The Battle of the Bathroom…

I glanced at my watch, I needed to leave the house at 12.45pm and it was fast approaching 12.10pm. My bag was by the door filled with its usual goodies ranging from nappies to wipes to excess loo roll in case anyone got caught short or had a sneeze of epic proportions. I was dressed, each of the children were dressed, we were all calmly eating Omelettes for lunch. In theory nothing should prevent us leaving the house on time; I even paused for a moment merrily contemplating the ridiculous concept that we may be able to start our journey early.

Then I made a mistake of great magnitude. More

Incontinence: It’s a good thing

A good friend of mine texted me today to tell me her son had christened the potty for the first time.  I hasten to add her that she was also texting to say hi and wasn’t just regaling me with more poo stories.  However, whilst remaining proud of her adorable little lad for firmly ‘dropping one’ in the pot; it was all I could do to not text back shouting; 

“Noooooo don’t do it.  Potty training is the devils work.”


how to kill an old bird…

I’ve been on a journey this weekend, its all been, well, a bit odd, different and unusual.

I haven’t seen my children for nearly thirty hours which means that for that time period I have not had to raise my voice to squeaky screech level; wipe food/dirt/sudacrem off my clothes with a baby wipe; clean up anyone else bodily functions or listen to anyone spontaneously burst in melodramatic false tears because someone else took their chosen toy or knocked their elbow in a non painful manner. More

No time to say goodbye…

This morning life was normal, it made sense, you were still in my world and my world was complete.

Had I known that last night would be the last time I would talk to you and the last time I would look upon you I would have said more than simply ‘goodnight.’

I would have told you how much you meant to me, I would have told you I cared, More

Toilet terrors

I fear I may be getting a reputation in the blogging world.

I was chatting to the lovely Kirsty over at Imperfect Pages; and she confessed she had recently had a poo incident and offered for me to publish it over here on my blog.  Kirsty has a lovely blog, way more philisophical and ethical than I could ever dream mine to be; and I agree her latest post would probably feel more at home on my blog.  So please grab a tissue to wipe away snorts of laughter and leave words of comfort for Kirsty at the bottom. 

When you have finished pop pver to read more of Kirsty’s non poo related work here

Lately these days I’m blogging a lot about the little things in life. I write a mini-blog of three beautiful things each day, and summarise the best bits in a weekly post on my main blog. It might seem to readers that my life is a constant stream of joy and happiness; that my children are angels who spend all their time cuddling each other or engaging in wholesome craft and educational activities; that every meal I cook is delicious and that there are gorgeous photo opportunities round every corner. But of course, that’s just one side of it; the side I choose to write about every day because otherwise, I’d probably get a bit depressed. Like everyone, there is a LOT of my life with children that is stressful, chaotic and frankly, downright disgusting. Like what happened to me today…

 The day started for me like most others: wishing I could spend longer in bed. Like most co-sleepers, my nights are filled with half-wakings, switching baby from one boob to the other in a sleepy daze. I don’t ‘get up in the night’, but I don’t get a good night’s sleep either. Husband went off to work as per usual, and I left the toddler downstairs in the company of Big Cook and Little Cook while I nipped upstairs for a shower. Baby comes with me, and potters around the bathroom and upstairs while I try to pretend that I’m totally alone for five minutes.

 As I climbed out of the shower, I spotted that the baby had been chucking things down the toilet. So far, so normal. Rooting through the little recycling bin by the loo and selecting empty deodorant cans and shampoo bottles to chuck into the bowl is one of his favourite pastimes. Today he’d managed to take a bottle of perfume out of my washbag on the floor and fling that down there too (ok, so I’ve been back from holiday for a week now; perhaps I could have put it somewhere out of reach a bit sooner).

Before I could start fishing this assorted junk out from its new, watery abode, the air was pierced by a wail. The baby is cutting a couple of teeth at the moment, his eczema has flared up and he’s leaking thick, gloopy snot, which is sprayed everywhere by sneezes at regular intervals. All of this has rendered him more than a little grumpy, and he was insistent that he needed a cuddle. So I picked him up, and straight away he launched himself for the toothbrushes by the basin. A few happy minutes gnawing on his toothbrush (“No, that’s Daddy’s toothbrush, ah-ah, leave that razor alone”). With Baby cheered somewhat, I turned and in one swift movement, plonked him back on the floor and sat down on the loo, without looking behind me.

Of course, you can guess what happened next. I’m not going to lie – I’m human. I have normal bodily functions, just like the rest of you. I sit on the toilet in the morning, I poo. Yup, that’s right, I curled out a huge, steaming turd.

