Tuesday, 27 February 2018

From Russia With Love.. how to cope.. with kids.. in the cold

I had heard there was an aggressive front coming in from Russia but thought that was political jargon. Then I stepped outside. This shit got meteorological.

As charming as gardens clad in the purest of driven snow, children frolicking amongst their carrot-nosed creations and engaging in discussions about nimbostratus are : the reality is often much less enamouring. Here are my top 5 tips on how to keep sane and front up to the FREEZE with little humans clinging to your knees.

1. Stay inside. Don’t go out if you don’t have to. The faff of putting 15 layers on writhing toddlers only to de-robe for the inevitable ill-timed bowel movement is painful. Get your craft-on, make dens or put them in front of CBeebies and whip up some popcorn. Make being inside the new outside. You have all spring and summer to make the most of the unlimited resource of the great outdoors. If you venture out - make it brief and fun and have dry warm clothes laid out for your return.

2. Hot chocolate. Hope you didn’t give it up for lent. It makes everyone happy. Have a stash at home. Make a flask if you head out. Also if you're planing an adventure, try to include a cafe as part of the excursion. It will warm you all up and you can use the promise of hot chocolate or a croissant as bribery to extend their shivery sojourn. You can always ask the barista to slip some rum into the one for mum.

3. Thermals. Put the kids in thermals at bedtime. If they didn’t/don’t sweat too much of an eve - you have a base layer for the next day already furnished upon your model. The least dressing in one sitting the better.

4. Mittens. Gloves are not your friend. The drama of allocating digits to their relevant slot just brews unnecessary angst for all involved. Cold hands though - are the biggest cause of apoplectic meltdowns at this time of year. 

5. Soft hell Play. Go to soft play with trepidation or give yourself a serious pep-talk about the inevitable mass migration. It’s cold, the kids need entertaining - it will be busy and unequivocally - traumatic.

Spring is around the corner in all its warm fuzzy glory and... frankly, a proper icy blast is better than those dank dreary drizzly days, right?... Hang in there people.

Friday, 26 January 2018

9 - 12 months: don't blink

Blink and you will miss it. You will. The trajectory of development during these months is skyward and you'll doubtless be bursting with pride..... not to mention exhaustion and frustration and all manner of colliding emotions as the little human bursts onto the 'main stage'. There will be glimpses of their character in everything they do, explore and discover. You can almost see the nerve pathways shooting through their little grey matter. 

This 3 month period is likely to bring (to name but a few) .. walking, 'talking', giggling, dancing, tantrums, anxiety, curiosity and the signs of a proper personality. Be prepared to be exhausted once again. If it hasn't already been blown away - Leave the OCD at the door! Food will be thrown, drawers will be opened - nothing is safe.  

All I can prescribe for this amazing time is (as ever) an abundance of patience and lashings of energy.

GOOD LUCK!... and savour xxxx

Saturday, 9 December 2017

This is not a dress rehearsal

I used to say this really quite often to myself and friends worrying disproportionately about all manner of daily irks and strifes. We can allow ‘worry’ to manifest and eat away at us when all to often there is little that standing back and reliving episodes can actually DO.  It’s the doing that makes things happen, otherwise we just need to let-go and accept. Too much worry is just a toxic waste.  

At different stages of our lives, the primary source of worry shifts and becomes blindingly and unequivocally THE most important thing in the world EVER. And so here I am again at a junction in my ‘life script’ where for weeks I have been worrying and brooding over the responsibility of raising 3 humans. I have been beating myself up for not making enough time for the kids and I feel it’s my fault. We adore having children (hence 3 in less than 4 years). We then chose to take on a building project that - to-date - has taken 9 months. The 2 combined has made for quite an overwhelming juggle. Our intentions (and the end result not doubt) are for a great home for us all to create memories and flourish as a family unit but the immediate reality is that (because we didn’t/couldn’t budget for extra help or to speed the project up) I am doing a lot of things badly - the heart of this - being a good mum. I am ashamed to say it was when one of them told me ‘you never listen’ on top of the usual ‘we want daaaaaaddy’ that it struck a cord I couldn’t just palm off. I opened the unread tabs that have been sitting in my internet browser and decided to DO something. That’s when the frenetic swarm of social media really comes into its own. You can tap into all manner of resources from under the duvet at 3 in the morning. 

