80’s Children’s TV Shows Versus Todays
As a child of the 80’s, I can clarify that there was some amazing stuff on TV for us to watch. Now that my two are developing an interest in TV (well, namely a cbeebies addiction strongly rivalling their one to dummies,) it is interesting to compare the TV shows around now, to the ones from an age where kids TV was nothing less than amazeballs. It is with relief that I can tell you that it is much easier to curb their TV addiction, than the godforsaken dummies (can you tell I’ve made zero progress with dummy rehab?) I’m going to pitch similar shows from the 80’s and today, against each other, and give my (mainly biased to the 80’s, I will admit,) opinion on the emerging champion!

Denver The Last Dinosaur V Dinopaws

Ah Denver. The Green, guitar wielding, shades sporting, skate boarding dinosaur of this 80’s show that will probably be best remembered for its theme tune… And very little else. It’s one of those shows that you are likely to hear the theme tune and whoop/yell, have flash backs to your immense childhood, and how watching this show defined it, then watch it as an adult and feel more disappointed than posting your hilarious Facebook status update, leaving it for an hour, and coming back to find nobody has liked it. Denver (a corythosaurus apparently,) hatches from an egg which has amazingly survived the extinction of all other dinosaurs, with the inexplicable ability to speak fluent English. The bunch of children who find him, imaginatively name him Denver after a passing bus. This show, with no real concept, and rampant Bill and Ted style surfer dude clichés (Mario and Shades being the worst of the stereotypical douche bags,) is definitely not worth Netflixing to see if your littlies want to relive your childhood with you.

Dinopaws has a similarly catchy theme tune, just as likely to stick in your head until Twirlywoos comes on, and replaces it. This show is slightly Friends-like. They have certainly managed to capture the essence of Friends show titles! Friends always had ‘The One Where Big Ugly Naked Guy Dies/Where Joey Speaks French, and Dinopaws endearingly emulates this with titles like ‘The Things That Went Somewhere’ and ‘The Thing That Wasn’t There.’ Plus Gwen could easily be Phoebe, Bob could be Ross, and Tony an amazing Joey. As with Denver, the dinosaurs aren’t historically accurate. Gwen is more bird than dinosaur, Bob is big and blue, and I didn’t realise Tony was supposed to be a baby T-Rex (I just thought he was crazy.) The other Dinopaws clearly aren’t worried about Tony growing to full size and eating them. I’m not sure what this show will do for my children’s grasp of English language (‘you are the bestimost, wondermost, thinky thing….’) to quote some of Gwen’s take on English that definitely won’t be found in the dictionary. But I will admit to this show being a favourite of mine, with the catchphrases ‘oh! I know I know I know’ and ‘NYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE’ often thrown around in our house!

Winner: Most definitely Dinopaws!!!

Button Moon V In The Night Garden

I think you will struggle to find a child of the 80’s who didn’t watch Button Moon. In a world where everyone is made of kitchen utensils (??) the hero, Mr Spoon, appears very anxious to leave his planet, wife, and child behind, to mission off to the moon in a homemade rocket. He possibly suspects infidelity from his wife, or has paranoid delusions, because once he reaches his moon, made out of, erm, a button, all he wants to do is spy on people back on his planet. The budget for this show must’ve been less than that of Teacup Travels (more about that later.) In fact, scrap that, there was clearly no budget, it must’ve been made by unpaid work experience kids, it was so bad. But so bad it had a cult following. This is probably because the theme tune hypnotised children into watching the show in its entirety, which in turn sent out subliminal messages for them to keep on watching the rest of the god awfulness at the same time, every day, for ever. Luckily for parents of the day, the shows induced hypnotic state would cause children to sit absent mindedly playing with kitchen paraphernalia with a glazed expression, singing ‘we’re off to Button Moooooooooon…….’ for hours afterwards. This must’ve been handy considering the lack of cbeebies entertainment to occupy children once it had finished.

