysteria was to tell me to “throw it out the front door”, in an attempt to just get the potential bloody bomb out of the house. Flinging it out the front door, I watched as it rolled under mums car. Doh! Mum assured me it was fine and before you knew it the panic subsided and the drama was over. That wasn’t before I realised that the fingers on the hand that I had been holding the can in, were now frozen together from the pressurised air that had been released from the can. Ten minutes with my hand in a sink full of warm water and no harm was done and I had learnt a very valuable lesson. 


Of course there are many, many, many more tales I could share, but this is a blog, not a book so I shall have to leave it there for the time being. 

Until next time……

Aaaaand relax……

So this past week was spent in Somerset in a little place called Watchet. We rented a large, old house with the in laws. Complete with old fashioned service bells linked to the kitchen, wonky floors and ceilings, an aga, the odd low doorway, steps up and down to every room and a beautifully large garden. My first thoughts on entering the house were how it smelt very old. But that soon became the norm to my sensitive nostrils. I then had the overwhelming dread of having to worry about all of those random steps as George toddles around the house along with his almost 1 year old cousin. For his other two cousins they are not far off of being 3 years old with the other being 3 and a half and fully confident in walking, running, jumping, climbing, you name it, they’ve mastered it. Oh and yes as you may have now realised, we had gone on holiday with 4 children under 4 years….for our sins! Myself and Rob, quickly realised as lovely as this “holiday” was going to be, it was going to be anything but relaxing.


 It was truly a beautiful week for seeing George interacting with his cousins whilst they taught him new tricks and he quickly picked up some new catchphrases from his elders. Along with lots of meals out, we spent a lots of time in the vast garden letting George explore the flowers, say “hi” to the sheep in the adjoining field, play on the climbing frame and gain confidence on the slide, something he usually avoids at all costs. 


As well as the adorable log stepping stones which needed some assistance from mummy as they were more a leap apart than a step. We also watched Daddy and his brother wade through the stream at the bottom of the garden and George got lots of practice using a wooden trike we found in the house and brought outside. He blew bubbles whilst his cousins popped them and mummy made daisy chains for us to all wear for a memorable photo opportunity and so that I could personally relieve my own childhood.


The weather wasn’t always so glorious, but the rain brought with it the opportunity for some puddle splashing as George watched how his cousin jumped. Jumping is something he observed a lot of from his two older and more energetic cousins. He now has a little bouncing, leg stomping action going on in his attempt to replicate them.

On a visit to Minehead beach I taught George how to build Sandcastles although with Daddy running around with a football, my efforts went rather unnoticed. This was then followed by a fabulous win in the arcades allowing us to get lots of goodies to share round. George had his first cave experience as we ventured into a guided tour of Wookey hole. He was very comfortable in his Little life carrier, modelled by Daddy Rob. Glow stick in hand , and at one point wearing a fantastic kiddie hard hat, he seemed to love it. I was a bit of a nervous wreck on the other hand as Rob would not listen to my protests of his head being too close to the ceiling, eventually leaving Rob no alternative but to crawl on his hands and knees to satisfy my anxious self. 


We then ended a few of the days with George enjoying a rather crazy bath with some of his cousins.
Overall it really was a memorable week and something which has helped George progress marvellously in many ways. However I’m glad to be home for a relaxing rest.

Until next time…..

Ode to my amazing body

I am and have always been so extremely grateful for my body giving me the great pleasure of becoming a Mummy. A luxury I know some men and women would do anything for and not something I have, or ever will take for granted. But as much as I love, admire and adore what my body has achieved in creating our gorgeous George, I am also hugely annoyed at it for leaving me with such a load of postnatal crap, to be blunt.

Bearing in mind I have always pulled myself through this world, content in the the knowledge that no matter what I am experiencing, there is always someone else worse off than me and for that I am thankful. That’s not to say that there are days when I wonder why my body can’t be on par with some of the people that are better off than me.

My pregnancy wasn’t the worse, it wasn’t the greatest. Carpel tunnel syndrome, severe fluid retention, first trimester migraines, nausea, insomnia, sciatica, having to sleep with a million pillows every night, my belly button turning inside out, haemorrhoids! That’s without mentioning all the typical pains and discomforts of your organs all  squishing together and a 7lb baby pressing on your lower regions to try and prepare to escape. But it could’ve been worse.


