What my family mean to me #dosomethingyummy

Did I ever tell you about my family?

Well I was born in the north, or as you may better know it, God’s country.  I am the much longed for baby girl born to my poor suffering mother after she had to endure the  extreme misfortune of initially giving birth to not one but a pair of smelly boys. More

The lies I was told….

Having children has been an eye opener for me.  Finding out Santa was a fabrication in my youth was hard to deal with but really some of the lies I have been told since then regarding children are borderline obscene.

 Take this popular urban myth; ‘your life will be richer when you have your own family’ More

Dear holidaying teacher….

Week 2, Day 1….

My diary entry….

Dear teacher,

I had a wise plan today. As he who helped create them is studying from home I decided to recreate last weeks swimming nightmare by giving it another crack.  However I totally pulled one over on the lifeguard by leaving BB at home in bed and only taking the twins…

We arrived ten minutes before the swimming session began.  Good planning on my part as I wanted to ensure we got maximum return on my ten pound investment. I am northern and I don’t like to pay over the odds. More

Who’s the Daddy…..

He has been around since the children were born in fact if you inspect his right shoulder you can see indents from my teeth from BB’s labour; he has done the night feeds, he wiped his fair share of dirty bums. 


He struggles with feeding, he dislikes the mess; watching BB squeeze a tomato between thumb and forefinger makes him shudder visibly.  The twins drive him slightly deranged at times and at others he marvels in their intelligence and loves to play in their games. More

It hurts my heart…

To my intense surprise out on our weekly supermarket trip this week my three little leg hangers all behaved impeccably.  So much so on the drive home I gushed to them about their behaviour and whilst telling them how great they were and not paying attention to my surroundings twin boy caught me in a vulnerable moment and asked if because they had been good could they have a treat.

  “Of course” I replied, thinking a Freddo or a fudge, maybe even half an hour of Scooby Doo.

“Wicked,” said twin boy, “can we go there.” More

The A team meets Postman Pat

Potentially the most stressful time of my day falls between eight fifty and eight fifty-five. The time most commonly referred to as drop off. 

To any non owners of school age children reading this ‘drop off’ is not the time where us tired frustrated mothers hang our beloved offspring over a cliff edge and ‘drop em off’; nor am I referring to the time I visit the bathroom for my morning constitutional. Instead ‘drop off’ obviously refers to dropping the kids off at that free childcare place we lovingly refer to as school.

 But cor blimey governor what a palava it is. 

 We drive to school which means I have signed up for a lifelong argument of arguments with the ‘locals’ as I struggle to park within a mile of the gates on a daily basis so often when running marginally late I sometimes accidentally park in non popular places (read: in front of someone’s drive/garage/car.)* So it is no wonder my heart is already pounding as I attempt to remove my children from the warmth of my car.

 I should describe the car at this point so you can get a visual.  I won’t bother telling you the make and model as true to my gender stereotype I haven’t got a bloody clue.  My car is a cross between the A team van and Postman Pat’s funmobile.  Twin boy is always incredibly proud of the fact it has six seats which means it is brilliant.  In fact he once openly mocked a father and son team as they stepped out of their two man Porsche by pointing our how small their car was and very ‘uncool’ as it lacked our four extra seats. 

Our car is red and has sliding doors; thus far I have resisted the temptation to allow the children to hang out of the doors humming the A team theme tune as I hurtle along country roads but have no doubt that one day it will happen.  But anyway, in short my car is not what one would describe as ‘inconspicious’.  It is a bloody great big people carrier!

So at 8.50 I screech into a dubious parking space and put plan drop off into action.  First I unclick the babies seat belt, whilst twin boy and girl unclick their own and hurriedly rush to my seat in order to randomly try to get in my way to prevent me safely removing bb from the car.  Twin boy often likes to turn the radio on at this point to add a bit of background music to my rising stress levels. 

With bb unbelted, I leap out of the car and crawl to the boot on my belly so the owner of the drive I have just blocked will not be able to identify me in a line up later.  Out of the boot I retrieve the buggy and spend a good five minutes trying to assemble it and usually break a couple of nails in the process.  Whilst I am busy doing this the twins take the opportunity to have a good fight in the back and usually simultaneously burst into tears.  At this point I am tempted to use my rather tremendous shouting voice but again don’t want to identify myself in any way to the owner of the drive I have just parked in front of.

Once BB is secured into buggy using a five point harness in case she suddenly learns to do acrobats and  decides to leap out without warning Istart the business of extracting the twins from the big red fun bus.  Twin boy chooses this time to hide his water bottle under one of the six seats and twin girl likes to open her lunch box to check out what mummy has put in.  In addition if she doesnt like what I have put in there is a good chance she will wail about it.

The time is rapidly approaching 8.55 and so far I have one child out of the car who doesn’t even go to school. 