Only when I stood up and turned round to flush did I realise what I’d done. My first instinct was “can I flush it away?” No, you fool, of course you can’t flush a pile of bulky rubbish down the loo, even though there’s a pile of shit on top of it. So, baby whinging in the background, I grabbed an empty carrier bag and gingerly picked each soiled object from the bowl: two empty tins of Right Guard, a used-up tube of face wash, and a free sample of moisturiser, now never to be opened. Carrier bag sealed and in the sink, and straight into the outdoor bin once I’d managed to distract the baby long enough to get my clothes on. The only upside was that the two-year-old had remained downstairs and glued to Cbeebies throughout. I’m sure that these things never used to happen to me before I had kids.

 But what about the perfume? Well, I couldn’t just throw away a hardly-used bottle of Elizabeth Arden, could I?

emergency measures: I need a poo

Its inevitable isn’t it. We just ate brunch at my parents home up north and have managed to pile ourselves, the dog, half of argos, some of Mothercare and a lot of toys r us in the car in order to undertake the excruciatingly painful drive back south when twin girl declares ‘I need a poo’.

We are six miles from my mothers house, twin girl is buried in the back of the car behind a German Shepherd, a baby seat with real sleeping baby inside and a bag full of rather tasty food that I just pilfered from my mothers cupboards.

We initially attempted the ignore and hope it will go away parenting technique.

Please note this ‘technique’ is never used on twin boy. Should twin boy ever declare he needs a poo whilst we are in the car emergency actions are instantly put into force. He who helped create them applies instant hard pressure to the brakes and I catch the dog as she goes sailing towards the windscreen. Twin boy un plugs his seat belt whilst wiggling manically and screaming ‘its coming, its coming.’ He who helped create them and I then pause to have a little row about whose fault this is. This part is crucial to the process if not the event would not be half as stressful.

Then one parent (well me) leaps out of the car and grabs twin boy who often has trousers round his ankles at this point and then procedes to contort his body into the popular sitting on a chair but there is nothing there yoga position whilst manoeuvring own body to ensure falling poo does not attach itself to own clothes. Poo is then picked up by hand in carrier bag and disposed off in most hygienic way.

So actually although it is frustrating and mildly annoying that twin girl has chosen this moment to decide to drop a literal bomb it could always be worse…it could be her brother.

The story ends with a dash into MacDonalds ten minutes later after twin girl refuses to ignore us ignoring her, we then had an amusing chat in the toilet with twin girl asking what this place with the golden M is.

However beautiful baby is wide awake again and we have 200 miles to cover. Anyone want to trade places….

Supernanny never had to deal with this

The things Supernanny doesn’t have to deal with

 The moment my eyes were forced into action this morning I knew it was going to be ‘one of those days’.  As the world outside our brown front door slumbered on with sweet Saturday snores our weekend began with bleach and bathroom battles.

It was a gentle surprise this morning to find twin girl in front of my eyes as I peeled them open in response to the unsubtle footsteps cruising up to my bed.  The surprise was quickly replaced by fear when she muttered “mummy I think Owen had an accident as I found this on the floor” and in palm outstretched she held a small circular brown pebble.  

 Ladies and gentleman poogate had begun.

 He who helped create them let out a fantastically fake snore, letting me know I was in this one alone and I let out a shriek of horror as the pebble’s aroma reached my nostrils and I braced myself for what lay outside my door.  As I swung my feet onto the carpeted floor I was instantly struck with a dilemma; I couldn’t see. I have awful eyesight and lost my glasses in the toy box a while back.  Until my contacts are glued into my eyes I am like a bat in daylight; if one pebble had already been found resting idly on the floor who knows what other hazards could lie between me and the cupboard where my ‘eyes’ live.

 I had to pull myself to together, I had to be strong for me and twin girl, it would have been wrong to let her face this alone.  Dressing gown on, eyes in full squint I left the safety of the bedroom.  Instantly on the landing the smell hit me, an accident had definitely occurred, any hope that twin girl had somehow found a small foul smelling stone at the foot of her bed left me instantly.  Although I couldn’t see the perpetrator of the crime I could hear him.

 “Mummy I have done a poo”

 Now apologies for my language here but ‘no shit Sherlock’

 Like a solider going over the trench I headed into the bathroom, I could make out the faint outline of a semi naked four year old hunched on the toilet, I could smell the aroma of last night’s fish fingers in their new form, I could…..

                   ….feel it between my toes.

Exquisite horror overcame me as all sense of calm rational behavior left me; there is no real time appropriate to have such a feeling of warm squishiness on one’s tootsies but that fact that it was only 6.30am added further insult to injury.  Anger replaced horror at my situation when I realized that he who helped create them was still in bed and so I used my ‘reserved for emergencies only bellow’ to summon him from the warmth of the duvet to come join me in bathroom hell.