Then there was labour. I was diagnosed with a curved spine (scoliosis) aged 14 and had corrective surgery aged 15 which meant a years recovery and learning to walk again. Through which I endured a substantial amount of pain prior to and post surgery, the likes of which you can only imagine. I thought this had heightened my pain threshold. None of this however compared to the sensation I experienced through labour of having a grown man swing at my hips and pelvis with an enormous sledge hammer in an attempt to crush my bones. Followed by several failed epidural attempts, laying in theatre feeling the consultant fail to pull George through the birth canal with forceps and then push him back up again. Thankfully, although quite vomit inducing, my epidural was increased before I had an emergency Caesarean section.


Eighteen months later and I have three faint black dots on my face below my eye, a melasma from my pregnancy that I was assured would fade when I stopped breastfeeding six months ago. It looks like I’ve smudged my mascara and not cleaned it up but covers relatively well with makeup and is only faint. I quite like it. My feet remained the extra size they had grown during pregnancy. I am currently sixteen pairs into my size 7 shoe collection. A far cry from the 75 pairs of size 6’s I can no longer fit into and really need to sell. My hands swelled during pregnancy so that I had to remove all my rings at 20 weeks. The rings are back on but are noticeably tighter with many of my costume rings no longer passing over my knuckles. The haemorrhoids are no longer a problem thankfully but lets just say I was a fan of soft comfy chairs towards the end of my pregnancy. I was meticulous about smothering my body in every moisturising product going before and during my pregnancy but alas the dreaded stretch marks decide to grace my thighs and lower tum with their presence. I mean I just never even had my thighs down as part of the equation! The baby was in my belly not my thighs! My boobs, only ever having been a B/C cup have remained more or less the same but they lean a little further towards my knees than my chin now and let’s just say if they were pillows then they look a little like some of the stuffing has been emptied from them . And then there’s my beautiful c-section scar. Evidence that I was unable to get George into this world by myself. Something I mentally punished myself over for a long time but that I am now at peace with. As they say, you can’t fight a battle without gaining some war wounds.

 So the point I’m trying to make is we need to come to accept our bodies as they are. I don’t think enough of us are honest about our supposéd flaws. The media certainly isn’t that’s for sure.  No matter how much you think you could improve your body, try to remember the amazing things it’s done for you and as long as you are happy and healthy then that’s all that matters.  Overall, recognise the amazing strength our bodies have to seemingly achieve the impossible. 


  Until next time……..

 

That’s not my Daddy!

Just as I was starting to ponder the possibilities of signing Georgeous up to Mensa, he brought me back down to Earth rather embarrassingly. Master of shape sorting, brilliant at speaking and taking instructions and very good at remembering things we teach him, these are all qualities he amazes us with more each day. He recognises the fact that his Daddy wears glasses and has a beard but he doesn’t seem to have grasped that not every man with these features is his Daddy. As a result, I am learning that a large amount of restaurant waiters appear to possess these features, prompting George to point and shout out Daddy when we are out in restaurants without Rob. The most recent unsuspecting waiter was quick to exclaim “not that I know of!” at Georges declaration. Way to make Mummy look like she puts herself about huh George. 

Our home can remain relatively tidy for days. Either due to George playing with the same few toys or the pair of us having so many social engagements we are barely at home long enough to get the toys out. Then there are those days when the house turns into a complete toy war zone. This results in moments for me which are not so much painfully embarrassing but more embarrassingly painful. Just attempting to put my shoes on and leave the house resulted in me hurriedly sitting myself down on the settee to do up my shoes, only to have a huge “ooooooooooo” expel from my mouth as I realised I have plonked my posterior onto a rather uncomfortably large Mummy Pig weeble. Recovering quickly from this and with shoes successfully tied, I ran towards the porch door to grab my bag. Not noticing Georges green transparent ball in the corner near the hinge, resulting in the door only marginally opening as I rushed towards the porch. Consequently the door frame became a painful addition to my face. Toys should maybe come with the sarcastic warning, not for ages 32 and over!