So, I am going to pull my head out of the sand and address my worry because it isn’t one I can brush under the carpet (excuse the pun) until the undetermined completion on our house ‘oh it’s just a short phase’ ‘things will get easier when...’. I am going to really consciously make more time for the children at an individual level. One new ‘thing’ I have imposed is this little nugget I found trawling cyber space.. the theory is to take each childs day of the month they were born (11,28,1) and make that THEIR own special day every month. They can stay up an extra 20 minutes to do whatever they want that doesn’t involve TV/computer and at the end (oh the fromage) we take the time to say why we appreciate one another. The theory is very sweet, we will see how the reality plays out. But the crux of it is that I have finally decided to actually DO something rather than fester in guilt and wait until there is ‘more time’ because this is LIFE it is NOT A DRESS REHERSAL. 



Tuesday, 17 October 2017


Wow. The reaction to the Harvey Weinstein scandal has been fascinating and prodigious. Disproportionately so according to some/many. ‘Why has some Hollywood perve’s philandering eclipsed all other news for 3 days’ or ‘why did no one say anything and suddenly now they are all speaking’. This is why. 

Things.. embarrassing, humiliating, confusing, nasty, intimidating things happen to people and they would rather forget but it doesn’t mean those people weren’t wronged. There are so many reasons people (women, men, all sexualities) haven’t said anything and judging by the social media outpouring; harassment experiences have been incredibly wide ranging. It is depressingly ubiquitous but frankly none, no matter how small, none of it is acceptable. This #meetoo campaign will hopefully serve to help thwart the abundance of disgraceful egos out there in positions of authority from considering it a given right to abuse their power by intimidating those under their guidance into lewd acts (on a wide scale from a ‘cheeky’ bum grab and kiss to rape) and then leaving them so shamed and guilt-ridden that the act is firmly locked away in the recess of their subconscious. No matter how ‘minor’ or how implicated the victim feels, it is surely a good thing to air and to expose the prevalence and unacceptable nature of the authority predator, of all sexual predators. It may seem like a witch hunt but it does seem like it’s time for a societal shift. 

Peace and (nice) love people xx

Saturday, 7 October 2017

7 - 9 months

Personally this is the first time I really truly wish so much that time could stand still. Everyone has their own delights and their irks, so this won't necessarily be the magic babyhood charm to the masses but in my humble opinion .... what's not to love?? 

The little thing has been in the outside world nearly as long as it was brewing inside. As the days tick by, it somehow feels 'safer' and less physically vulnerable. Milestones seem gargantuan, it’s more than likely there will be crawling, standing, clapping, waving, eating and babbling to some extent. Developmental leaps are on steroids.

But it’s none of these that thrill me more than the sheer delight and intrigue the urchin has for the world around it. Yes, there will be blips and flips (there always are) but that little human will beam from tiny earlobe to tiny earlobe as it soaks up everything this crazy world has to offer. Capture these moments in your head and on camera. There will be serious movement and frustrations at not being able to express themselves properly just round the corner but during these 3 months there WILL be a magic window of happy babbling curious gorgeous contented babe. ENJOY! 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Undomestic bliss

Despite what some of my rose-tinted posts may seemingly convey, things are rarely all Boden-clad infants singing kumbaya and frolicking around my ankles telling me how much they loooooove me. There is a reason phrases such as 'winging it' have become mainstream in the parenting fraternity, I can't think of a day when we don't all feel that to a certain extent. This is our household as of 5 minutes ago. I would love to say it's a very unusual apocolyptic scene and my Kath Kidston feather duster just missed one of its thrice daily workouts but truth is: this is home and has been for months. Even when we do get the Pooky lighting and tumbled limestone floor, hmm.. things really won't change much. It's carnage, but beneath the unfengsui/shabby shit - are 3 very happy little humans. They get up, they are kind, they are inquisitive,  they eat, they are healthy, they are respectful but they are also spirited and don't care too much about space planning and wanky farrow and ball paint colours. And that is what is important. I think the play room will be staying for a while and my OCD within will have to wait another decade to make its presence known.

And the mini bottle of Malbec? I know it's not cool to blag about booze when on the job but this is me trying to be good. Only I can't find any recepticles so it's a touch of class without a glass.

Cheers  xx

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

I'm back!!

....... after my longest hiatus to date, I am BACK. Bear with me for a tiny bit longer and the usual diatribes will be forthcoming. Happy autumn everyone.