I have to honest the next thirty minutes are now a hazy memory; similar to the childbirth experience my brain has filtered out the details too traumatic to recollect.  He who helped create them leapt into the midst of things grabbing twin boy and ‘accidentally’ plunged him into a rather chilly shower and started the task of trying to remove the evidence armed with only a sponge.  Twin girl reveled in pointing out my son’s early morning mishap and then laughed every time my hand got too close or my toes tangoed with stool samples.

By seven am the episode was over, twin boy sat freshly washed smelling of rose’s cheerily munching cheerios in his toy story pants.

By some miracle beautiful baby slept through it all – or maybe she just didn’t want to get involved.

Me and he who helped create them were completely knackered, utterly repulsed and wondering where we went wrong.

I tell you, Supernanny never has to deal with anything like this…….

 Still utterly adore the little rotter tho! – a mother’s love eh?

Who needs an alarm clock when…

I remember when we decided to have a baby, the batteries on the alarm clock had ran out and rather than buying some new ones, myself and he who helped create them thought it would make good financial sense to have a baby which would guarantee we would never sleep past 7am again (ever).

How we smiled when we found out we were having two babies, so if one new baby alarm clock failed we could always rely on baby alarm clock two.  Nearly five years on the alarm clock remains dead coated with dust on the bedside table and let me tell you our new alarm clocks have never let us down.  Twin girl clock is sometimes unreliable to be honest, if you don’t wind her tight at bedtime she can sometimes fail to go off at seven. However twin boy must have been made by the Duracell bunny as not once has his alarm failed to go off.  In fact he is so efficient he often goes off early to ensure we are never late for work or school.

 To keep life interesting he varies the alarm ring, when we first got him he would wail like a strangled cat and we quickly discovered his snooze button which was activated by putting a milky teat in the ringing area.   He got bored of the wail after a while and he moved onto separate wake up calls. For me at 5am he would call mamamamamama , then knowing he who helped create him liked to sleep longer he would revert to dadadada after mamamama had ignored his incessant ringing. 

The amount of times we used both twins clocks snooze buttons meant they continued to grow at an alarming rate and soon we needed to move them out of the box we kept them in onto shelves stacked on top of each other. Twin girls shelf is adorned with a princess duvet and twin boy has a Spiderman cover.  Now four years on we still marvel at the amount we have saved on batteries and the unique ways we can be woken up.  

We always enjoy a little giggle when we see our childless friends fly off on luxury holidays thinking of the money they must waste on batteries and travel clocks.  Our two alarm clocks just pack up easily and travel, albeit the first time twin boy clock went on a plane it interfered with his settings as he kept going off intermittely and twin girl couldn’t adjust her big and little hand to the time difference.

Now four years on they have evolved and have ingenious ways of waking us.  Twin girl clock likes to occasionally creep stealth like into the bed and wake us up with hot hands cuddling our faces, or sometimes she likes to get her Barbie and creep stealth like up onto twin boy clock’s shelf and beat him over the head with it causing his alarm to go off first.  Twin boy also does a good one – he likes to come into my room position himself approximately 2 inches from my face and bellow ‘mummy is it time to get up yet’, that never fails to stir me from the sleep I didn’t really want anyway.

However my current all time favorite, (and I am sure I speak for him who helped create them as well), this one never fails to wake us up and get us moving, is twin girl clock’s alarm going off with ‘mummy twin boy clock has done a poo and he is stepping on it’.

This is not a sponsored post but for anyone wanting more details on these alarm clocks please do contact me as although we are attached to them we may be willing to sell.  We have recently introduced a new model but her timings are still out so please watch this space for when she is fixed and ready to go.

All comments and bids welcome,

Family time on Sunday

Today was different. 

Now twin one and two are at school the pressure is really on me and he who helped create them to have proper ‘family time’ at the weekend.  God forbid in their therapy sessions later in life they comment that we stunted their development in life by occasionally staying in on the weekend and not hitting every farm, playground, duck pond, and theme park in a 25 mile radius.

However today we had something that had to be done and to be honest we have been putting it off for some time.

We had to go to church…..

Now don’t get me wrong we weren’t putting it off because of religious fear, or because we thought the severity of my blaspheming would get me struck by lightening the moment I walked near a stained glass window.  We were putting off because quite frankly twin boy has the attention span of a goldfish with Alzheimer’s and a foghorn for a voice; Church is often ‘difficult’ for him.

However beautiful baby needs a christening so it was with fear in our hearts that we called the Reverend and warned him that we were coming to service.  The Reverend is a nice chap and I know he normally means it when he says they don’t expect children to behave immaculately during the service however twin boy does like to push this to the extreme.

So firstly my mission for the morning is to get everyone suitably attired, fed and out of the house by 9.30am. 