In The Night Garden… Where the hell do you start? I find the bulk of this show truly terrifying, and when it comes on, I have to work hard to stop being a little bit sick in my mouth. The creators of this show were clearly taking more acid than the Beatles when they were writing Revolver. So they clearly had a good time making it. Maybe they were trying to emulate the trippy kids TV of the 70’s and 80’s, who knows. What we are left with is Derek Jacobi narrating the mind blowing goings on in some strange creatures dream, as he floats off to sleep. His ultimate fantasy is clearly the Marilyn Munroe wannabe, Upsy Daisy, who seems to want to spend the bulk of her screen time with her skirt blowing up, or falling flat on her back, with her skirt up. There’s a whole host of other characters with stupid names like The Ninky Nonk, The Haahoos, and The Tittifers (again, ????) who seem unfazed by things in their world constantly changing size, and constantly turning down picnic invitations. It’s all kinds of messed up. But at least there’s the OCD Makka Pakka, bringing obsession and hoarding problems to the mainstream, and introducing children to these genuine mental health problems early.

Winner: Lordy, it’s got to be a draw I think… They’re both too terrible.

T-Bag V Teacup Travels

I haven’t met that many children from the 80’s who’ve seen T-Bag. I’m hoping some of you will know this show. I’ve included it because it was my absolute favourite childhood programme of all time, I can’t tell you how much I loved it! It was awesomeness personified. The main protagonist, Tallulah Bag, (later replaced by her sister, Tabatha Bag,) gains magical powers by drinking, ahem, herbal tea… (anyone else noticing a disturbing running theme here??!) She is incapable of brewing the tea herself, so has a long suffering child slave minion called T-Shirt doing it for her. The entire, addictive premise of the show, was T-Bag trying to further her powers by time travelling to pick up historical artefacts, which are the only things which can fuel them. Episode titles were also hilarious, including gems such as ‘T-Bag and the revenge of the tea set’. It’s ingeniously like Indiana Jones meets Dr Who for kids. Our heroine, the afro red haired Debbie, was my ultimate childhood idol. I wanted the iconic phrase ‘let’s see what Deborah’s up to,’ to be said about me. There are hundreds of fan forums on the internet for this show, and I will admit to looking through them, salivating with excitement, like the adult company deprived, nostalgia geek nerd that I am.

Teacup Travels… Well… I’m embarrassed to say that my children like this show. The majority of the budget evidently went on filming at the beautiful house where Aunt Lizzie lives. The rest is just a crappy array of terrible CGI sets, which look like they were thrown together by a reception class designing the nativity backdrop for the school play. Basically, one of the children arrives at Aunt Lizzie’s house, choose a teacup from her vast collection (she’s clearly in hoarding cahoots with Makka Pakka, either that or they’re both raging cleptomaniacs) and she tells the story behind the cup. Thus begins a laborious journey, in the child’s imagination, where the graphics are so bad, It’s amazing even children can believe in it. The only word to sum this rubbish up, is pants.

Winner: Need I even say it?! T-Bag of course!

I had one more in mind, but realise I’ve rambled on more than I should! I was going to pitch Mister Maker against Hartbeat. Clearly Hartbeat would’ve been the winner, mainly because Mister Maker loses credibility by having those dancing, two stepping shapes. What I really want to do is knock the first one over, and see them all fall like dominoes, just for my own entertainment!

So, 80’s TV rocked! Other favourites I would’ve loved to talk about, include Thundercats (awesome,) Gummi Bears, Count Duckula, and other classics…. I’m off to weep for better childhood TV shows for my children….

Thanks for reading!
Xoxo

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Who The Hell Is Raisins?

raisins

Date: Sometime mid pregnancy (first time around)

Dear Diary, I’ve made a friend! Another pregnant person, due at the same time as me! This is exciting, maybe I won’t be postnatal and alone after all. She seemed just on the right side of crazy, but her heart was well and truly in the right place. (She said she had no time for people who drank caffeine, used stretch mark cream, ate chocolate, or gained weight during pregnancy.) She said all of those things would definitely harm your baby, and anybody who did those things were basically sick and didn’t deserve to be parents. I threw my stretch mark cream straight in the bin (but I’m going to ask the midwife about the other things, I’m hoping that she won’t arrange for my baby to be taken away from me though, immediately after delivery, if she knows I’ve eaten chocolate??) All this is overwhelming Diary. I’ll leave it there for today.
Signed: Excited soon-to-be first time mum!

