So, we all know that there was once a mum who lived in the south of England. We know that she was married to a Keifer Sutherland lookalike. We know that in her household, nobody ever listened to a fucking word she said, or ate anything she cooked. We know that she has PCOS, which she is currently trying to kick the crap out of its carb hating/insulin resistant ass. We know that she tries to do this by sometimes #shabammingtheshitoutoflife.

Well, today’s story finds her on her way to #bodycombattheshitoutoflife. Except she arrives at the gym to find she *dramatic gasp* hasn’t shaved her armpits…

She is faced with several choices:
1. Turn around and go home. There is no place for female body hair in the gym.

2. #bodycombattheshitoutoflife with her arms pinned to her side. (That would be well worth filming surely.)

3. #bodycombattheshitoutoflife at the back of the room, and hope she isn’t mistaken for a gorilla during any of the punching move busting.

She scratched her head, and thought: WWGGD. What Would Germaine Greer Do?

Well, she’d probably not be at the gym for a start. She wouldn’t give a shit who didn’t like her wobbly, insulin resistant ass-she’d change it for no fucker.

If she did go inside, the woman mused that Germaine would probably strip off to her bra and knickers, and march in there all pubes blazing, plaiting her leg and armpit hair as she went, while singing ‘cast off the shackles of yesterday’ as per Mrs Banks from Mary Poppins fame.

She’d probably use her bikini line hair to make a rope to gag anyone who passed comment on her hairy status.

She definitely wouldn’t wear any makeup, and definitely wouldn’t suffer the same the woman once had, of going to a spin class with last nights makeup on, and getting to the car to find most of the mascara residing just under her eyebrows, and salty sweat streaks running through her foundation.

But, as the woman was a disgrace to feminists everywhere, she chose to ignore #WWGGD What Would Germaine Greer Do? And she went home. Oh well, at least it saved the double whammy embarrassment of possibly letting out a bit of wee during a round house, plus being mistaken for a gorilla.

On her way home she was telephoned by the Keifer Sutherland lookalike.

“Guess what just happened?????” He said, sounding horrified.

“What dear, it sounds terrible,” she replied.

“A client just said ‘you remind me of someone. Someone famous,’ and I said (probably with a swaggy point and a wink) I know, is it Keifer Sutherland, I get it all the time (probably a smirk in there at this point) and she said ‘no, I was thinking of DONALD Sutherland-his father’…”

The bit of wee that didn’t get to come out at body combat, then escaped at that moment, during massive amounts of giggling and snorting that ensued…😂😂

The moral of the story? Invest in a cap sleeved gym t-shirt so that you can indulge yourself in never shaving your armpits while having the added benefit of not being mistaken for a gorilla while basking in your own hairiness. And also, that at a certain age, you will come to resemble the father of the celebrity you love that everyone mistakes you for, and it will be really bloody funny to your younger wife…!!    

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My eldest was a very quiet baby in the evenings-he wouldn’t go to sleep, but if there was a chest available, he’d quite happily snuggle into it quietly, rummaging around for milk every now and again. Baby number two inevitably had to make up for what we’d lost out on the first time. He was on a mission to make us as crazy empathetic to others going through the same madness, by screaming non stop, from 6pm sharp, till 11pm, for the first 8 weeks. Big Ben and the talking clock actually were set by the start of his shrieking.

To amuse myself, and make myself feel better through the, quite frankly pointless, shushing, patting, feeding attempts, changes of scenery, numerous rubbish ‘remedies’ suggested to help him, I’d listen to music on my headphones and dance around a bit. My husband would be busy playing the baby soothing music, which of course did naff all, but made him feel like he was at least contributing to the cause.
Whenever I hear the songs that I used to listen to during that time, it reminds me that, as a lover of dance and movement, there is a song and a dance that sums up every part of my day…

The Morning: ‘Where did you sleep last night?’ (Nirvana.)
A question that is frequently asked in our house of a morning. One night recently, I went to sleep on the sofa because of my husband’s snoring, the smallest got into bed with the husband, who came to swap with me because he couldn’t cope with the smallest kicking him, and the eldest had at some point fallen out of bed, rolled underneath it, and slept there. ‘Morning everyone! Where did you sleep last night?’ A question I didn’t think I’d be asking my children until they were teenagers…!

When Everyone Is Up: Sleeping Bunnies (probably made up by a well meaning leader of a playgroup somewhere, many moons ago…) I like the first part of this song. The children lay down and pretend to be asleep. In our house, we like to drag this part out as long as possible, especially if it’s really early, and we are rubbing our bleary eyes and drinking our bodyweight in coffee. And also because once they start ‘hop little bunnies hop hop hop, hop little bunnies hop hop hop,’ you know that they will basically be running around for the rest of the day like deranged rabbits until they drop.

