Because what the internet needs is more wittering about rubbish parenting

Monday, 31 October 2011


I can't think of a proper title. Bleh will have to do.

So, had a bit of a funny few days. On the toilet front, more of the same. I have to remember to take The Toddler to the loo (and ignore her when she says she doesn't want to go) or we get "I done a wee wee on the ground". On the early bed-time for The Littl'un front, that's still going pretty well. She now sleeps like a log, because on Saturday I abruptly decided to put her in her own room. Which I feel bad about, because she's not 6 months old yet, and I have screams of "cotdeathcotdeatharrrrgggh!" that whizz round my head occasionally. But we were waking her up every time we moved, which was very often, given that Husband is incapable of getting ready for bed quietly, I am a ridiculously fidgety sleeper, and The Toddler usually has us up at least once. And she'd waking herself up getting her arms stuck between the bars of the really-too-small-for-her crib. And then snuffle for ages while she got herself back to sleep. So yes, she now sleeps much better. Unfortunately, only til about 3.30, when I then have to go and feed her. The words "shot" and "foot" keep trying to spring to mind.

Anyway, on Saturday, The Toddler all of a sudden developed a raspy, Marge Simpson voice, and woke up a few times in the night coughing. She was a bit grumpy on Sunday, which wasn't great, as I was taking her to a Hallowe'en party. She was meant to be dressed as a bat, but ended up looking more like an interpretative dancer, as she refused to keep her ears and wings on, so was just in black with a purple tutu. The Littl'un was meant to be a witch, but I had a bit of a fail with her dress (I tried to dye it black, but it was polyester, so it just went a bit dirty looking), and she had a tiny hat, but it fell of and she was sick on it. I myself managed to rustle up a half-arsed pirates costume, complete with a sword that was made out of the side of a delivery box, which I gave to The Toddler to take to the car for me, then never saw again. Once at the party, signs started to emerge that The Toddler was really not herself. She kept wanting to sit on my knee and cuddle, and which is always nice because I don't normally get them, but also unnerving, because I don't normally get them. Also, and this is how I knew for certain that she was quite poorly, I put some food on a plate for her, and the plate included grapes, biscuits and cheese, and SHE DID NOT EAT IT. The Toddler REFUSED CHEESE. This is like the DFS sale ending - a concept my brain just can't get to grips with. That night, she turned into a baby seal. Or at least, that's what it sounded like. Actually, it's the cough that goes with croup. And it would be funny to hear your child barking like a seal, if it wasn't so freaky and so obviously uncomfortable. A rough night was had by all. Except for The Littl'un, who slumbered on regardless, got fed, and then had more sleep. Alright for some.

Decided The Toddler should go to the doctors. Phoned them expecting to be told to come in at 3.30 and then sit for hours until someone could see her, which is what usually happens. Oh no, can we come at 8.30? It was 8.05 and all three of us were still in pyjamas, and two of us were covered in baby sick. But I managed it, and, typically, The Toddler was struck down with Washing Machine Repairman Syndrome, and perked up immeasurably. The doctor confirmed she had croup and told me there was nothing she could have for it, but to keep an eye on her. By late afternoon, I was beyond sick of flicking through the channels to find something an increasing grumpy little madam would deign to watch, and said madam's breathing was starting to sound worse, so I phoned the doctor, who told me to take her to the children's unit at the hospital (not because it was deathly serious, I don't think but because it was nearly 5pm and he probably wanted to go home). So we got to check out the lovely shiny and sparkly emergency children's care unit. It has funky orange and green chairs, and lots of toys. 'Tis very nice. The Toddler was given some steroids, and perked up almost instantly and started haring around the room and trying to jump on the beds in a marked contrast to the crying baby in Assessment Room 1 and the boy dressed as a skeleton in the waiting room, who was bleeding from his ear.

And now she is asleep (although I wrote that on Facebook before, and she instantly woke up crying, so I hope I don't break it again). The magic steroids appear to be doing their thing, and she seems much less seal-like than last night. So far. I don't like having a poorly little girl. At least it got us out of the house, so we didn't have to answer the door to teenagers who think that putting on a mask from the newsagents entitles them to my chocolate. We did try putting some sweets outside for kids to help themselves to. Someone stole the tub. Not just all the sweets, the actual plastic Celebrations tub they were in. My street's a classy place.