Date: Sometime near the end of pregnancy (first time around)

Dear Diary, my new friend told me that she had been reading all this research, and apparently, you should never let a raisin near a child once it is old enough to eat them. Apparently, they will cause immediate tooth rot. She said that people who feed their children raisins, fall into the same category for her, as those eat chocolate and use stretch mark cream. I told my super cool friend R, (another fab friend from antenatal class! I’m winning at this making friends shizzle!) about the raisins story, to get her opinion. She said she has no time for this bullshit, and only now only refers to this girl as Raisins. I have to say Diary, the name has stuck. I’ve only got a week to go now Diary, until maternity leave! Then that will leave me a week and a half till D-Day. But Raisins said I should work until my due date. She said you’re lazy if you don’t, because there’s no reason not to. But I’ve been struggling since 7 months, I sometimes work 14 hour days, with no break, and no chance to sit down. I told her I thought I might die if I stayed until my due date, but she looked disappointed in me.
Signed: Waddling heffalump, getting extremely fed up.

Date: A few weeks after the bomb has dropped…

Dear Diary, I have my baby! And he is beautiful, and I’ve never known love like it. But also, I’m scared. I’m crying all the time, and I live in fear someone will snatch him from the pushchair when I’m out with him. I’m frightened all the time. Raisins pitied me because I had an epidural (I didn’t pity me, I only pity that I didn’t ask for it sooner than hour 24 of the back-to-back, no progression, agonising nightmare that was getting the baby out. That thing was worth its weight in gold.) But Raisins said pain relief is for the weak, and that I must feel like I totally let myself down. My body has let me down miserably though, Diary. My milk didn’t come in, and I’m bottle feeding the baby. Raisins wondered if I felt awful for the poison I was subjecting my baby to. She said she’d rather buy breast milk from the internet than use formula. I feel uncomfortable getting my bottles out around her. She also wants me to join her in a schedule to get fit. She said she went back to the gym before her tears had healed, and while the entire worlds periods were still pouring from her body, because she said there is nothing more shameful than being fat for longer than a week post birth. I must admit diary, I’m starting to think Raisins is a bit of a dick.
Signed: A very anxious, postnatal wreck, who could do with support, not judgement.

Date: Sometime mid pregnancy (second time around)

Well Diary, I’m pregnant again! And baby number one is weaned! We still hang out with Raisins, but it’s getting more and more stressful to be around her. She will never meet anywhere that doesn’t do strictly organic food, so we are limited. She says that children only thrive on strictly organic, home made food. I have to remember to shove my Ellas Kitchen pouches into a plastic container, when I’m going to meet her, to pass them off as my own. But she tries to catch me out, by asking me for recipes, and complicated questions about ingredients I use. She is going to rumble me Diary! And my status as Shit Mother of the Year will be known by all.
Signed: I have loads of other friends, why am I taking this bollocks?

Date: Fairly recently…

So Diary, we went to meet Raisins, AND her husband. Mr W wasn’t keen, he said if Raisins’ husband was anything like her, the meeting would be a disaster. But I’m still hoping my initial impressions were right, and somewhere in there is a good person. But Raisins and her husband basically report you to the police if you give your children juice. My children will only drink juice. There was a heart stopping moment where Mr W forgot what I’d briefed him, and ordered the children a juice in the café we were in. I averted Raisins and her husband making a citizens arrest, by intercepting the waiter, and changing the order to water. Raisins’ husband berated Mr W for giving baby 2 a taste of his bacon. He said the salt would kill him. This went down as I suspected, like a lead frigging balloon. You do not berate Mr W unless you are an actual friend of his, and most importantly, unless you are joking. Then the shit really hit the fan when child one dropped us in it by mentioning the chocolate bribe we had used to get him in the car to meet them… Raisins made her stance clear on this, by laying into me for not doing any Halloween activities with the children (we painted and carved melons, I didn’t realise only crap parents tried to ask for pumpkins on actual Halloween.) She felt the children would need therapy for not having been given the appropriate amount of Halloween themed enrichment activities. I have to say Diary, I think I’m fucking done with Raisins.
Signed: Someone who can’t take this shit anymore!