Challenge one:

To get twin boy out of England football kit and into ‘smart’ clothes.   He like his father is still in denial that the world cup is over and once again we failed to make any impact within it. The process of removing his second football skin firstly involves a conversation explaining we need to wear nice clothes to church, then after 34 ‘whys?’ the inner shouty demon in me begins to fight the inner calm loving mother that I normally am (!).  Within seconds the shouty demon wins and I turn into my mother saying everything I swore I would never say to my children, oh yes, all the classics come out:

‘Because I said so that’s why’ – didn’t work on me – doesn’t work on him!

‘Just do what you are told!’ – and now the count rises to 35 ‘whys’

The infamous ‘I am going to count to 3’ – this one occasionally works, both my children seem to have fear of the number 3 – however today luck is not on my side and I get to 3, nothing happens and so the football kit stays on.

I resort to my favourite which is said with total exasperation;

‘just do it (dramatic pause) now!’

Yep, still doesn’t work, twin boy is still unfazed happily bouncing around in England kit saying it’s ok he can play football with Jesus.  So I resort to my best technique of persuasion and five minutes later twin boy is happily sitting in smart shorts and shirt albeit with an unsightly pink milkshake moustache.  I have timed it to perfection; the’ e’ numbers should kick in just as we arrive in church.

Now we have a spot of good luck and bad luck when we get to church, we discover that they take the children out for part of the service to ‘play’!  Free childcare! They even offered to take beautiful baby as well.  The bad luck being that someone was having their child christened in the service so the pressure was really on for our children to behave.

So this is how it went;

We are all sitting quietly listening to the sermon, waiting for the first hymn to be sung because that is when twin one and two will depart to ‘play’ and he who helped create them and I will be able to relax with just one baby to look after between us.  Twin boy suddenly begins to twitch, and a slow smile breaks across his face; he reaches up to me and pulls at my arm to gain my attention.  On my best church behaviour I lean down and ask what is wrong in my loving caring super kind mummy voice.

‘Mummy’ he whispers ‘mummy I need the toilet’

Ok it’s not an emergency yet,

Before I can even stand to scour the church for a toilet, he tugs again at my arm, at this point I notice he who helped create them smiling as I realise that he distracted me earlier in the seating arrangement and so only I can deal with this.

‘Mummy’ he whispers with a little more power in his words ‘did you hear me I need the toilet’

In the background the reverend starts to welcome the parishioners and the christening party and it may be my imagination but I see him glance nervously at our pew in the back.

‘Mummy’ – I jump to attention as foghorn is back in full voice.  The old church building works fantastically as a projector for his voice rivalling the reverend and his microphone.  Twin boy’s voice works up to crescendo level

‘I need a poo and it is falling out of my bottom now’

It’s a Code Red!

 I scramble out of my seat, tripping over the immense nappy bag containing everything needed for a simple church trip, nappies, toys, raisins and bibs start to seep onto the floor in terrifying volume ‘Christ’ I mutter under my breath. 

Twin girl starts to shriek

 ‘you said Christ, you said Christ’. 

The reverend starts to twitch at the altar and throws more nervous glares in our direction and continues to talk about Jesus welcoming everyone into his heart.  Twin girl pricks up her ears even more so and bellows

‘mummy he said Jesus – that’s a naughty word’

Hmmmm we have not yet explained context to our children and as I said it has been a while since we went to church so she tends not to hear about JESUS, son of God, but more ‘Jesus how did you get a raisin up your nose’

Meanwhile back on the bench twin boy starts to hop from leg to leg sending chairs spinning whilst furiously gripping his backside and crying ‘I need a poo now’.

He who helped create them gazes adoringly at beautiful baby desperately trying to give off the impression that he was merely unlucky to have chosen to sit on the same aisle as mad lady with the unhinged twins.

I scoop twin boy up quickly scanning the floor with my eye for any escaping pepples, I see none and relief sweeps over me momentarily  in that so far I have not become the mum of the boy who pooed on the church floor.

‘nowwwwwwwwww mummmmmmmmmmmy’ screeches the boy,

‘Jesus, Jesus’ chants the girl

The lovely old lady at the back of the church starts to wring her hands and rock on her heels.  She gestures to a door with fear in her eyes that twin boy is about to christen the floor.  I run like I have never ran before trying to ignore the looks coming from the mother of the child to be christened and finally end up in a church loo with a small boy who in turn produces the world’s smallest piece of poo and laughs as it deposits itself firmly and quietly in the toilet.

‘hmmmm’ he grins to himself ‘I could have held it but church is boring isn’t it mummy’

As my heart slows to its normal rate I think – not anymore it isn’t!

Can’t wait for the christening……


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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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