Happy Hallowe'en everyone!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Nappyless: Day 3. And Early Bed: Day 3

We are persevering with the toilet training. There have been less accidents today, mainly because we were at a friend's house this morning, and even I, with my lack of social graces, realise that it is not the done thing to let one's child urinate all over other people's carpets, so I kept making her go to the toilet. I was aided in this by my friend's daughter's potty, a swanky affair which not only sings, but has its own toilet-roll holder. As The Toddler is fascinated by loo roll, for reasons which are unclear to me, this went down well, and she even asked to go on it. However, there are still two soggy pairs of tights in my washing machine. Ah well, I'm sure we'll get there. I'm starting to slightly panic a bit though, as it keeps dawning on me that I don't have the faintest clue what I'm doing, and I worry I'm doing it wrong. I'm scared that if I ask her all the time, she won't learn to tell me when she needs to go. But if I don't ask her, she just wees everywhere, and that's tiresome. She's also applying the selective toddler deafness when I try to say, in a nice, non-accusatory, Good Parent-type tone "If you need to go for a wee, you need to tell Mammy, please, OK?". Ah well. We're at Grandma's house tomorrow, and The Toddler will comply with Grandma's requests, in a way which is not at all frustrating.

Also, while we were on with regime change, I decided it was time to start putting The Littl'un to bed earlier. I had been keeping her up til about 9.30pm, which I didn't mind at all. But I realised the other day that I was staying up for a good two hours after that, even though I was knackered, in order to get in a decent chunk of "me" (for which, read "internet") time. Coupled with various children making various noises at various hours of the night, this was making me extremely tired, and even more grumpy than normal. So I thought it was worth a try, even if it resulted in a night feed, as I couldn't possibly be more tired. Hopefully.

It seems to be working OK. The Littl'un has a little bit of a protest at being abandoned so early, but then settles down to sleep, and woke for a feed at 4.30 the first morning, then 6am this morning. Although she did squawk randomly a few times, and I took her to bed with me at God knows what time to make the squawking stop (and have baby cuddles, which are lovely).

So, yay, I have my evenings back (because I use them so wisely, obviously), and I am going to bed at something resembling a reasonable hour. But I do miss her. Big sadface. It was actually lovely to have a couple of hours with her in the evening, playing and making silly noises at each other, without The Toddler telling her to stop shouting, or demanding biscuits. It's almost enough to make me abandon the idea and keep her up all night again. But then, today I mentioned the words "night out" to my friends, and realised, with a little flutter of excitement, that once the clock hits 7.30, I am no longer beholden to a tiny little boob-monster, and am free to go wherever I wish. The possibilities are endless. Although, let's be honest, you'll probably still find me sitting here arguing on and eating chocolate digestives.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Nappyless: Day 2

I was brave. Yesterday afternoon, I took The Toddler's nappy off, gave her a pair of big-girl pants, and held my breath.....

And it went very well. Lots of wees in the toilet. We were very proud, if already a little bored of asking if she wanted to go to the toilet every 10 minutes.

Today also started well, with a poo in the toilet. It has since gone downhill. Despite us asking her every time we remember (which could be every 5 minutes, or every hour, oops) if she wants to go to the toilet, it is always met with a "no". And on two occasions, fairly swiftly followed by "Oh! Got wet now".

I must not falter. I must not take a backwards step, say "Sod it" and put her back in nappies. This is a small stumble on the rocky road to success. We will get there. And at least I still have my mother-in-law's Vax on loan.

And in all the excitement, I have just realised that I have not changed The Littl'un's nappy in quite some time. Oh well.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Wish Me Luck......

I have finally realised that I can no longer ignore the fact that The Toddler is ready for at least an attempt at toilet training. She's been sporadically going to the toilet for a while now, but she went the whole of both Sunday and Monday daytimes without doing any wees or poos in her nappy. (She did them in the toilet, she didn't just develop truly exceptional bladder control). A lot of this was down to the fact she spent a lot of these days with my mother, who is better at this kind of thing than me. For one thing, she is much more willing (and able, not having a four-month-old baby attached to her bosom for large chunks of the day) to ask The Toddler if she wants to go to the toilet 20 times a day, and take her when she does. And Grandma gets the answer "yes" to her questions far more often than I do, possibly because Grandma is more generous with cake and has a BlackBerry PlayBook.

So, the signs are there. She knows when she needs to go, and can tell us (although she still has her bodily functions a bit mixed up at times. She said "I want a pump" yesterday, then proceeded to pee like a racehorse). She can hold on for a short amount of time until we get her to the toilet. There really are no more excuses. Tomorrow, we go nappyless, at least while we're at home. Wish me, and my carpet, luck......