Date: Right now!

Dear Diary, I have some questions about Raisins…
Do you think I loathe her because I actually envy her Supermum power, and want to be her?
Do you think Raisins is just really insecure, and uses others to quash her insecurities?
Do you think my postnatal mentalist self, made Raisins up?
Is Raisins a figment of my imagination?
Do you have a Raisins in your life?
WHO THE ACTUAL F**K IS RAISINS?????!!!!

Thanks for reading!
Xoxo

Mummuddlingthrough

Run Jump Scrap!

Run Jump Scrap!

Generic Baby Sleep Manual: A Review

image

The following is a review of a Generic Baby Sleep Manual! Usually an excellent gift for first time parents, or bought by more experienced parents whilst under the influence of sleep deprivation, in the hope that their lives may be salvaged through application of the comedy suggestions outlined by the book, to their real lives, thus achieving the ultimate goal-a baby who sleeps through the night.

Author: D. Lusional

Genre: Fiction; Comedy and Fantasy

Synopsis: A work of fiction, propelling the sleep deprived parent through a fantasy journey of hope, and lights at the end of the tunnel, before moving them to a path of frustration (the book has been known to induce yelling, and feelings of utter desperation and uselessness from readers, who pray that some overlap can be made from the fictional narrative, to real life,) before making the abrupt turnaround into moments of comedy gold, with hilarious suggestions as to how the reader can apply rituals to their lives in order to overcome the frustration and yelling, and achieve the stuff of myth and legend: A baby who sleep all night.

I was delighted to be given this book to review, as I love to test my Supermum status by trying to fit reading into days filled with softplay visits, playdates, visits to the park, and other activities I love doing, and to provide glorious distraction from the cycle of making up to 8 different dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and having my patience tested by all of them being either a) thrown at me, b) spat at me, c) thrown on the floor, or d) all three, whilst the darlings simultaneously scream into my face at the brutality of not being allowed chocolate for all of these meals, before invariably asking for the first meal they discarded, which they expect me to salvage from the bin. Also, having graduated from the University of Realistic Parenting, with 100% in modules in Sleep Deprivation, and Wines which help you Best Cope With Shit Sleepers, it was felt I was fully equipped for the job!

It is clear that the Generic Baby Sleep Manual is a work of fiction (new parents may be less inclined to notice so quickly, and may believe it to be real,) when the opening paragraph promises to solve ALL baby sleep problems, with no exception! Not only that, but it promises that the latter end of the book will turn an outrageously badly behaved toddler into a mild mannered angel, in a matter of days! Of course, not only does every parent know this to be impossible, the ways it suggests the taming be done, is nothing short of witchcraft! Furthermore, the author lists their credentials in dealing with unruly toddlers, and I did feel that this section of the book could have made more sense if written by a zoo keeper, as we all know that looking after toddlers is tantamount to caring for a group of wild animals, and if the author really was aiming for authenticity in this section, her credentials are invalid, and a zoo keeper would’ve provided the realism required.

The first real belly laugh came just after the opening pages. There was talk of honing psychic like abilities in order to look at your baby and be able to read their mind! Just like that! Fantastical claims were made that a parent can train their mind like a Jedi, in order to know when their baby is telling them they are tired, hungry, generally pissed off, just about to take a massive dump etc, so that they can intervene and prevent a car crash scenario where the baby chomps on your failing boobs in anger, whilst attempting to punch you in the face, before crapping all up its back in protest at your less than adequate Jedi status. There were also some very fancy acronyms used here, in order to help you do this. To the Realistic Parent, these were pant wettingly funny!

Then we moved onto the good stuff, the comedy gold! The author provides a notion that babies can be trained to sleep at the click of a parents fingers, to times outlined by the author. The outrageously funny comedy notion suggests that every single baby in the universe can be trained like Pavlov’s Dog, to fit to this universal template! Here I simply loved the idea that you are starting to become suspicious that the author really has a God complex, and I started to throw around sub plots and conspiracy theories in my head. It was intense. What if, in this particular book, the author IS actually God? And she has the ability to stealthily hypnotise, and/or inject the universes babies with sedatives, from her place in another realm, in order to achieve her mission? It would certainly make a change from the current Gold Standard Template of getting babies to sleep, from the Royal Institute of Crap Parenting, which we all know is as follows:

Bath the child. In the chaos, half the water will end up on the floor, and half of it will be drank by the child, but the child will be clean.