If you haven’t met George then I’ll try to give you an insight into his persona. He is very caring and affectionate, especially with his mummy and daddy, but he has a hint of shyness mixed with overwhelming social awkwardness with everyone else. At home in his own environment though he is such a character and myself and his daddy Rob have an amazingly close bond with him. We have so much silliness in our home. Silly noises, faces, songs, laughing at pop offs and mimicking each other. We try to include manners and acceptable behaviour into our parenting but I often feel at times that whilst Daddy has the upper hand, I appear to have landed myself in the “friend zone”. I love the idea of me and my son growing up to be best friends but I want him to respect my opinions and guidance as his mum. I feel like it’s a thin line and I probably won’t know if I’m on the wrong side of it. I can only do what feels natural and try and be the best mum I want to be. The latest act of friend zoning me is for George to mimic my laughter back at me. This is one thing but the timing of this act seems to occur when I say “No” to him. Consequently I am having to find different ways to ask him not to do things that I deem unacceptable. 

Our week this week has ended with a visit to the local steam railway museum where we met Peppa Pig. George was thoroughly  star struck. I don’t think he quite anticipated Peppa being larger than his own Mummy and Daddy. He was a big fan of riding on the different types of trains. In particular the minature railway. We sat  right at the front, but as the train reached the end of the track and turned around, the train driver disconnected the small train in front of George and turned it around on a turntable before taking it down and connecting it to the rear of the train to go back to where we started. This left George perplexed and he leaned over the back the whole way trying to work out where the train had gone. As we arrived back at the station and got off the train, George walked round to give the back of the train a good inspecting. It was quite fascinating to see him trying to work out how the man had disconnected the train. 

Enjoy the rest of your bank holiday. Until next time……….

The challenge should you choose to accept it.

Me and hubby have always had an extremely similar outlook on life. Live for today, money is for spending not saving, and always trust your instinct and do what feels right over what others tell you. Create your own review of the world, just learn by other people’s mistakes.Having been together seventeen and a half years, we were pretty confident prior to having George, that our parenting styles would be similar and work well alongside each other.We would regularly discuss “what would you do if….”, and as a result, parenthood has not been that much of a surprise in terms of how we both manage it.  Thankfully our ideals of the parents we would like to be are the same too and we are readily putting it into practice with our little Georgeous. We believe the easiest and happiest way to get through this parenthood malarkey is to make everything as fun as possible. Most activities have a little song or silly noise to accompany them and George has always been encouraged to help us with our activities even if it slows us down. If nothing but to make all our lives easier. Most of our parenting choices focus not on what works for now but what will work in the long run. So by showing George every monotonous task can have a fun side, we are hoping to give him an enthusiasm and desire to be proactive in life and get involved with everyday tasks that need doing because he wants to and not because we tell him too. George loves nothing more than helping me empty the washing machine, dishwasher and shopping bags. He doesn’t mind me having time to do my make-up as long as he can play with my blusher brush. I’m OK to do the hoovering as long as I pretend it’s chasing him and he had to run around the room away from it, giggling away.

As time has gone one since George was born, I have spent lots of time learning about how others parent and have been quick to inform hubby, “ooh did you know we are using gentle parenting” or “oh we are actually using attachment parenting” Having breastfed George for the first year, worn him in carriers on occasions and held him as much as we wanted with the addition of co-sleeping (sleeping in the same bed) we roughly follow these styles without even realising it. Not fitting into any one group, we try to just go with what feels natural. We try to not give him too many orders unless he is in danger. We have chosen a more gentle parenting approach of asking him if he would consider not doing something that we don’t think is appropriate. This can often lead to him doing it regardless but as long as there is no risk of harm to himself or others then we are of the mindset that he is learning the consequence of his actions. No matter how young he is. He’s like a little sponge. Soaking everything up. And then releasing it when he feels it’s right. He surprises us everyday. He’s by no means perfect. We wouldn’t expect that of him. He can be embarrassingly rude and antisocial at times, he cries if he doesn’t get his own way, he laughs when you are trying to tell him something isn’t right and he does the complete opposite of what we ask sometimes. But he’s a human being and we wouldn’t expect any less.
The bonus of how we parent George is that we continue this style into our own lives. Making the beds becomes a game of peekaboo as the cats dart around under the duvet. Putting the washing away becomes a game of pairs as I’ve co-ordinated our clothing by colour, style and occasion. And tidying the toys up at the end of the day once George is in bed can feel like you are a contestant on The Cube as you set yourself a time limit and try to scramble around and gather them up as quickly as possible. If nothing else with life, have fun with it is my motto.