Monday, 24 October 2011

Lost: One Smiley Baby

Last seen a few days ago. If found, please return to Bad Mammy, and take away this grumpy whingebag that was left in her place. Reward: my eternal gratitude.

I want my lovely, smiley, happy, placid baby back!!! Where did she go? I think the problem is that she hasn't done a poo in a while, so I wish she'd just get on with it. Hopefully, when it's not my turn to change the nappy.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


I bloody love Tuesdays.

I'm a bit ashamed of how much I love Tuesdays, actually. Ashamed, because Tuesday is nursery day, and that means a Toddler-free day, and surely it's bad to look forward to those so much? I'm not at work at the moment, so surely I should be saving myself a whole heap of money and enjoying this quality time with my daughter, instead of continuing to ship her off to be looked after by strangers (well, not total strangers by now, but you know what I mean) once a week? Not a chance. I adore my little girl, but she ain't half hard work. I'm not sure I could take 7 days a week with her. I mean, I know countless people do spend all day every day with their children, and not all of those people have gone mad, and I know that if I didn't have any other option, then I'd just be having to get on with it. I know I am very very lucky to be able to just about afford to keep sending her. But if it came down to a choice between being able to eat, and being able to pay the nursery fees, I swear it would be a difficult decision, and you'd probably find me looking up recipes for family meals you can make from Smart Price noodles, tap water and grass.

And here is why: Today, Husband was off work, so he got up and took her to nursery (which we usually do the second they open. I am determined to get my money's worth out of that place), and I got to stay in bed with The New'un, having cuddles and feeds (her, not me. I was starving, but not even hunger could drive me out of bed). When I did eventually get up, I got to eat my WHOLE bowl of Special K. The house got tidied. We watched Masterchef without a small voice going "No. Don't cooking. Want Beebies". We had lunch when we felt like it, not bang on 12 noon, which is the time The Toddler usually starts bleating for cheese (well, she actually asks for a cheese sandwich, but as she always refuses to eat the bread, she's basically just asking for cheese). We went out, without any arguments about shoes or coats. We accomplished a small errand I've been putting off for days, because the thought of putting two children in the car, getting them out again, going into the shop, persuading The Toddler out of the shop and back into the car all to purchase one pack of fabric dye made me want to weep. I only had to change the nappy of a person who had no choice but to lie there until I'd finished. And of course, got to spend lots of time making silly faces and noises at The New'un, who gets cuter every day.

It's all very lovely. At the end of the day, though (and I do actually mean "at the end of the day", it's not just an annoying verbal tic I have), I do enjoy going to fetch The Toddler from nursery. Even when I get there to find her standing in the middle of the room with her shoe in her mouth, like today (I have no idea). Especially when I find out that the poo she's been trying to do for two days has been done and dealt with. She waves goodbye to all her little friends and the staff, holds my hand while we walk to the car, and asks where Daddy is, and agrees we should go home and see him. Then she prattles on all the way home, telling me about her day. At least, I think she's telling me about her day. I'm not entirely sure that she ate an animal and played with Joe (she has a friend called Joe, but he goes to a different nursery, and I'm fairly certain there are no Joes at hers). And of course, when we get home, we make up for lost time and have a lovely family chat. She doesn't demand CBeebies the minute she gets through the door, and we don't turn it on for her. Oh no. Not at all.

Monday, 10 October 2011


I have been waiting to find something interesting to write about, but my life is full of mundane things, so I will just have to write about one of them instead.

I did my food shopping today, as I usually do on a Monday. I realise I could make my life a whole lot easier by going on a Tuesday, when The Toddler is at nursery, but then I would have to think of something else to do on Monday, and I'm not so good at that. This is where people jump in to tell me I could make my life easier still and do it online. I know I should, it would save lots of hassle. And money, as I am the type of person who cannot walk past something that is on offer. The day is coming when I come home with budgie feed and denture tablets, just because they were half price. But I don't trust other people to pick things for me, and, like I said, it's something to do. Some weeks I'd hardly leave the house if it weren't for the weekly shop.