On the way out of the bathroom, if able, the child must pull the light cord a minimum of three times. If they don’t a tantrum will ensue, thus ruining any calm you have achieved.

Once in the child’s in their bedroom, you must dry them quickly and efficiently, bonus sleep points are given from the child to the parent if they can dry them whilst the child is attempting to roll away/ask to hold every toy it owns/make record decibel breaking requests for milk/chocolate.

Once the child has been battled into its night clothes, it will turn down requested milk, and ask for stories. The same story must be read a minimum of 10 times.

When the child finally accepts being placed in its cot, you must lay next to the cot, and hold his or her hand through the cot bars until they fall asleep. This will invariably end in the parent falling asleep first, and the child will celebrate victory by throwing its dummy at the parents head, to remind them that it calls the sleep shots.

Repeat this final step as many times as necessary for the child to fall asleep.

Oh how The Generic Baby Sleep Manual provided an enchanting, whimsical break from this reality! I found the shifts between comedy and fantasy to be smooth and flowing, and one of the great novelty points of this book.
Next, the rest of the book was made up of hundreds of pages (and I mean HUNDREDS) of rituals, which it encourages parents to try, in order to get a non sleeping baby to sleep immediately. Some of the rituals were comic, and some slightly odd and almost Satanic, a real interesting use of contrasts. I do feel a ‘don’t try this at home’ disclaimer should’ve been included here. Here, any newbie parent could easily be fooled into trying these rituals, and spend many a frustrating hour trying to implement them, when they simply won’t work. They are to be enjoyed for comedy value only!

A real negative point I found with this book is that it tries to brainwash the more unwitting reader into thinking that dummy addiction is a rare occurrence, and that callous use of dummies should be encouraged. As the fiction of the book tries so hard to parallel with reality, I feel it is my place as founder and CEO of Parents of Dummy Addicts Unite, to remind all new and would be parents that ONE SUCK IS ALL IT TAKES. Proceed with dummy use with caution.

So, dear readers, there is my review! To summarise, this well written book will elicit a huge range of emotions from you. If you are massively sleep deprived, you could possibly become anxious and weepy when you reach the end of the story, and realise that sleeping through the night is not a realistic or attainable target. Wine will help, and my module in Wines which help with Shit Sleepers, suggests that a good, crisp Sauvignon Blanc will help with these emotions. But as comedy fantasies go, not bad! I give it a well deserved 4 stars!

Thanks for reading!

Xoxo

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The Twinkle Diaries
Mummuddlingthrough

Best of Worst

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
A Bit Of Everything

dummy

There is a turf war going on in my house. Like most turf wars, it gets violent and aggressive, and is perpetrated by addicts. I am caught in the middle of a dummy turf war, headed by my tiny humans, who would also rather die than remove the plastic, quiet inducing, sometime lifesavers, from their mouths. You see, Deep thinker is firmly in the Avent gang. He prefers his stash to be of the colourless, see through variety, with an annoying handle flapping with excessive movement. Mini Assassin is firmly affiliated with gang MAM, thus preferring a vice consisting of the larger, boldly coloured, face obscuring variety. Each are fearlessly protective of their own haul, and there is severe punishment for any dummy found crossing into the wrong territory. Avent territory includes Deep Thinkers bedroom, our bedroom, and the lounge. MAM territory consists of everywhere else. Punishment for a dummy found to be stepping on the others turf, currently include a screaming fit, before it being placed firmly in the bin, a screaming fit, followed by it being stamped on, and a screaming fit, followed by torture of the offending dummy owner (kicking, biting, scratching,) followed by an attempt to permanently disfigure the dummy by any means possible. I fear that one day soon, there will be a gangland execution for any dummy and its owner, found to be in someone else’s stomping ground.