As harmonious and wonderful as this all sounds though, it is not to say that we are all beautifully dancing around the house, loving each other every moment of the day. Seventeen months into our parenting journey and to say it has been an absolute roller coaster is a complete understatement. Becoming parents has been an incredibly joyous time in our relationship, but to say it has tested us to the absolute max is putting it very lightly. With our own personal demons deciding to make an appearance in the first year of George’s life, coupled with the obvious sleep deprivation and learning to adjust to putting this little person first over absolutely everything, it really has been the most we have ever been tested and thankfully we have been strong enough as a couple to pull each other through it one at a time but I would say to anyone that thinks it won’t happen to them…..it will.

Having spoken to lots of other mummies around me, we are by no means alone in this experience. I’m one of those people that often believes that what I see happening in other peoples lives is often an avoidable misfortune. With having a baby though, unfortunately it seems inevitable that everyone will go through the same thing. The anomaly to this, is how your relationship handles it and comes out the other side. And I can quite understand why some people don’t make it out the other side together.

My advice from my own experience is to love and support  each other. Understand that you are each going through the same huge upheaval, no matter how differently it affects both of your lives. And overall just talk to each other and be honest about how you feel and what you are expecting from each other.

 

Until next time……

A week in the life of.

So being fairly new to the blogging scene, and starting to attract myself a small but much appreciated bit of attention, I decided to seek some advice and input from those around me. I’ve been chatting to fellow bloggers along with my fairly tech savvy nephew. I knew as a whole my blog was rather sporadic and I could have days where I had inspiration and content every day, or suddenly go a few weeks without any. And as much as I enjoy writing, I can’t write for the sake of it. I want it to be interesting to read. My nephew suggested I offer my readers some anticipation. Something to look forward to and to know they could regularly tune in, or rather, log on, and get it. So I created a publicising page  and promised my readers a post once a week. Surely in a week I was bound to get at least one day of something worth writing about. Gathering ideas and inspiration and storing them as the week went by, I quickly realised I could very easily be writing a few times a week. This week alone I have at least 11 things I want to share with you all!

So in an effort to keep your attention and restrain my rambling genes that I’ve inherited from my father, I shall summarise these 11 events from this previous week, into the most entertaining paragraph I can. And if you can imagine whilst you are reading it that I am standing in front of you and blurting it all out without pausing with breathe then you will get a brief understanding of how my days go by.   

As the school holidays drew to a close, we took advantage by planning a long weekend at a caravan resort with two of my sisters, their partners , niece and nephews and my dad as a belated birthday treat for his 70th birthday late last year. George loved watching the world go by out of the many windows. Along with running around the arcade with all of the other children of an evening. He delighted us with his clapping and foot tapping as the kids club show took hold each evening. The highlight of his weekend was driving a day boat down the Norfolk broads and of course array of Peppa pig toys and bouncy ball my family won for him from the arcade machines. Back home, I’d arranged to meet friends at Westfield shopping centre in Stratford. A long overdue visit as I hadn’t been since it opened. The prospect of travelling into London by train wasn’t  something I relished but it didn’t phase me. From experience though, buggies, commuters and train stations do not mix well. To my surprise though, Stratford is one of the most accommodating stations for he disabled and pushchair users. Lifts to every platform that I saw of along with extra wide self access gates. Our biggest and most unexpected dilemma was when George took it upon himself to push the help alarm in the lift. Much to the amusement of the elderly couple travelling in it with us. Whilst I panicked and apologetically told the lady over the speaker that we were fine and my baby had pushed it. She said it happened all the time. It didn’t to me, not in the last 17 months anyways. I have a feeling it may be my new hobby talking to tannoy lift rescuers. Another big surprise of our day was the copious amounts of gentlemanly and gentlewomanly assistance we were offered at every stop. With offerings of help to get on and off the train. I like to try and be as self sufficient as possible so I graciously turned down these offers of help. But the fact that they were offered has restored my faith in humanity. With the sun also making an appearance that day and temperatures rising to 16.5•c I went into panicked parent mode and hurriedly purchased some factor 50 sun spray. It’s got the lot. Waterproof, sandproof, easy to apply. Uva, uvb protection. Leaving me feeling relaxed and ready for summer to truly kick off. And with the rising temperatures and a girly lunch in Nando’s with the bubbas, I found I had no choice to get the wings out. Bingo that is, not chicken. 😜 Saturday saw many weeks of planning a surprise 25th wedding anniversary party for my parents pay off, as it all went off without a hitch and thankfully much to their utter clueless delight. Finally to end our week, I noticed my husband give me that look. You know the one. The “shit-it’s-that-time-of-the-month-again” look. So for now I’m just trying to keep the demon under control until she crawls back in her cave for another 4 weeks. Have a lovely week and I hope I’ve managed to perk up your Monday morning. Love and hugs. 