Trying To Get Out Of The Door: Crazy (Knarls Barkley.)
‘I remember when, I remember when I lost my mind…’ That’s me, after socks and shoes that have been put on one child, are taken off, while I’m putting them on the other, and while tandem pooing is taking place (always when we are trying to leave the house-everyone knows this is the primary law of sod.) It invariably ends with trying to bend two planking children, to try and get them into the pushchair.

While We Are Out: The Conga. Or the Buggyboard Conga.
You know when you’re doing a conga, and you are awkwardly bent in the middle, because you don’t really want your hips (or bits,) touching the person in front of you. And you know when nobody’s feet are actually in sync when doing it, and you end up kicking the person in front (while maintaining adequate distance from each other’s bits.) Well, pushing a pushchair with a buggy board, is like doing a permanent conga. You have a person between you and the pushchair handle, so you’re awkwardly bent in the middle trying to reach it. The board also constantly gets in the way of your feet, and you spend the whole…time… you are out, kicking the damn thing. It’s like a constant party, but with less people and nowhere near enough alcohol. ‘Na na na na, and we can do the (buggy board) conga!’

Throughout The Entire Day: The cha cha. Or the pelvic floor cha cha.
In the cha cha, there is a step called the lock step, where you find yourself with your legs locked, like you would if you were ya know, crossing your legs to stop you peeing yourself while you sneeze or cough. I add this little move in frequently to my day. Walk along, feel a sneeze, lock step, and carry on. I walk around doing the conga and cha cha, like a regular Flavia Cacace.

Any Mealtime: The Hokey Cokey.
We play the mealtime Hokey Cokey at every single meal, it goes like this: ‘You put the whole spoonful in, you take the whole spoonful out. In, out, in, out, f**k it, I’ll spit it on the floor…’ And repeat.

Bath Time: The Final Countdown (Europe.)
Ok, so after numerous songs that could potentially be all about bath time (Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, Umbrella, I Will Survive) because my children always get more water on the floor than they keep in the bath, bath time always symbolises the Final Countdown to me. That final push until wine time, until Netflix time, until…quiet!

Bed Time: Wide Awake (Katy Perry.)
Of course they are. Having yawned through the afternoon, being prodded by me to keep them awake through the CBeebies bedtime hour, now it is time for them to actually sleep-THEY’RE WIDE AWAKE!!!!!! Time to bring out the big guns-‘there will be NO kinder egg tomorrow if you don’t go to sleep NOW! (Usually a winner in our house.)

When They’re Asleep: Survivor (Destiny’s Child.)
I definitely like to congratulate myself for surviving another day. And dragging out some noughties fashion, channelling Beyonce (and trying to get my husband to be Kelly or Michelle,) and banging out ‘I’m a survivor, I’m gonna make it, I will survive, keep on survivin’ is the ultimate way to do this, followed of course by…

Gin and Juice (Snoop Dogg)
A song title, and exactly what I want to do once the day is over, usually with the dulcet tones of Coldplay reminding me ‘nobody said this was easaaaaaaay….!

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'Karma' in large capital letters

I’m a strong believer in what goes around comes around. Every negative thing you do, or thought you give out, will come back and hit you hard. Karma, it can be a real bitch, right? It wasn’t until after I had children, that I realised I in no way been living by my own rules… As I constantly ponder how life was before children, and how I expected I would be performing in my life’s ultimate starring role as Super Parent (*coughs and ahems whilst surveying the house which is a tip, and the cupboard filled with bribe treats*) and how I also continue to be overly optimistic with how well I’m going to do in this role, the role that karma has played in these ponderings frantically sprang to mind. Pre children, I had committed some terrible sins, and here are the five most prolific times that karma came galloping around the corner, and bit me hard on the bum in order to show me that I need to heed my own mantras…!

Waaaay Before Children…
So, we’d be off to meet our friends on a Saturday night. We’d have napped most of the afternoon, having had a massive lay in already that morning. When it came to getting ready, we’d sit on the bed drinking wine, listening to loud music. We’d also have had little digs at our friends with children, who had dictated the time we met, and where we met (why did it have to be so close to where they lived? Why did they have to arrive so late? Couldn’t the babysitter put the children to bed??) So clearly, Karma swooped in as soon as we had our own children, all dark and moody, annoyed that we had dared to naively dig at our friends, and gave us our first child, who now will ONLY be put to bed by my husband, followed by child number 2, who will ONLY be put to bed by me. They will also only be settled by said favourite parent, should they wake up of an evening. Thus, karma dictates that now, our friends can have a dig at us for dictating what time we meet and where, that it’s close to our house, moan that we are late, and ask why the babysitter can’t just put our children to bed. Or, they can just forget about us entirely, because we are too frightened to go out, ever….!!