As I demand for the last time for the pair of them to shift their backsides and join me on the pavement they both decide to leave the car together which basically entails pushing and shoving until they emerge red-faced and angry.  They are both then sent back into the car to retrieve lunch boxes, book bags, scooters, PE kit and various assortments of ‘modeling’ materials we have collected at home.  If he is on particularly good form twin boy likes to take this opportunity to ‘accidently’ clobber twin girl with his scooter – just for fun.

Eventually we all stand looking like a defeated army on the pavement by the car; hair ruffled, coats hanging open and arms full.  Twin boy and girl set off at haste on their scooters chasing the sound of the ringing school bell leaving me behind with a pram with a small mountain piled on top of two book bags, two PE kits, two water bottles, two lunch boxes and two boxes full of crap for the modeling table.

Luckily though with so much stuff treacherously balanced on the buggy there is no way the owner of the drive I have parked in front of will ever be able to identify me in court!

*I am not proud of this but confession is good for the soul

Christmas and all that jazz

So the festive season is fully upon us, dangling blinking lights hang from every other house and the vast majority of us have paid an inappropriate amount of money for a large potted plant to sit and slowly die in the corner of our living room. However as it is the time to be merry we at least send the plant out in style by adorning it with sparkles and glitter; and in our case a vast amount of dodgy homemade decorations – placed discreetly round the back of the tree. I love my children but they get all their artistic talents from me, and mummies like me get take away when it comes to decorations.

Don’t let my grumpy start mislead you, I adore Christmas I love everything from the carols to the inevitable tantrums that descend at some point on Christmas day. I spend most of the year preparing for Christmas. I am the annoying friend who picks up presents throughout the year so December is not spent fighting wild last minute shoppers in BHS for Aunt Maud’s matching Salt and Pepper mills. He who helped create them has to physically restrain me from hanging decorations in November and the moment the calendar is turned to proudly declare December 1st my Christmas CD gets dusted off and played on a continuous loop until the big man has jumped down our Chimney.

Since having twin boy and girl we decided not to go away for Christmas again. It was a tough decision as I live two hundred miles away from my parents and brothers and nieces and he who helped created them’s family also live a hundred miles down the round, but we wanted to create our own type of Christmas and our own traditions whilst incorporating ones we grew up with. We don’t try and reinvent the wheel; our Christmas consists of being woken by the children who are itching to get downstairs to see if he has been. So far we have been lucky and our earliest wake up has been seven am; I think that may end this year…..

We open our Santa presents, stopping to play with anything the children want to, we like to savour every moment here and if we are still opening things on New Year’s Eve because of excessive playing then it has been a good Christmas! We have our Christmas walk, well we drag the children out with the dog, and I am hoping everyone will grow to love this tradition but so far it takes some bribing! Then we descend to the local pub for a little Christmas drink, not always the first of the day. In fact the first Christmas we had my in laws over I was so nervous I drank most of the bottle of champagne before midday whilst trying to cook a dinosaur sized turkey – it wasn’t my best dinner……

Home we head for an enormous dinner, crackers have to be pulled whilst Twin girl hides upstairs as she can’t stand the bangs and then we settle down for cuddles and a film, and a bit of wine! The kids head of to bed at seven and the cheese and biscuits appear and me and he who helped create them occasionally hijack the selection boxes and then we slob, happy, full and quite often pissed!

 I love Christmas…

 And I’d love to know your traditions let me know what makes your Christmas special…

Nowt stranger than folk

Going on holiday this year had an interesting spin which he who helped create them and I had not foreseen before we leapt with unbridled joy onto the plane at Gatwick last week.

Usually all we bring home from holiday is a couple of bags of eye watering smelly washing, a bad mood from the inevitable row waiting for the bag to come round the conveyor, a slight hangover and a few extra pounds round the middle.

However this year we brought home an entourage of new friends and tearful memories of saying goodbye to them all. Holidaying with four (and ¾’s) year olds threw a new dynamic into our annual vacation – we got to meet and speak to everyone in our hotel. Now typically when we go away without our children we like to be anti social*.

We bury our heads in our beach reading matter and are oblivious to everyone, rather like business men on a packed London tube when a pregnant lady boards.

Twin boy and girl do not seem to have inherited this skill of blatant ignoring and instead they go out of their way to befriend everyone in the entire resort. And not only do they befriend all the other children but they ensure we get to know all the mummies and daddies as well. Putting us into situations which involve your four-year old daughter bellowing across the restaurant:

“Mummy there is Billy and Georgie, let’s sit next to them”

You are forced into the quandary of if we don’t sit there will they think us rude or if we do sit there will they feel forced to speak to us and are we in turn ruining their evening? I can just about cope sitting in close quarters with my children’s eating habits but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else; especially when twin boy does his pea up the nose trick.

Luckily for us Billy and Georgies’ mummy and daddy were quite lovely and seemed to enjoy our company.