I have always been a ‘never say never’ person. I felt the same about how I was going to bring my children up, I read a lot about the do’s and don’ts of feeding, what they should wear to sleep in, exactly what their poo should look and smell like before you start freaking out and making panicked phonecalls, etc, but ultimately thought that I’d do what came naturally. But for some reason, I really, REALLY didn’t want my children to have dummies. I was one of those clueless knobheads who thought that dummies were for lazy parents who couldn’t be bothered to comfort their child if it cried, and shoved a dummy their way as a quick fix. Yes, one of those naïve, childless people who need a slap, because they actually have no idea what dummies are really for. I didn’t realise they are excellent for colicky babies. I didn’t realise that some babies had such a strong, relentless urge to suck, that the whole time they weren’t sucking, they’d be screaming. I didn’t realise it would take me all of 24 hours before the following conversation would take place in my house:

Me: Get to the shop, and get the fucking dummies.
Husband: Errrrr, it’s 3am.
Me: Right, ok, I thought it was later than that. Go.
Husband: But it’s 3am, where will I get them? And I thought you didn’t like the look of them.
Me: Get on google, find a 24 hour shop, and GO. And do you really think baby aesthetics is top of my list of priorities right now? Do you? Do you hate me and want me to suffer any more of this? Have my nipples disintegrated like lollipops yet from the relentless fucking sucking?? Have they?? HAVE THEY??????????? GOOOOOOOOOO.
Husband: (With the terrified look of both a new Father and someone with a hormone ravaged, exhausted wife) Right you are, see you in a bit…

And thus, our first dummy addict was born. With the introduction of that little bit of plastic, which at that point held more value to me than anything I owned, peace ensued, and my nipples were stripped of their role as human pacifier. Dummies were initially limited to night time only. Then night time plus daytime naps. But with every addiction, the more you have it, the more you want it, and the eldest got to the point that he would do anything to have his dummy in constantly. And like every conversation that happens in our house regarding what we are going to do with the children, all the things we tell ourselves we are going to do, never happen. We said we would take it away on his first birthday. Then his second, then his third… Now it looks like we’ll be packing him off to university with a dummy firmly attached to his mouth.

The second baby didn’t need a dummy at first, he was a much more settled baby. But once when he was crawling, he found a discarded dummy on the floor, and one hit was all it took… For us to now have 2 addicts on our hands. We are currently in the middle of cold turkey daytime dummy withdrawal. It’s not going well. During our first outing with two cold turkey toddlers, to playgroup, there was a code red emergency where a baby in the fenced off baby area dropped its dummy on the floor. Both my addicts immediately made a move, desperately trying to scale the fence, snarling and salivating at the prospect of reaching that dummy, that precious prize, the hit they were being denied. It was like a scene from The Walking Dead.

I am trying to keep the children away from places where I know there will be dummies. Chemists trips are a no go at the moment. You will find me weaving stealthily around the pregnancy tests (hopefully they will never be needed again) past the Tena Lady (should really get some of those) like the ninja that I am, to avoid The Dummy Section. There has to be constant vigilance, as soon as they see the shelves lined with brand spanking new, shiny dummies, there is pleading, bargaining, then eventually a huge tantrum when they realise what they see can’t be theirs. Like sniffer dogs, they are capable of sniffing out a dummy from at least a mile away. I have to check coat pockets, under beds, and any dark corner where dummies I missed may have been squirreled away, ready for a sucking hit when my back is turned. I have to ask friends to put any dummies of their own away when we are visiting. I can’t let the children be surrounded by other dummy users. If I put one dummy in a room, with both of them, I’ve no doubt they would fight to the death over it. The dummy battle is a constant one.

The cold turkey daytime strategy is still very hit and miss. Sometimes I curse myself for not being stronger, and just rounding up all the dummies and chucking them out, not even allowing them for night time. But I’m too weak for that at the moment. My husband attempted this, just last week. He suddenly announced ‘right, that’s it. They’ve got to go,’ and chucked them all. Not even a visit from the dummy fairy (which is something else we have debated trying.) After he did this, he promptly buggered off out the door to work, leaving me to deal with the consequences. Needless to say, within less than 2 hours, I was at the shop making a panic purchase. And by the law of sod, all they had was flipping pink, lurid ones… Not even the thought of gender neutrality could make them look any better on my two, very much boyish boys…

So, that is where we are at. The turf war continues, and addiction presides. Any useful tips regarding weaning from dummies will be gratefully received! (I’m not really expecting any practical advice, don’t worry! Just raise a glass to me and have a glass of Sauvignon on my behalf will be fine!) I will be reaching for the wine/vodka until this is over and I can restrategise!!