Anyway, we got off to a good start today. I remembered to put my shopping bags in the car. I remembered to check I had change for the car park (I did, which is good, because otherwise going shopping then also involves a sometimes convoluted search for both a cash machine and somewhere to purchase something to get change that are close enough to a parking space that I don't start to imagine ridiculously far-fetched scenarios of car-jacking, explosions or The Littl'un choking to death on her own hand). I even remembered my little trolley token that I got free, for some inexplicable reason, with my house. When we got to the supermarket, there was even a parent and child parking space free that didn't contain white van with a man reading a newspaper in it, or a tiny sports car that has patently never even seen a child. So I went to get my parking ticket, and then my trolley. Which was very wet. I know it seems very churlish to complain about something that the supermarket has only provided to make my life easier, but while it is very nice of them to provide baby and toddler trolleys, it would be even nicer if they didn't store them just outside the cover of the canopy at the store entrance. But if they put them under the canopy, where would everyone stand and smoke? Ah well, after wiping down the trolley with a blanket, persuading The Toddler not to put both her legs through the same leg-hole, and forgetting then remembering to get my bags out of the boot, we finally entered the shop.

The children were pretty well-behaved for a while. The Toddler was taking great pleasure in shouting out things for me to buy, mainly plums, even once they were safely in the trolley. As I was having a good nosey in the "Reduced for Quick Sale" cabinet, however, I heard "NO! MY hair! Stop pulling my hair!!". I looked round and, sure enough, the baby and toddler trolley was perfectly designed to allow The Littl'un to show off her new-found grabbing ability, and was gleefully entangling her little fist in The Toddler's hair. Which had not been expertly brushed and de-tangled as it, of course, always (for which read, hardly ever) is, but had just had a brush quickly dragged through it and was sticking out around her head in a riotous mass of cotters and frizz. I removed the offending hand, and gave The Littl'un a little cloth book to play with. Which she did, for about 12 seconds, when she decided that it was not nearly as much of a good toy as the briar thicket on her sister's head. Understandably, The Toddler got a bit pissed off with this fairly quickly. She also decided she was tired, and hungry, so the rest of the trip around the supermarket was punctuated with demands for "Raisins!", "Couch!", "Daddy!", and frequent shouts of "OW! Naughty baby! Stop it!".

Finally, the checkout queue. Now, can I get The Toddler to surrender the packet of crumpets she insisted on holding so I can pay for them? This usually results in some kind of meltdown, but today she was willing to let them go. So willing, in fact, that she dropped them on my head while I was emptying the trolley. Then she wanted them back once they were paid for, and cuddled them like a teddy bear all the way home.

So on reflection, a pretty easy trip. Relatively speaking, that is. I still think that it's no wonder a bottle of Chardonnay finds its way into my trolley every week....

Monday, 3 October 2011

A Bit of a Grumble

I've been finding life a bit difficult lately. Nothing too dramatic, just a bit of a slog. My girls light up my days, but they don't half make them long too. The Toddler is, well, she's two. Her selective toddler deafness, lack of appreciation of danger, greed for cheese, addiction to CBeebies, stubbornness and sense of mischief have been well documented, and all continue to contribute to me tearing my hair out on a daily basis (What's left of it, that is. I seem to be moulting, I had forgotten this happens post-pregnancy).

The Littl'un is more laid-back, but she still knows how to make her displeasure known if she is hungry, tired, wet, bored or just, you know, grumpy. And she's just learned to grab, which is cute and fun and all that, but I can't say I'm really impressed with it when the thing she is grabbing is the top of my boob. I think she in some way believes she is helping with the feeding process. She is not.

Which brings me to feeding. I am still entirely happy that I'm breastfeeding, really. But it means I have ALWAYS got to be planning things around the next feed, and it's all my responsibility. It's my own fault for being too lazy to faff about with expressing, I know, but sometimes it all just feels very BIG, if that makes sense to anyone but me.

And I'm TIRED. I seem to stay up later than is sensible, faffing around on the computer and trying to tackle some of the never-ending mountain of STUFF that needs doing around here, and then The Littl'un decides that 4am would be a good time for a feed. I disagree, but unfortunately, she wins.

I know I don't really have it that hard. There are countless women out there who don't have healthy and mostly happy children, a wonderful husband who lets them sleep in and knows how to turn the hoover on, brilliant parents who will spend hours entertaining a toddler with the attention span of a gnat, or friends who are always there for a cup of tea and a chat. So then I feel guilty for finding it hard and having a little moan.

Argh. Guess I should just stop the moaning and get on with it. For what it's worth, this was going to be an even bigger and moanier grumble (and wouldn't that have been a joy to read?), but I've been to yoga tonight, got me chakras all in line or whatever (I never listen when she's talking all the airy-fairy gumph), so I'm actually feeling much happier. Until tomorrow probably, when I start to feel the effects of too much Downward Dog.