Leaving was so hard, seven days in an all inclusive resort and I had shared more meals with these new friends than I had some members of my family. I was nearly sobbing as I said goodbye to the children’s entertainers who had occupied twin boy all holiday.

So now back in Blighty where the weatherman keeps bleating on about the threat of snow just to add to my grumpy mood we have only our 250 photos (don’t you love digital memories – how did we survive with either a roll of 36 or 24?!?) to remember our new friends by.

Post holiday blues are definitely rife in this house.

*it is only right to point out here that actually me and he who helped create them did meet beautiful babies soon to be godparents on holiday and they are rather fabulous people. However normally we like to avoid everyone like the plague as there is nothing worse than strange holiday friends who you cant hide from.

The Revenge of the Baby

I have hinted in recent posts that beautiful baby whilst being completely adorable is also something of a mastermind and she spends the vast majority of her days sitting quietly twiddling her thumbs contemplating how to better her brother and sister when the opportunity presents itself.

Today was her day.

Twin boy and girl and I finally got to feel fully confident about the school run when we got invited home by one of their friends for our first ever ‘after school play day’.  We got to visit someone else’s house to throw their toys, have a few arguments and steal biscuits – clearly we have been accepted.  The dog nanny is not yet trusted to look after beautiful baby so clearly we presumed the invite was extended to her as well and off we all trotted; to the rather swish part of town.

All started off well, the children actually played together and a couple of times I witnessed the elusive toy sharing occurring, however baby beautiful was not her usual self.  She quickly noticed that the house was devoid of fisher price level toys and was full of dinosaurs, ben 10 and other Mattel and Hasbro related merchandise which all came with a minimum age suggestion of four.  This did not seem to go down well with my little beauty who rather likes her multi – coloured activity centres.  She seemed unsettled on the spotty blanky I considerately laid out for her to ‘kick’ on and Sophia the teething giraffe was cast aside in disgust as she rolled her eyes at me for choosing such a poor choice of after school venue.

She started to make muffled sad crying noises and her eyes were bright with the suggestion of tears so I scooped her up hoping a cuddle would suffice and once more bring a smile to her rather lovely face.  It worked instantly, baby beautiful gave me what can really only be described as a self satisfied grin which then spread into a full grin as a green liquid like substance penetrated through one nappy, one vest, one pair of tights, one mummy top and one mummy pair of jeans.

Yep my daughter pooped on me as punishment for me not taking her to a house with toys for babies.

To make matters worse before leaving the house she had clearly waited for me to turn my back and had magically removed the wipes from my nappy bag leaving me with no way of evening trying to disguise that with ten minutes of arriving a new friends home I was covered in sticky, smelly, yucky poo.

Baby beautiful continued to beam for the rest of our drastically shortened play date.

I dread the toddler stage!

Hand shaking too much to pour the wine

Having twins I obviously only have to throw one birthday party a year which is a bit of a godsend since they tend to leave me feeling more  emotionally and physically knackered than after I did when I ran a marathon. 

This year however, twin boy and girl left their lovely nursery school and all their lovely friends scattered out to different primary schools.   In a moment of nostalgia and following some rare exceptional behaviour I decided to throw a Halloween party for friends from last term.  It finished just an hour ago and my hands have just stopped shaking enough for me to pour a glass of wine and snuggle baby beautiful and begin to type.

So here is my User’s guide to children’s parties in your own home when you are going old skool i.e. not wimping out and paying an entertainer.

  1. Before commencing any party preparation place bottle of Pinot in fridge in order for it to be adequately chilled by the time the party is finished.
  2. For parties of over twenty children place two bottles of Pinot in fridge in order for it to be adequately chilled by the time the party is finished. 
  3. Buy ear plugs, the volume of girlish screeching in my house today broke several sound barriers and twin boy’s deafness seems to have worsened in two hours. 
  4. Lock all doors and exits once all children are firmly inside the building, there is always one child who has a wandering spirit and the nature of Houdini. 
  5.  Should you ignore point 4 and inadvertently lose a child, don’t say to the parent ‘I have two, take one of mine’ it doesn’t go down well. 
  6. Regarding party food, although the temptation to ‘sugar’ up other people’s kids remains strong remember you have the little beggars until pick up time and half an hour of 12 kids high on ‘e’ numbers can feel like eternity. 
  7. Halloween Party games: Don’t skimp on toilet roll for the mummy roll game.  Tesco value does not work – it merely causes arguments, strops, and excessive adult helping 
  8. Ensure you have a downstairs loo. 
  9. Should the cost of installing no.8 be over the party budget keep a spare pile of clothes by the toilet, fancy dress costumes are a sodding nightmare to get children out of almost as hard as wee out of your carpet….. 
  10. Don’t forget you have a baby sleeping upstairs, a baby that sleeps all day, screams all night……..

 Happy Halloween

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Copyright © Jane Blackmore and Northernmum, 2010-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jane Blackmore and Northernmum with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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