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

UPDATE: Three months after the publication of this post, the eldest entered dummy rehab, and has been successfully dummy free since. The second baby still has a crack style addiction to his-we are working on it…!

 

Ways I Have Lost My Dignity Since Becoming a Mum

1. Excess Hair

Ok, so when it gets to that part in The Gruffalo, where it reads ‘It’s The Gruffalo! Are you brave enough to kiss him goodnight?’ Instead of fighting over the book in an attempt to slobber all over The Gruffalo, my children are in grave danger of turning to kiss ME. I am actually starting to resemble The Gruffalo. My legs are lucky if they get a biannual shave, and even then I usually give up, because even the bravest of razors struggles to hack through the dense mass. If you flew a plane over my bikini line, you may just be able to spy one of those tribes, untouched by civilisation, shaking their spears at you, just wanting to be left alone in the forest they call home. Standards of grooming have slipped unbearably low…

2. My eating habits have become almost as disgusting as my children’s

One day I was jiggling a fractious Deep Thinker up and down on my knee, whilst simultaneously trying to eat a bowl of soup. I was STARVING. He suddenly took it upon himself to sneeze, straight into my bowl. Think actual greenies being propelled out of his nose and mouth, at incredible speeds, torpedoing straight into my barely eaten soup. I ate it. I was THAT hungry. I also think nothing of eating off the floor (shove the 5 second rule,) and have fished out chocolate from the children’s neck creases and eaten it before they have noticed what it is, and demanded it for themselves. With not having regular mealtimes, or time to eat by myself, I have to stoop to such lows in order to stay alive. It’s every man for himself.

3. My bladder is not what it was

Yes, we are all told in antenatal class that we need to be doing so many million sets of pelvic floor exercises per day, in order not be urine leaking cat ladies once our babies are out. A combination of really only being in antenatal class for the mummy friends, and working sometimes 14 hour days (the first time around anyway) where I barely got time to eat, let alone give my pelvic floor a fleeting thought, meant that I was going to be subjected to extreme loss of dignity in the future. Just after Deep Thinker was born, I came down with a chest infection, and coughed constantly. During my first massive coughing session, I wet the bed. As I was thinking that the peeing my pants was not going to happen for another 60 years, Tena Lady was not something I had readily to hand. So I put one of Deep Thinkers nappies in my knickers… Not just once, I did it routinely until I stopped coughing… Shameful!

4. My personal hygiene can be shady

There is absolutely no time in my life for shopping. Even if there was, Deep Thinker and Mini Assassin get fractious within seconds of entering a shop, and it doesn’t give me enough time to choose stuff. All they want to do at the shopping centre is try and throw themselves into the fountain there, so they are like wild animals trying to free themselves from the buggy to get to it. You get it, it’s hard. The issue is, I can’t fit into about 95% of my wardrobe. So not only will my brain not accept that I will probably never fit into my lovely clothes again (massive heaving sob,) coupled with the fact that I can never get to the shops, I am presented with very little to wear. So I often wear the same clothes for days, or fish clothes out from the washing basket, pick off the dried on snot and food, spray perfume on the armpits and crotch (just to be safe) and away I go. Oh how I mourn for the days where I left the house with my highlighted hair bouncing, my size 10 clothes clean, and everything plucked and waxed…