2 images, one showing makeup, dvds, music, and hair straighteners. The other showing some 'going out' clothes to choose from.

(Getting ready to go out was a leisurely affair…)

Immediately Postpartum
So pretty much my whole life, (well, as soon as I was aware that being pregnant might change your body,) I was going to be one of those people who pinged straight back into shape. Of course I would be, the baby would come out, and my tummy would be flat, yes? And if this wasn’t the case for other women, they had definitely taken to ‘eating for 2,’ (clearly not necessary.) Well, karma was on this one like a rat up a drainpipe. I was stupefied to find that I had put on 3 stone post baby. But, I ate sensibly all the way through? But, I forced myself to run on a treadmill until I was 7 months pregnant? But, I was still running around doing 14 hour shifts until the week before he came out? HOW COULD THIS BE?? Not content with that, once the initial sack of spuds tummy had started to deflate, karma then decided that for being such a judgmental dufus, I was to be given a large roll of skin on my belly, that will never shrink or go away, and be a permanent reminder of my douche baggery.

When weaning
I had friends who had total weaning nightmares. Babies who refused solids, and seemed to despise anything solid going their way, for months on end. I had friends who quickly realised their children had intolerances to a lot of foods, and had the pain of checking every single thing that went in their mouths, to the letter. My baby, however, ate everything. He gobbled up my beautifully blended purees, at the times Annabel Karmel dictated he should have them. Then he moved on to positively delighting in a fish pie, or vegetable lasagne, with a side of extra veg to chew on, while I tidied up. I secretly delighted in my victory, and marveled at my perfectly weaned child, his obvious innate love of fruit and vegetables (he gets it from me!!) and wondered if I should contact Nigella, and tell her she was out of a job-my cooking prowess was obviously up there with the best of them. But of course, Karma was having none of this. Karma loved wiping the smile from my face, by making my child reduce his diet to include only 3 things:
Cheerios on the rocks (dry, no milk.)
Cheerios with a side of peanut butter.
Cheerio dust (crushed ones from the floor.)
An occasional foraged raisin from the floor may also occasionally make its way in there, just to mix things up a bit.

2 imges, 1 shows cheerios with a side of peanut butter, the other shows cheerios covered in dust from the floor.

(And todays menu: Cheerios from the floor, some crushed, and covered in dust, and cheerios with a side of peanut butter…)

When my first child was so beautifully placid
My first baby was the definition of chilled. Open a dictionary, look at ‘chilled,’ and there he’d be! Anywhere I took him, he played quietly, and was never intrusive to anyone else’s activity. I’d get so upset if another child hit or pushed him, because he always looked so shocked and wounded. Under my breath, I’d be cursing the parent, and wondering how they’d managed to raise such a monster. Of course, by thinking that, I was basically opening my arms to Karma, and inviting it to do its worst. As a result of giving other mums my best resting bitch face when their child hurt mine, Karma sent us baby number 2, who isn’t nicknamed Mini Assassin for nothing… He bites. He scratches. He kicks. If there is a scuffle, and a child is left is running towards its mother screaming like its being chased by the devil itself, I know that Mini Assassin will be the perpetrator of the crime. Now I just feel massive sympathy for any mum whose child hurts another, and is getting an ear bashing from the perfect parent army-karma has definitely seen to that.

2 pictures, one shows a small boy throwing a punch, the other, a small boy putting his hand up to the camera, as if to say 'leave me alone.'

(An assassin child in action…!)

Thinking about the future…
Karma often makes me pore over what I feel are my parenting mistakes, and beat myself up over my parenting regrets. It has made me see the error of my ways, and laugh at my pre-baby self’s naivety, and my lapses in sympathy for parents of other difficult (*assassin*) children. I hope that karma hasn’t noticed the times I’ve tutted as I’ve walked past a group of noisy teenagers, high on a heady mixture of cheap cider, teenage hormones, and the tiniest touch of their first sense of freedom. I know what karma will do with that judgment, by turning the future image of the angel teenagers I have in my head, swotting over extra homework that they’ve asked for voluntarily, into *ahem* images of myself as a teenager, also high on the same things… I’m one step ahead of you here karma!!

Remember-Karma is always watching, and is always ready to swoop in and make you see the error of your ways!

xoxo

This post first appeared as a guest post for Motherhood: The Real Deal as part of her #MyFiveThings series.