 

From mere mortal to super mummy

17 months into being a mummy and it has completely changed my life. I say completely. I still manage to put my make up on most days and I can still talk for England but other than that I can’t name anything that has remained a constant from my pre mummy days when I was just a mere mortal. A woman making her way blindly through life with no real sense of purpose. Just doing the norm. Working to pay the bills in the hope that one day something amazing would come along and change it all. I always dreamt that something amazing would be a lottery win but I discovered it was actually my son George. He has taken me to a different planet where conversations revolve around feeding, sleep patterns and the appearance of teeth. Where old friends become more distant but new friends appear. Mummy friends. Where we know nothing of the mere mortal side of each other but only know each other as George’s mummy. 

George has shown me that I am stronger than I ever believed I could ever be as a mere mortal. I’m not superhuman but I’m pretty good at pretending to be one. Caring for another person whilst existing on very little sleep, food or rest myself. And what’s more is, this actually gives me pleasure and satisfaction. To see that my mini superhero is growing more and more powerful each day. He learns things ten times quicker than the pace I now seem to absorb knowledge. And the realisation that he learns these things because of me just boosts my super mummy power even more. At the same time, I am learning with him. Whether it be the best food to wean babies on or an extra verse I never knew existing to row row the boat. 

My body is no longer the same as when I was a mere mortal. Scars, stretch marks and wobbly bits have all appeared. Although these new additions to my body have sometimes hindered me, by having to learn to live with and accept them, they have only added to my super mummy powers. I quit my mortal job to become a super mummy after trying to juggle the two and realising that my own personal super mummy powers would be a lot more powerful if I dedicated all my time to harnessing them. This will not be the case for everyone but for me it’s working and I’ve never looked back. 

One of the important things to know about becoming a super mummy and leaving your mortal self behind is that unlike other super heros, you will not be showered with gratitude and affection from dozens of fans. But then you will not be using your super hero powers on dozens of people. All of your powers and energy will go into your child. And you will be rewarded with smiles, cuddles, kisses, and the sense of achievement you get with every tiny little thing they do. To them, you are the best super mummy there will be. 

World poetry day

I love writing. I always have. Creative writing was always my favourite thing to do at school when I was very young and as I’ve aged I’ve stuck more with poetry. Short stories are great when you are a child or teenager but as you grow older I feel like great novels are expected and I’ve never had the time or brain capacity to write a novel of 200 odd pages or more. I’ve attempted it but the creativity gets lost somewhere and I end up feeling like I’m writing words for the sake of it. Poetry on the other hand is something I absolutely love. Rhyming poems are my speciality. I love writing them for people, about people, but ultimately I love writing them to express how I feel and how I view the world. It’s the simplest way to express it. I love the challenge of finding words that rhyme but that actually bring something positive to the poem and not just because they rhyme. 

People have often said I write a lot differently to how I talk. I’m pretty common when I talk. Cassettes recorded of me when I was younger make me sound like an extra from Oliver Twist. But when I write I even speak different in my head. My posh voice comes on and I love using descriptive words. Unlike in the spoken world where I tend to use the same old slang. My writing voice used to be American but as I’ve grown older it’s now a more well spoken British accent. And no I’m not schizophrenic but everyone has a voice for their thoughts….don’t they? (Nervously laughs). 

So to cut a long story short, pun intended, I thought today, as it’s World Poetry Day, it would be extremely appropriate to share with you just one of my many poems. One of the many which I hope to collate into a book. This is a poem I wrote just under 4 years ago when I was pondering the meaning of life and the possibility that our lives may be dictated by fate. 
If there is, there was

And if there isn’t, there will be

If you seek to find, you never do

If you quietly desire, luck finds you

Reluctantly we make our choices

And place our trust in what they’ll bring

Some of us will lose, some of us will win

There seems to be no pattern, no rules or reason why,

But this is all that we can do, until the day we die.