5. Things have come out of my mouth, which I’m really not proud of

Before children, I was quite shy, and outrageously British in being appropriate. After children, this no longer applies. At all. Once, I had been walking Deep Thinker for AGES in his pushchair (it was only place he would sleep during the day,) and he was overtired, screaming, and really struggling to nod off. I was tired, grumpy, and as I spent hours a day aimlessly walking him around, I was also in pain, as I’d injured my knee continuing with this debacle. He had just gone off to sleep, and I had just relaxed a bit, and slowed my pace. Just as I slowed down, a police car parked up on the side of the road suddenly turned on its lights and sirens, and started to pull away. But it didn’t even go quickly, it went at snails pace, with the deafening scream emanating from it, indicating that if it were a real emergency, it should’ve been going a lot bloody faster, and not hanging around making enough noise to wake the dead!!!! So, I saw red. I wanted to grab that policeman, wrap my hands around his neck, and squeeze the life out of him. And I ran down the road after the car, shouting ‘you f***ing c**t, you absolute complete and utter f***ing f**kface! Look what you’ve done!’ Wow, the irrationality of a tired mum knew no bounds… What a dreadful undignified chav mother I must’ve looked… I have also announced to the lady taking the money at soft play that ‘I would rather shoot myself in the head than carry on with this parenting malarkey,’ and told the lovely lady at the church playgroup door that free coffee just wasn’t going to cut it. I needed free vodka. These were only a few scarce moments of letting my guard down, in a tired, wine deprived haze, but my previous, extremely dignified self, would NOT have approved.

6. I am NEVER prepared

As with the afore mentioned non-existent Tena Lady issue, I also seemed to have forgotten what having a period is all about, and always feel shocked when I get one. I didn’t have one for 3 years, with the pregnancies close together, and with PCOS, so I seemed to just forget exactly what I need in order to deal with it. I’m ALWAYS making an emergency dash to the shop for tampons (usually whilst again wearing a nappy!!!) Our house always seems to be lacking in essentials. One time I had injured my back in a gym related attempt at getting back into my old wardrobe incident. Looking after the children was devastatingly difficult enough with the pain, without me having to make an emergency dash to the shops for nappies (this time for my actual children, there’s definitely a running theme here) because like the forgetful idiot I’ve become, I forgot to get any with that weeks food shop. I really needed pain relief to get me through the journey there, but didn’t have any. So, if walking hunched over the pushchair, moaning in agony wasn’t enough, I had to stop on the side of the road, in a pain induced panic about how I was realistically going to reach my destination. I suddenly had the massive brain wave that I had a bottle of calpol in the changing bag! A lifeline!! So, I sat there calculating that 100mg in 5mls meant that to get the adult dose of 1000mg, I would need 10 syringes of the stuff to feel the effect. So I sat there. On the side of the road. Syringing 10 actual syringes of calpol into my desperate mouth… Oh. My. Life.

7. Metformin does embarrassing things to your body

When I was pregnant with Mini Assassin, I became resistant to insulin. After numerous trips to the GP to try and work out what was wrong with me, this conclusion was reached, and I was prescribed metformin, a drug used to treat diabetics (I’m not diabetic, but the side effect of taking metformin is that it lowers insulin resistance.) Another side effect of metformin is that it causes unwanted wind, of gale force proportions. The GP explained that it might make my tummy a ‘little gripy.’ Try constantly gurgling, trying to let the foulest ever smell emanate from you, from the slightest ever movement. Thank GOD that when this happens in public, I can say in a loud theatrical voice ‘oh, I think someone needs a nappy change!’ (*secretly laughs a little*) But seriously? My husband has commented that it’s like an assassination attempt by German mustard gas… Enough said, I need to move on quickly.

8. Children do things they think are hilarious, which make you want to kill them

So, we are on holiday at the child infested, over populated destination that is Center Parcs. I’m grappling with both children in the pool changing room, as my husband has suddenly had to urgently dash off somewhere (he just needed to get away from the hell that was the changing rooms.) Mini Assassin is trying to escape through the big crack under the door, Deep Thinker is throwing our wet AND dry clothes everywhere, including next doors cubicle. Mini Assassin has made a particularly heroic Houdini bid for freedom, meaning that even though I had no clothes on, I had to open the door to try and grab him back in. Even though I thought I’d only need to open it just enough to fit an arm through, thus protecting my postnatal nudity (which NOBODY needs to see,) Deep Thinker suddenly thought it’d be hilarious to shove me from behind with all his might. I went crashing through the gap, landing in a heap on the floor, outside of the cublicle. For all to see. You couldn’t make this shit up.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo